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Weekend Open Forum: What heatsink / water kit cools your computer?

By Shawn Knight · 61 replies
Feb 27, 2015
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  1. wof

    A factory AMD or Intel heatsink is something I simply won’t consider when building a computer. I acquired my first aftermarket cooler 15 years ago to assist in overclocking an AMD Athlon 500 (it reached 800MHz with help from a Freespeed Pro) and haven’t looked back since.

    As I’ve grown older, my interest in overclocking has faded – instead replaced with a desire for a quiet system that requires as little maintenance as possible. My cooler of choice for the past several years has been a massive Noctua air cooled heatsink. Tucked away inside an equally large Cooler Master Cosmos II chassis outfitted with low-voltage fans, I hardly hear the PC at all.

    With this week’s open forum, we’d like to hear about your CPU cooling solution. Do you stick with the retail heatsink or prefer an aftermarket cooler? Are you after performance or a quiet system? Air or water?

    Let us know in the comments section below! 

    Permalink to story.

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 5, 2015
  2. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 3,050   +1,384

    Mine is water cooled. Except instead of liquid its solid. And instead of water its aluminum. And instead of a pump its got a fan. Its actually a laptop.
    veLa, Burty117, PC nerd and 2 others like this.
  3. veLa

    veLa TS Evangelist Posts: 854   +301

    Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo on both systems.
    bea108, TadMSTR and JohnCB like this.
  4. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,996   +2,456

    Corsair H100i because it wasn't being used at the time of my last upgrade ;)
  5. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,892   +2,219

    I have a zalman 9700 LED on my i7 3770k. I've used them on every build from my Athlon X2 4200+. They are one of the highest quality and certain best looking coolers out there. I use it with Artic silver 5. I have it housed in an antec 900 case that I've modded for better air flow and cable management. I've also added an opening in the bottom as an exhaust vent for my PSU. I've cut custom grommet holes in it with a dermal so I can more easily route cables behind the motherboard plate.

    As far as videocards go, I just buy them with aftermarket coolers already installed. I'm a big fan of MSI's twin frozr series. I have an MSI GTX 680 with a Twin frozr II cooler on it and it rarely goes about 70C in games while overclocked.
  6. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 4,478   +3,037

    This is funny to me personally, because I use Noctua NH-D14 in my system, exactly the one shown in the article's picture. I believe this to be one of the best CPU coolers around. It's been working for 1.5 year at this point, same dead quiet as it was new.
    Route44 and emmzo like this.
  7. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,548   +918

    H100i with stock fans in pull config to keep the dust in the rad and fans at a minimum.
  8. Seventh Reign

    Seventh Reign TS Booster Posts: 131   +65

    Custom Water Cooled.
  9. Seventh Reign

    Seventh Reign TS Booster Posts: 131   +65

    I'm not saying thats not a good fan. Its a great fan (minus the godawful color scheme of course). Its just wayyyyy too overpriced. You can get equal and even better performance for less than half of the cost of that Noctua. It isnt worth it.
  10. emmzo

    emmzo TS Addict Posts: 181   +75

    Noctua Nh-l9a now, I used to have a Noctua Nh-U9DX with my old 1366 nehalem socket, so I guess I`m a Noctua fan; I would certainly not trust anything else for OCing, up to watercooling, but that`s another story.
  11. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 8,251   +1,268

    Intel stock cooler... :( but on a CM HAF case with a couple of large low RPM fans so it's whisper quiet and cool.
  12. Pedro Grazziotn

    Pedro Grazziotn TS Rookie

    I Use an old Dell server cooler adapted for my FX8320 and it cools it really well
  13. BlueDrake

    BlueDrake TS Evangelist Posts: 378   +113

    Hyper 212 Evo, replacing my stock AMD cooler. The large cooler with heatpipes which, in general does a great job needed replacement paste. I figured something a bit quieter, because of how loud things got. With a near 7k RPM fan, I found it just unbearable so having a whisper quiet 212 Evo is wonderful. :)

    Older MSi case, with the old PSU mounting and everything. Kinda looking to a newer case in general, but unsure of a full upgrade or move existing hardware to a new case. :)
  14. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,996   +2,456

    This is a public forum Julio, keep your talk of stock coolers for private.
  15. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,840   +1,268

    ATM: XSPC (RayStorm CPU block, tanks res), Alphacool (NexXxoS XT360 rad), Laing (D5T Strong pump 12v-24v), Bitspower (True Silver compression fittings, temp. and rotary fittings), Tygon (R-3603 tubing), Koolance (quick disconnects), Local pharmacy (distilled water). Fans are Sunbeamtech AGA12025F121's MFDB (usually found on tower coolers like Thermolab's BARAM)
  16. TitoBXNY

    TitoBXNY TS Addict Posts: 238   +54

    Julio has a stock cooler, I am shocked! I have a few old spare Zalmans lol

    Both my systems have Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo's
  17. Nazeem

    Nazeem TS Member

    Dual custom loops:
    MoeJoe and PC nerd like this.
  18. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,401   +627

    I use an Arctic Freezer 7 Pro for my AMD and Intel PCs.
  19. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 8,251   +1,268

    Lol, I might have a spare cooler or two in the drawer as well, but I'm almost certain I just put the stock cooler when I last upgraded the system I was referring to (supposedly my main machine, though with Dropbox syncing my work files I switch around 3-4 different systems on a regular basis, including laptops).
  20. Scyfox

    Scyfox TS Rookie

    I also was going to say stock cooler, but after that bullying I'm feeling kinda ashamed :(

    In my defense I can say that I chose an overclocking mobo that has bigger better and impressive heatsinks and heatpipes to cool the cpu down, so an aftermarket cooler might be overkill. (msi m-power)


    I feel you bro xD
  21. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,400   +5,021

    Zalman CNPS10X Performa
  22. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,534   +421

    I have a Corsair H80i in one computer, and a Prolimatech Samuel 17 in another computer CPU wise... The pump for my Arctic Accelero Hybrid for my GPU just failed last night. RIP
  23. MoeJoe

    MoeJoe Banned Posts: 837   +441

    Hydro Series™ H105
  24. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,124   +1,617

    I use a XIGMATEK Dark Knight II. Works great and extremely quiet. In fact, I've never heard it. But like Shawn, I'm over the whole overclocking thing. Especially for gaming as the effect is minimal. So this is probably the cooler I'll be using for the next several years during my upgrades/rebuilds.
    EClyde likes this.
  25. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,466   +637

    My System is over 5 years old now.

    So still on air for cpu.

    TRUE Black Rev.C + Scythe S-Flex 1600 rpm x2

    And gpu is MSI 7970 Ghz + Kraken G10 & H55

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