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PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 10:49 am 
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doveman wrote:
I'm just going by what it says on the sites of the only two suppliers I've found in the UK so far, Scan (http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ZEROther ... ional-brac) and QuietPC (http://www.quietpc.com/gb-en-gbp/produc ... ing/zt-zen)

They both say "The ZEN is compatible with virtually all current desktop CPUs. AMD sockets 754, 939, 940 and AM2, along with Intel's LGA775 are all suitable for this cooler. The only drawback is that if you intend to use this cooler on an AMD system then you will have to purchase the ZC-AM2 bracket separately to provide compatibility. This is because the cooler is only shipped with a bracket compatible with Intel's LGA775 socket."

Looks like the same model I got. Odd that it's not bundled with the AM2 clip over there as it is here in Asia. After all, SPCR, Frostytech (http://www.frostytech.com/articleview.c ... cleID=2281), and X-Bit Labs (http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cooler ... html#sect1) all mentioned the clip as part of the package and I believe that X-Bit is based in Europe.


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PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 7:14 am 
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EekTheCat wrote:
From what I read, the S1284's 4 heatpipes aren't efficient with Intel's smaller integrated heatspreaders but work well with AMDs. I don't think that it can be oriented front-back though, based on the mounting system.


I had a lot of trouble deciding which heatsink to purchase when I was building my AMD system, not made any easier by the lack of choices for a front-back airflow configuration on AM2, and limited retail availability where I live.

In the end, I chose a top-down cooler, Xigmatek HDT-D1284, probably a better choice in my situation. It has 4 8mm heatpipes, better suited to the AMD heatspreader as it's larger than the Intel's. The 4 heatpipes cover most of the heatspreader, with just a tiny overhang on both sides. With sufficient thermal interface material on heatspreader and heatpipe base, it does a great job at keeping my AMD Athlon X2 4850e cool. It idles around 29-33°C. A significant improvement on my AMD Duron 1300 which is idling now at 54°C. I live in a warmer climate as well, so I'm happy with the results so far.

With the Xigmatek heatsinks (the no-nonsense ones anyway), you get a good performer at a budget price. My D1284 only cost me $38AUD.

I did not go for the Thermalright HR-01 Plus because it seemed a bit problematic for my setup. I also read in several places that the base of Thermalright heatsinks are deliberately made convex to suit Intel heatspreaders, at the expense of AMD heatspreaders. The Xigmatek HDT-S1283 would force the fan to blow up into the power supply on an AM2 system, which wasn't preferable. So I am using the top-down method. I am happy with it so far.

If I was building with Intel, I would probably still go for a Xigmatek, the HDT-S1283 with the optional backplate.

However, this doesn't help the OP, and I understand his frustration at not getting the information he wants for his setup.

FWIW, I don't think the OP is trying to make things difficult. There are so many variables in product behaviours that he is just trying to get some collective end user opinion before he spends his hard earned cash on hardware that is in most cases very hard to return once bought. What gets sold in retail channels is sometimes not as good as handpicked review samples.

I also think some forum regulars get tired of recommending stuff that in their opinion should be a known quantity by now.

Koolpc wrote:
2. User opinions are always good as they happen in 'Real Word' environments. Plus the more 'User' reviews the better as a better / bigger overall picture will make for making up someones mind.


Asking for end users' opinions is a good idea, as they deal with the product on a daily basis over a longer course of time, notice things that don't get picked up in the review, and have to deal with any side affects and warranty issues should anything go wrong. As opposed to reviewers who may only have it for a week, a day, or a few hours, send the sample back and move on. But SPCR is a lot better than most other hardware reviewers. MikeC and co. often use the reviewed hardware themselves and sometimes retest for our benefit.

Just my thoughts.


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PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 9:50 am 
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Shamgar wrote:
Asking for end users' opinions is a good idea, as they deal with the product on a daily basis over a longer course of time, notice things that don't get picked up in the review, and have to deal with any side affects and warranty issues should anything go wrong. As opposed to reviewers who may only have it for a week, a day, or a few hours, send the sample back and move on. But SPCR is a lot better than most other hardware reviewers. MikeC and co. often use the reviewed hardware themselves and sometimes retest for our benefit.

Just my thoughts.


Now, that would be a legitimate reason to ask about the HR-01+ vs HDT-S1283. My major problem with his original post was that he didn't ask about any of that. He specifically asked which was the better performer, which I thought was addressed sufficiently by SPCR's review.


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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 1:34 pm 
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PartEleven wrote:
Shamgar wrote:
Asking for end users' opinions is a good idea, as they deal with the product on a daily basis over a longer course of time, notice things that don't get picked up in the review, and have to deal with any side affects and warranty issues should anything go wrong. As opposed to reviewers who may only have it for a week, a day, or a few hours, send the sample back and move on. But SPCR is a lot better than most other hardware reviewers. MikeC and co. often use the reviewed hardware themselves and sometimes retest for our benefit.

Just my thoughts.


Now, that would be a legitimate reason to ask about the HR-01+ vs HDT-S1283. My major problem with his original post was that he didn't ask about any of that. He specifically asked which was the better performer, which I thought was addressed sufficiently by SPCR's review.


Well, you need to put your glasses on then. It is obvious that i wasn't asking about any of the results at SPCR!! I don't need to ask about that as i can read it for myself!

End user opinions are what is needed. Anyway, gone for an HR-01 Plus. Just got to wait for it to arrive now!


Last edited by Koolpc on Wed May 20, 2009 1:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 4:39 am 
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Shamgar wrote:
I had a lot of trouble deciding which heatsink to purchase when I was building my AMD system, not made any easier by the lack of choices for a front-back airflow configuration on AM2, and limited retail availability where I live.

In the end, I chose a top-down cooler, Xigmatek HDT-D1284, probably a better choice in my situation.


Nice tip Shamgar. I've been struggling to find an AM2 heatsink for front-back airflow on my 720BE as well and my only choices seem to be the Ninja or Apack Zerotherm FZ-120, which are both about £40, or the OCZ Vindicator or Thermalright Ultra-120A for about £25. Even then, I think they all cause me to lose access to two RAM slots, unless I could get away with not having the fan on the front side and moving it to the back or just ducting to the exhaust fan and I've ruled out the Thermalright coolers due to weight and concerns about the convex base.

So the HDT-D1284, at £32 from the only supplier I've found so far, might be just what I need.


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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 2:48 am 
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doveman wrote:
Nice tip Shamgar. I've been struggling to find an AM2 heatsink for front-back airflow on my 720BE as well and my only choices seem to be the Ninja or Apack Zerotherm FZ-120, which are both about £40, or the OCZ Vindicator or Thermalright Ultra-120A for about £25. Even then, I think they all cause me to lose access to two RAM slots, unless I could get away with not having the fan on the front side and moving it to the back or just ducting to the exhaust fan and I've ruled out the Thermalright coolers due to weight and concerns about the convex base.

So the HDT-D1284, at £32 from the only supplier I've found so far, might be just what I need.


There are a few choices for front-back on AM2, but they are either too expensive, too loud, too much trouble, too hard to find... you get the idea. Specialist hardware in AU tends to be relatively quite expensive, so I'm not prepared to pay exhorbitant prices unless I really have to.

For front-back airflow on AM2, there is also the Noctua NH-U12P, Sunbeam Core Contact Freezer, Arctic Cooling Freezer 64 Pro PWM, and I think (but not sure) Xigmatek HDT-S1284. A Ninja Rev.B or Ninja Mini would also work fine on AM2 depending on your situation. If the heatsink doesn't come with some sort of heavy duty backplate/mounting system, I would try and choose a not-too-heavy cooler, < 700g, as it will cause the back of the motherboard to bend too much.

If you are in any doubt about whether your prospective heatsink will fit your board, the manufacturers' webpage usually have the right information. Scythe, Thermalright and Noctua are good in that regard.

I went with the Xigmatek HDT-D1284 because I was really running out of options and I found an e-tailer who had it for a reasonable price. I also wanted to see what the fuss was all about re: heatpipe direct touch.

It'll weight around 600g with a 120mm fan. I use a Slipstream 1200@~800RPM on mine. I haven't tested the stock PWM fan for comparison yet. From my limited testing, my AMD 4850e idles at ~30°C. The top-down airflow helps if you're worried about chipset and VRM cooling.

I did some research before installing and came across these details re: the orientation of the heatpipes. X-bit Labs review and Mikhailtech forum discussion of Nexus HOC-9000 - a variation on the Xigmatek.

Seems that the HDT-D1284 performs best when the heatpipes face upwards as opposed to downwards. Horizontal will work also, but I haven't tried that. In my Antec Solo, with heatpipes installed this way, they are nearly (thankfully not) touching the PSU's fan guard.


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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 8:43 am 
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Thanks for the links. It seems that the HDT-D1284 doesn't do too well with the smaller die-size of the 45nm Intel Yorkfields, so it might not be a great choice for the PII 720.

As far as I can tell, although the xbitlabs review says that it performed better with the heatpipes towards the PSU rather than the RAM, the Mikhailtech thread and this page for the Noctua NH-C12P seem to say that this is the worst way to mount it. Confusing! I think the heatpipes would clash with my PSU anyway, so ideally I'd want to mount it with them facing the Northbridge or the RAM.

I'm definitely considering a top-down blower, as I think it might help a lot to keep the Northbridge and VRMs cool.

I could get the Scythe Zipang for £36 (the HDT-D1284 will cost me £31), although the bent pipes on the HDT-D1284 may be preferable for AM2 boards, where the RAM slots are very close to the CPU socket, to avoid the pipes hitting the RAM when the cooler is orientated that way, and it's 815g weight puts me off. The Triton 75 (about £27 without fan) might be a better choice with it's 350g weight and wider-spaced fins, except that it will probably overhang the motherboard and clash with my PSU!

Regarding front-back options, over here the Noctua NH-U12P is the most expensive option, at around £53 delivered but I could get the NH-U9B for £37. The Core Contact Freezer is a couple of pounds cheaper, but there seem to be some concerns about the mounting clip. The HDT-S1284 can't be fitted for front-back airflow. I don't like the proprietary fan on the the Freezer 64 Pro and it doesn't seem to be very good anyway, although that's reflected in the fact that it's one of the cheapest options available here (about £18).

With the front-back options all being around the same price for me, I'd probably get the Apack Zen Zerotherm FZ-120 for £38, as it's received a good SPCR review. The only option that comes in under £30 is the Thermalright Ultra120A for £26 + £3 for the S-clip, but with that comes the weight (745g without fan) and the convex base.


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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 1:04 am 
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I have it installed like the first picture in the Noctua link you posted: with the terminating ends of the heatpipes at the top and the bends of the heatpipes at the bottom. (What is up, what is down? confusing isn't it?).

From what I know, there is no "ideal" front-back solution for AM2 unless one wants to use a Ninja--despite its heavy weight and size OR a Noctua NH-U12P--despite its heavy weight, high price, and nois(ier) fan.

For top-down cooling, these are the main players: Xigmatek HDT-D1284, Scythe Zipang, Noctua NH-C12P and Thermalright SI-128 SE. All have their pros and cons, but all will do more than a decent job at cooling a low-mid power AMD CPU. Where they differ as you are already aware is build characteristics, package bundle and price -- the one that (arguably) matters most.

In the end I just made a decision and went with a good compromise of performance, quality and price. If a better heatsink comes along in future, I would not have lost too much money the first time round if I want to upgrade.

It's up to you on what you consider a good solution based on what you're willing to pay and the compromises you're willing to accept.

After a certain point, the more research you do, the more you come back to square one. I just wish things were a little easier for AMD users.


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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 2:59 pm 
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Well I happened to find a SI-128 SE on ebay and got it for £18, which is quite a bit cheaper than any of the options would have cost me new so I'm pretty happy with that. As you say, you can end up going round in circles trying to decide which is the best option so seeing this was handy as it forced me to make a decision :)

My motherboard and processor are being delivered on Friday, so I'll do some testing with the stock HSF before fitting the Thermalright, just for comparisons sake really, and report my results. Thanks for all the advice.


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