I'm starting working on the quieting (not to say silencing right now) of my old rig, based on
- Cooler Master Centurion 590 case
- AMD Phenom X4 9950 CPU (140W TDP)
- Sapphire HD 4850 Toxic video card (110W TDP)
- Fortron Aurum 500W (installed this month)
My goal is to make the system near-silent at idle, and OK-quietish under load. It's about 3 years-old now, I hope to keep it for 3-4 more years as a general purpose/older games system. It's also in our bedroom, so I'm rady to invst some cash tinkering on the system - it's going to be cheaper than than replacing the whole thing.
The case came with 2 120mm fans (1 front, 1 rear), the 4850 was loud as a windblower even at idle. Since I've added 2 side intake 140 mm fans (stock Fractal Design fans from the Arc Midi case), the 4850 Zalman cooler is much more quiet, the louder element is now, by far, the CPU cooler, an old Cooler Master design which designation I can't recall.
So now, it's time to change the cooler. Because of the side fans, the CPU cooler clearance is limited to 135 mm, so I'm goona shoot for a top-down blower. The Noctua NH-C14 looks like a winner for the job, probably coupled to a bottom Nexus Real Silent fan @9V. This would leave 30 mm of breathing room from the side intake fan blowing straight on the cooler fins, which should be OK from my internet readings.
Would you agree with my choice, or suggest another heatsink and/or fan?