I have an older system that has an LGA 775 E6600 CPU cooled by a Zalman cooler - I think it is something like the Zalman 7000 or whatever they were making five or so years ago. Here is the SPCR review of this cooler http://www.silentpcreview.com/article209-page1.html
I find the CPU fan a little noisy, even when using a Fanmate controller, so I want to relace the CPU heatsink. I guess this is not surprising since fans often do get a bit noisier when they are older and I think this system is over 5 years old. I want to avoid removing the mobo if possible since that is a bit of a PITA. Any recos on what heatsink to get? Or is it fairly easy to just replace the fan is this type of cooler? There are some threads
here about people who have replaced fans on this type of cooler - would that be the way to go?
Is it possible to replace the fan without even taking the heatsink off of the CPU? Any recommendations on a specific fan that may fit better? If it is the 7000 then it is a 90mm fan, if I actually have the 7700 then it is a 120mm fan. You can buy a Zalman replacement fan for this PS but is that a better option than getting the SPCR recommended fan which is the Nexus RealSilent fan? The Zalman fan is $20 online whereas my local Computer shop has the Nexus RealSilent for $10 - people have used the Nexus fan before but the threads that I ahve found are 8 years old and I am wondering if the Nexus fan has changed through the years?
Are there any threads with advice on this type of modding as I assume that I have to remove the fan frame. Do you have to cut away the frame or can you take out the fan and still have it remain funcional?
The case is an Antec Sonata II so it should have the space for a taller heatsink. While I am at it I may also upgrade the CPU to something like a Q6600 since they are pretty cheap and that may extend the life of the machine a bit. The mobo is an Asus P5B-E if that matters.