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 Post subject: Mitigating against dangers of huge CPU coolers
PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 1:04 pm 
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So I'm thinking about putting together a silent-ish system in a Fractal Define R4 case, and am eyeing the new Noctua DH-NH15 cooler (assuming it will become readily available soon). One thing that is giving me pause is that it weighs 1320 grams, close to 100 grams more than its predecessor the DH-NH14, which is pretty huge to begin with. At a certain point a heavy CPU cooler is going to start putting undue physical stress and torque on the motherboard, right? Apart from installing the thing properly, is there anything one can do to mitigate against this? Are there some motherboards that are stronger than others? Would a size other than ATX work better? Do systems with these coolers installed need to be treated with kid gloves when being moved around? What if you had to drive a thousand miles with it in the back seat? There've got to be custom builders who ship systems with these gigantic coolers - what do they do?


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 Post subject: Re: Mitigating against dangers of huge CPU coolers
PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 1:26 pm 
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Conchis wrote:
Apart from installing the thing properly, is there anything one can do to mitigate against this?

About nothing.


Conchis wrote:
Would a size other than ATX work better?

The smaller, the stiffer.


Conchis wrote:
Do systems with these coolers installed need to be treated with kid gloves when being moved around?

Prolly.


Conchis wrote:
There've got to be custom builders who ship systems with these gigantic coolers - what do they do?

Foam and carboard.

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 Post subject: Re: Mitigating against dangers of huge CPU coolers
PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 1:52 pm 
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Conchis wrote:
Apart from installing the thing properly, is there anything one can do to mitigate against this?
Scythe used to have a potential solution for this, the Ninja Wire SCYNW-1000. This was a one metre (39 inch) long steel cable which could secure a cooler weighing up to 2Kg (4.4lbs). It was intended for use with heavy graphics cards as well. As it is discontinued it might be hard to source now, particularly in North America. However this Canadian source still seems to have some.

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 Post subject: Re: Mitigating against dangers of huge CPU coolers
PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 4:41 pm 
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You could just secure it with a couple of cable ties to an appropriate point on the case to nullify the torque. Or, build a stand underneath it to prop it up.

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 Post subject: Re: Mitigating against dangers of huge CPU coolers
PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 6:41 pm 
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CA_Steve wrote:
...Or, build a stand underneath it to prop it up.
Yes that sounds like a better idea. It also seems familiar... this is exactly what Silverstone provided with the Temjin TJ08-E case, as this image from the SPCR review shows:

Image

However the practical issue is that such stands only really work if there is no obstruction between the stand and the CPU cooler, and this will not be the case if there is a discrete graphics card or other cards present.


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 Post subject: Re: Mitigating against dangers of huge CPU coolers
PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 11:51 pm 
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In the TJ08-E the motherboard is mounted upside down, so there's no cards in between. I like this solution. :) In a normal case wire from the top is probably better.

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 Post subject: Re: Mitigating against dangers of huge CPU coolers
PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 4:07 am 
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quest_for_silence wrote:
Conchis wrote:
Would a size other than ATX work better?

The smaller, the stiffer.


Do you think it would be a reasonable choice to use a Micro Atx motherboard for precisely this reason even if using a larger case such as the Define R4? For my purposes, Micro ATX would be fine as I'm likely never gonna use more than one graphics card, but it seems weird to put one in a full size ATX case.


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 Post subject: Re: Mitigating against dangers of huge CPU coolers
PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 6:08 am 
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Taking the current 1150 boards as an example some boards are potentially going to be stiffer than others regardless of size. For example the Asus Z87 Pro has two metal backplates adjacent to the CPU backplate on the reverse of the motherboard which are connected (screwed) to substantial VRM heatsinks. This is illustrated by the image below taken from the PC Perspective review of this motherboard. Incidentally in this image the right hand side would be the top when the board is fitted in a case. To the top of the image there is a row of solder points for the RAM slots. Only one is showing, there are four of these quite closely spaced. Whether fitted with two or four memory modules these are going to add to the stiffness of the board and again they are close to the CPU socket and backplate. Note also the two motherboard mounting points shown in the image, both close to the CPU socket, and to the RAM slots and VRM heatsink mountings.

So all in all with this particular board I would not have thought that even fitting a 1.3Kg (2.9lb) Noctua NH-D15 (with its additional backplate) should cause any concern about possible motherboard flexing. They may be other boards with similar features.

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 Post subject: Re: Mitigating against dangers of huge CPU coolers
PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 7:45 am 
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CA_Steve wrote:
You could just secure it with a couple of cable ties to an appropriate point on the case to nullify the torque. Or, build a stand underneath it to prop it up.


Agree with this - just use a cable tie or some wire or something and attach it to a support above the cooler.


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 Post subject: Re: Mitigating against dangers of huge CPU coolers
PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 9:31 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Mitigating against dangers of huge CPU coolers
PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 12:41 pm 
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A couple of cable ties = pennies :D

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 Post subject: Re: Mitigating against dangers of huge CPU coolers
PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 2:25 pm 
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CA_Steve wrote:
You could just secure it with a couple of cable ties to an appropriate point on the case to nullify the torque.

I did that once then I had to transport the computer in the back seat (not thousand miles but still).
It survied. Maybe it had done so even without the cable ties. As lodestar points out, the memory slots should add some stiffnes -never thought about that.

Conchis wrote:
Do you think it would be a reasonable choice to use a Micro Atx motherboard for precisely this reason even if using a larger case such as the Define R4? For my purposes, Micro ATX would be fine as I'm likely never gonna use more than one graphics card, but it seems weird to put one in a full size ATX case.

I don't think it matter much. It looks like motherboard mounting points are as close (or even closer?) to the CPU socket on ATX as mATX.

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 Post subject: Re: Mitigating against dangers of huge CPU coolers
PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 8:00 pm 
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Here's what I do for every one of my builds:

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Image

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 Post subject: Re: Mitigating against dangers of huge CPU coolers
PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 1:02 am 
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Whatever practical effect that wire is giving cable straps would do just as well, and by concentrating the pressure on a wider softer surface are probably less likely to cause damage to the case and/or cooler anyway. Scythe produced a Ninja Wire specifically for this job, with hooks for the cooler and adjusters to alter the cable length. But it is/was quite expensive and had the same disadvantage.


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