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 Post subject: Best CPU cooler for Antec NSK2480 HTPC
PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 4:47 pm 
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Location: New Zealand
Hi all,

I have been putting together a HTPC for my lounge and am finding the stock cooling on my Athlon II x4 620 CPU to be ineffective. I am idling at about 35 degrees Celsius and at regular load I hit about 55 degrees. When running prime 95 I am getting a max core temp of 65 degrees Celsius!!! I have both 120mm outtakes set to low speed. Raising them only drops my core temp by about 2 degrees while running Prime 95. What is the best heatsink for my NSK 2480 and Athlon II x4? I have heard good things about the scythe mini ninja but am worried about the fact that it is a tower heatsink. I am concerned that the horizontal airflow produced by the cpu fan will not properly cool the components around the cpu. What do you guys think? Is there a better cooler that would work in my case? I think it has the same clearance as an antec Fusion case if that helps.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 7:11 pm 
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I have a different CPU, but the same case. The Scythe Ninja mini does not seem to be available anymore, so I'm thinking about getting a Scythe Samurai ZZ. According to the SCPR test, it seems to be very effective, and the dimensions should fit the case well.

On the other hand, I'm not an expert, but with temperatures still well below the rated temperature in a worst case scenario, do you even need better cooling? I understand the desire for a better safety margin, but surely you won't be running Prime95 all the time?


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 9:36 pm 
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Well after a brief look online you seem to be right about the mini ninja. It seems to have disappeared from many of the online shops I use. Sadly, the Scythe Samurai ZZ does not appear to be readily available in New Zealand. It also doesn't really address my concerns about the cooling of the VRM.
To solve that I was looking at the Noctua NH-C12P; however, the price is ridiculous here.

To answer your question, yes I do need it to run cooler. I am adding a new graphics card and I think the extra heat from that will push it over a safe operating temperature(I am using onboard at the moment). Also the noise produced by the stock cooler once it gets past 40 degrees is quite irritating.

I can get the Mini Ninja if it is going to be the best, as there are a few stores still selling it. I was also having a look at the Big Shuriken but am slightly worried about it blocking a RAM slot. I have a Gigabyte MA785GMT-USB3 (almost identical layout to the more popular Gigabyte GA-MA785GMT-UD2H).


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 10:23 pm 
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The Ninja Mini is perfect for this case. Both case fans will pull air through it, and the Ninja fin layout means lots of air moving at all times. You'll find multiple builds in the gallery with very low temperatures. The only problem would be getting your hands on one.

Any other high-end heatsink will also do. I'm stuck with a badly placed Thermalright SI-128 SE (fins parallel to the exhaust fans, not enough room for a top fan), and it still provides decent temperatures. The Noctua will surely do the job, once you get over the price.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 10:44 pm 
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I think I will be able to get hold of the mini ninja. However, I am very concerned about the vrm cooling, as the fan on the mini ninja will not blow any air onto the components surrounding the CPU. Should I be worried about this or would am I getting worried for no reason?


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:07 pm 
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I know you don't have to worry with moderate overclocking (BTDT), and I suspect you wouldn't have to even with heavy overclocking. Remember that you get two 120 mm fans to move air while not having to cool the PSU. There are fresh air intakes close to all potentially hot components, including one pointing straight at the CPU area. You can use ducts if you feel the need to direct airflow, but I think that's overkill in the NSK2480 (blocking some vents in the hard disk cage is easier if you need more air for the CPU/GPU). If fact, you don't even need the Ninja fan. The case fans will almost make contact with the heatsink, so you can consider them the de-facto heatsink fans (yes, plural ;)).

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:24 pm 
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Great! Thanks for your input. I think I will try to get hold of the mini ninja. I was also thinking of mounting a 60mm fan on the rear intake to increase the case airflow. I am planning on adding an HD 5770 or similar Nvidia graphics card so I think I need the extra airflow. What do you think?


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:44 pm 
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Finboss wrote:
I am planning on adding an HD 5770 or similar Nvidia graphics card so I think I need the extra airflow. What do you think?

Cooling a decent graphics card in the NSK 2480 won't be a problem. There's a vent above the graphics card slightly farther away from the fans than the card itself. It allows fresh air to be pulled in directly at the graphics card heatsink.

The only possible issue is size. You need to make sure that the PCB is short enough, and that the heatsink doesn't go too far outside of the PCB. The maximum length is about 10 inches, depending on where the power connectors are (a 5770 is fine, a 5850 won't fit). The Gigabyte Silent Cell 4850 heatsink is about as big as you can go without bending or cutting stuff (it almost scrapes the top cover). The fanless 5770s I've seen have heatsinks protruding too far for this case. People seem to like the MSI Hawk for quiet builds.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 12:05 am 
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Good to know. I know this is starting to get slightly off the original topic but you seem to know what you are talking about. How well do you think my case would be able to cool and fit an http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130562?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 12:19 am 
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It fits, so it should do fine. My experience with the 4850 shows that there's enough airflow for even hotter graphics cards. I'd still suggest the 5770, as it generates less heat, so you'd need lower exhaust fan speeds under load.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 12:51 am 
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Quote:
I'd still suggest the 5770, as it generates less heat

That's an interesting point because from what I have seen the GTX 460's run cooler than HD 5770's. However, I may be wrong. It is nice to know that my case can handle hot cards and that I shouldn't be too worried about cooling my cpu.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 1:08 am 
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Finboss wrote:
Quote:
I'd still suggest the 5770, as it generates less heat

That's an interesting point because from what I have seen the GTX 460's run cooler than HD 5770's.

I would imagine that less efficient heatsinks are enough to cool the 5770 because it generates less heat. Even though the GPU might be getting hotter, the lower power draw means that the card will dump less heat into the case.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 8:40 am 
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I've got one of these cases and I also need a better AM2 cooler. My cooling needs are probably more modest because the CPU is an Athlon 64 X2 4850e (Energy Efficient) and I think a Scythe Mini Ninja would be overkill. The current cooler is an Arctic Cooling Alpine 64 GT which I find a bit noisy (even at idle) and it seems to be getting worse.

To the OP, QuietPC are showing the Mini Ninja Rev. B in stock in NZ for NZ$65.95 (I've no idea of the exchange rate and whether that's a reasonable price).

I'm looking for something preferably a little cheaper (in the UK) and preferably which can be fitted without removing the motherboard from the case. My motherboard is an Asus M3N78-VM in case that makes any difference about which CPU coolers will fit without fouling the board's heatsinks. I'm currently using the onboard graphics.

Looking at QuietPC's UK page, these look like good candidates:

Scythe Samurai ZZ (but out of stock and may require motherboard removal for fitting according to a review)

Gelid Silent Spirit (no reviews so a bit of an unknown quantity)

Scythe Shuriken Rev B (good reviews, but a bit more expensive - worth it?)


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 Post subject: Re: Best CPU cooler for Antec NSK2480 HTPC
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 3:45 am 
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Resurrecting this old thread! :wink:

Which cooler did you end up installing Finboss?

I've got the NSK2480, MA78GPM-DS2H & Athlon 64 X2 4850e HTPC set-up which was all the rage a few years back.

The stock cooler noise is now becoming even more annoying and I never did find a local source for Mini Ninjas at a reasonable price.

What is the current go-to cooler (preferably with PWM fan) for this set-up?

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 Post subject: Re: Best CPU cooler for Antec NSK2480 HTPC
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 2:52 pm 
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Firetech wrote:
What is the current go-to cooler (preferably with PWM fan) for this set-up?

I think that currently there's about nothing really comparable to the venerable Minja.

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 Post subject: Re: Best CPU cooler for Antec NSK2480 HTPC
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 10:00 pm 
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quest_for_silence wrote:
I think that currently there's about nothing really comparable to the venerable Minja.

If only I could source one.....

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WHS: Antec LS-100, GA-MA74GM-S2H, LE-1250, 2x2Gb XMS DDR2, 7Tb
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 Post subject: Re: Best CPU cooler for Antec NSK2480 HTPC
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 5:19 am 
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quest_for_silence wrote:
Firetech wrote:
What is the current go-to cooler (preferably with PWM fan) for this set-up?

I think that currently there's about nothing really comparable to the venerable Minja.


Apparently the Xigmatek HDT-SD964 is. And Noctua has a small tower that takes 92mm fans as well.
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1059-page6.html

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 Post subject: Re: Best CPU cooler for Antec NSK2480 HTPC
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 6:42 am 
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ces wrote:
Apparently the Xigmatek HDT-SD964 is. And Noctua has a small tower that takes 92mm fans as well.
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1059-page6.html

Even if you're pointing out my very same link, look better: they are too much high (and the Noctua almost outrageously expensive - for the performance - also).

To be comparable, he needs to find out a massive, effective, short (80mm fan), and cheap thing (just as a Minja).

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 Post subject: Re: Best CPU cooler for Antec NSK2480 HTPC
PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:39 am 
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Firetech wrote:
If only I could source one.....

I think you might give a look to the Thermalright HR-01 3U, there are still some around: it's a 110mm Xeon cooler, so you will need also the relevant AM2 Rev.B Bolt-Thru-Kit (and a very good 80mm fan, I dunno if 92mm ones may fit).
At anyway, I guess it won't be cheap (as the original Minja also relatively does).

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 Post subject: Re: Best CPU cooler for Antec NSK2480 HTPC
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 1:06 pm 
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I have an NSK2480 and a Mini Ninja with an i5-750. Temps are a little high and my 92mm PWM fan is too loud. I should provide some pics.

Anyway, quick question:
Can I undervolt the i5 w/o screwing it up, especially with turbo boost kicking in?
Any alternative fans I haven't thought of? I think 120mm fan would be too large for the mini-ninja.

ETA: temps are 65C during extreme burn-in test of Furmark and 4x prime95.

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 Post subject: Re: Best CPU cooler for Antec NSK2480 HTPC
PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 2:33 pm 
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Well, the saga continues. I am frustrated with my Scythe Ninja Mini. I removed it today and realized that even though I had it secured 100% of the ability of the mounting system, that only 40-50% of the heatsink was making contact with the CPU! In frustration I removed it and installed the intel stock cooler- so I am really back to square one. (The intel cooler, BTW, uses a similar inferior mounting system).

I think I am going to bite the bullet and order the coolermaster Geminii and just call it a day. It looks like it will fit in the NSK-2480. It depends- if the 86mm height includes the fan or not. If it does, it will fit. If it does not, it wont.

Yes, I just checked. It's 86 or 87mm high for the Geminii, which would give over an inch of space above the fan. While not ideal, that should be enough. I'm giving the Scythe cooler a wide berth because I see which mounting system they are still using, and it the the terrible one, which would be even harder to use with a low profile HS.

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 Post subject: Re: Best CPU cooler for Antec NSK2480 HTPC
PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 5:31 pm 
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djkest wrote:
I'm giving the Scythe cooler a wide berth because I see which mounting system they are still using, and it the the terrible one, which would be even harder to use with a low profile HS.
Scythe sells a separate bolt on mounting system. I am certain that it works with the mini Ninja.

Why don't you try that first? That should solve the problem with a minimum of sword (scythe?) motion.

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 Post subject: Re: Best CPU cooler for Antec NSK2480 HTPC
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:13 am 
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Well, I am open to that idea. I just need to figure out which Scythe bolt-through kit to use, and then try and find a quiet 92mm fan to strap onto the minja to make this complete. I have a scythe PWM fan and it screams, so a fixed speed would probably be ideal. I have a message into Scythe USA customer service/tech support.

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 Post subject: Re: Best CPU cooler for Antec NSK2480 HTPC
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:53 am 
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djkest wrote:
I just need to figure out which Scythe bolt-through kit to use,
I had an almost identical question once. Their website isn't very good with that kind of information.

I emailed them and they answered it. Why don't you try asking them in an email.

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 Post subject: Re: Best CPU cooler for Antec NSK2480 HTPC
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:56 am 
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djkest wrote:
and then try and find a quiet 92mm fan to strap onto the minja
n In my opinion, Scythe makes the best 80mm fan. And Noctua makes the best 92mm.

Though Noiseblocker may be worth a look in either of those sizes.

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 Post subject: Re: Best CPU cooler for Antec NSK2480 HTPC
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 1:11 am 
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i had a regular scythe shuriken in the NSK2480 cooling a AMD Phenom X2 545 that was unlocked to a fully stable x4.

temps were fine. could get away with one exhaust fan and blocked off the other hole using the supplied plastic board thing.

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 Post subject: Re: Best CPU cooler for Antec NSK2480 HTPC
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:53 am 
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djkest wrote:
The intel cooler, BTW, uses a similar inferior mounting system

You may give a try to the Thermalright Universal Pressure Vault. It replaced a TR Bolt-Thru-Kit on my HR01, and that Bolt-Thru-Kit SURELY worked with the Minja and the Ninja. So I think it may works even this new TR UPV.

djkest wrote:
It depends- if the 86mm height includes the fan or not. If it does, it will fit. If it does not, it wont.

It does.

At anyway, you have also the option of the Prolimatech Samuel 17, which is clearly better than the Gemini IIS.

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 Post subject: Re: Best CPU cooler for Antec NSK2480 HTPC
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:05 pm 
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quest_for_silence wrote:
At anyway, you have also the option of the Prolimatech Samuel 17, which is clearly better than the Gemini IIS.
I don't believe that is so. You are talking about the Geminii II plus correct?

I like the Samuel 17. But when SPCR tested it... it was not the best real low heat sink.

And if you have a few more mm of headroom, the Geminii II plus is darn good with the stock fan and even better with a Nexus.

You have to search around the SPCR test reviews... but I believe they support what I am saying.

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 Post subject: Re: Best CPU cooler for Antec NSK2480 HTPC
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:41 pm 
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ces wrote:
You have to search around the SPCR test reviews... but I believe they support what I am saying.

I think it would be nicer if you informed yourself before telling/asking me to do so, ces: http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1059-page6.html .

Unfortunately the Gemini IIS (which I own however) isn't there, but at anyway we may somewhat groundfully argue that it should be inferior at the lower noise levels, providing that on the former test system (Presler) the Cooler Master Gemini IIS wasn't able to defeat the Big Shuriken at the 13 dBA level (the lowest one recorded then for the Scythe), on which in turn the Samuel 17 takes a 6°C edge on the new test system (Propus) right at the 13 dBA level.

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 Post subject: Re: Best CPU cooler for Antec NSK2480 HTPC
PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:39 am 
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I got an e-mail back from Scythe tech support and they said combine the 775 metal bracket, remove the plastic push pins, and use the steel backing plate, bolts, and nuts from the kit. Well, I spent as much on improving my current Minja as I would have on a new cooler.

Noctua 92mm case fan: $19
Scythe Universal Mounting Kit III : $15

So I should be able to have a solid steel bolt-through installation, I can crank that down as much as possible and put the Noctua fan directly on the heatsink. One of my problems is a large and (relatively) hot video card that is 2" away from the M-ninja.

Once I get this kit, I'm going to mount the HS again, and then remove it and see what kind contact area I'm getting from the mount. With the $10 scythe pushpin 775 kit, the contact was horrendously bad. I should have taken a picture.

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