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 Post subject: Lian Li PC-C50, "passive" tower cooler, or top-down?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:06 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2011 1:06 pm
Posts: 11
Hi,

I've got a Lian Li PC-C50 case with a Core i5-2500K. I use the internal graphics card.

I'd like to replace the stock Intel cooler. Since the case fans are very close to the CPU anyway: would you recommend a CPU tower cooler (less than about 130mm in height) without a fan? One with fan? Or a top-down cooler?

Which ones are good (inaudible when watching a movie or surfing the web, ...)? I've heard about the Arctic Cooling Freezer 13, however, I'm not sure if I could install it with the case fans blowing onto it's larger side.

-CC


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 Post subject: Re: Lian Li PC-C50, "passive" tower cooler, or top-down?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:34 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 8:37 am
Posts: 50
Location: Central Europe
I'd say no problem using the case fan for the CPU heatsink. For light loads like movies and browsing a big heatsink would probably cool the CPU enough without a fan at all. So just try to lower their speed, and if they're still too loud, get some fans with sleeve bearings instead of ball bearings. Or try just one CPU fan without case fans.

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 Post subject: Re: Lian Li PC-C50, "passive" tower cooler, or top-down?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 3:55 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2011 1:06 pm
Posts: 11
Thanks for your answer. I'll try it with the Xigmatek Loki SD963. I'll remove the fan, and install another one if it turns out to be necessary.


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 Post subject: Re: Lian Li PC-C50, "passive" tower cooler, or top-down?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:45 am 
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Location: de_DE
Scyte Grand Kama Cross

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 Post subject: Re: Lian Li PC-C50, "passive" tower cooler, or top-down?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 9:14 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 8:37 am
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Location: Central Europe
No problem, about top or tower cooler:
The tower cooler will transport the heat further away from the mainboard. So if you use case fans to cool the heatsink, it should be a sensible combination.

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 Post subject: Re: Lian Li PC-C50, "passive" tower cooler, or top-down?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 9:41 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 12:44 pm
Posts: 332
Location: Seattle
I'm quite pleased with the performance of Scythe's Rasetsu. (top-down)

Not real happy with the stock fan's lowest speed range, ( their SY1225SL12LM-P model is much better suited for silence) but I sit right next to my tower so it may not be an issue in a HTPC.


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 Post subject: Re: Lian Li PC-C50, "passive" tower cooler, or top-down?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 4:38 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2011 1:06 pm
Posts: 11
Thanks for your answers. I did consider the Raetsu. However, at 130mm max height, there'd be virtually no room for the fan to get its air from. The Kama Grand Cross would undoubtably had been a great choice – but I couldn't get most of Scythe's products where I live (for a reasonable price, that is).

I got the Xigmatek plus a very low speed replacement fan.

I haven't had a lot of experience, but the Xigmatek makes a bad impression on me. First of all, the stock fan on it is totally useless: in its lowest PWM setting it makes chating at usual volumes painful – all while blowing less air than most fans at a fraction of their 1000rpm. As mentioned, however, I replaced it with another fan, so it's not a problem. The heat sink itself (with a fan of comparable air pressure), on the other hand, performs only about the same as Intel's stock cooler. After inspecting its surface area, I pinpointed one (probably major) problem: while the surface area cannot be expected to be even (the heat pipes are connected directly to it), the whole area is slightly curved, which might reduce its efficiency heavily. As expected, the heat sink reacts only slowly to heat.

Regarding the other problem I found, I am not sure if that's a bad sign or just very normal: even with a high speed fan on it, it's impossible to feel any air at all coming through it -- the fans actually react similar to lying flat on a table. Since I cannot spot problems with the fins or the fin structure, however, it might as well be normal (maybe they are too close to each other?)

Luckily, modern CPUs don't get that hot, and having a replaceable fan is a huge improvement to Intel's stock cooler.

I guess I'll install the (new slowly spinning) fan such that it sucks the air: Then there's inaudible case fans on one side and an inaudible fan on the other side.


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 Post subject: Re: Lian Li PC-C50, "passive" tower cooler, or top-down?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 5:36 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 8:37 am
Posts: 50
Location: Central Europe
I think you don't feel the air because the fins create turbulences. The same happened with my case intake fans when I tried mounting them directly onto the side or front panels. So I don't use side panel fans and only got front intake fans where I could hang them two inches back from the intake holes of the case. Now for a fan mounted directly on a cooler, where it cools the fins and heatpipes, this shouldn't be a problem anyway. However my front intake fans now cool my GPU about another 5°C down when on.

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