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 Post subject: 4U chassis, large tower CPU cooler doesn't fit! Help choose!
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:09 am 
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I have a Norco 4224 case, which is basically a cheap 4U, 24-bay hdd chassis. You can find more details about it here http://www.norcotek.com/item_detail.php?categoryid=1&modelno=rpc-4224.

So I've selected all my internal components for my server build. The last thing to select now is the heatsink+CPU fan, as well as 3 120mm case fans (installed on a "fan wall" in the middle of the case) and possibly 1-2 80mm case fans (rear). Obviously in this chassis, a tower heatsink with a fan blowing on the same trajectory as the 120mm case fans would be ideal.

I would love to throw in a Noctua DH14 in there, however, it just won't fit. Unfortunately, neither will many (any?) of the large Tower heatsinks in the 120mm fan variety. From this thread at OCAU, the Noctua U12P seems to be about 1cm too tall to close the same case that I have (Norco 4224). Direct link to image: http://www.overclockers.com.au/pix/index.php?page=image&id=qqfvy (I have no affiliation with OCAU or the users in that topic, hope it's OK to post links).

Most of the Noctua 120mm tower coolers are around 158mm, and all of the other coolers on the SPCR approved list are around the same height - can't seem to find any under 155mm, and I would suspect they would need to be at least under 150mm or so.

So, from what I can see, this leaves me with two options.

1. I can get a smaller tower heastsink and fan, such as the Noctua NH-U9B-SE2, as the user on OCAU did
2. Purchase a large-ish top-down cooler (that fits in the chassis).

However, in this particular chassis I'm really not sure which would be better. The Noctua BH-U9B has the airflow in it's favour, as it would be pushing in the same direction as the 120mm case fans from the wall. The middle 120mm fan would be blowing directly onto CPU cooler.

Yet perhaps the larger heatsink that a top-down cooler provides would be more beneficial. How would the dynamics of the top down cooler work in a case that already has three 120mm fan blowing across it? Again one of those will be blowing directly on the path of the CPU cooler. Would the top-down fan 'clash' with the 120mm fan wall blowing across?

My aim here is to make it as quiet as possible. I would be happy to also throw in an 80mm rear exhaust fan if that would help too. I have a low power Xeon 1260L going into it with a TDP of 45watt.

Would appreciate any advice/thoughts! :)

Thanks for reading.


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 Post subject: Re: 4U chassis, large tower CPU cooler doesn't fit! Help cho
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 11:23 am 
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The Antec K├╝hler Box is 148mm tall, exctly 10mm less than the Noctua NH12P. It's the shortest tower cooler with a 120mm fan I could find.
Basically every tower with a 92mm fan should fit. If the cooler has heatpipe direct touch or comes from one of the better manufacturers you can't go wrong. Included fans are often too loud, regardless of manufacturer.
Why do you care about a quiet cooler in a case with 24(!) hard drives?

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 Post subject: Re: 4U chassis, large tower CPU cooler doesn't fit! Help cho
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 11:42 am 
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Here, will this do the job?

Noctua NH-C14
"The Noctua NH-C14 is a big heatsink for sure, but remarkably by orienting the fans and aluminum fin stack in a top-down direction, Noctua keep the heatsinks' height to just 130mm. That's a far cry more compact than your typical 160mm tall tower heatsink, but that hasn't made the NH-C14 into a slouch. Where Frostytech's Intel LGA775/1156 thermal test platform is concerned, the Noctua NH-C14 heatsink leads the Top 5 Heatsinks Chart."
http://www.frostytech.com/articleview.c ... 562&page=4

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 Post subject: Re: 4U chassis, large tower CPU cooler doesn't fit! Help cho
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 1:58 pm 
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Thanks for the posts!

@boost
Well, it has 24 bays, though I'm not putting that many drives in there yet :P. I've 6 at the moment, Hitachi Deskstar 5k3000's which are low spinning and very quiet. The system doesn't need to be "silent", per say, just a lot quieter than what it is now (AMD Phenom II 6 core, stock cooler. Even though it's undervolted and has two cores disabled it's still annoyingly loud haha).
I found a review of the Antec cooler at this link http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/coolin ... x-review/3. It performs reasonably well, though perhaps seems a little on the noisy side but for my case it might be a good bet. I also can't seem to find many other reviews for it (except a couple of youtube video reviews).

@ces
Yes, I was highly considering this top-down cooler if I was going to go down a top-down route.

So, out of the these three coolers in this particular chassis, which do you think would be best performing?

    Noctua NH-U9B-SE (Small tower cooler, good reviews)
    Noctua NH-C14 (Enormous top-down cooler, good reviews)
    Antec Kuhler Box (Large tower cooler, reasonable reviews)

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: 4U chassis, large tower CPU cooler doesn't fit! Help cho
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 2:13 pm 
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brendanz wrote:
    Noctua NH-U9B-SE (Small tower cooler, good reviews)
    Noctua NH-C14 (Enormous top-down cooler, good reviews)
    Antec Kuhler Box (Large tower cooler, reasonable reviews)
!
Not sure about the Antec. the NH-U9B-SE is amazingly effective for its size. Xigmatec has a similar cooler of the same size. The Mini-Ninja is good if you can find a used one.... though it is a little smaller than the NH-U9B-SE or the Xigmatec,

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 Post subject: Re: 4U chassis, large tower CPU cooler doesn't fit! Help cho
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 1:29 am 
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ces wrote:
Xigmatec has a similar cooler of the same size. The Mini-Ninja is good if you can find a used one.... though it is a little smaller than the NH-U9B-SE or the Xigmatec,

The Xigmatek HDT-S964 from the recommended list. The HDT in the name is heatpipe direct touch. A lot of companies sell very similar coolers. Take a look at a pic from the bottom of the heatsink. If you find one that looks similar at a (r)etailer it should perform about the same. That's the chaepest option, usually. The Noctua perform great, but you should read some reviews. Not all Noctua heatsinks come with 4-pin fans. You should check if your mainboard can control the rpm of a 3-pin fan on a 4-pin header before you buy.

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 Post subject: Re: 4U chassis, large tower CPU cooler doesn't fit! Help cho
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:31 am 
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boost wrote:
Not all Noctua heatsinks come with 4-pin fans. You should check if your mainboard can control the rpm of a 3-pin fan on a 4-pin header before you buy.
Actually most of them don't. They only recently have been making pwm fans and it appears they are only using them on newly introduced models.

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 Post subject: Re: 4U chassis, large tower CPU cooler doesn't fit! Help cho
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 1:26 am 
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Interesting.. My motherboard is a Tyan S5510 which has 5x4pin connectors, as well as 4x8 pin connectors (though apparently you can't mix and match). Can't seem to find anything in the manual or google on weather or not I can control the RPM of 3 pin fans with this board.

It seems that most of the Noctua 3-pin fans have the ability to spin lower than their 4-pin counterparts... Any reason?

Either way, thanks guys I think I'll go the 140mm Noctua top-down cooler.


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 Post subject: Re: 4U chassis, large tower CPU cooler doesn't fit! Help cho
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 6:27 am 
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brendanz wrote:
It seems that most of the Noctua 3-pin fans have the ability to spin lower than their 4-pin counterparts... Any reason?
The 4 pin fans are PWM and are designed to have a wider range of speeds. It appears to be easier to do with a PWM fan. The 3 pin fans are the traditional fans.

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