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 Post subject: Best top down cooler?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:08 am 
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I am looking for a good top down cooler that wil accept any 120mm fan. Any ideas? Thanks


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:11 am 
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There are only three in the running for this.

1. Noctua

Good construction. Best support in the industry, by far. If history is any indication, when the new 1155 socket comes out in Q1 2011, they will provide their users with a free upgrade kit if you send them evidence of purchase of their cooler and the new chip. No one else does that.

Their engineering integrity is as good as their customer relationship integrity. They don't use the cheap fix of direct contact to get a few extra degrees of performance. That forces them to optimize the cooler to specific CPU chips.

They tend to have widely spaced fins. They lose some performance from this, but it makes their heat sinks quieter.

Their coolers always benchtest well. If not at the top, always number 2 or three. Always.

2. Coolermaster Geminii Plus

This one is a lot lower than the Noctua. It has tighter fins and is louder. With it's accompanying PWM fan, it performs about the same as the Noctua. And it retails in the US for only about $32 online.

It has brackets that permit you to replace the 120mm fan with two 92mm fans. The brackets, with a little modding, could be used to hold the new 180mm Silverstone fan. That would cool your whole board. the 180mm silverstone looks like it is was designed to be a quiet fan and Silverstone fans tend to be of good quality. They know how to design quiet fans.

3. Thermalright has a 120mm and a 140mm topdown

Their 120mm top down is an older one. It probably performs about the same as the other top downs described above, but maybe a little worse.

Their 140mm topdown probably performs about the same as the other top downs described above, maybe a little better. I'm not certain what the heigth of this one is. You need to look it up... but it is pretty low. It might even be as low as the Geminii Plus

Both of the ThermalRights top downs come without any fans. They expect you to supply your own. But their pricing doesn't reflect that.

4. I don't think there are any other competitive top down coolers. There is one other, I forget the name.... I think it is called the whale of\r something similar. It uses a custom 38mm or so thick proprietary fan. I don't like being stuck with a proprietary fan. Looks like you don't either.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:31 am 
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Quote:
4. I don't think there are any other competitive top down coolers.


Yes there are: the great Scythe coolers! :) Zipang 2, Big Shuriken and Kabuto are excellent performers, all accept 120mm fans and come with very good stock fans (better than Noctua's constructions). Oh, they're also a lot cheaper than Noctua and Thermalright, at least in my part of the World :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 7:27 am 
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Which scythe is the best


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 7:41 am 
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Oops.I forgot about the Scythes.

I own the small Shuriken and have been disappointed with it. The Big Shuriken is optimized for low height. According to reviews, while it is lower than the little Shuriken, it does not perform as well and makes more noise while doing so.

The Big Shuriken has no competition if you need a short top down cooler though.

The Zipang 2 appears to be quiet, but isn't much of a performer in terms of thermal load. And it does require a 140mm. The same for the new 140mm top down scythe cross. It doesn't seem to carry a thermal load that well.

Kabuto

I just checked a review at xbits.
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cooler ... uto_9.html

It looks like an impressive cooler. Looks like the stock fan it comes with is a good match.

The Coolermaster Geminii plus is still cheaper (at least in the US) by about $10. They probably perform about the same... maybe the Kabuto would be a little better I would guess.

But from the design of the heat sink the Kabuto is almost certainly the quieter of the two. The fan is slower, the fins are 2mm apart, and there are air current channels in the heatsink... like the prolimatechs. In fact it is almost sort of like a prolimatech on its side with two air channles instead of one.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 9:29 am 
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It has to be one that takes an 120mm fan


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 12:59 pm 
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Scythe Kabuto perhaps best topdown tested to the date in SPCR. Noctua C12P is impressive too.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:42 pm 
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im also looking for a scythe cpu cooler. why would one choose a top down (kabuto) over a mugen 2 tower type cooler. what are the benefits or disadvantages in both.
http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/vi ... 328#501328


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 3:39 pm 
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nyhcbri wrote:
im also looking for a scythe cpu cooler. why would one choose a top down (kabuto) over a mugen 2 tower type cooler. what are the benefits or disadvantages in both.
http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/vi ... 328#501328


Top down provides ample air flow on mosfets, power circuitry, memories and chipset.

Towers usually are more effective and can be ducted and have larger surfaces and beenfit the u-shape heatpipes effectively doubling heat pipes vs. most top-downs that run single set heatpipes.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:59 am 
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I want a top down for a small case so can't use a tower heatsink.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:40 am 
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Didn't you just post this same question like 6 months ago?

Why not just continue the same thread?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 11:03 am 
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jhhoffma wrote:
Didn't you just post this same question like 6 months ago?

Why not just continue the same thread?


That thread is dead. This is a new one.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 7:02 pm 
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What is the general consensus? Anyone want to take a stab at it?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 6:51 am 
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Hey guys

I'm also looking for a good top down cooler and I'm having trouble deciding between a kabuto and the grand kama cross. Seems like they perform similarly but I've only found cross site reviews and no direct comparison in the same test bed so I'm finding it hard to draw a conclusion. They're very similarly priced too so it's not like that is a factor.

Also slightly concerned that these don't have a bolt-thru mounting. Is there any real risk of mobo damage by using one of these heavy coolers with the push-pin mechanism?

Noctuas are above budget and Geminis are a nogo, need 1156 mounts.

Thoughts + Ideas?

Thanks and sorry for the slight hijack OP, it's a similar goal I'm after I just have no limitation on fan size. And for that matter if you're stuck on 120mm fans then the kabuto is the obvious choice from the benchs I've seen.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 7:35 am 
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The Grand Cross is very high. It might not fit in many cases.

But this is just conjecture. They only way you can really tell is to test it.

The kabuto seems like a lot of cooler for not much money. It comes with a good fan. See if Scythe has a back plate mounting kit for it. They have a backplate mounting kit. It works with more of their heatsinks then their website says it does. Ask them by email.

Please explain why it needs to be 120mm. Is it a case restriction or some other reason.

When you contact Scyth, ask them a broad question. Tell them you want a top down, but you want something that can use their backplate mounting kit.

See what choices they give you. It may be that their backplate can be used, with a bit of effort, on all their more recent coolers.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 7:53 am 
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Thanks for the quick response!

The height needs to be ~140mm or under due to case restictions. If a tower can provide the same performance at this height then that would be great but all the decent towers I've come across are all 150-160mm. Maybe I'm not looking hard enough?

The scythe backplate is for LGA775 and so is unlikely to fit 1156. I'll drop them an email anyway and be broad like you suggested.



I am not OP btw, he requires a 120mm fan - I can use anything so long as the height is ~140mm or less. Presumably he already has a 120mm fan he wishes to use with a new heatsink.

/edit I checked out that xbits site for the kabuto review and found one for the grand kama cross on the same site - I can't link it because of my post count.

It would appear to slightly better the kabuto assuming the test bed is the same for every review they do. It's still very marginal though.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 8:46 am 
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Noctua NH-U9 might be your cooler then, tower style and much improved efficiency over these. Otherwise, there's the Thermalright AXP-140, which beats anything you could think of as far as top-down coolers go.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:01 am 
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1. So what about the Scythe Zipang?

2. The Thermolab BADA, which is a fairly strong tower cooler is 136mm high. I am not certain how exactly that 136mm is measured.

3. Zalman CNPS8700 turned down to low is an option.''


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:21 am 
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I have the Scythe Kabuto and I'm very happy with it. CPU is a quad core AMD Phenom II 905e (65W TDP). Highest temp recorded is 36°C during a Prime95 session with stock voltages and speeds, except for CPU NB, which is overvolted a little. Fan speed (stock Scythe Slip Stream PWM) was fixed to ~500rpm for reference.

I must note this temp probably could have been lower because the case temp was rather high because I was experimenting with only one case fan fixed at ~600rpm.

A big plus for the top down coolers is that the Northbridge gets some cooling as well :).


EDIT:
I forgot to tell, 36°C is the CORE temperature, CPU temp (the whole assembly) was 32°C max during the Prime95 session.
I hope to get this even lower after optimizing case airflow and undervolting.


Last edited by petieken on Sun Mar 07, 2010 11:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 11:38 am 
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The zipang is nice for sound levels but I think can't match the kabuto for performance. The NH-U9 looks very nice but frostytech and actually also SPCR's reviews show the kabuto again outperforming it w/ stock fans. Unsure if the AXP-140 is 1156 compatible.

I really like the look of the BADA actually I'm just having a hard time finding availablity in the UK. And again I'm unsure of 1156 compatibilty.

In the end it's a bit of a toss up I guess, there is literally so much choice and as has already been said, a lot of it is subjective to noise, preference and performance. Whatever I decide I know I'm better off than intel's stock heatsink that's for sure.

Thanks for all the input and suggestions and for being so prompt to reply. I'll do some more reading and research and see what I decide.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 1:05 pm 
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Thermolab Bada

It is short because it uses a 92mm fan mounted on an 80mm fan mounting.

Here are two oversized silverstone fans that also mount on an 80mm fan mounting:

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

FM83

Special Feature
Bullet hub design for aerodynamic airflow
All white fan blades and frame
1300rpm ~ 3600rpm speed range
Long-life dual ball bearing motor
Control module with on/off function

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6835220023

Bearing Type: 2 Ball
RPM: 1300 - 3600 RPM
Air Flow: 25.6 - 74.5 CFM
Noise Level: 19.0 - 41.2 dBA
Power Connector: 3 / 4 Pin
Color: White
Compatibility: Case
Dimensions: 80 x 80 x 25mm (mounting frame) 95 x 95 x 25mm (overall)
Model #: FM83

Material
Plastic (PBT)
Color
White
BEARING
Dual ball bearing
RATED VOLTAGE
12 VDC
START VOLTAGE
6 VDC
RATED CURRENT
0.65A
RATED POWER
7.8W
SPEED
1300 ~ 3600rpm
AIRFLOW
25.6~74.5CFM
STATIC PRESSURE
0.74~5.36mmH2O
NOISE LEVEL
19dBA at 1300rpm, 41.2dBA at 3600rpm
LIFE TIME
50.000 h
DIMENSION
80 x 80 x 25mm (mounting frame)
95 x 95 x 25mm (overall)

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

FN83
Bullet hub design for aerodynamic airflow
Rifling wind tunnel for better and more accurate wind direction
Low acoustic thermal solution
Extend bearing design

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6835220024

RPM: 1600 ±10% RPM
Air Flow: 31.52 CFM
Noise Level: 19.8 dBA
Power Connector: 3 / 4 Pin
Color: Black
Compatibility: Case
Dimensions: 80 x 80 x 25mm (mounting frame) 92 x 92 x 25mm (overall)
Package Contents: Case Fan Power Cable Screws
Model #: FN83
Item #: N82E16835220024
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

RATED VOLTAGE
12V DC

START VOLTAGE
6V DC
POWER ON / OF
OPERATING RANGE
6.0V~13.8V DC

SPEED
1600 rpm +_ 10% rpm
IN FREE AIR AT RATED VOLTAGE
AIRFLOW
31.52 CFM
AT RATED VOLTAGE
STATIC PRESSURE
1.13mmH2O
AT RATED VOLTAGE AT ZERO AIRFLOW
NOISE LEVEL
19.8 dB(A)
IN FREE AIR AT RATED VOLTAGE
CONSUMING CURRENT
0.13 Amp MAX
IN FREE AIR AT RATED VOLTAGE
CUNSUMING POWER
1.56W MAX
IN FREE AIR AT RATED VOLTAGE
DIMENSION
80 x 80 x 25mm (mounting frame)
92 x 92 x 25mm (overall)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 1:39 pm 
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1. How about the Scythe Samurai ZZ CPU Cooler SCSMZ-2000

It's a top down 92mm. It works on 1156. I think it performs fairly well.

Microcenter is selling it for $27.99.

2. How about the Scythe "ANDY SAMURAI MASTER" SCASM-1000 120mm top down?

Seems to be selling for $35 to $40.

They both come with fans.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 6:08 pm 
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Here. just go buy this one before they sell out. Don't think to hard.
http://linkecomputer.com/products/10002 ... 2P/Noctua/

Noctua NH-U12P LGA775 AM2 Heatsink Heatpipe Cooler W/ NF-P12 120MM Fan -12.6-19.8DBA

I just bought one because they are so cheap. It took a while to ship (about 2 weeks).

It's a hong kong company so if they ship to the US they should ship anywhere with civilized shipping I would think.

Note the picture they have isn't accurate. This model has only 1 fan.

You are not going to get a better deal ever. Looks like they are closing out some stock.


XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

$39.99 USD Reg. Price $69.99 Save $30.00
Limit 1 per customer , Only 5 left at this price!

In Stock
(usually ships in 4-8 business days)
Actual product may not be exactly as shown.
$12.99 Shipping!
SKU: 1000241
VPN: NH-U12P

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Here is another one from the same place. This is a top down with the 140mm fan.

Noctua NH-C12P SE14 LGA775/1156/1366/AM3 I7/I5/PHENOM Heatpipe Cooler W/ NF-P14 140MM Fan

$57.77 USD
In Stock
(usually ships in 2-3 business days)
$12.99 Shipping!
SKU: 1007438
VPN: NH-C12P SE14
Shipping Weight: 3.5 lbs


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 9:31 pm 
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Don't forget that with a top down you still need some extra space on top. The rule of thumb is that you have as much space as the fan is thick

So a 25mm fan should have 25mm of space on top.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 10:24 am 
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That is one nice price for the noctua. Converts into 35 GBP which is nearly half the price of retail here.

Scythe got back to me, they say the kama cross is theoritically a better performer than the kabuto which seems to be backed up by the few reviews I've seen. A review from SPCR would be great to read as I like their method and they already a bench for the kabuto. Tbh the only thing holding me back from buying a scythe topdown is the push-pin retention method.

I really really like the look of the BADA. I'm just having a hard time finding any availiabilty. If anyone knows of or can source one deliverable to the UK then I'd be massively grateful!

I know about the extra few cm clearance needed. I have this, it's just very tight for a 150-160mm tower so I was trying to play it safe. I'll measure it properly at some point I think.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 12:13 pm 
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After some more deliberation I'm finding it hard to see a better choice for a top down cooler than the Noctua NH-C12P. As cliche and expensive a choice it might be, it really does just seem to be the best option.

It's not that impressive at high RPM (vs towers) but at low RPM the benches suggest that it's loses much less performance than that of it's (top down) competitors and is whisper quiet which I guess is in keeping with the theme of SPCR. This and a proper bolt-thru retention mount make it a clear winner for me.

The gemini comes close and is actually a lot cheaper but for a 1156 build you need to buy the backplate seperately and this adds to the cost and somewhat negates the initial savings. It's also slightly louder than the Noctua, and slightly underperforms it but for an LGA 775 build it seems the Gemini is without competition at it's price point for a top down cooler.

I really wish sycthe would roll out a 1156 universal bolt-thru mount like they have already for 775...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 12:52 pm 
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I wouldn't spend that much on a heatsink.

The Nexus 7000 low looks very good, paired with the right fan it should be awesome.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:34 am 
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Koolpc wrote:
I wouldn't spend that much on a heatsink.

The Nexus 7000 low looks very good, paired with the right fan it should be awesome.


Where are you from? The C12P works out at 47 GBP delivered from the site that ces linked to, which is reasonable. This was still a little more than I wanted to pay for a heatsink so I bought the U12P at that ridiculously good price as well to recuperate some of the costs ;) Those really won't last long once word gets out. It's a bit of a bummer though because it effectively puts my build on hold until it arrives in however many weeks it takes Hong Kong Air to deliver.

I agree though, at RRP it's more than I would ever want to pay for a chunk 'o metal and a fan.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:55 am 
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£50 is a lot of money


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:25 pm 
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ManniX wrote:
It's a bit of a bummer though because it effectively puts my build on hold until it arrives in however many weeks it takes Hong Kong Air to deliver.


I agree with you.

While not all of linkecomputer's prices are so attractive. Some of them are. And their cost of shipping isn't much different than that of US websites.

I think whenever I go shopping for something that ships well, I will check their website before placing the order.

Yeah... the cost of the Noctua Tower cooler can't be beat. And Noctua may not always be the very best cooler, it is always one of the best. And they go out of their way to protect your investment from socket to socket. They are a good company that will protect your purchase.

You will just never be sorry for buying one of their coolers.


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