Fractal Define Mini CPU cooler

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firestarter
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Fractal Define Mini CPU cooler

Post by firestarter » Sat Nov 24, 2012 6:58 am

Hi all,

I am completing my Ivy build but I am struggling to choose my last component - the CPU cooler. I have a Fractal Design Define Mini but am having major problems in deciding! I have all the other hardware sitting here waiting to be built so any advice will be appreciated.

I was planning on using an Arctic i30 but on Fractal's site is says:'Supports CPU coolers with height of ca 160mm' and the i30 is 161mm. I don't want anything that touches the sides, can anyone recommend anything else or is anyone using an i30 without any issues?

I did find on another thread that a Fractal rep posted:
We have now updated our specification to saying that the Define Mini officially supports tower coolers with 160mm height. We had 165mm before, but it will then conflict with the Moduvent w/ foam on the side panel. In some occurences, it is still possible to mount a cooler higher than 160mm, but we can't officially say it's so.
I have emailed both Fractal Design and Arctic and they seem to think it will touch so I am completely stuck. My requirements really are a quiet cooler that can handle some overclocking whilst being easy to install. I had a Gelid Tranquillo on my last build but I HATED the fan wire clips! I have read good things about Noctua/Scythe but they seem to be quite expensive - willing to pay if it is worth it though.

Thanks.

kuzzia
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Re: Fractal Define Mini CPU cooler

Post by kuzzia » Sat Nov 24, 2012 9:08 am

Well, the Scythe Mugen 3 goes for 50 USD. The fan is really good and can run inaudibly but according to some users here at SPCR the surface that touches the CPU is concave. That translates into a worse thermal performance. But this might be a bad sample.

The Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO is quite cheap and the performance compared to the price is incredible! That makes it an incredibly popular CPU cooler. The only downside is that Cooler Master isn't known to make acoustically good fans, but since it's so cheap you'll have enough money for an aftermarket fan.

fuzzymath10
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Re: Fractal Define Mini CPU cooler

Post by fuzzymath10 » Sat Nov 24, 2012 10:30 am

Is there anything you have against it touching? 1mm might be immaterial.

I have a Corsair A50 in a Lian-Li A04 and it is at least 1-2mm too tall, but you would never notice from the outside.
Lone Industries L1: i7 3770, 2x4GB Mushkin Silverline, 512GB MX100, Dell U2412M + U2211H
Lian-Li A04: i5 2400, 2x4GB Mushkin Silverline, 160GB Intel 320, 4x3TB FlexRAID, all on Seasonic x460, hooked up to Sony 40" EX620 + KEF 2005.3 + Yamaha RX-V667

Das_Saunamies
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Re: Fractal Define Mini CPU cooler

Post by Das_Saunamies » Sat Nov 24, 2012 2:41 pm

My 158 mm tall Noctua UH12P leaves imprints on the damping material in my Define Mini, so I wouldn't get anything taller. It's fine to have it lean on the padding a little (free support!), but if you regularly remove the panel to do cleaning et cetera, I don't like the idea of physically dragging my cooler along as I open and close the panel.

Noctuas are certainly worth the investment: you get the best possible retention system, flawless base, excellent quality control all around and the fans are top notch to boot. You can't go wrong.

The Scythe Mugen 3 is a good less-expensive substitute in the heavyweight category, also check out Thermalright Macho. I regularly recommend the Cooler Master already mentioned for budget builds, but the fan really is pretty average - and that's a bad thing.
Case: Define Mini
Parts: P8Z77-M Pro µATX, i5-3570K, STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5, 8 GB G.Skill DDR3U, Xonar DX, WD B-G 1 TB, mx100 256 GB, RX-5300 PSU
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 + Scythe SS PWM, 2x Noctua NF-P12
Extras: Eaton UPS, Dell 24" EIPS, MS Sculpt, Logitech G303, Synology DS213j 3+3 TB NAS

lodestar
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Re: Fractal Define Mini CPU cooler

Post by lodestar » Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:34 pm

It might be worth considering the recently introduced Thermalright Macho 120, a smaller 5 heatpipe version of the Macho with a 120mm fan as its name suggests. More importantly it is only 151mm high so would fit without any conflicts. Available from Amazon amongst other sources. This is one of the early reviews.

Das_Saunamies
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Re: Fractal Define Mini CPU cooler

Post by Das_Saunamies » Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:20 pm

Oh nice, that mini-Macho is news to me - hope it didn't lose too much of its semipassive charm in the "cut".
Case: Define Mini
Parts: P8Z77-M Pro µATX, i5-3570K, STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5, 8 GB G.Skill DDR3U, Xonar DX, WD B-G 1 TB, mx100 256 GB, RX-5300 PSU
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 + Scythe SS PWM, 2x Noctua NF-P12
Extras: Eaton UPS, Dell 24" EIPS, MS Sculpt, Logitech G303, Synology DS213j 3+3 TB NAS

firestarter
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Re: Fractal Define Mini CPU cooler

Post by firestarter » Sun Nov 25, 2012 5:31 am

kuzzia wrote:Well, the Scythe Mugen 3 goes for 50 USD. The fan is really good and can run inaudibly but according to some users here at SPCR the surface that touches the CPU is concave. That translates into a worse thermal performance. But this might be a bad sample.

The Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO is quite cheap and the performance compared to the price is incredible! That makes it an incredibly popular CPU cooler. The only downside is that Cooler Master isn't known to make acoustically good fans, but since it's so cheap you'll have enough money for an aftermarket fan.
Yeah the Scythe is worth considering but it seems to be pricey in the UK, pretty much the same as the Noctua UH12P SE2 so I'm leaning towards that. The CM will be way too big for my case unfortunately.
fuzzymath10 wrote:Is there anything you have against it touching? 1mm might be immaterial.

I have a Corsair A50 in a Lian-Li A04 and it is at least 1-2mm too tall, but you would never notice from the outside.
Don't mind too much as long as it won't damage anything when I take the case door off.
Das_Saunamies wrote:My 158 mm tall Noctua UH12P leaves imprints on the damping material in my Define Mini, so I wouldn't get anything taller. It's fine to have it lean on the padding a little (free support!), but if you regularly remove the panel to do cleaning et cetera, I don't like the idea of physically dragging my cooler along as I open and close the panel.

Noctuas are certainly worth the investment: you get the best possible retention system, flawless base, excellent quality control all around and the fans are top notch to boot. You can't go wrong.

The Scythe Mugen 3 is a good less-expensive substitute in the heavyweight category, also check out Thermalright Macho. I regularly recommend the Cooler Master already mentioned for budget builds, but the fan really is pretty average - and that's a bad thing.
Thanks that's really useful, that rules out the Arctic i30 then. I won't be removing the panel too often so I guess the Noctua is an option. The Macho (162mm) is going to be too big I think and the CM Hyper 212 Evo is 159mm. Will the foam come back up if it only leans on it a little or has it left permanent prints? I am really tempted by the Noctua UH12P SE2, it's more than I want to spend but I can see it is high quality and the fans are worth quite a bit on their own. The Noctua NH-C14 is only 130mm in height:
http://www.noctua.at/main.php?show=prod ... =37&lng=en
Might be worth considering too? I take it the Noctuas would perform as good as the Arctic i30 (if not better) whilst being a lot quieter?
lodestar wrote:It might be worth considering the recently introduced Thermalright Macho 120, a smaller 5 heatpipe version of the Macho with a 120mm fan as its name suggests. More importantly it is only 151mm high so would fit without any conflicts. Available from Amazon amongst other sources. This is one of the early reviews.
Good shout but I can't find it anywhere in the UK yet :(

Das_Saunamies
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Re: Fractal Define Mini CPU cooler

Post by Das_Saunamies » Sun Nov 25, 2012 5:39 am

I would pick a tower cooler if possible, arguably easier to install and allows for free access to RAM and PCIE slots, which may not always be the case with a top-down cooler.

The foam doesn't mind prints, it won't reduce overall effectiveness. Heavy prints would suggest the cooler might press into the heavy flexible mat underneath, which would nudge the cooler every time the panel got moved - this is what I meant by "dragging along". The light foam contact is no bother, as long as you don't press down on top of where the cooler is.

PS. Did you look at the right CM cooler? The Hyper 212 EVO is 120 x 80 x 159 mm fully assembled - U12P is 126 x 95(120) x 158 mm - so only about 1 mm taller than the Noctua, and noticeably slimmer. Factor a Scythe Slip Stream (http://www.scythe-usa.com/product/acc/0 ... etail.html) into the price as it benefits the acoustics greatly.
Case: Define Mini
Parts: P8Z77-M Pro µATX, i5-3570K, STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5, 8 GB G.Skill DDR3U, Xonar DX, WD B-G 1 TB, mx100 256 GB, RX-5300 PSU
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 + Scythe SS PWM, 2x Noctua NF-P12
Extras: Eaton UPS, Dell 24" EIPS, MS Sculpt, Logitech G303, Synology DS213j 3+3 TB NAS

Steve_Y
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Re: Fractal Define Mini CPU cooler

Post by Steve_Y » Sun Nov 25, 2012 9:58 am

firestarter wrote:The Macho (162mm) is going to be too big I think and the CM Hyper 212 Evo is 159mm.
I use a Macho in my Define Mini. The heat pipes touch the soft foam pad, but that isn't really a problem in my opinion.

There's also the option of swapping around the side panels so that the one with the fan hole is behind the motherboard. It fits fine but means less space for cable management.

Istrilyin
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Re: Fractal Define Mini CPU cooler

Post by Istrilyin » Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:04 am

I have the same case. Using a GELID Solutions Rev2 Tranquillo... But I must say I'm not totally happy with it. A leading site in the Netherlands claimed it was the next Mugen 2 Rev B, and considering its lower weight I gave it a try... But if the fan really has to start working, it becomes pretty loud.

firestarter
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Re: Fractal Define Mini CPU cooler

Post by firestarter » Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:38 am

Steve_Y wrote:
firestarter wrote:The Macho (162mm) is going to be too big I think and the CM Hyper 212 Evo is 159mm.
I use a Macho in my Define Mini. The heat pipes touch the soft foam pad, but that isn't really a problem in my opinion.

There's also the option of swapping around the side panels so that the one with the fan hole is behind the motherboard. It fits fine but means less space for cable management.
Thanks for that, didn't think a Macho would get in there! Any issues with opening/closing the side panel? Have you actually swapped your side panels around as you described?

It has to be out of:
Arctic i30 (161mm) - If a Macho goes in then so will this. Great performance, quiet, no annoying fan clips although it will take out 1 RAM slot. Price £30

Noctua UH12P SE2 (158mm) - Great quality, 2 decent fans included, won't block any RAM slots. Downside is its price - £50!

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO (159mm) - well regarded but will need a new fan and won't block any slots. £27 + £8is for an extra fan

I am actually leaning towards the Arctic i30 the most as it does have better cooling performance, plus I will only be using 2 sticks of RAM (8GB) in my Asus Maximus V Gene. I am still struggling to decide! I'm determined to order one by the end of the day.

mercyfull_fate
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Re: Fractal Define Mini CPU cooler

Post by mercyfull_fate » Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:45 am

firestarter wrote:.... Have you actually swapped your side panels around as you described?
.....
I have the fractal define mini aswell and swaped the 2 side panels, although i did it mostly for estetic reason because my grand kama cross has enough room.

When you get a lot of cables on that other side its kinda dificult to close that sidepanel, i manage it only just as i need to use both my elbows and hands to get it closed

Das_Saunamies
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Re: Fractal Define Mini CPU cooler

Post by Das_Saunamies » Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:02 am

Dude just flip a coin if you're too undecisive. This is not life and death. :lol:

You obviously like the Arctic one so give it a go. Coolers can be a bitch to replace later on, so consider carefully if it's really worth the savings - or overlooking the well-established Cooler Master that has better compatibility with RAM sticks. If you're not cooling a 100 W TDP CPU doing climate modeling 24/7, any cooler listed here is more than enough, especially with a good fan.

And fan wire clips? I used to hate them, but grew to love the simple and versatile system it really is. Just needs a bit of practice to get right, and it guarantees a tight fit.
Case: Define Mini
Parts: P8Z77-M Pro µATX, i5-3570K, STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5, 8 GB G.Skill DDR3U, Xonar DX, WD B-G 1 TB, mx100 256 GB, RX-5300 PSU
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 + Scythe SS PWM, 2x Noctua NF-P12
Extras: Eaton UPS, Dell 24" EIPS, MS Sculpt, Logitech G303, Synology DS213j 3+3 TB NAS

firestarter
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Re: Fractal Define Mini CPU cooler

Post by firestarter » Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:57 pm

Istrilyin wrote:I have the same case. Using a GELID Solutions Rev2 Tranquillo... But I must say I'm not totally happy with it. A leading site in the Netherlands claimed it was the next Mugen 2 Rev B, and considering its lower weight I gave it a try... But if the fan really has to start working, it becomes pretty loud.
I had the mk1 Tranquillo for my old build but hated the wire clips- such a ball ache to attach, think I slightly bent some of the fins in the process.
Das_Saunamies wrote:Dude just flip a coin if you're too undecisive. This is not life and death. :lol:

You obviously like the Arctic one so give it a go. Coolers can be a bitch to replace later on, so consider carefully if it's really worth the savings - or overlooking the well-established Cooler Master that has better compatibility with RAM sticks. If you're not cooling a 100 W TDP CPU doing climate modeling 24/7, any cooler listed here is more than enough, especially with a good fan.

And fan wire clips? I used to hate them, but grew to love the simple and versatile system it really is. Just needs a bit of practice to get right, and it guarantees a tight fit.
I am very indecisive, you are right :)
I managed to get a complete bargain on a CM Evo on eBay so that's what I went for. If I got a better fan, do you think it would cope with a 3570k @4.5GHz ? I will post some pics when it is built!

Das_Saunamies
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Re: Fractal Define Mini CPU cooler

Post by Das_Saunamies » Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:03 pm

Should cope, will most likely still be quiet in idle/desktop and not that noisy under load.

PS. Found this: http://www.overclock.net/t/1296079/i5-3 ... he-roof/10. I quote: "I've got a 3570k overclocked to 4.4ghz. I use the CM212, as well as AS5. Idle temps are around 27c, gaming 50c, and P95 tops out at 76c."

You're set. If you do climate modeling or folding just lower the clocks, TCase is 67 °C after all.
Case: Define Mini
Parts: P8Z77-M Pro µATX, i5-3570K, STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5, 8 GB G.Skill DDR3U, Xonar DX, WD B-G 1 TB, mx100 256 GB, RX-5300 PSU
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 + Scythe SS PWM, 2x Noctua NF-P12
Extras: Eaton UPS, Dell 24" EIPS, MS Sculpt, Logitech G303, Synology DS213j 3+3 TB NAS

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