Build Advice Advice for a better cooler for my 4790k

RustyRagdoll

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Greetings!
I'm asking you guys for some advice on a better AIR cooler for my 4790k. Reason being, while my current cooler (Raijintek Aidos) can handle it (barely), i wanted to keep it under 60-65ºC consistently.
This cooler performed outstandingly well when i had my i5 4440 and temps went only to around 50ºC on Arctic MX-2 paste. But with the 4790k, if some game needs over 60-65% CPU, temps quickly rise to the 60ºC's and slowly creep up to the low 70ºC's.

Preferably Air Coolers under 60€/$66USD/51£.

P.S. Since i installed the 4790k, i used some Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut paste, which is most likely what makes my temps so stable and so fast when cooling off (after exiting a game for example... temps drop down from the 60ºC's to 35-40ºC's really fast)

Thanks in advance guys!
 
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Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Below is my list of preferred CPU AIR coolers, also known as Heatsink fans (HSF).

Do not look here for recommendations on water/liquid cooling solutions. There are none to be found.


They are basically listed in order of preference, from top to bottom. To some degree that preference is based on known performance on similarly overclocked configurations, but not entirely. There are likely a couple of units that are placed closer to the top not because they offer purely better performance than another cooler which is below it, but potentially due to a variety of reasons.

One model might be placed higher than another with the same or similar performance, but has quieter or higher quality fans. It may have the same performance but a better warranty. Long term quality may be higher. It may be less expensive in some cases. Maybe it performs slightly worse, but has quieter fans and a better "fan pitch". Some fans with equal decibel levels do not "sound" like they are the same as the specific pitch heard from one fan might be less annoying than another.

In any case, these are not "tiered" and are not a 100% be all, end all ranking. They are simply MY preference when looking at coolers for a build or when making recommendations. Often, which HSF gets chosen depends on what is on this list and fits the budget or is priced right at the time due to a sale or rebate. Hopefully it will help you and you can rest assured that every cooler listed here is a model that to some degree or other is generally a quality unit which is a lot more likely to be worth the money spent on it than on many other models out there that might look to be a similarly worthwhile investment.

Certainly there are a great many other very good coolers out there, but these are models which are usually available to most anybody building a system or looking for a cooler, regardless of what part of the world they might live in. As always, professional reviews are usually an absolutely essential part of the process of finding a cooler so if you are looking at a model not listed here, I would highly recommend looking at at least two or three professional reviews first.

If you cannot find two reviews of any given cooler, it is likely either too new to have been reviewed yet or it sucked, and nobody wanted to buy one in order to review it plus the manufacturer refused to send samples out to the sites that perform reviews because they knew it would likely get bad publicity.

IMO, nobody out there is making better fans, overall, than Noctua, followed pretty closely by Thermalright. So if you intend to match case fans to the same brand on your HSF, those are pretty hard to beat. Of course, Corsair has it's Maglev fans, and those are pretty damn good too, but since they don't make CPU air cooling products, only AIO water coolers, they cannot join the party.


Noctua NH-D14 (Replace stock fans with NF-A14 industrialPPC 2000rpm)
Noctua NH-D15/D15 SE-AM4
Noctua NH-D14 (With original fans)
Thermalright Silver arrow IB-E Extreme
Phanteks PH-TC14PE (BK,BL, OR or RD)
Cryorig R1 Ultimate or Universal
Thermalright Legrand Macho RT
Scythe Ninja 5
Thermalright Macho rev. C
Thermalright Macho rev.B
Scythe Mugen 5 rev.B
Be Quiet Dark rock Pro 4
Noctua NH-U14S
FSP Windale 6
Thermalright Macho (Direct, 120)
Scythe Mugen max
BeQuiet dark rock (3 or 4)
Deepcool Assassin II
Thermalright true spirit 140 (Direct, Power, BW)
Cryorig H5
Noctua NH-U12S
Phanteks PH-TC12DX (Any)
Phanteks PH-TC14S
Cryorig H7
Deepcool Gammaxx 400

Cooler Master Hyper 212 (EVO, X, RGB. I'd only recommend this cooler if no other good aftermarket models are available to you.)


It may not be obvious, but is probably worth mentioning, that not all cooler models will fit all CPU sockets as aftermarket coolers generally require an adapter intended for use with that socket. Some coolers that fit an AMD platform might not fit a later AMD platform, or an Intel platform. Often these coolers come with adapters for multiple types of platforms but be sure to verify that a specific cooler WILL work with your platform before purchasing one and finding out later that it will not.
 

RustyRagdoll

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What country are you actually in, or needing to order FROM?
I'm ordering/living in Portugal.
But there's also no need to order a Cooler as there are plenty of stores here where i can get one.

Below is my list of preferred CPU AIR coolers, also known as Heatsink fans (HSF).

Do not look here for recommendations on water/liquid cooling solutions. There are none to be found.....
From these i can see some that i've already researched, but can you sum up around 4-5 Coolers that you prefer (with Performance in mind only) that are either the same size or a little bigger than what i currently have? I'm kind of restricted by the cooler's size as i've got maybe 1.5-2.5cm from my Cooler fan to the GPU's PCB.

Again, thanks.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
You're not going to find any cooler that size (Width) that is suitable in performance for overclocking that CPU. What graphics card, motherboard, case and memory do you have? Normally, CPU cooler width isn't an issue with any modern coolers or graphics cards. If it was, they wouldn't sell many of them. Maybe you need to look at an AIO option if you have limited space. Is this a microATX or mini ITX board?
 

RustyRagdoll

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What is your case model?
It's a NOX Coolbay SX.

You're not going to find any cooler that size (Width) that is suitable in performance for overclocking that CPU. What graphics card, motherboard, case and memory do you have? Normally, CPU cooler width isn't an issue with any modern coolers or graphics cards. If it was, they wouldn't sell many of them. Maybe you need to look at an AIO option if you have limited space. Is this a microATX or mini ITX board?
I never said anything about OC'ing... as i really don't need to. My Signature has some specs, and my Mobo is a MicroATX B85M-G Plus 3.1USB.
I this case (not the actual case lol) size is a concerning factor. I've went through the Air Coolers you sent, and that "Thermalright Silver arrow IB-E Extreme" looked like it might fit, albeit with not much room left between itself and the GPU's backplate.
 

Karadjgne

Titan
Herald
Width to the gpu is rarely ever a concern, almost all ATX standard mobo's leave sufficient room between the pcie slot and socket to allow for cooling. Even if it's down to mm clearances. The biggest concern is case height, the clearance between the socket and the side of the case. If it's 165mm, you can fit just about anything, if it's 152mm you are severely limited in choices.

In that case, it's 158mm. So that precludes many coolers as they'll be 160mm+.

CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-U12S 55 CFM CPU Cooler (€59.90 @ Globaldata)

CPU Cooler: CRYORIG H7 49 CFM CPU Cooler (€34.90 @ Globaldata)
 
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CompuTronix

Intel Master
Moderator
RustyRagdoll,

Although your Raijintek Aidos is a very capable 92mm fan class 4 pipe direct touch cooler, the reasons why your i7-4790K runs warmer are due to the fact that it has HyperThreading, as well as base and boost clocks 900 MHz and 1100 MHz faster than your previous 84 Watt TDP i5-4440. This means at 100% workload, the 4440 requires less Core voltage so power consumption peaks well below its Thermal Design Power (TDP), which is a shared design rating that pertains to flagship processors such as the 84 Watt 4770K and the 88 Watt 4790K.

My esteemed colleague, Darkbreeze, has provided you with some excellent air cooling alternatives, as has our very astute Herald, Karadjgne, however, there's another approach you might find very interesting. Delidding is an extremely effective method by which Core temperatures on TIM'd processors can be significantly decreased at a cost similar to that of a decent mid-range cooler, thereby eliminating any concerns you may have regarding size, fit and thermal performance.

Since your signature mentions that you're a mechanic, you're no doubt very handy and are especially proficient in working with any tools. Rather than delid using the somewhat risky razor blade method, you can safely delid with a "delidding tool":

der8auer Delid Die Mate 2
Dr. Delid
Rockit 88

Silicon Lottery is a very reputable company that tests, bins and sells overclocked, delidded "K" CPU's. They also offer professional delidding services, and provide the following figures on how much Core temperatures at 100% workload are improved by delidding:

9th Generation ... Coffee Lake Refresh - 3 to 7°C
8th Generation ... Coffee Lake - 12 to 25°C
7th Generation ... Kaby Lake - 12 to 25°C
6th Generation ... Skylake - 7 to 20°C
5th Generation ... Broadwell - 8 to 18°C
4th Generation ... Devil's Canyon - 7 to 15°C
4th Generation ... Haswell - 10 to 25°C
3rd Generation ... Ivy Bridge - 10 to 25°C

To illustrate the scope of this problem, thermal characteristics among soldered and TIM’d processors are compared below:

Except for 9th Generation, Core temperatures on processors with Indium solder between the Die and Integrated Heat Spreader (IHS) are typically within 5°C above IHS temperature, which indicates good thermal conductivity. However, Core temperatures on processors with TIM between the Die and IHS vary up to 25°C above IHS temperature, which indicates poor thermal conductivity and uniformity.

Although 9th Generation is soldered, the Die and solder are both considerably thicker than 2nd Generation and earlier processors, which adversely affects thermal conductivity. Core temperatures and IHS temperature converge at idle and diverge as load increases. Here’s how soldered and TIM’d processors differ between idle and 100% workload:



Thermal behavior is relatively uncompromised at idle due to low Power dissipation. But as workload approaches 100%, poor thermal conductivity among TIM’d processors becomes apparent. Moreover, as Intel's TIM degrades over time, 3rd through 6th Generation 22 and 14 nanometer processors, (launched 2012 through 2015), may no longer cool as well as when new. Delidding restores and upgrades thermal performance similar to that of soldered processors.

Note: Intel uses engineering samples with soldered Integrated Heat Spreaders for testing and developing specifications.

I have personally delidded many "K" processors from 3rd Generation, when Intel began using TIM, to 8th Generation, and have used the razor blade method as well as delidding tools. I've also run 3rd through 8th Generation TIM'd processors in my personal rigs, all of which I've delidded, and wouldn't have it any other way.

We have a Guide that covers this topic; Intel Temperature Guide. See Section 9 - The TIM Problem.

CT :sol:
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
If you don't plan to do any overclocking, then there is absolutely no reason to replace the cooler you have now so long as you are staying under 80°C when you are under a FULL load, such as Prime95 with AVX/AVX2 disabled. There is really no benefit of running at 65°C that makes it any better than running at 75°C. As long as you are not exceeding the recommended temperature for long term usage of 80°C, then you are perfectly fine. If the desire for a bigger, more efficient cooler is to reduce NOISE, then that is a different story and makes perfect sense.

The Thermaltake Silver Arrow IBE extreme, is one of the biggest CPU coolers in existence. If that cooler will fit, then just about ANY cooler will fit.
 
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RustyRagdoll

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RustyRagdoll,
Although your Raijintek Aidos is a very capable 92mm fan class 4 pipe direct touch cooler, the reasons why your i7-4790K runs warmer are due to the fact that it has HyperThreading, as well as base and boost clocks 900 MHz and 1100 MHz faster than your previous 84 Watt TDP i5-4440. This means at 100% workload, the 4440 requires less Core voltage so power consumption peaks well below its Thermal Design Power (TDP), which is a shared design rating that pertains to flagship processors such as the 84 Watt 4770K and the 88 Watt 4790K.....
I've known about delidding for a pretty long time, and even though i know the 4790k benefits a LOT from it, i don't want to somehow break my chip as i've never done it before (and the aforementioned delidding tools are dubious to say the least) and i can't get another one in this great of condition (it's barely been used, only installed it 2 months ago).

Width to the gpu is rarely ever a concern, almost all ATX standard mobo's leave sufficient room between the pcie slot and socket to allow for cooling. Even if it's down to mm clearances. The biggest concern is case height, the clearance between the socket and the side of the case. If it's 165mm, you can fit just about anything, if it's 152mm you are severely limited in choices.
After a little research, i was able to find a video with a 4790k with a NH-U12S on it. And i'm kinda sold. Paired with the NF-A14 industrialPPC fans Darkbreeze mentioned, it might be my perfect combo.

If you don't plan to do any overclocking, then there is absolutely no reason to replace the cooler you have now so long as you are staying under 80°C when you are under a FULL load, such as Prime95 with AVX/AVX2 disabled. There is really no benefit of running at 65°C that makes it any better than running at 75°C. As long as you are not exceeding the recommended temperature for long term usage of 80°C, then you are perfectly fine. If the desire for a bigger, more efficient cooler is to reduce NOISE, then that is a different story and makes perfect sense.
The Thermaltake Silver Arrow IBE extreme, is one of the biggest CPU coolers in existence. If that cooler will fit, then just about ANY cooler will fit.
Sure i could just keep what i have, but i prefer to be with a bit safer temps. 70+ on high loads just isn't for me. Specially during the Summer.
After i first looked at the "Thermalright Silver Arrow IB-E Extreme" cooler, it seemed a bit on the medium size, but now that you mention it, it appears my eyes were deceived by the angled pics on their website :LOL:
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
You can't use the NF-A14 fans on the NH-U12S, because the U12S uses 120mm fans and the A14 is a 140mm fan. The NF-U12A would be a much better option, because it already comes with much a better 120m fan than what comes on the U12S. These are still quite small heatsinks compared to the majority of heatsinks on my list however, and probably don't offer a tremendous performance gain over your current one. They will be better however, and a lot quieter.

The Cryorig H5 is about the best small heatsink, but for most regions it has become way too expensive. Perhaps in your region it is not. The US market is no longer viable for Cryorig coolers at current market prices though because Cryorig has pretty much pulled it's products out of our market.

The Thermalright Macho rev.B and rev.C, if they will fit, are probably the second and third best single finstack heatsinks out there, IMO, and they are not particularly WIDE, although they ARE somewhat DEEP. They are also not very tall, so they fit a lot of cases that some of these others won't fit as they are much less than 160mm tall.
 

Karadjgne

Titan
Herald
Yeah, the Silver Arrow is a monster cooler lol. But if you think it really is big, you should see what CoolerMaster just came out with for the Threadripper, the Wraithripper. It's massive. But with the amount of cores and threads, its what's needed. As the inestimable Computronix pointed out, your cpu is no slouch in the power department, so if you really want to run low temps, budget coolers, even the class leading Noctuas, aren't going to do it. You should be looking more towards coolers in the range of the NH-D14 or Dark Rock 3/4 class. Even a Scythe Fuma 2, which is short enough to fit your case. As that's what going to limit you the most, the 158mm cooler height.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
I like the Thermalright Macho rev.B or Le Grand Macho. They are not as big as the D15, but many reviews show the Le Grand with almost as good or in some cases, the same, performance level. I guess it's all subjective somewhat premised on the test bed and whether the testing was actually done on a level playing field or not, but even getting anywhere near that kind of performance from a somewhat smaller cooler shows a deep level of engineering and quality. Thermalright, not to be confused with Thermaltake, is a company that I put up there ALMOST at the level of Noctua. There is really nobody else I'd say that about really.

And I'd have to find it, but I've seen a couple of reviews where Noctua fans were used on Thermalright heatsinks, and performed better than the Thermalright did with it's stock fans and better than the Noctua cooler that the fans came off of did. So, Thermalright might not have as good of fans, certainly not in the area of low noise, although they are pretty darn good, but they make outstanding heatsinks without any doubt.
 

RustyRagdoll

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You can't use the NF-A14 fans on the NH-U12S, because the U12S uses 120mm fans and the A14 is a 140mm fan. The NF-U12A would be a much better option, because it already comes with much a better 120m fan than what comes on the U12S. These are still quite small heatsinks compared to the majority of heatsinks on my list however, and probably don't offer a tremendous performance gain over your current one. They will be better however, and a lot quieter.
Oh, right.
Just did some closer research of the U12A, and it seems like it might fit, i'm not sure tho. But for 100€ i'm not going to find out anytime soon.... i was looking for coolers under 60€ and a well performing one, that's compact and silent (perfect for my build) is 100€... well, fu-

Yeah, the Silver Arrow is a monster cooler lol. But if you think it really is big, you should see what CoolerMaster just came out with for the Threadripper, the Wraithripper. It's massive. But with the amount of cores and threads, its what's needed. As the inestimable Computronix pointed out, your cpu is no slouch in the power department, so if you really want to run low temps, budget coolers, even the class leading Noctuas, aren't going to do it. You should be looking more towards coolers in the range of the NH-D14 or Dark Rock 3/4 class. Even a Scythe Fuma 2, which is short enough to fit your case. As that's what going to limit you the most, the 158mm cooler height.
It's not even comparable to a Threadripper... even though this is a bit of a high TDP CPU, AMD's Ryzen/Threadripper line-up were always power-hungry and didn't really deliver performance relative to their TDP tbh... hence why such beastly coolers are needed for it.
I'm getting off topic here lol


I like the Thermalright Macho rev.B or Le Grand Macho. They are not as big as the D15, but many reviews show the Le Grand with almost as good or in some cases, the same, performance level. I guess it's all subjective somewhat premised on the test bed and whether the testing was actually done on a level playing field or not, but even getting anywhere near that kind of performance from a somewhat smaller cooler shows a deep level of engineering and quality. Thermalright, not to be confused with Thermaltake, is a company that I put up there ALMOST at the level of Noctua. There is really nobody else I'd say that about really.

And I'd have to find it, but I've seen a couple of reviews where Noctua fans were used on Thermalright heatsinks, and performed better than the Thermalright did with it's stock fans and better than the Noctua cooler that the fans came off of did. So, Thermalright might not have as good of fans, certainly not in the area of low noise, although they are pretty darn good, but they make outstanding heatsinks without any doubt.
I think that i'll stick with the NF-U12A, might be expensive af, but i'll give it a try since it's a Noctua, and they know what they're doing :D
Even though i've heard good things about Thermalright, i'll stick with Noctua as i think it's a safe bet.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Thermalright and Noctua are both safe bets. Thermalright has been around for about four years longer than Noctua. In fact, Thermalright was the first company to begin using copper heatsinks, while everybody else was using aluminum.

You won't go wrong with any of the better products sold by either company.
 

Karadjgne

Titan
Herald
There's only 2 things I've ever had any complaints about Noctua. 1) omg that ugly color. 2) they wouldn't stick their fans on anybodys aios nor make their own, and shut the door on the whole aios are massively loud argument.

Kinda nice someone finally heard my thoughts and fixed both issues...
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
The ONE complaint I have about Noctua, is that for a company who is foremost in the area of fan development and sells the best fans on the market, they do not have any kind of fan controller product like the Grid+ v2/v3 or Phanteks PH-PWHUB_02. Something that does both PWM and DC controls and offers six or more fan headers off a single motherboard header. Surely Noctua could do this, and do it better than these others, but the only fan controller they offer is a cheap thing with manual controls. Mmm, mmm. We want something that has the same capabilities as most motherboards do these days, with both PWM and DC controls on the fan headers and the ability to do automatic variable speed control based off a single PWM motherboard header AND controllable from the BIOS or controllable from desktop software.

For a company who does fans like they do, this should have been a no brainer as a tie in. The ones that are out there, there are a few that are "ok" but it would be nice to see one that is "Noctua" level of engineering.
 
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