Best (AM3) CPU heatsink (with mounting for 140mm fans)

Marek Ogarek

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Jun 23, 2013
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Is there even any way of knowing which (AM3 - I have FX 6300) CPU heatsink (with mounting for 140mm fans) is the best? All reviews I have found are focused on the performance of the whole set (heatsink + fan), so the results get skewed by the quality of the attached fan.

I already have a nice 140mm fan chosen and I'm wondering what heatsink I should pair it with. I want something at least on the level of my current Cooler Master: Hyper 212 EVO, so that (with a lenient fan curve) I can do light tasks with fans off (like I'm doing right now), though obviously something better than my current heatsink would be preferable.

For reference, money is not an issue here. I know I will probably have to buy a whole set (heatsink + fan), I have no problems with that.

EDIT:
Changed 'radiator' for 'heatsink', because after reading more about the subject it seemed the word 'radiator' is mostly used for a part of water cooling arrangement.
 

Marek Ogarek

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Are both fans removable? Especially the one in the middle has me worried.

Also, what AIO water cooler (140mmx280mm) with removable fans would you recommend?

Also, do I even have to worry about whether the fans are removable or is it a standard?
 

KeelinTy

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Both fans are removable in the noctua cooler, But i would not recommend removing the fans, same with the water cooling radiator.
I have dual 360mm radiators for my water cooling loop and I will never run it passive or else I will get pretty toasty.

I would suggest leaving the fans on the cooler and using speedfan to control the fans depending on cpu temperature.

My fans stay at very low speeds until I hit 50c then it slowly ramps up, I never get above 65c on any cores. I leave the fans on because they are just as quiet as they are off and that way i have air going over the motherboard, ram, and hard drives to keep them cool

Speedfan can be a little tricky to setup but I can help you with it if you need.

As for AIO, the fans at low speeds will be just about the same noise as the pump in the waterblock. You could look at an H110i or something like that
 

Marek Ogarek

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I meant removable as in can I replace them. Good to know that I can.

Yeah I know SpeedFan, it lets me use the Hyper 212 EVO semi-passively.

I see, the rads/heatsinks don't work too well without fans. Makes sense, probably something to do with aerodynamics, rads/heatsinks designed for active cooling aren't compatible with passive cooling (maybe small openings obstruct the air passage too much for that).

So I guess I'm forced to go with NoFan CR-95C (rated for 95 TDP, exactly what my CPU's specification says). I wanted something with fans (just in case of temps going too high in extreme stress), but seems like I'm out of luck.
 

KeelinTy

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Well computers put out a lot of heat. Heatsinks and radiators dont have enough surface area to be passively cooled.
With the noctua cooler, I wouldnt bother changing the fans, they make some of the best fans period. Not too stylish but they work great.
If you would like a 100% passive cooler, You could try a watercooling loop and use about 5 4x120mm radiators, But dont forget about pump noise.

Theres a kickstarter going on that has a 100% passive machine and LinusTechTips did a review and it worked great.

Sticking with aios and heatsinks, good fans will make all the difference in noise if you have a good heatsink. The Noctua cooler will work great with the stock fans imo.
You could test it and If you decide to change the fans, its pretty simple to do so.
 

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