[SOLVED] Best low profile cooling solution for OC 9900k

Jan 9, 2019
Hey there.

I'm building myself a case for my new workstation pc with the goal of mounting it under my desk.
pretty much everything is figured out apart from the cooling for the 9900k. The case will be as high as an ATX power supply, so I have about 9cm/3.5" for the total height of MB+CPU+Cooler.

the problem I have is that AIOs are a mixed bag when it comes to longevity, noise and serviceability (the first thing I tried was a Thermaltake Water 3.0 Ultimate which had air in the loop, was very noisy all around and (of course) not refillable) and that low profile air has waay to little cooling capacity for the toasty chip. (second thing I tried was the Cryorig C1, which, as far as I can tell, is the highest TDP-air-cooler that fits in my size requirements. Me being relatively new to this game I took Intels 95w TDP at face value and thought that 140 on the cooler would be plenty. I should have done more research, it's running toasty still undervolted at stock clocks...)

so what are my options here? The case can accommodate up to a 360 rad, of any thickness I could find, no problem (also a 140 width-wise), but I just can't tell which way to go.

it should be:
- as quiet as possible under medium to high load, as the workstation will also be used in an audio setting
- have good overclocking potential
- be maintainable should the need arise
- 280 is preferred over 360
- I don't really want to go custom, but if there's a very good argument for it that would also be an option
- should be below 250€

Specs of the rest if that matters in any way:
GPU: Palit RTX 2080ti Dual
MB: Aorus z390 pro wifi
RAM: GSkill Ripjaws V 3400mhz 64gb
PSU: seasonic Prime Titanium fanless 600w

Suggestions like replacing the fans on a cheap 360 to make it quieter and a better performer, like suggested in a thread here, are also welcome. (but with what system? The Coolermaster ML360r rgb? or is the one suggested there still a very good solution? (Fractal Design Celsius S36, about the same price as the coolermaster where I live, so probably not...))

Well, I hope you can help me with this because I definitely am stuck with too many options and too little info to make a decision '-.-

Many thanks in advance,


The Original Ralph

a 3.5" tall air cooler is not going to do it. I'm running a noctua D15S (160mm double tower with 2 fans) and running Prime95 V26.6 small FFTs selected, with my 9900K at 4.9 on all cores, i see low to high 80Cs temps, with occasional spikes to 90-92C. More realistically, when rendering video files and my CPU is showing 97-99.5% load, i see temps of 68/69C to 75/76C across the cores with occasional spikes to 80C.

I am going to liquid cooling, got the parts in so over the next few days will be assembling the system in a new case, but suggestion 1st is, no matter what cooler you go with, ensure you've got good air flow thru the system as the power or current that cpu is going to draw is going to create heat and you need air moving across the motherboard and the VRM heatsinks especially, 2nd with that height limitation, liquid cooling is going to be the only way to go, and i agree with you on AIOs - they're built to a price point and are , to be frank, sourcing the cheapest components they could find. If you're willing to spend $230 to $250, EKWB offers "AIO' kits, that employ copper radiators (AIOs usually use aluminum), and b) are upgradeable, repairable, can be dissembled for cleaning etc

here's a link - they're a pretty well respected supplier and they list the components that are used in each kit

If you are willing to build your own system, AlphaCool, EKWB, XS-PC and Hardware Labs seem to offer the best components - Hardware labs seems to be the most respected but they are UK located, which means shipping delays and if there's a warranty issue, the hassle of shipping back to UK
Jan 9, 2019
Hey Ralph,

Thank you for the suggestions. What do you think about something like the alphacool AIOs? These seem to be using all quality components for an AIO price...

Do you think having the components separate (like pump and reservoir) has an obvious advantage above integrated solutions? Apart form that they seem to be a very good solution to me.