Question Cooler help required!

Jan 18, 2022
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Hi,

I need some recommendations on which cooler to go with for my first build. I'm relatively new to PC builds and this is giving me the biggest headache (along with cases).

My first choice is a Be Quiet Dark Rock 4 but my main concern is whether it will fit the board and be clear of the RAM and GPU. According to their website compatibility may be an issue but it doesn't state what that may be, I'm guessing RAM clearance because I think they make a bracket to accomodate the board.

MB: Gigabyte Z690 UD DDR4
CPU: Intel i5-12600K
RAM: Corsair 2x 16 Vengeance RGB Pro SL
GPU: Gigabyte Aorus Master 3070Ti

Does anyone know if the Dark Rock 4 is a viable option, if not what coolers will cover my needs? I think the Dark Rock 4 Pro is suitable but that seems a bit overkill? One other option I'm interested in is a top down cooler but I haven't found any that are suitable.

Case problem will likely be decided once I've chosen a cooler.

Any help appreciated.
 

logainofhades

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The Dark Rock 4 is a good cooler I wouldn't go with less than that. I don't think you will fit 4 memory modules with either of those coolers, probably doesn't matter for your two sticks because typically you would populate slots 2 and 4 first, but something to be aware of. Details on clearance:

https://www.bequiet.com/en/insidebequiet/26#:~:text=Due to its small format,page under "Technical data".
Looking at the DR4 pictured, at most the fan might have to be slid up a bit.




The ram they picked isn't exactly tall.

 
Jan 18, 2022
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I wouldn't say overkill, at all, and the ram should fit, as it is fairly low profile. Some of the builds, on PCPP, might enlighten you on some case options.

https://pcpartpicker.com/builds/by_part/FRYLrH
When I say overkill I just meant that the Dark Rock 4 Pro has a rating of 250 TDP, much above my needs, even with OC'ing I suspect. I'll take a look at PCPP, not come across that site before now.

The Dark Rock 4 is a good cooler I wouldn't go with less than that. I don't think you will fit 4 memory modules with either of those coolers, probably doesn't matter for your two sticks because typically you would populate slots 2 and 4 first, but something to be aware of. Details on clearance:

https://www.bequiet.com/en/insidebequiet/26#:~:text=Due to its small format,page under "Technical data".
I'm definitely heading towards a Be Quiet cooler regardless, not really read anything but good stuff about their products. I did wonder if that empty first slot would help accommodate the Dark Rock 4 but their website says otherwise (only 40mm clearance. I may have to take some measurements from the motherboard itself and try and work out if it will fit.

Thanks for the link, didn't see that on their website. I may just look at the slim version which is shown there.

Looking at the DR4 pictured, at most the fan might have to be slid up a bit.




The ram they picked isn't exactly tall.

I wouldn't be keen on having to move the fan up to clear the ram, it would mean having to buy a wider case than intended.

Anyway, thanks all for your speedy replies. I've just taken a look at Be Quiet's website again and realised I had missed some of their other coolers, the TF2 looks like a nice option so will possibly go for that as it ticks all my boxes, except price!
 

Nighthawk117

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I don't think you'd have a problem in most modern cases even if you did move the fan up slightly to accommodate 4 RAM sticks. The TF2 is very nice and would certainly fit the bill but it's not cheap, however you can reuse the cooler though for a future build. I would get something beefier than the Shadow Rock LP though if it was me.

Do you have an idea about what sort of case you want?
 

Danra

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Hi,

I need some recommendations on which cooler to go with for my first build. I'm relatively new to PC builds and this is giving me the biggest headache (along with cases).

My first choice is a Be Quiet Dark Rock 4 but my main concern is whether it will fit the board and be clear of the RAM and GPU. According to their website compatibility may be an issue but it doesn't state what that may be, I'm guessing RAM clearance because I think they make a bracket to accomodate the board.

MB: Gigabyte Z690 UD DDR4
CPU: Intel i5-12600K
RAM: Corsair 2x 16 Vengeance RGB Pro SL
GPU: Gigabyte Aorus Master 3070Ti
The NOCTUA NH-D15S is an outstanding cooler and is made to fit over RAM sticks, its only downside is it is expensive. You can add a second fan, purchased seperately, however I have found the cooling to be very good. It does a good job on my i9 9900KS overclocked to 5.2GHz all cores.

Custom Waterloop vs Noctua NH-D15 AIR COOLING FTW?! - YouTube

Noctua NH-D15S Review - What's Changed Vs. The D15?! - YouTube

Noctua NH-D15S, Premium Dual-Tower CPU Cooler with NF-A15 PWM 140mm Fan (Brown) - Newegg.com
 
Jan 18, 2022
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I don't think you'd have a problem in most modern cases even if you did move the fan up slightly to accommodate 4 RAM sticks. The TF2 is very nice and would certainly fit the bill but it's not cheap, however you can reuse the cooler though for a future build. I would get something beefier than the Shadow Rock LP though if it was me.

Do you have an idea about what sort of case you want?
I won't have 4 RAM sticks so it might not be an issue but I don't want to leave anything to chance.

When you ask "what sort of case", what do you mean exactly? Choosing one is another area giving me a headache. Desk space is limited so I really want to try and get one as small as I can get away with, something that will just exceed the GPU and / or cooler sizes, that's why I'm preferring a top down cooler atm. I've seen lots of negative stuff about some big brand cases like MSI & Corsair because included fans are only 3 pin and I was thinking about making a separate post about cases with this statement in mind.

The NOCTUA NH-D15S is an outstanding cooler and is made to fit over RAM sticks, its only downside is it is expensive. You can add a second fan, purchased seperately, however I have found the cooling to be very good. It does a good job on my i9 9900KS overclocked to 5.2GHz all cores.

Custom Waterloop vs Noctua NH-D15 AIR COOLING FTW?! - YouTube

Noctua NH-D15S Review - What's Changed Vs. The D15?! - YouTube

Noctua NH-D15S, Premium Dual-Tower CPU Cooler with NF-A15 PWM 140mm Fan (Brown) - Newegg.com
Thanks, not really looked at many Noctuas, again, only heard good stuff but they seem quite expensive and ugly AF! I'm not building a PC for any kind of WOW! factor though but still I have to like the look of what I'm buying. However, the NH-15S doesn't look too bad with the fan hidden between the cooler fins so will take a look.
 

Nighthawk117

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I won't have 4 RAM sticks so it might not be an issue but I don't want to leave anything to chance.

When you ask "what sort of case", what do you mean exactly? Choosing one is another area giving me a headache. Desk space is limited so I really want to try and get one as small as I can get away with, something that will just exceed the GPU and / or cooler sizes, that's why I'm preferring a top down cooler atm. I've seen lots of negative stuff about some big brand cases like MSI & Corsair because included fans are only 3 pin and I was thinking about making a separate post about cases with this statement in mind.


Thanks, not really looked at many Noctuas, again, only heard good stuff but they seem quite expensive and ugly AF! I'm not building a PC for any kind of WOW! factor though but still I have to like the look of what I'm buying. However, the NH-15S doesn't look too bad with the fan hidden between the cooler fins so will take a look.
In terms of cases, I was talking about size, features and price. So do you want tempered glass stuff like that, does it need to be compact as possible. Are we talking £50 or £100 ect...
I see you've picked an ATX motherboard, if you have room to fit a compact midi tower then I would recommend the Meshify C (I use this) and the Corsair 220T:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fractal-Design-FD-CA-MESH-C-BKO-TG-Tempered-Computer/dp/B07B2Y9ZLM/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=meshify+c&qid=1642624187&sprefix=meshi,aps,67&sr=8-1&th=1

https://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/computing-accessories/components-upgrades/tower-cases/corsair-icue-220t-atx-mid-tower-pc-case-white-10209118-pdt.html

These are two of the smaller towers and available in black and white. You can get smaller stuff but when I was looking I found these too limiting to what you can put in them. Yes the fans are 3 pin but that wouldn't bother me personally.
 
Jan 18, 2022
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In terms of cases, I was talking about size, features and price. So do you want tempered glass stuff like that, does it need to be compact as possible. Are we talking £50 or £100 ect...
I see you've picked an ATX motherboard, if you have room to fit a compact midi tower then I would recommend the Meshify C (I use this) and the Corsair 220T:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fractal-Design-FD-CA-MESH-C-BKO-TG-Tempered-Computer/dp/B07B2Y9ZLM/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=meshify+c&qid=1642624187&sprefix=meshi,aps,67&sr=8-1&th=1

https://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/computing-accessories/components-upgrades/tower-cases/corsair-icue-220t-atx-mid-tower-pc-case-white-10209118-pdt.html

These are two of the smaller towers and available in black and white. You can get smaller stuff but when I was looking I found these too limiting to what you can put in them. Yes the fans are 3 pin but that wouldn't bother me personally.
I have been looking at mid towers and have definitely seen the iCue, however, it didn't make my current shortlist. Price range I set myself an ideal value of £75 but would stretch to more if I deemed it worthwhile, say with 4 supplied fans. Key features for me would be a mesh front (I assume this has better for air flow) & dust filters. I would like a Type C USB port on the front panel but these seem to be pretty rare and I think a glass side panel would be nice. My GPU is 324mm long so would like at least 15mm space to play with. Scan have the Dark Rock TF2 for £80 (same price as the Pro 4) so will likely order that tomorrow, it's 140mm high so the width of the case should ideally be 160mm, which there seem plenty to choose from, prior to this I was looking at minimum 170mm width as I had the Dark Rock 4 / Pro 4 in mind.
 

Phaaze88

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Ambassador
Scan have the Dark Rock TF2 for £80 (same price as the Pro 4) so will likely order that tomorrow, it's 140mm high so the width of the case should ideally be 160mm, which there seem plenty to choose from, prior to this I was looking at minimum 170mm width as I had the Dark Rock 4 / Pro 4 in mind.
Downdraft coolers are not so great with tempered glass side panels and 250w+ gpus that dump their heat in the PC.
 

Nighthawk117

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Yes a mesh front will help with cooling, that's why I went with the Meshify C. The Meshify C can be had for £80 on Amazon so it's in that ballpark, I certainly think it's worthy of consideration. £75 is a reasonable price, I wouldn't recommend going that much lower unless it's on something discounted because you start to give up features and compromise too much on quality. You might struggle to get 4 included fans as well, usually cases come with 2, you would simply need to add one more. If you want RGB fans though you should pick your case carefully as they often don't come with them.
 
Jan 18, 2022
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Downdraft coolers are not so great with tempered glass side panels and 250w+ gpus that dump their heat in the PC.
Why is that, can you be more specific please?

Yes a mesh front will help with cooling, that's why I went with the Meshify C. The Meshify C can be had for £80 on Amazon so it's in that ballpark, I certainly think it's worthy of consideration. £75 is a reasonable price, I wouldn't recommend going that much lower unless it's on something discounted because you start to give up features and compromise too much on quality. You might struggle to get 4 included fans as well, usually cases come with 2, you would simply need to add one more. If you want RGB fans though you should pick your case carefully as they often don't come with them.
Unfortunately the Meshify C can only accommodate a max GPU length of 315mm, so that rules that one out.

I have an Arctic Freezer i35 ARGB Air Cooler. It has an offset heatpipe design to clear the ram sticks.
https://www.novatech.co.uk/products/arctic-freezer-i35-a-rgb-cpu-air-cooler/acfre00104a.html
What is the TDP rating? I couldn't find it on any website, not even Arctic's. I feel it will fall short of my requirements of minimum 180 TDP.
 

Phaaze88

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Ambassador
Why is that, can you be more specific please?
Downdrafts are from a time when chassis had side panel ventilation and blower/turbo gpu coolers were more common. They worked pretty well in those.
Those coolers could get fresh air directly from the side, and the blower gpu was pushing its heat right out the back.

Today, full tempered glass side panels(no vent) and 250w+ gpus dumping their heat inside the PC are what's in right now. Poor downdraft coolers don't have source of fresh air anymore, being left to suck up preheated gpu exhaust before it gets outside the PC.
Now, you may think, "Well, I'll just do top intake." It doesn't work out that well, as doing so causes the heat that the gpu exhausts to take longer to get out, which in turn causes the downdraft to 'breathe in' that lingering heat for longer.
 
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Jan 18, 2022
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Downdrafts are from a time when chassis had side panel ventilation and blower/turbo gpu coolers were more common. They worked pretty well in those.
Those coolers could get fresh air directly from the side, and the blower gpu was pushing its heat right out the back.

Today, full tempered glass side panels(no vent) and 250w+ gpus dumping their heat inside the PC are what's in right now. Poor downdraft coolers don't have source of fresh air anymore, being left to suck up preheated gpu exhaust before it gets outside the PC.
Now, you may think, "Well, I'll just do top intake." It doesn't work out that well, as doing so causes the heat that the gpu exhausts to take longer to get out, which in turn causes the downdraft to 'breathe in' that lingering heat for longer.
Thanks for the explanation, I can see the logic in that. Guess I'll have to rethink my strategy now as I had kinda settled on the TF2 as well as a case.

Thanks for the suggestions once again. With regard to my comment above about the TF2 I am going to have to spend a bit more time researching a suitable case so will look at those later.

It's likely that I will post a separate thread in the Cases forum if I need further advise or suggestions.
 

Nighthawk117

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Just a suggestion, you have a really big GPU which doesn't lend itself well to a small case. Is there much benefit from getting the TF2? As others have suggested, with a tower cooler, cooler air would be pulled in from the front of the case and pushed towards the rear exhaust fan likely giving you better performance.
 
Jan 18, 2022
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Just a suggestion, you have a really big GPU which doesn't lend itself well to a small case. Is there much benefit from getting the TF2? As others have suggested, with a tower cooler, cooler air would be pulled in from the front of the case and pushed towards the rear exhaust fan likely giving you better performance.
Yes indeed, perhaps I wasn't clear enough in my previous post about rethinking my strategy, what I meant by that was I'm going to ditch the idea of the TF2 (based on what Phaaze88 said). In all honesty, with this being my first build from scratch I'd never even considered the heat generated by the GPU, I assumed that would be dealt with by it's own integrated fans.
 

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