[SOLVED] DIY PC Cooling question

helltaimer

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Jan 27, 2015
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Hey everyone! This is a simple question, I'm doing a DIY PC project to kill time and have fun during quarentine (building my own case and such), and I found 2 air coolers while looking around the house. One is the stock Intel cooler that came with the chip (C2Q Q9400) and the other one is this weird CoolerMaster I suspect came with an old cpu. I wanted to know which of these 2 you guys would go for, coupled with the Q9400 I just showed and a mild overclock to bump performance a bit. Both photos are bellow. Don't worry about the CoolerMaster not having a proper mount to the motherboard, I figured something out for that, but I just wanted to know which one you would go for. Cheers!




 

geofelt

Titan
It is not clear to me if the cm cooler has an adapter that would be compatible with your motherboard.

The Intel stock cooler is reasonably good if you mount it properly.
Here is how:
----------------how to mount the stock Intel cooler--------------

The stock Intel cooler can be tricky to install.
A poor installation will result in higher cpu temperatures.
If properly mounted, you should expect temperatures at idle to be 10-15c. over ambient.

To mount the Intel stock cooler properly, place the motherboard on top of the foam or cardboard backing that was packed with the motherboard.
The stock cooler will come with paste pre applied, it looks like three grey strips.
The 4 push pins should come in the proper position for installation, that is with the pins rotated in the opposite direction of the arrow,(clockwise)
and pulled up as far as they can go.
Take the time to play with the pushpin mechanism until you know how they work.

Orient the 4 pins so that they are exactly over the motherboard holes.
If one is out of place, you will damage the pins which are delicate.
Push down on a DIAGONAL pair of pins at the same time. Then the other pair.

When you push down on the top black pins, it expands the white plastic pins to fix the cooler in place.

If you do them one at a time, you will not get the cooler on straight.
Lastly, look at the back of the motherboard to verify that all 4 pins are equally through the motherboard, and that the cooler is on firmly.
This last step must be done, which is why the motherboard should be out of the case to do the job. Or you need a case with a opening that lets you see the pins.
It is possible to mount the cooler with the motherboard mounted in the case, but you can then never be certain that the push pins are inserted properly
unless you can verify that the pins are through the motherboard and locked.

If you should need to remove the cooler, turn the pins counter clockwise to unlock them.
You will need to clean off the old paste and reapply new if you ever take the cooler off.
Clean off old paste with alcohol and a lint free paper like a coffee filter.
Apply new paste sparingly. A small rice sized drop in the center will spread our under heat and pressure.
Too much paste is bad, it will act as an insulator.
It is hard to use too little.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 

helltaimer

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Jan 27, 2015
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Thank you both for the reply @jay32267 and @USAFRet ! So since both have similar cooling performances you'd just go with the easier one to install right? Also, Jay, did you overclock your CPU at all using the stock cooler? If so, how much were you able to push it? Any and all info is helpful!
 

rubix_1011

Contributing Writer
Moderator
You likely will not get much, if any, overclocking headroom using either of those coolers. One is the factory CPU cooler boxed with the processor and the other is essentially a replacement-type cooler if the factory one fails.

If overclocking is for certain, it's time to consider a better cooler if those 2 are your only options.
 

helltaimer

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Jan 27, 2015
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You likely will not get much, if any, overclocking headroom using either of those coolers. One is the factory CPU cooler boxed with the processor and the other is essentially a replacement-type cooler if the factory one fails.

If overclocking is for certain, it's time to consider a better cooler if those 2 are your only options.
Yeah I completely agree, I myself was thinking of getting a better cooler when I can get to work again and earn some money after this pandemic is all over. I wanted to know what I could squeeze out of these 2 at the moment. If I get an aftermarket cooler, I want one that has a top mounted fan to go in tandem with the design I'm thinking of. What would you recommend?

Also, thanks a ton for the reply!
 

Karadjgne

Titan
Ambassador
That depends entirely on case and budget. To keep the downdraft look and low profile, either a Noctua NH-L9i or Cryorig C7 or even a Reeven Brontes. For something larger in a tower, the Deepcool Gammax 400.
 

geofelt

Titan
It is not clear to me if the cm cooler has an adapter that would be compatible with your motherboard.

The Intel stock cooler is reasonably good if you mount it properly.
Here is how:
----------------how to mount the stock Intel cooler--------------

The stock Intel cooler can be tricky to install.
A poor installation will result in higher cpu temperatures.
If properly mounted, you should expect temperatures at idle to be 10-15c. over ambient.

To mount the Intel stock cooler properly, place the motherboard on top of the foam or cardboard backing that was packed with the motherboard.
The stock cooler will come with paste pre applied, it looks like three grey strips.
The 4 push pins should come in the proper position for installation, that is with the pins rotated in the opposite direction of the arrow,(clockwise)
and pulled up as far as they can go.
Take the time to play with the pushpin mechanism until you know how they work.

Orient the 4 pins so that they are exactly over the motherboard holes.
If one is out of place, you will damage the pins which are delicate.
Push down on a DIAGONAL pair of pins at the same time. Then the other pair.

When you push down on the top black pins, it expands the white plastic pins to fix the cooler in place.

If you do them one at a time, you will not get the cooler on straight.
Lastly, look at the back of the motherboard to verify that all 4 pins are equally through the motherboard, and that the cooler is on firmly.
This last step must be done, which is why the motherboard should be out of the case to do the job. Or you need a case with a opening that lets you see the pins.
It is possible to mount the cooler with the motherboard mounted in the case, but you can then never be certain that the push pins are inserted properly
unless you can verify that the pins are through the motherboard and locked.

If you should need to remove the cooler, turn the pins counter clockwise to unlock them.
You will need to clean off the old paste and reapply new if you ever take the cooler off.
Clean off old paste with alcohol and a lint free paper like a coffee filter.
Apply new paste sparingly. A small rice sized drop in the center will spread our under heat and pressure.
Too much paste is bad, it will act as an insulator.
It is hard to use too little.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 

helltaimer

Honorable
Jan 27, 2015
152
0
10,690
3
That depends entirely on case and budget. To keep the downdraft look and low profile, either a Noctua NH-L9i or Cryorig C7 or even a Reeven Brontes. For something larger in a tower, the Deepcool Gammax 400.
I'll be building a custom wood case that will be quite small and fit the size of internal components and not much else. I want a downdraft cooler because of an aesthetical idea I have, while also wanting overclocking capabilities. Those coolers you mentioned would be good enough for a moderate to good overclocking? Thanks!
 

helltaimer

Honorable
Jan 27, 2015
152
0
10,690
3
It is not clear to me if the cm cooler has an adapter that would be compatible with your motherboard.

The Intel stock cooler is reasonably good if you mount it properly.
Here is how:
----------------how to mount the stock Intel cooler--------------

The stock Intel cooler can be tricky to install.
A poor installation will result in higher cpu temperatures.
If properly mounted, you should expect temperatures at idle to be 10-15c. over ambient.

To mount the Intel stock cooler properly, place the motherboard on top of the foam or cardboard backing that was packed with the motherboard.
The stock cooler will come with paste pre applied, it looks like three grey strips.
The 4 push pins should come in the proper position for installation, that is with the pins rotated in the opposite direction of the arrow,(clockwise)
and pulled up as far as they can go.
Take the time to play with the pushpin mechanism until you know how they work.

Orient the 4 pins so that they are exactly over the motherboard holes.
If one is out of place, you will damage the pins which are delicate.
Push down on a DIAGONAL pair of pins at the same time. Then the other pair.

When you push down on the top black pins, it expands the white plastic pins to fix the cooler in place.

If you do them one at a time, you will not get the cooler on straight.
Lastly, look at the back of the motherboard to verify that all 4 pins are equally through the motherboard, and that the cooler is on firmly.
This last step must be done, which is why the motherboard should be out of the case to do the job. Or you need a case with a opening that lets you see the pins.
It is possible to mount the cooler with the motherboard mounted in the case, but you can then never be certain that the push pins are inserted properly
unless you can verify that the pins are through the motherboard and locked.

If you should need to remove the cooler, turn the pins counter clockwise to unlock them.
You will need to clean off the old paste and reapply new if you ever take the cooler off.
Clean off old paste with alcohol and a lint free paper like a coffee filter.
Apply new paste sparingly. A small rice sized drop in the center will spread our under heat and pressure.
Too much paste is bad, it will act as an insulator.
It is hard to use too little.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thanks for the instructions but I know how to mount the cooler hahaha. I have an idea for a custom mounting solution for the CM if I had decided to go with it.

I'm doing a custom build, as in making my own PC case to fit an idea I have, so I was asking because I found 2 coolers and wanted to know which one would overclock best. Thanks for the info tho!
 

geofelt

Titan
What will you overclock?
Downdraft coolers are not much good for overclocking.
Better to buy a cpu that is faster at stock.

Regardless, do not neglect air intake in your case design.
Any cooler needs a good source of fresh airflow.
 

Karadjgne

Titan
Ambassador
The first I listed are all low profile coolers and are very common in many SFF builds as they are the only ones that fit height clearances. The Noctua NH-L12/S would be even better, but you'll need to ask Noctua to send you the mounting kit for lga775. Last I heard it was free of charge.
 

helltaimer

Honorable
Jan 27, 2015
152
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10,690
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What will you overclock?
Downdraft coolers are not much good for overclocking.
Better to buy a cpu that is faster at stock.

Regardless, do not neglect air intake in your case design.
Any cooler needs a good source of fresh airflow.
Will be overclocking a Core 2 Quad Q9400. It's a fun project I have to repurpous an old desktop PC I found at the office I work for and wanted to make a fun and good looking build involving building my own PC case out of wood and such.

The only investment I'll be doing on the PC is a GPU and a PSU (haven't checked the one that came in the PC, but I know this is a custom built one, just an old custom built). Even then, I'm not putting in much money for a GPU, just enough to run some MMORPGs, MOBAs and FPS games at 1080p.

Doing this mostly for the novelty. If downdraft coolers aren't really as good then it's back to the drawing board on the design I had in mind hahaha.
 

helltaimer

Honorable
Jan 27, 2015
152
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10,690
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The first I listed are all low profile coolers and are very common in many SFF builds as they are the only ones that fit height clearances. The Noctua NH-L12/S would be even better, but you'll need to ask Noctua to send you the mounting kit for lga775. Last I heard it was free of charge.
Thanks for the info! Will check the cooler out as well as some reviews for it and see if they have international shipping for it!
 

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