I7 920 cooler - trying to combine a number of threads

LePhuronn

Distinguished
Apr 20, 2007
1,950
0
19,960
Greets to all.

I know this question's been asked an awful lot but it's all in bits and pieces across numerous pages. Hopefully though the discussion here could be a sticky for helping future members.

I'm currently stuck choosing my air cooler for my imminent i7 920 rig - I have some ideas but I'm after validation.

The specs:

i7 920 D0 stepping, OC to 3.8GHz or 4GHz
Asus P6T Deluxe v2
either 12GB Corsair 1600MHz Dominator tightened to 7-7-7-20
or 12GB Corsair XMS3 1600MHz already at 7-7-7-20
Silverstone Raven RV01 with window
Dual SLI of GTX285s
Corsair HX1000 (the HX850 will run this but I want some headroom)

Aesthetics are important to me too so I'm after a cooler that looks good, but performance obviously is priority.

My choices then are:

Titan TTC-NK85TZ Fenrir (only allows 1 fan)
Scythe Mugen 2 (will push/pull)
Thermalright TRUE Black (will push/pull)
Prolimatech Megahalems (will push/pull)

Coolers I've rejected:

Zalman CNPS9900-NT and Coolmaster V8 (reviews suggest they can't handle 4GHz OC)
Noctua NH-U12P (cannot stand the brown fans)

Originally I wanted the Corsair H50 water unit, but the Raven's airflow design is totally destroyed by using the top 120mm fan as an intake, but H50 underperforms with its radiator fan set as an exhaust.

I've read numerous reviews and I know it's splitting hairs between the top performers but I'm after opinions and validation for those of you in the field.

So, let the discussion begin and see if we can get a consensus.

As I'm using 6 DIMMs I will put a Corsair fan cooler on them so the CPU cooler needs to account for that as I can only orient the cooler to push the airflow towards the top of the case (i.e. across the DIMM slots right-to-left so that'll be going up on the Raven).

As a side note, I'd appreciate comments on the RAM choice.

Tighter timings are more beneficial than faster clocks on the i7 from what I've read so I'm torn between the Corsair XM3 1600MHz rated at 7-7-7-20 or going for the 1600MHz Dominator rated at 8-8-8-24 and trying to tighten up to match the XMS3 - at overclockers.co.uk there's like a quid difference between the two 6GB sets.

Thanks all!
 

jedimasterben

Distinguished
Sep 22, 2007
1,172
1
19,360
Why don't you get the H50 and jury-rig another fan to it for the push-pull?

And, in reality, the only thing you'll need faster RAM for is to increase synthetic benchmarks. Real-world performance is negligible. Just go for either if your budget allows.

Lucky. :)
 
^The H50 doesn't have enough rad to cool a i7. +1 on the RAM info there.

@OP: Have you considered the Core Contact and the S1283? Also what about a good custom CPU water loop? A GTZ + 320 + D5 will be ~$230. That will surely keep the i7 cool (check my sig; I get 48-53C under load). (Or you can run a moded WC loop for under $200)
 

LePhuronn

Distinguished
Apr 20, 2007
1,950
0
19,960
Cheers Master Jedi.

To be honest I've not seen enough people using the H50 in a Raven to get any kind of idea - the few I have found have only used a single fan and say it underperforms simply because whichever way you cut (push or push/pull) it you're drawing warm/hot internal air over the radiator.

I've confirmed with a few people, including Silverstone, that if you change the Raven's top 120mm exhaust fan to an intake fan you totally screw the stack effect the Raven was designed to do.

Although I'm very tempted to get the H50, try it and return it if it doesn't work out and go for a True Black with some Scythe Kama PWM fans on it.
 

LePhuronn

Distinguished
Apr 20, 2007
1,950
0
19,960
Oh, and regarding the memory issue, I have noticed a slight improvement at work with tighter timings.

We got in two identical i7 systems except for the RAM on the cheap. They were both supposed to have some CAS9 RAM in but the supplier ran out of stock so gave us some CAS8 for one of the systems. We're only talking a few minutes here but on some heavy After Effects and Premiere Pro HD encoding the CAS8 system does top out.

But I've found the best of both anyway lol Scan UK sell the Dominator at 7-7-7-20 for about £3 more so tbh I'll just grab that instead of trying to tighten the CAS8 to match.
 

LePhuronn

Distinguished
Apr 20, 2007
1,950
0
19,960
lol Shadow your original post about the custom loop didn't actually show until now. I'll look into a custom water kit but tbh they scare me lol I'm already playing catch-up with the current gen hardware and facing the 4GHz OC myself.
 
Here you go:

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/252455-29-water-cooled-computer#t1801333

DO NOT get any pre built (think Thermaltake BigWater,etc) watercooling kits!
 

LePhuronn

Distinguished
Apr 20, 2007
1,950
0
19,960
I think I'll stick to air for now as well geofelt lol

RAM-wise, I guess I'll see how my budget goes. I have seem some OCZ Reaper 1600MHz at 7-7-7-20 for about £85 but they heatsinks on them are odd and not sure if they'll interfere with the air cooler, but from pics I've seen of the True and the Megahalems even with a pair of fans on them they seem sufficiently out of the way of the DIMM slots.

Is there much truth to Intel recommending active cooling if you use 6 DIMMs? I don't mind getting an active cooler for the RAM, but it's £20 saved if it's not necessary.

Cheers for the input so far...