Question Newbie question: What cooling do I need for an i9-9900K (3.6GHz) 16MB Cache (not gaming)?

MrYossu

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Dec 15, 2013
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OK, please be patient with me, I'm a hardware ignoramus, trying to build my first custom PC. I currently have a Dell Precision T1580, containing a Xeon E5-1630 v3 3.70Ghz CPU. I'm looking at getting a new PC (specs lower down), and could do with some advice about cooling.

I don't play games or do rendering, etc at all, so won't be running CPU intensive programs for sustained periods of time. I'm a software developer, using Microsoft Visual Studio as my main software. When loading or building the main project I work on, Visual Studio can use 100% of all 8 cores for around three minutes. However annoying these delays are, they are sporadic, so I don't know if the CPU would get too hot from them. Please correct me if you disagree.

I've read that the i9 can get quite hot, and that cooling is advised. This is a really new area for me, and I would be grateful for some guidance. I don't know whether to build the PC without it, and keep an eye on the temps. If they get too high, I could add cooling afterwards. Or, I could get cooling right from the start and have it fitted by the people who are building it for me. However, I have no idea what level of cooling would be sensible.

Anyone able to advise? I have no idea if I have missed any relevant information, so please let me know if I have. I am using www.pcspecialist.co.uk for the build, and will paste in the full (current, subject to change) spec below. Note that this has a cooling option chosen, but this was a fairly random choice whilst I was investigating.

Secondary question: Is it worth getting special thermal paste? They charge £9 for ARCTIC MX-4 EXTREME THERMAL CONDUCTIVITY COMPOUND, as opposed to no extra charge for standard paste. On the one hand £9 is peanuts on the cost of a full PC, but on the other, if it's not going to give me any benefit, I might as well save the £9. Any comments?

Thanks for any advice you can give.

Case
PCS SPECTRUM RGB MID TOWER CASE
Processor (CPU)
Intel® Core™ i9 Eight Core Processor i9-9900K (3.6GHz) 16MB Cache
Motherboard
ASUS® TUF Z390-PLUS GAMING: ATX, LGA1151, USB 3.1, SATA 6GBs - RGB Ready
Memory (RAM)
4GB Corsair VENGEANCE DDR4 2400MHz (1 x 4GB)
Graphics Card
INTEGRATED GRAPHICS ACCELERATOR (GPU)
1st Storage Drive
NOT REQUIRED
1st M.2 SSD Drive
1TB SAMSUNG 970 EVO PLUS M.2, PCIe NVMe (up to 3500MB/R, 3300MB/W)
DVD/BLU-RAY Drive
NOT REQUIRED
Power Supply
CORSAIR 550W TXm SERIES™ SEMI-MODULAR 80 PLUS® GOLD, ULTRA QUIET
Power Cable
1 x 1 Metre UK Power Cable (Kettle Lead)
Processor Cooling
CoolerMaster Hyper 212X (120mm) Fan CPU Cooler Black Edition
Thermal Paste
ARCTIC MX-4 EXTREME THERMAL CONDUCTIVITY COMPOUND
Sound Card
ONBOARD 6 CHANNEL (5.1) HIGH DEF AUDIO (AS STANDARD)
Wireless/Wired Networking
10/100/1000 GIGABIT LAN PORT (Wi-Fi NOT INCLUDED)
USB/Thunderbolt Options
MIN. 2 x USB 3.0 & 2 x USB 2.0 PORTS @ BACK PANEL + MIN. 2 FRONT PORTS
 

adamgrant520

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Jan 6, 2019
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Ok so heres my point of view on this. Water takes much longer to warm up meaning it can cool things for longer periods of time. For example my water cooler takes around 15 minutes to get to stable temperatures, on a heatsink your max temperature will come almost Instantly

So essentially I would recommend a water cooler for extended periods of heavy use but as you mentioned you aren't going to be using it for more than a couple mins.

Whilst the 9900k is a very hot cpu most mid range heat sinks will handle it with a breeze. I would recommend a noctua nhd-15 for your use, quite pricey but will be silent and will keep that CPU nice and chilly.

Finally with the thermal compound. If you dont plan on overclocking and aren't in a serious situation where every degree counts. Dony worry about it. But dont forget. Not every cooler comes with thermal paste in the box. So check, if the cooler you decide on comes with thermal paste pre-applied or in the box I would just use that. If not your gonna have to buy some

Edit: I'm not an expert on that sort of load but I have a feeling going amd would be of great benitfit
You can have more cores for less with amd. A 12 core 3900x for example
 
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Just a suggestion, unless there is a really specific reason to favor Intel you can get a Ryzen 3700X 8c 16t for or a Ryzen 3900X 12c 24t CPU and mobo for generally cheaper then an Intel build. You will however have to have some sort of graphics card but it can be a very cheap one as it only has to handle video out.

As far as cooling, I would recommend buying a good air cooler yourself and installing it such as the Noctua NHD15 or beQuiet Dark Rock Pro 4 250W. Both are excellent and are as good for cooling as most 240MM AIO water coolers on the market. However if you want them to install it looking on the PCSpealists website, I would recommend either the Corsair H100 or H115 with the quiet fans as the quiet fans as the standard fans are quite loud.

As far as thermal paste without knowing what the standard paste is theres no accurate way to tell you how much better the MX4 will be. If they use any decent paste the difference will be a few degrees at most unless their standard paste is some very low quality stuff.
 

Schlachtwolf

Upstanding
Jun 22, 2019
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One thing I noticed on your list is only 1x4gb Ram stick.... you will really need at least 8gb and that in 2x4gb sticks to run Dual Channel which is important with integrated Graphics. While not the minimum, 8gb is the recommended requirement on the Microsoft Visual Studio site . Running single channel with any i9 or Ryzen is waste of the CPU's potential and you may well run into stuttering and delays in your visual workload. I would also go for a RAM speed of 3200mhz, would make a decent upgrade and make your work quicker and easier.
 
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MrYossu

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Dec 15, 2013
41
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Thanks to all for the replies, I'll need to do some research before I can comment more.

However, I did want to clarify two things I forgot to mention in my original post.

As @Schlachtwolf pointed out, the specs there only show 4Gb RAM. The reason for this is because their site only offers a maximum of 32Gb unless you go for RGB RAM, which is a waste of money in my case as I wouldn't be able to see it (even if I were interested in the pretty blinkenlights, which I'm not). I plan to buy 64Gb 3200GHz RAM separately, and use that. I picked the 4Gb as it was the cheapest option they offered.

Also, the specs don't include a graphics card. The reason for this is that I have an AMD FirePro W4100 and an NVIDIA NVS 510 spare, so will plug one of those in.
 
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Reactions: Schlachtwolf

MrYossu

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Dec 15, 2013
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Thanks again to all, especially @richiestang_78 for the AMD suggestion. I searched for comparisons of the Intel i9-9900K vs the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X, and it looks like the AMD is possibly slightly better than the Intel for my sorts of needs (see this comparison). Given that the AMD build comes out around £100 cheaper, this seems like a good option.

So, assuming I got the AMD, would I still need cooling, and if so, do the previous recommendations still apply? Not sure how hot the AMD runs compared to the Intel.

Lower down is a spec for an AMD machine. As before, I picked the smallest RAM option available and no graphics card, as I will be putting in 64Gb RAM and one of the two graphics cards I have here. Also, this spec does not include any cooling, as I'm waiting to see what you all think.

Thanks again to all who replied.

Case
PCS SPECTRUM RGB MID TOWER CASE
Processor (CPU)
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 12 Core CPU (3.8GHz-4.6GHz/70MB CACHE/AM4)
Motherboard
ASUS® PRIME B450-PLUS (DDR4, USB 3.1, 6Gb/s) - RGB Ready!
Memory (RAM)
4GB Corsair VENGEANCE DDR4 2400MHz (1 x 4GB)
Graphics Card
NONE, I ALREADY HAVE A GRAPHICS CARD
1st Storage Drive
NOT REQUIRED
1st M.2 SSD Drive
1TB SAMSUNG 970 EVO PLUS M.2, PCIe NVMe (up to 3500MB/R, 3300MB/W)
DVD/BLU-RAY Drive
NOT REQUIRED
Power Supply
CORSAIR 550W TXm SERIES™ SEMI-MODULAR 80 PLUS® GOLD, ULTRA QUIET
Power Cable
1 x 1 Metre UK Power Cable (Kettle Lead)
Processor Cooling
STANDARD AMD CPU COOLER
Thermal Paste
ARCTIC MX-4 EXTREME THERMAL CONDUCTIVITY COMPOUND
Sound Card
ONBOARD 6 CHANNEL (5.1) HIGH DEF AUDIO (AS STANDARD)
Wireless/Wired Networking
10/100/1000 GIGABIT LAN PORT (Wi-Fi NOT INCLUDED)
USB/Thunderbolt Options
MIN. 2 x USB 3.0 & 2 x USB 2.0 PORTS @ BACK PANEL + MIN. 2 FRONT PORTS
Operating System
NO OPERATING SYSTEM REQUIRED
Operating System Language
United Kingdom - English Language
Windows Recovery Media
NO RECOVERY MEDIA REQUIRED
Office Software
FREE 30 Day Trial of Microsoft® Office® 365 (Operating System Required)
Anti-Virus
NO ANTI-VIRUS SOFTWARE
Browser
Microsoft® Edge (Windows 10 Only)
Warranty
3 Year Silver Warranty (1 Year Collect & Return, 1 Year Parts, 3 Year Labour)
Delivery
STANDARD INSURED DELIVERY TO UK MAINLAND (MON-FRI)
Build Time
Standard Build - Approximately 8 to 10 working days
Price: £947.00 including VAT and Delivery
 
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Schlachtwolf

Upstanding
Jun 22, 2019
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You will be fine with the stock wraith cooler at stock settings, it even has a n RGB in it (but you can turn it off) I had one before I OC'ed my Ryzen and it was pretty quiet in normal conditions but if your CPU gets over 60-65c then it is louder. Not very loud but audible for sure.

Ryzens have a very different behaviour compared to Intel, they spike in temp so if you see it go from say 35-45c and back that is what the do. It is the core boost doing something like a Windows process in the background, no panic. They tend not to run as hot as an similar level Intel cpu as the Ghz is lower, not around the 5 Ghz from Intel.

Looks like a nice setup you are putting together, I hope all goes well for you!!

Cheers
 

MrYossu

Honorable
Dec 15, 2013
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You will be fine with the stock wraith cooler at stock settings,
Pardon my ignorance, but what is a "wraith" cooler? Is that what they call the "STANDARD AMD CPU COOLER"?

it even has a n RGB in it (but you can turn it off)
Any idea how? The box will be hidden away behind four monitors, with the clear side against a wall, so I won't see any of the blinkenlights. If it will save some power and/or heat, I might as well turn off any lights I can.

I had one before I OC'ed my Ryzen and it was pretty quiet in normal conditions but if your CPU gets over 60-65c then it is louder. Not very loud but audible for sure.
That might not be a bad thing, as it would alert me to the higher temperatures, and remind me to keep an eye on it. If it got too hot too regularly, then I would know I need more cooling.

Ryzens have a very different behaviour compared to Intel, they spike in temp so if you see it go from say 35-45c and back that is what the do. It is the core boost doing something like a Windows process in the background, no panic. They tend not to run as hot as an similar level Intel cpu as the Ghz is lower, not around the 5 Ghz from Intel.
Thanks for the tip, good to know.

Looks like a nice setup you are putting together, I hope all goes well for you!!

Cheers
Thanks, I'm looking forward to it!
 

Schlachtwolf

Upstanding
Jun 22, 2019
390
84
340
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AMD coolers are called Wraith.... kinda Lord of the Rings bad boy name.....thing....
As for the RGB you just don't plug in the RGB connector and no lights or over software like AURA Sync on your Asus Mobo. those led lights use next to nothing in power and produce no heat, like fairy lights on the xmas tree.

Cheers
 

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