[SOLVED] Replacing my air CPU cooler for i9-10900k with a water one - any good recommendations? Is it worth it considering my current cooler?

Sep 2, 2022
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My specs related to the required cooler support:
PC case - Zalman Z3 Plus
Motherboard: TUF GAMING Z490-PLUS (WI-FI)
CPU - Intel Core i9-10900K

After solving my other problems from other thread (the other thread), my CPU tends to overheat to quite high temperatures up to 100°C if long-term usage is ~40% and more. So I am thinking about replacing my current (air) cooler SCYTHE Mugen 5 Rev. B so my power hungry i9-10900K can avoid overheating.

My current (air) cooler: SCYTHE Mugen 5 Rev. B
Fan - 300-1200 RPM
Noise - up to 24.9 dB
Airflow - 51.17 CFM (86.94 m3/h)
Number of heatpipes - 6×

I am deciding between these 2 water coolers:

ROG Strix LC II 120 ARGB
Fan - 800-2500 RPM
Pump - 800-2800 RPM

Airflow - 80.95 CFM (137.54 m3/h)
Noise - up to 37.6 dB
Radiator width - 150 mm (15 cm)
Radiator depth - 122 mm (12.2 cm)
Radiator height - 27 mm (2.7 cm)
Hose length - 380 mm

ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 120
Fan - 200-1800 RPM
Pump - 800-2000 RPM
Airflow - 56.3 CFM (95.66 m3/h)
Noise - up to 24.5 dB
Radiator width - 157 mm (15.7 cm)
Radiator depth - 120 mm (12 cm)
Radiator height - 38 mm (3.8 cm)
Hose length - 350 mm

Both are 1x120mm fan so I could replace the rear fan of my PC case Zalman Z3 Plus and 1200 socket for my CPU i9-10900K , so both considered coolers should be compatible. I guess there is no way to use any water coolers with 2x fans in my PC case, but I am not sure. If it supported 2x120 fans, then I would ofc buy that but from what I learned so far, I guess it is not possible. Feel free to correct me if I am wrong.

Which one would you recommend? Or... would you recommend any of them at all? Will there be difference for the better comparing to cooling performance of my current air cooler?

Or would you recommend some better air cooler?


I don't care about RGB lightning, only about functionality (cooling performance and noise) - but I assume the ROG Strix is far better than the Arctic anyway? And if so, is it also better than the SCYTHE air cooler I currently have? Would it be worth it in terms of better cooling performance (if any)?


Thanks for the tips in advance!
 
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Aeacus

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About the airflow - here are some pictures of how it looks inside the case (I apologize for a bit of motion blur, but I guess it is possible enough to see). A lot of cables under the GPU, but the CPU has pretty free space around it.
Huge ratsnest of cables - no wonder why you have thermal issues.

For proper cable management + ample room around CPU cooler, take a look of this:



See any difference?

That above, is my Skylake build (full specs with more pics in my sig). And if you'd buy yourself bigger PC case (mine is full-tower ATX Corsair 760T V2 Black), you can have the same. :sol:
 

Aeacus

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I guess there is no way to use any water coolers with 2x fans in my PC case, but I am not sure.
If unsure, check your case specs,
link: https://www.zalman.com/EN/Product/ProductDetail.do?pageIndex=1&pageSize=10&productSeq=747&searchCategory1=0&searchCategory2=-99&searchCategory3=-99&searchKey=&searchWord=Z3&active=pro_specTab#pro_detail_tab

You should be able to mount 240mm rad at the top.

but I assume the ROG Strix is far better than the Arctic anyway?
Don't assume. Read reviews.

Arctic Cooling AIOs are one of the best (if not the best) AIOs currently out there. Often winning comparison charts when AIOs are reviewed.

Will there be difference for the better comparing to cooling performance of my current air cooler?
For the better? No.

Single slot rads (either 1x 120mm or 1x 140mm) are only viable when your PC case doesn't have enough CPU cooler clearance to mount proper, mid-sized CPU air cooler. Those small AIOs are only good in mini-ITX or HTPC builds, with small PC cases.

I am deciding between these 2 water coolers:
Why would you consider water cooler? You do realize that both, air cooler and AIO, in the end, are still cooled by ambient air, right?

Or... would you recommend any of them at all?
As far as AIOs vs air coolers go, you won't gain any cooling performance if you go with AIO over air cooler since both are cooled by ambient air.
For equal cooling performance between AIOs and air coolers, rad needs to be 240mm or 280mm. Smaller rads: 120mm and 140mm are almost always outperformed by mid-sized air coolers.

Here are the positive sides of both (air and AIO) CPU cooling methods;

Pros of air coolers:
less cost
less maintenance
less noise
far longer longevity
no leakage risks
doesn't take up case fan slots
additional cooling for the RAM
CPU cools down faster after heavy heat output

Pros of AIOs:
no RAM clearance issues*
no CPU clearance issues
CPU takes longer time to heat up during heavy heat output (about 30 mins)
* on some cases, top mounted rad can give RAM clearance issues

While how the CPU cooler looks inside the PC depends on a person. Some people prefer to see small AIO pump in the middle of their MoBo with tubing going to the rad while others prefer to see big heatsink with fans in the middle of their MoBo.

Main difference between AIO and air cooler is that with AIO, you'll get more noise at a higher cost while cooling performance remains the same.
Here's also one good article for you to read where king of air coolers (Noctua NH-D15) was put against 5x high-end AIOs, including king of AIOs (NZXT x61 Kraken),
link: http://www.relaxedtech.com/reviews/noctua/nh-d15-versus-closed-loop-liquid-coolers/1

Personally, i'd go with air coolers every day of the week. With same cooling performance, the pros of air coolers outweigh the pros of AIOs considerably. While, for me, the 3 main pros would be:
1. Less noise.
Since i like my PC to be quiet, i can't stand the loud noise AIO makes. Also, when air gets trapped inside the AIO (some AIOs are more prone to this than others), there's additional noise coming from inside the pump.
2. Longevity.
Cheaper AIOs usually last 2-3 years and high-end ones 4-5 years before you need to replace it. While with air coolers, their life expectancy is basically unlimited. Only thing that can go bad on an air cooler is the fan on it. If the fan dies, your CPU still has cooling in form of a big heatsink. Also, new 120mm or 140mm fan doesn't cost much and it's easy to replace one. While with AIOs, the main thing that usually goes bad is the pump itself. And when that happens, your CPU has no cooling whatsoever. Since you can't replace pump on an AIO, you need to buy whole new AIO to replace the old one out.
3. No leakage risks.
Since there's liquid circling inside the AIO, there is always a risk that your AIO can leak. While it's rare, it has happened. It's well known fact that liquids and electronics don't mix.

Or would you recommend some better air cooler?
I'd look towards either more case fans, or completely new PC case, with far better airflow paths.

Since choosing a PC case is personal choice, pick what you like, but for good airflow, look towards meshed front panel. Or look what GamersNexus found good after testing:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtyWUAjmmZA
 
My specs related to the required cooler support:
PC case - Zalman Z3 Plus
Motherboard: TUF GAMING Z490-PLUS (WI-FI)
CPU - Intel Core i9-10900K

After solving my other problems from other thread (the other thread), my CPU tends to overheat to quite high temperatures up to 100°C if long-term usage is ~40% and more. So I am thinking about replacing my current (air) cooler SCYTHE Mugen 5 Rev. B so my power hungry i9-10900K can avoid overheating.

My current (air) cooler: SCYTHE Mugen 5 Rev. B
Fan - 300-1200 RPM
Noise - up to 24.9 dB
Airflow - 51.17 CFM (86.94 m3/h)
Number of heatpipes - 6×

I am deciding between these 2 water coolers:

ROG Strix LC II 120 ARGB
Fan - 800-2500 RPM
Pump - 800-2800 RPM

Airflow - 80.95 CFM (137.54 m3/h)
Noise - up to 37.6 dB
Radiator width - 150 mm (15 cm)
Radiator depth - 122 mm (12.2 cm)
Radiator height - 27 mm (2.7 cm)
Hose length - 380 mm

ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 120
Fan - 200-1800 RPM
Pump - 800-2000 RPM
Airflow - 56.3 CFM (95.66 m3/h)
Noise - up to 24.5 dB
Radiator width - 157 mm (15.7 cm)
Radiator depth - 120 mm (12 cm)
Radiator height - 38 mm (3.8 cm)
Hose length - 350 mm

Both are 1x120mm fan so I could replace the rear fan of my PC case Zalman Z3 Plus and 1200 socket for my CPU i9-10900K , so both considered coolers should be compatible. I guess there is no way to use any water coolers with 2x fans in my PC case, but I am not sure. If it supported 2x120 fans, then I would ofc buy that but from what I learned so far, I guess it is not possible. Feel free to correct me if I am wrong.

Which one would you recommend? Or... would you recommend any of them at all? Will there be difference for the better comparing to cooling performance of my current air cooler?

Or would you recommend some better air cooler?


I don't care about RGB lightning, only about functionality (cooling performance and noise) - but I assume the ROG Strix is far better than the Arctic anyway? And if so, is it also better than the SCYTHE air cooler I currently have? Would it be worth it in terms of better cooling performance (if any)?


Thanks for the tips in advance!
There's 0 chance any 120mm cooler, AIO or air can cool that beast of Watt eater CPU specially comparing to your Mugen. It's 360 or 480 AIO or bust.
 
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Aeacus

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There's 0 chance any 120mm cooler, AIO or air can cool that beast of Watt eater CPU specially comparing to your Mugen. It's 360 or 480 AIO or bust.
While i9-10900K is 125W, it's nowhere near the heating furnace as Threadripper CPUs are, which range from 180W up to 280W. Yet, for Threadripper, there even are air coolers.

IMO, well ventilated PC case, with high-performing (e.g Noctua) fans, can provide sufficient cooling for i9-10900K, even when running Mugen. Sure, NH-D15 or Dark Rock Pro would be better but air cooling is completely viable with this 125W CPU.
 
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While i9-10900K is 125W, it's nowhere near the heating furnace as Threadripper CPUs are, which range from 180W up to 280W. Yet, for Threadripper, there even are air coolers.

IMO, well ventilated PC case, with high-performing (e.g Noctua) fans, can provide sufficient cooling for i9-10900K, even when running Mugen. Sure, NH-D15 or Dark Rock Pro would be better but air cooling is completely viable with this 125W CPU.
Intel is "cheating" on TDP using calculations that don't always make sense at full power. It also depends on how high temps one can and is willing to tolerate while getting top possible performance,
Yes those air coolers helped by good case cooling (which should be done anyway) are perfectly viable but only 360/480 AIOs can top them, Above contemplated 120 AIO is nowhere close to being enough.
BTW, that Threadripper is actually cooking with coolers initially slated for it.
PPS, There's also a need to account for high environment temperatures, it's not same in Alaska or middle of Arizona.
 
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Reactions: Supertroop1501
If unsure, check your case specs,
link: https://www.zalman.com/EN/Product/ProductDetail.do?pageIndex=1&pageSize=10&productSeq=747&searchCategory1=0&searchCategory2=-99&searchCategory3=-99&searchKey=&searchWord=Z3&active=pro_specTab#pro_detail_tab

You should be able to mount 240mm rad at the top.



Don't assume. Read reviews.

Arctic Cooling AIOs are one of the best (if not the best) AIOs currently out there. Often winning comparison charts when AIOs are reviewed.



For the better? No.

Single slot rads (either 1x 120mm or 1x 140mm) are only viable when your PC case doesn't have enough CPU cooler clearance to mount proper, mid-sized CPU air cooler. Those small AIOs are only good in mini-ITX or HTPC builds, with small PC cases.



Why would you consider water cooler? You do realize that both, air cooler and AIO, in the end, are still cooled by ambient air, right?



As far as AIOs vs air coolers go, you won't gain any cooling performance if you go with AIO over air cooler since both are cooled by ambient air.
For equal cooling performance between AIOs and air coolers, rad needs to be 240mm or 280mm. Smaller rads: 120mm and 140mm are almost always outperformed by mid-sized air coolers.

Here are the positive sides of both (air and AIO) CPU cooling methods;

Pros of air coolers:
less cost
less maintenance
less noise
far longer longevity
no leakage risks
doesn't take up case fan slots
additional cooling for the RAM
CPU cools down faster after heavy heat output

Pros of AIOs:
no RAM clearance issues*
no CPU clearance issues
CPU takes longer time to heat up during heavy heat output (about 30 mins)
* on some cases, top mounted rad can give RAM clearance issues

While how the CPU cooler looks inside the PC depends on a person. Some people prefer to see small AIO pump in the middle of their MoBo with tubing going to the rad while others prefer to see big heatsink with fans in the middle of their MoBo.

Main difference between AIO and air cooler is that with AIO, you'll get more noise at a higher cost while cooling performance remains the same.
Here's also one good article for you to read where king of air coolers (Noctua NH-D15) was put against 5x high-end AIOs, including king of AIOs (NZXT x61 Kraken),
link: http://www.relaxedtech.com/reviews/noctua/nh-d15-versus-closed-loop-liquid-coolers/1

Personally, i'd go with air coolers every day of the week. With same cooling performance, the pros of air coolers outweigh the pros of AIOs considerably. While, for me, the 3 main pros would be:
1. Less noise.
Since i like my PC to be quiet, i can't stand the loud noise AIO makes. Also, when air gets trapped inside the AIO (some AIOs are more prone to this than others), there's additional noise coming from inside the pump.
2. Longevity.
Cheaper AIOs usually last 2-3 years and high-end ones 4-5 years before you need to replace it. While with air coolers, their life expectancy is basically unlimited. Only thing that can go bad on an air cooler is the fan on it. If the fan dies, your CPU still has cooling in form of a big heatsink. Also, new 120mm or 140mm fan doesn't cost much and it's easy to replace one. While with AIOs, the main thing that usually goes bad is the pump itself. And when that happens, your CPU has no cooling whatsoever. Since you can't replace pump on an AIO, you need to buy whole new AIO to replace the old one out.
3. No leakage risks.
Since there's liquid circling inside the AIO, there is always a risk that your AIO can leak. While it's rare, it has happened. It's well known fact that liquids and electronics don't mix.



I'd look towards either more case fans, or completely new PC case, with far better airflow paths.

Since choosing a PC case is personal choice, pick what you like, but for good airflow, look towards meshed front panel. Or look what GamersNexus found good after testing:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtyWUAjmmZA
Excellent and comprehensive post! Nice.
 
Sep 2, 2022
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First, thanks for the responses, all are very informative. About water coolers - I thought they are more efficient and take up less space at the same time, but obiosuly I was wrong, so let's forget the water cooling then.

About my PC case - I was buying Zalman Z3 Plus under impression it has good air flow & cooling capabilities. Did I buy bad?
  • So, does all info above mean that my PC case is bad temperature-wise despite it has several fans (2 on top, 1 at the front and 2 at the back) and non-solid walls (top, front and ofc back)?
  • Or does it mean my CPU cooler is simply weak for the i9-10900K? And if it is weak, I fear if I can fit any better/bigger CPU cooler into my current PC case which would mean I would need both a better PC case and a better cooler.
On some other forum I found an info that my PC case can fit up to 160mm CPU coolers, but I couldn't find any official specification about it anywhere to confirm, not even in the case's manual. If 160mm max would be the truth, I guess Noctua NH-D15 wouldn't fit inside my Zalman PC case.

So I see 2 possible courses of action:
Possible course 1
Buying any visible better CPU cooler that can fit my PC case. I was thinking about these, but I am not sure about some of their specs - I post the questions in the bottom table row.

SpecsSCYTHE MUGEN 5 Rev. BNoctua NH-D15Noctua NH-C14SNoctua NG-U12A chromax black
Fans
Fan speed
Noise
Airflow
Heatpipes

Width
Height
Depth
1x120mm
300-1200 RPM
up to 24.9 dB
51.17 CFM (86.94 m3/h)


130 mm
154.5 mm
110 mm
2x140mm
300-1500 RPM
up to 24.6 dB
82.5 CFM (140.17 m3/h)
6x

150mm!
165mm!
161mm!
1x140mm
300-1500 RPM
up to 24.6 dB
82.5 CFM (140.17 m3/h)
7x

140mm
142mm
163 mm ???
2x120mm
450-2000 RPM
up to 22.6 dB

60 CFM (101.94 m3/h)
7x

125 mm
158 mm ???
112 mm
My wonderingsnone - my current onelikely too big for my PC casecan it fit my case? probably yes?
does it have wrong layout?
can it fit my case? probably yes?
isn't it still too weak?

About Noctua NH-C14S - I am not sure if it would be possible to install in my MB in terms of the layout... maybe, but I have no idea. It would probably be venting air into the side wall which is solid so maybe that would rule it out.

Or do you think instead of just a new cooler, I should get both a bigger (and better temp-wise) PC case and also better cooler? Which gets us to...

Possible course 2
If you would thing the NG-U12A wouldn't be enough, we could forget my Zalman case. I would buy Noctua NH-D15 and also a better PC case (probably another mid-tower case would do). But really only if any better CPU cooler wasn't possible for my Zalman PC case.

So here I would like to ask...

Which PC case would be best for CPU temperatures and would fit the top CPU coolers like NH-D15 as well? I would search within 150€ budget if possible.

Criteria for a PC case to fulfil:
  • motherboard is in ATX format
  • GPU is the widest GPU ever (338mm) ! :D
  • one of the most heated CPUs is present, socket 1200
Just so it all could have enough space for the HW, cables and air to flow.

I was thinking about one of these, but I don't really know which would be the best acceptable for me, within app. 150€, 200€ at the very tops : PC case candidates
 
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https://www.newegg.com/p/13C-0005-002A0?Description=twin tower heatsink&cm_re=twin_tower heatsink-_-9SIAADYH270112-_-Product&quicklink=true

You might investigate the recently introduced Noctua D12L....only 145 mm tall, but has 2 towers rather than the 1 on the U12 and U14.

It's a bit cheaper than the D15.

I have not seen reviews of it so cannot tell you how performance compares to the Noctua single towers. Its only a few months since introduction, so don't know if reviews are out there yet.

Don't know how hopeless your case is....you might be able to improve its airflow with proper case fans or selective use of the existing case fan mounts.

There might be other twin tower coolers that would fit in the Zalman. Have not checked.
 
Sep 2, 2022
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https://www.newegg.com/p/13C-0005-002A0?Description=twin tower heatsink&cm_re=twin_tower heatsink--9SIAADYH270112--Product&quicklink=true

You might investigate the recently introduced Noctua D12L....only 145 mm tall, but has 2 towers rather than the 1 on the U12 and U14.

It's a bit cheaper than the D15.

I have not seen reviews of it so cannot tell you how performance compares to the Noctua single towers. Its only a few months since introduction, so don't know if reviews are out there yet.

Don't know how hopeless your case is....you might be able to improve its airflow with proper case fans or selective use of the existing case fan mounts.

There might be other twin tower coolers that would fit in the Zalman. Have not checked.
Hmmm... it seems to have exactly the same specs like Noctua NG-U12A chromax black, but it is smaller which is good as it would guarantee it would fit into the current case. I don't know on which specs I should concentrate, but the same like with NG-U12A, its airflow is beter just by 1/6th comparing to my current cooler. The cooling performance against i9-10900K is something that needs a research.

In my (amateur) eyes it wouldn't give me any guarantees unless there is someone around here who has the combination of any of these 2 coolers with i9-10900K or at least knows how it performs against it. If anybody knows this, please yell at me ;) .
 
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geofelt

Titan
Liquid cooling is really air cooling.
The difference is where the heat exchange takes place.
How well you can do is determined by the volume and construction of the radiators.
Your two initial liquid coolers, I would expect to be of no benefit.
They are 120mm in size, just like your mugen 5, but, probably not as thick.

Your case can hold an air cooler up to 160mm.
The NH-D15 is as good as it gets, but is too tall at 165mm.
An equally good alternative would be the NH-D15s:
https://noctua.at/en/nh-d15s/specification
I would estimate the cooling fin volume to be about 2x what you have, and similar to a 240 aio cooler.
Noctua maintains a list of suitable coolers for various processors.
Here is the list for the I9-10900K:
https://ncc.noctua.at/cpus/model/Intel-Core-i9-10900K-317

Your case can hold two 120mm front intake fans which are probably ok.
If need be, you can replace them with much higher rpm intakes at the cost of more noise.
 
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https://noctua.at/en/products/cpu-cooler-retail/nh-d12l/review

Above is a list of several links to reviews of the D12L . Did not read them.
Just finished the video from my post above - the guy specifically doesn't recommend it for 12900K nor for 11900K without under-volting. I assume he didn't mention my 10900K just because it is older, but it generates heat the same so I expect the same in that regard as well. However, I guess it would be definitely an improvement, especially if with 2 fans. But again, I have no idea how to get another fan - my shop sells it only with 1 fan.

I guess the solution will be in some other cooler if any such exists. Otherwise going down the path of my "Possible course 2" which I discuss in my 1st post.
 

Phaaze88

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Ambassador
my CPU tends to overheat to quite high temperatures up to 100°C if long-term usage
Doing what, exactly?


PC case - Zalman Z3 Plus
What the heck, Zalman? You omitted some of the most useful specs: cpu air cooler and radiator clearance. You include gpu clearance, but the other 2 were left out???
Your manual doesn't even have this info...

Ahem!
Supertroop, you'll have to do the air cooler clearance measurement yourself, or just replace the case. The latter is probably the better route.
While Aeacus did mention a 240mm AIO/CLC should fit, it actually doesn't - at least according to this case review: https://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/6311/zalman-z3-plus-white-mid-tower-chassis-review/index.html
"The top of the chassis has round holes cut into the steel, and there is a pair of 120mm fans installed here. While a single radiator AIO is feasible, the offset of these fans is too wide for standard dual radiators."
 
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https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/scythe-mugen-5-rev.b-cpu-cooler,5083-2.html

The Scythe Mugen rev B is a pretty good cooler in its price range. Above link suggests slightly inferior to Noctua U12S.

In my experience, adding a second fan to a tower cooler yields very modest improvement. You'd buy the second fan separately. Don't know if the D12L includes a fan mount clip for the second fan . Could well be included as it was with my old U12S. Don't expect a major difference.

Noctua compatibility lists suggest D12L is slightly superior to U12S.

So, inference from that is D12L is better than Scythe Mugen rev B.

Question is "how much better" in your specific circumstances.....existing case, existing fan setup, etc.

Is budget a big deal?

You might be forced to choose:

1; change case only and re-evaluate

2; change cooler only and re-evaluate

3; change case and cooler (maybe to D15 level) at the same time if budget not a big deal. You might end up with "overkill", but maybe that's fine with you.
 
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Karadjgne

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PL2 for the 10900k is 250w. PL1 is 125w. After 56 seconds of consistant use, the cpu is supposed to drop from PL2 to PL1. According to Intel.

Vendors have a very nasty habit of ignoring Intel recommendations. They can and will set PL2 as a constant, no expirary time.

So whether or not that's happening exactly, assume that it is. A Mugen, U12S, 120mm AIO or anything less than Big Air or a 280mm is going to have high temps.

Noctua NH-D15/S, beQuiet DarkRock Pro4, Cryorig R1 Ultimate, Deepcool Assassin III, are big air, all around 250w cpu capability. Noctua U12S is 140w cpu, as is Hyper212 or any of its clones. Scythe Fuma2, Mugen, Deepcool AK-620 and other mid level towers are 180-200w capable.

Under normal circumstances, any of the above could handle a 10900k, some more easily than others, as normal circumstances don't cover full core, full turbo usage for extended periods.
 
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Sep 2, 2022
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Doing what, exactly?
Tests with Cinebench R23. Those high temperatures sometimes pop up even during gaming if by any chance I get on 40-50% for a while, but pretty rarely. Afterwards when it comes down to 10-30%, the temp drop straight away ofc.

What the heck, Zalman? You omitted some of the most useful specs: cpu air cooler and radiator clearance. You include gpu clearance, but the other 2 were left out???
Your manual doesn't even have this info...
I didn't, all my specs are in my signature. Still... if that's not what you meant, I wonder what you mean by word "clerance" in this context. You mean I should clean it or something? :D

Ahem!
Supertroop, you'll have to do the air cooler clearance measurement yourself, or just replace the case. The latter is probably the better route.
While Aeacus did mention a 240mm AIO/CLC should fit, it actually doesn't - at least according to this case review: https://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/6311/zalman-z3-plus-white-mid-tower-chassis-review/index.html
"The top of the chassis has round holes cut into the steel, and there is a pair of 120mm fans installed here. While a single radiator AIO is feasible, the offset of these fans is too wide for standard dual radiators."
Hmmm, I will try to check up on that somehow, would be good if true but again... only if the cooling performance got better. As I said, I pushed water cooling aside already after I was advised.
 
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https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/scythe-mugen-5-rev.b-cpu-cooler,5083-2.html

The Scythe Mugen rev B is a pretty good cooler in its price range. Above link suggests slightly inferior to Noctua U12S.

In my experience, adding a second fan to a tower cooler yields very modest improvement. You'd buy the second fan separately. Don't know if the D12L includes a fan mount clip for the second fan . Could well be included as it was with my old U12S. Don't expect a major difference.
...
Is budget a big deal?
So it seems the Scythe MUGEN in comparison to U12S is like I was roughly expecting so now I think that small difference is not a worth of buying. I guess in the end I will try to find a 2nd fan and a fan mount for my MUGEN somewhere. I believe it will have larger impact than another new cooler with just 1 fan again or a new PC case where I would need to buy also another cooler. Also because unfortunately yeah - my budget is limited so I avoid buying too much things when possible.

Thank you and also everybody else for help in my decisionmaking!
 

Karadjgne

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Adding a second fan to the mugen will only drop its cpu temps by @ 2-3°C. Even the NH-D15 is only 2-3° lower than the single fan S version.

Fans do not do anything more than remove the heated air. The heatsink itself does all the dissipative work. The energy is transfered from the cpu to base to heat pipes to fins, it's the surface area of the fins that causes the phase change between the energy and heat. The fins radiate the heat into the airspace between the fins, the fan just blows that heated air away, replacing it and allowing more heat to radiate.

Up to a point. It takes time for that radiated heat to heat the air, blowing it out faster does next to nothing after a certain point of radiation and replacement occurs. The fins can only radiate so much heat at a certain rate.

So adding fans won't magically make a very good cooler all that much better, but can make a miserable initial fan, better.

The Scythe Ninja 5 is potentially a very good cooler, but it's fans are crappy, so the results are crappy. Putting Noctua NF-F12's on it would do wonders for temps.

The mugen is a 180w cooler. You have potentially a 250w cpu. It'll be ok, even good for most applications, but if pushed by 'performance mode' and hitting that 250w point for any length of time, it'll fail to maintain those nice temps.
 
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I guess in the end I will try to find a 2nd fan and a fan mount for my MUGEN somewhere. I believe it will have larger impact than another new cooler with just 1 fan again or a new PC case where I would need to buy also another cooler. Also because unfortunately yeah - my budget is limited so I avoid buying too much things when possible.
How much budget limited? You cannot spend say 75?

I would lower expectations on adding a second fan, but if you cannot spend 75 or more, that may be your only choice. Expect 2 to 4 degrees improvement. Would that little improvement relieve your worry?

How bad is the airflow in current case? I know nothing about it.

Adding a significantly better cooler may be impossible due to height limitations or foolish due to its mediocre or worse airflow.

If your second fan idea fails, all available remaining choices (new case, new cooler, or both) would be in the $75 and up area.

If I had to choose between only a new case or only a new cooler, I'd probably vote for new case unless you know the current case has better than average airflow.

I'd normally lean toward the Noctua DL15 because it is excellent and will fit...BUT your case airflow may be so poor as to minimize its advantages.

Another possible choice: don't run Cinebench R23. What has it ever done for you other than cause anxiety?
 
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Phaaze88

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Tests with Cinebench R23. Those high temperatures sometimes pop up even during gaming if by any chance I get on 40-50% for a while, but pretty rarely. Afterwards when it comes down to 10-30%, the temp drop straight away ofc.
1)Stop looking at whole cpu utility. It is misleading. Look at each core instead.
2)Those are two completely different scenarios. The 3090Ti is the primary contributor for the high core temperatures during games(which demand little power from the cpu) matching that of Cinebench R23.

I didn't, all my specs are in my signature. Still... if that's not what you meant, I wonder what you mean by word "clerance" in this context. You mean I should clean it or something? :D
No, that was a rant towards Zalman for omitting important specs. Wasn't aimed at you.
Clearance, like this:
https://www.fractal-design.com/products/cases/meshify/meshify-2-dark-tempered-glass/black/ (compatibility section)
"Cpu Cooler Max Height: 185mm"
You can usually look up things like this with ease. In order to find the max height in the Z3 Plus, you're going to have to do it yourself.

Hmmm, I will try to check up on that somehow, would be good if true but again... only if the cooling performance got better. As I said, I pushed water cooling aside already after I was advised.
Your current case supports no larger than 120mm AIO/CLCs, and those are widely considered garbage investments, except in SFF, where a decent air cooler is likely to not fit.
An air cooler would be superior in the Z3 Plus, but no one knows what the largest cooler you can put in there is, because Zalman left a crucial point out.
 
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Aeacus

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A bit late to the party, but easiest, and also most beneficial would be going with new PC case. Preferably full-tower ATX, since those have more than enough clearance all around, be it CPU cooler clearance or radiator support.

I linked the best cases of 2021 above. GamersNexus thermal comparison gives good idea which cases have good airflow and which doesn't.

Once you have better case, then you can look towards big-tower CPU coolers to cool your CPU. And also add more and better, preferably 140mm fans to your PC case, to create a good airflow path.
 
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Karadjgne

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That Zalman wasn't exactly a bad case 9 years ago when it was new, but it has major design flaws that can't be compensated for. Such as irregular spacing of the top fan mounts accepting a 120mm cooler, but prohibiting fastening a 240mm. You can put a 240mm up top, it'll physically fit, but only be able to mount it by one fan, 4 screws on 1 side.
 
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