Question Suggestions for better cooling in a low budget

May 19, 2022
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I need suggestions for better cooling.

Case: Corsair Spec Alpha
CPU: Ryzen 5 3600x w/ stock cooler *No OC
GPU: ASUS Strix 1080Ti *No OC
Case Fans ( Intake ): 2x 120mm Stock LED fans in front
Case Fans ( Exhaust ): 1x 120mm stock exhaust fan in back

My budget is around 94$ (1500TL)

In Idle both my CPU and GPU sit around 55°C. Audible but not disturbing sound levels.
In load I limit both to 80°C. Very loud fan noise.
I feel like these tempratures are bad and thinking about getting a CPU cooler for my 3600X but I dont know if it would have enough airflow in the case to make a big difference. GPU also seems hot.
In reviews I found about the case their results are much nicer than mine. Even at %6 load on my CPU I still need to make my CPU fan run at 1900RPM in order to get a stable 55°C.
- Also if you dont know Spec Alpha has no top cut outs for cable management and My 8 Pin CPU cable may be effecting cooling. Though I don't think it can make a difference.

I am open for suggestions but I am very low on budget since I live in a poor country, so some options I think about are;

Lian Li Lancool 205 Mesh + Snowman T6 Ultra

Corsair Spec Alpha + ID-Cooling SE-224-XT

Corsair Spec Alpha + NH D15 with 2x140mm
**but it will make me broke for a month
 

Phaaze88

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Those temperatures are fine. I repeat, 80C under load is fine for both. It's fine, not dangerous.
That you have both cpu and gpu thermal limits capped to 80C... I take it both get higher than that if you set the limits back to default.

I checked out some reviews of the Spec Alpha... some were for airflow is good... some were for airflow is poor... o_O
How well it does on cooling may be hardware dependent.

The Ryzen stock cooler is a type of air cooler called a downdraft. Downdrafts don't do as well with high power open air gpu, plus no side panel ventilation present. When both are true, the downdraft's 'cool air source' is the open air gpu's exhaust.
Solution is simple for this - just go with a tower air cooler, like the 3 you've listed. They don't have that weakness.

How old is that 1080Ti?
How hot does the gpu core and gpu hot spot get when the default thermal limit is restored? [HWINFO can tell you both.]


I think a little more info is needed regarding the gpu, but yeah, the Wraith cooler is no dice in that PC.
 

mossi

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Feb 27, 2013
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Do you have any Arctic Cooling (now they go by Arctic only) coolers in your country? they're a low budget option and their cooling performance is just as good as the expensive brands and they're fairly quiet as well.
Even their very cheap models are excellent.


Have a look for AM4 compatible coolers.
 
May 19, 2022
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First of all, sorry for the late replies, I've been working.
How old is that 1080Ti?
I bought it used one and a half year ago, I am not sure how good its condition is but, I did two furmark runs today after work. This is the 1080p one;
https://flic.kr/p/2nmE46t
How hot does the gpu core and gpu hot spot get when the default thermal limit is restored? [HWINFO can tell you both.]
After the tests I waited for 5 minutes and played half an hour of 1440p Apex Legends ( Which is my daily game to play) After the sessions I took screenshots for both my CPU and GPU from HWiNFO. Results go in this order (Current/Minimum/Maximum/Average)
GPU:
https://flic.kr/p/2nmLBA3 CPU:
https://flic.kr/p/2nmMUjH View: https://flic.kr/p/2nmMUjH



Do you have any Arctic Cooling (now they go by Arctic only) coolers in your country? they're a low budget option and their cooling performance is just as good as the expensive brands and they're fairly quiet as well.
Even their very cheap models are excellent.


Have a look for AM4 compatible coolers.
Only these two deals for am4;

Arctic Freezer 34 eSports DUO for 850TL (53$)
Arctic Freezer 34 eSports for 650TL (40$)

Edit: GPU temperatures screenshot shows black for me so here are the results as a text.
Order / Current / Minimum / Maximum / Average
GPU Temp / 63.8°C / 53.8°C / 80.3°C / 65°C
GPU Hot Spot / 77.8°C / 67.8°C / 94.3°C / 79°C
 
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Phaaze88

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@ReCCoR
I took a look at the screenshots, and:
1)Gpu temperature and hot spot are still acceptable . The gap between gpu core and hot spot is normal, so the thermal paste is still fine.
Temperatures could be improved if the Spec Alpha had a spot for a lower front intake fan, but it doesn't; the 2 front fans are aimed more towards the cpu, so the gpu pretty much gets passed up.
Spec Alpha looks to be gpu cooler un-friendly.

2)Cpu temperatures are what I expected: the downdraft has no nearby source of cool air once the gpu is active. By the time the air from the front intakes gets to that cooler, it's weakened, and not enough to make up for the heat the gpu dumps on the Wraith.



I'd say your first consideration of Lian Li Lancool 205 Mesh + Snowman T6 Ultra was one of your best options.
 
Reactions: ReCCoR

geofelt

Titan
Your temperatures are ok.
Not great, but ok.

Under load, is the noise coming from the GTX1080ti or from the cpu cooler, or from the case fans?
If this is your case, there will be issues with your plan to upgrade the current case.
https://www.newegg.com/black-silver-corsair-carbide-series-atx-mid-tower/p/N82E16811139076
The NH-D15 is an excellent air cooler, but at 165mm high, it will not fit your case which has a limit of 156mm
And, I see no room for 140mm intakes.

A good cooler upgrade would be the newly announced noctua NH-U12L
https://noctua.at/en/nh-d12l
 

Nathaniel_9

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Dec 28, 2015
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@ReCCoR
I took a look at the screenshots, and:
1)Gpu temperature and hot spot are still acceptable . The gap between gpu core and hot spot is normal, so the thermal paste is still fine.
Temperatures could be improved if the Spec Alpha had a spot for a lower front intake fan, but it doesn't; the 2 front fans are aimed more towards the cpu, so the gpu pretty much gets passed up.
Spec Alpha looks to be gpu cooler un-friendly.
This is incorrect. Although the case does not come with one pre-installed, it DOES have a spot for a front lower fan for a total of 3 front fans. I confirmed this with a Corsair rep via chat. Additionally, it has room for two additional fans in the ceiling of the case. In addition to replacing the CPU cooler, I would add two fans in the top for exhaust, and one additional fan in the lower front for intake.


@ReCCoR
2)Cpu temperatures are what I expected: the downdraft has no nearby source of cool air once the gpu is active. By the time the air from the front intakes gets to that cooler, it's weakened, and not enough to make up for the heat the gpu dumps on the Wraith.
This is a common misconception, but is not the primary issue. It's probably not even a significant issue. The temperature gradient between the intake and exhaust air is relatively low. The main problem is that the cooler is simply unable to remove the heat generated by the CPU fast enough.

ReCCoR, any of the tower CPU coolers that you and others mentioned in this thread would perform significantly better than the cooler you currently have. Stock down-draft coolers are pretty much the bare minimum. No need to overcomplicate things; replace the CPU cooler, and if you have money left over, add additional 120mm case fans. Replacement of the case is unnecessary.
 
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Phaaze88

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it DOES have a spot for a front lower fan for a total of 3 front fans
Confirmed. UGH, I missed that.
Thank you.

This is a common misconception, but is not the primary issue. It's probably not even a significant issue. The temperature gradient between the intake and exhaust air is relatively low. The main problem is that the cooler is simply unable to remove the heat generated by the CPU fast enough.
I disagree with this. Plus, with how often it(cpu temperatures 'high' during play) seems to happen in gaming focused PCs...
It's just a 3600X. It's not capable of drawing as much power as a 10600K or similar cpu can do, though most games don't use much power to begin with, nor is the load sustained on all cores, or the primary one. There's lots of 'breaks'.
The Wraith Spire is 'adequate', but easily overwhelmed:
-cooling capacity isn't very high(Wraith Prism isn't much better); the little cooler doesn't handle sustained loads* well.
-open air gpus are climbing in power use, and are the closest air 'intake' to the cooler.
-side glass panels are the norm, when they used to have a fan or 2 nearby the cooler, providing it direct access to room air.
Downdrafts are a bit out of place with the current trends.
The balance has shifted - the points of exhaust haven't changed, but intake has, and there's less of it available to downdrafts.
Tower air gets air from open air gpu, front intake fans and through the top(if not obstructed by exhaust fans or chassis design).
Top radiator gets air from... the gpu and the front, 'cause few seem to bother doing their own testing these days and not try that top rad can get air from the rear too.
Front rad gets it from the front only, if it's not blocked off too badly.

Chassis ambient is always higher than room, and open air gpus can heavily influence the gap, with the space above them having the warmest air.

[*If games aren't sustained loads, then what's up? The high(er) power, open air gpus are screwing with the 'breaks' when the cooler should have a brief moment to cool down; instead, they're still soaking heat.]
"My 9900K sees 80C temperatures in Game X. I have a 240mm AIO top exhaust. The gpu is a Strix 3080. I would like to get the cpu temperatures down..."
Pretty simple to move that AIO to front intake, unless the front panel is completely blocked...

In the current scenario of 3600X(Wraith Spire) + 1080Ti(~300w), and also seeing 80C core temperatures...
Even if top exhaust fans are added, there's still a lack of cool intake air to feed into the Spire to balance it out, plus that cooler doesn't handle soaking very well - that's the gpu's fault for removing the breaks it could be having - best thing is to replace the cooler.



TL;DR: It's not that the cooler is simply unable to remove the heat generated by the cpu fast enough, as you say, but the gpu keeping it heat soaked combined with the cooler's low soak endurance(?).
Short bursts of 95w shouldn't be a problem for the Spire, but sitting there for several minutes or more? Ehh, I wouldn't be crazy about it, and that's excluding from the equation, the gpu, when active, heats up the chassis ambient + the cooler.
 

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