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[SOLVED] What mid range cooler for I5-9600k?

Aug 17, 2019
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Hi there,


I have had a look at many coolers and originally intended on getting the Noctua NH-D15S cooler for my I5-9600K. I found it was pretty powerful and cooled the CPU well.

However i want to see if i can spend less money on a cooler that will also suffice, so i can spend some more money on other parts.

I will unlikely be overclocking my CPU and if i do will be very slightly. 99% chance i will not overclock.

I'm looking to spend somewhere between $35-50 ( £30-40) on one.



Thanks in advance.
 
Are you shopping in pounds or dollars?

The case looks to me like an excellent choice.
Bust your budget if you need to for a case you love.
Cases will be with you for a long time.
The 275R comes with one 120mm fan which I would mount in the rear as exhaust.
I would buy two 140mm front intake fans. 140mm fans move more air at lower rpm.
You can buy them for $10 or so.
For $15, I would buy top quality noctua units:
Here is the 1500 rpm unit:
https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16835608065
1200 rpm is the same price, but I figure you can slow down 1500, but not speed up 1200.
Noctua usually includes low noise adapters, but I do not know if these units include them.

Love the blower gpu coolers.
They get air directly out of the case.
GTX1070 is entirely appropriate for a 9600K.
In time, the 9600K can support an even stronger gpu.

For a cpu cooler, there are three noctua units.
NH-U12s @ $60
NH-U14s @ $70
NH-D15s @ $80
Any one of them will do the job.
I have no idea how much difference the $10 price difference between them means to your budget.

Corsair VS units are considered tier 5/6 on this quality list:
They are not dangerous units, but are prone to failure.
Corsair has a good RMA process if you should need it.
The GTX1070 will run on a quality 500psu. even a RTX2080 will run on a 550w psu.
Nothing wrong with overprovisioning with a 650w psu, it will only use what is demanded of it, regardless of the max capability.

I would try to buy a 550w Seasonic focus gold for $80.
This time of year, Seasonic has sales so look for them.
https://www.newegg.com/seasonic-focus-550-gold-ssr-550fm-550w/p/N82E16817151203
It has a 7 year warranty.
The psu is the one item you should not go cheap on.
The descriptor "suitable for gaming" is pure marketing junk.

A psu works or it doesn't.

Where else might you save?

1. Any Z390 motherboard will do the job. Consider the smaller M-ATX format with only 4 expansion slots.
Here is one for $115:
https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16813157858
2. A Samsung 256gb m.2 nvme device will be cheaper@$75.
I like Samsung evo best for performance and reliability
https://www.newegg.com/samsung-970-evo-plus-250gb/p/N82E16820147741
The 500gb unit is still less at $90
https://www.newegg.com/samsung-970-evo-500gb/p/N82E16820147690

The vengeance 3000 ram is a nice pick @$75
https://www.newegg.com/corsair-16gb-288-pin-ddr4-sdram/p/N82E16820233852
 
Last edited:
Aug 17, 2019
70
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As of now i can only do an Intel build.

Perhaps i'll just stick with the Noctua as it allows me to use it for any upgrades because its somewhat of a beast.

I'll keep looking and update if i find anything better.

Thanks for the help!!
 
I like the 9600K for gaming.

What are the rest or your prospective parts?
In particular the case and graphics card.
Perhaps there are some trade offs to be made.


Good cpu cooling starts with a good case.
If you have a Z390 based motherboard and good cooling the intel tuning utility should be able to get you to run at 5.0 on all cores.
I use a NH-D15s with a 8600k delidded, it becomes essentially a 9600K.
I run at 5,0 and have no issues with heat.
I think you could probably do with something less expensive for a cooler, but probably at the expense of a noisier system.
 
Aug 17, 2019
70
5
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Thanks for your detailed reply.

The case is something im looking at still and is probably one of the hardest parts to choose from.

My unfinished build is:

CPU: I5-9600K
CPU Cooler: Unsure
Motherboard: Gigabyte Z390 Gaming X ATX LGA1151
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2X8) DDR4-3000Mhz
Storage: 1TB HDD(Already have this), ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro 256GB M.2 NVME SSD
GPU: 1070 Founders Edition 8GB
Case: Not fully sure but probably the Corsair Carbide 275R Mid-Tower ATX Gaming Case
PSU: Corsair VS 650W 80+ ATX PSU




Yes it is a Z390 Motherboard.
For me a slightly noiser system is not a problem to me at all, i just want something with good cooling :)
 
Thanks for your detailed reply.

The case is something im looking at still and is probably one of the hardest parts to choose from.

My unfinished build is:

CPU: I5-9600K
CPU Cooler: Unsure
Motherboard: Gigabyte Z390 Gaming X ATX LGA1151
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2X8) DDR4-3000Mhz
Storage: 1TB HDD(Already have this), ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro 256GB M.2 NVME SSD
GPU: 1070 Founders Edition 8GB
Case: Not fully sure but probably the Corsair Carbide 275R Mid-Tower ATX Gaming Case
PSU: Corsair VS 650W 80+ ATX PSU




Yes it is a Z390 Motherboard.
For me a slightly noiser system is not a problem to me at all, i just want something with good cooling :)
The Corsair VS is not a gaming quality PSU. It's meant for lower powered, very budget-minded computers.
 
Why not, what makes it not suitable for gaming?

All these builds use it, and they are a lot more powerful than I am looking to buy:
https://uk.pcpartpicker.com/builds/by_part/2cMwrH
Because Corsair says themselves it's meant for office systems with lower power demands. They're newer model is a little better, but a higher quality 550W would be better.


Power Supply: Corsair TXM Gold 550 W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-modular ATX Power Supply (£64.97 @ Laptops Direct)
 
Aug 17, 2019
70
5
45
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Because Corsair says themselves it's meant for office systems with lower power demands. They're newer model is a little better, but a higher quality 550W would be better.


Power Supply: Corsair TXM Gold 550 W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-modular ATX Power Supply (£64.97 @ Laptops Direct)

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Corsair-VS650-Active-Certified-Supply/dp/B078Y32P1W/ref=sr_1_1?crid=E2BBC74DQLBZ&keywords=corsair+vs650&qid=1566220353&s=computers&sprefix=corsair+vs+,computers,149&sr=1-1


The product specification says it is suitable for gaming, as of now it is too expensive to spend an extra £20 when im trying to cut back on cpu cooler expenses myself. The PSU should be ok.


I appreciate the concern and i'll keep an eye out for any better suited gaming ones around the same price range.
 
Are you shopping in pounds or dollars?

The case looks to me like an excellent choice.
Bust your budget if you need to for a case you love.
Cases will be with you for a long time.
The 275R comes with one 120mm fan which I would mount in the rear as exhaust.
I would buy two 140mm front intake fans. 140mm fans move more air at lower rpm.
You can buy them for $10 or so.
For $15, I would buy top quality noctua units:
Here is the 1500 rpm unit:
https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16835608065
1200 rpm is the same price, but I figure you can slow down 1500, but not speed up 1200.
Noctua usually includes low noise adapters, but I do not know if these units include them.

Love the blower gpu coolers.
They get air directly out of the case.
GTX1070 is entirely appropriate for a 9600K.
In time, the 9600K can support an even stronger gpu.

For a cpu cooler, there are three noctua units.
NH-U12s @ $60
NH-U14s @ $70
NH-D15s @ $80
Any one of them will do the job.
I have no idea how much difference the $10 price difference between them means to your budget.

Corsair VS units are considered tier 5/6 on this quality list:
They are not dangerous units, but are prone to failure.
Corsair has a good RMA process if you should need it.
The GTX1070 will run on a quality 500psu. even a RTX2080 will run on a 550w psu.
Nothing wrong with overprovisioning with a 650w psu, it will only use what is demanded of it, regardless of the max capability.

I would try to buy a 550w Seasonic focus gold for $80.
This time of year, Seasonic has sales so look for them.
https://www.newegg.com/seasonic-focus-550-gold-ssr-550fm-550w/p/N82E16817151203
It has a 7 year warranty.
The psu is the one item you should not go cheap on.
The descriptor "suitable for gaming" is pure marketing junk.

A psu works or it doesn't.

Where else might you save?

1. Any Z390 motherboard will do the job. Consider the smaller M-ATX format with only 4 expansion slots.
Here is one for $115:
https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16813157858
2. A Samsung 256gb m.2 nvme device will be cheaper@$75.
I like Samsung evo best for performance and reliability
https://www.newegg.com/samsung-970-evo-plus-250gb/p/N82E16820147741
The 500gb unit is still less at $90
https://www.newegg.com/samsung-970-evo-500gb/p/N82E16820147690

The vengeance 3000 ram is a nice pick @$75
https://www.newegg.com/corsair-16gb-288-pin-ddr4-sdram/p/N82E16820233852
 
Last edited:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Corsair-VS650-Active-Certified-Supply/dp/B078Y32P1W/ref=sr_1_1?crid=E2BBC74DQLBZ&keywords=corsair+vs650&qid=1566220353&s=computers&sprefix=corsair+vs+,computers,149&sr=1-1


The product specification says it is suitable for gaming, as of now it is too expensive to spend an extra £20 when im trying to cut back on cpu cooler expenses myself. The PSU should be ok.


I appreciate the concern and i'll keep an eye out for any better suited gaming ones around the same price range.
Yeah, it does doesn't it. I suppose they have more confidence in the new model.

This was the old one: View: http://imgur.com/lS544IE
 
Aug 17, 2019
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Thank you SO much for that amazingly helpful reply @geofelt .

I am shopping in pounds.

Still taking it all in and I'll be sure to get the Seasonic PSU you recommended.

As for the case fans, I'll get the ones you suggested also, priced perfectly. Should i spend a few extra bucks on the PWM versions? (Nevermind, PWM version is not 1500RPM)

As for motherboards, i could easily downgrade slightly to the Gigabyte Z390 UD which would save me £20. I don't think the Gaming X has anything extra that i need. Will the Z390 UD be sufficient to overclock my RAM to the standard 3000MHz it says it can support. The motherboard says it supports up to DDR4 4266(O.C) so it should be good right? Should just be a case of enabling XMP i think?


As for the CPU Cooler, I may go for something like the the Noctua NH-U14S, a few bucks more than the U12S but has a larger fan. Will it sufficiently cool the 9600K? Also will it leave enough space for the RAM? (On an ATX Motherboard)

Should i use the thermal compound that it comes with, or is it worth getting another one?

Storage wise, I'll get the Samsung Evo NVMe 500GB version, and I'll also get a Samsung SSD 500GB. Along with my 1TB HDD which i'm using now.
A M.2-2280 should fit into the motherboards M.2-22110 slot right?

Thanks again to all.
 
Last edited:
To answer your questions:

Any Z390 motherboard will oc a K processor decently.
The enthusiast ones will perhaps let you go a bit higher if you are a record seeking overclocker.
If there is a feature you want like RGB "bling" or sli capability(not recommended), wifi or other capability, include that in your selection process.
Any Z390 motherboard will have XMP capability to run your ram at the ram advertised speeds.
Any ram faster than 2400 is technically overclocked ram.
XMP is a set of parameters built into the ram. Selecting a xmp profile uses those settings in the ram to run at the indicated speed timings and voltage.
3000 speed is fine. Intel does not depend on fast ram for performance. You are looking at 2% difference in real performance between slow and fast ram using a discrete graphics card.
At equal speeds, ram with lower cas timings is better.

NH-U14s is fine. the s suffix coolers are high compatibility versions.
They clear high ram heat spreaders. lpx is low profile ram so no problems at all.
Less known is that the s versions are offset a touch to clear graphics cards mounted in the first pcie x16 slot.

Noctua thermal compound is excellent, and the tube is sufficient for many remounts.
You will find the noctua mounting system to be about the best.
Simple and secure.

On the ssd, I suggest you buy a single 1tb drive instead of two 500gb devices.
A 1tb 970 evo will not be 2x as expensive.
Plus, it is much easier to manage a single space.
As far as performance, there will be no difference.

You might be better off repurposing your 1tb HDD for use as an external backup device.

m.2 devices come in several lengths. The Samsung 2280 is 80mm long. It will fit in a space that allows a 110mm m.2 device.
There will be differing holes in the motherboard where the end of the device is screwed down.

When you install windows, do not have any other drive attached.
Otherwise windows puts hidden recovery partions on it, making it nasty to ever boot without the second device.
 
Aug 17, 2019
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Thanks again for your detailed explanations.


I'll use a 1TB NVMe instead of the 2 drives, and the HDD will most likely be used as a backup, which i forgot to mention.

What did you mean about the windows installation part, i didn't get it.


But you have cleared up so much for me, i honestly can't thank you enough.

Cheers.
 
Aug 12, 2019
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Thanks for your detailed reply.

The case is something im looking at still and is probably one of the hardest parts to choose from.

My unfinished build is:

CPU: I5-9600K
CPU Cooler: Unsure
Motherboard: Gigabyte Z390 Gaming X ATX LGA1151
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2X8) DDR4-3000Mhz
Storage: 1TB HDD(Already have this), ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro 256GB M.2 NVME SSD
GPU: 1070 Founders Edition 8GB
Case: Not fully sure but probably the Corsair Carbide 275R Mid-Tower ATX Gaming Case
PSU: Corsair VS 650W 80+ ATX PSU




Yes it is a Z390 Motherboard.
For me a slightly noiser system is not a problem to me at all, i just want something with good cooling :)
If i were you, at least ill go to cx series for the budget. Be quite system power 9 550w must be a good deal for budget in my opinion
 
Thanks again for your detailed explanations.


I'll use a 1TB NVMe instead of the 2 drives, and the HDD will most likely be used as a backup, which i forgot to mention.

What did you mean about the windows installation part, i didn't get it.


But you have cleared up so much for me, i honestly can't thank you enough.

Cheers.
When windows does a clean install to a drive, it looks to see if there is a second drive available.
If a second drive is available, windows will use the second drive to place a hidden recovery partition on it.
Windows will go on the main C drive.
That might sound good, but it effectively ties you into always having both the boot and second drive available.
If you were to try to remove the second drive later you could not boot because the recovery partition was not available.
Much simpler to install with just your ssd connected.
The recovery partition will be placed on the C drive.
Later, you can always add secondary drives or remove them with no issue.
 
Aug 17, 2019
70
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Awesome, thanks for the clear up.

Here is my (mostly) finished build, how do you think it is?

CPU: I5-9600K
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-U14S
Motherboard: Gigabyte Z390 UD ATX LGA1151
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2X8) DDR4-3000Mhz
Storage: 1TB HDD(Backup storage).
1TB Samsung Evo NVMe M.2 SSD
GPU: 1070 Founders Edition 8GB
Case:Corsair Carbide 275R Mid-Tower ATX Gaming Case
PSU: Seasonic FOCUS Plus Gold 550W Fully Modular
Case Fans: Noctua NF-P14s redux-1500 PWM 4 pin.

As for the screws and such, they should all come with the case i hope and shouldn't need to buy any extra should I?

Other than that, is there anything else you recommend? (As if you haven't done enough already haha)


Honestly thank you soooo much for the help. So much.


Cheers.
 

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