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 Post subject: Big vs Smaller Cooler for i5-6500
PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2016 10:02 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2016 9:16 am
Posts: 7
Hello everybody. I did my homework but still need your help.

This is a list of parts I already own:

CPU: Core i5-6500

Mainboard: ASUS H170 Pro Gaming

GPU: integrated graphics, at least initially

RAM: Kingston HyperX FURY 2x8 GB

Storage: Samsung 850 EVO 250 GB SSD + 2-3 GB HDD

Case: Fractal Design Define C with 2 stock fans (this is a new model: http://www.fractal-design.com/home/product/cases/define-series/define-c)

There are no overclocking or gaming plans at all.

I understand that the big and smaller coolers are being tested on different test platforms and the results are not comparable: http://www.silentpcreview.com/Recommended_Heatsinks

Based on the potential (even if exaggerated) of Scythe Kotetsu damaging Skylake processors and its clicking noise at low fan speeds, I tend to prefer Noctua coolers with their high-quality mounting kits.

Which of the Noctua NH-L12 and Noctua NH-U12S would you recommend?

According to the latest SPCR charts, NH-L12 is better at mobo cooling, but I am a bit reluctant, because the noise signatures of its 2 fans "didn't really blend together, creating a cacophony when both fans are used simultaneously."

Will I be able to run Noctua NH-L12 or Noctua NH-U12S at sufficiently low speeds or do I need a larger heatsink?

Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.


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 Post subject: Re: Big vs Smaller Cooler for i5-6500
PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2016 11:37 am 
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Location: Monterey Bay, CA
Welcome to SPCR.

FYI - the Scythe Mugen series were the only ones affected. The Kotetsu continues to be my first choice for non-OC'd Skylake processors.

As for Noctua, you really don't need to worry about VRM cooling with your 65W CPU. There's enough airflow with either configuration. Usually, the bigger issue is the quality of the heatsinks/heatpipes on the mobo. Either cooler will handle a 65W CPU with low rpms, too.

I'd love to see a user review on the Fractal Define C after your build is complete.

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 Post subject: Re: Big vs Smaller Cooler for i5-6500
PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2016 11:49 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 3:05 am
Posts: 140
Location: Canada
My first custom PC is also with the i5-6500 and I use the NH-U14S, which is really overkill for non-gaming and integrated GPU as well. I'm sure if you're going with Noctua that the U12S would be still be great. Of your Noctua choices, I'd go with NH-U12S.

I also think motherboard VRM cooling is not a concern. My ASUS H170M-PLUS/CSM mobo temperature is constantly at 28-30°C according to HWMonitor and HWiNFO64.


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 Post subject: Re: Big vs Smaller Cooler for i5-6500
PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2016 12:17 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2016 9:16 am
Posts: 7
Thank you both for your prompt response.

Kotetsu and U12S are my primary contenders now :)

I'll be glad to report back on Define C but it will take some time (i.e. the build, not review) because I have to make my decision on HDD, PSU, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Big vs Smaller Cooler for i5-6500
PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2016 5:05 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 3:05 am
Posts: 140
Location: Canada
Based on SPCR's reviews I would've gone with Kotetsu without hesitation, but it's not available at the place I ordered my parts online. Price, weight, noise and temperature performance it beats all other heatsinks reviewed on this website in my opinion, at least in terms of efficiency.


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 Post subject: Re: Big vs Smaller Cooler for i5-6500
PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2016 7:45 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2016 9:16 am
Posts: 7
yakuman wrote:
Based on SPCR's reviews I would've gone with Kotetsu without hesitation, but it's not available at the place I ordered my parts online.

Same here, unfortunately.

Thank you again for your suggestions. Very helpful.


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 Post subject: Re: Big vs Smaller Cooler for i5-6500
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 7:12 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 11, 2013 8:33 am
Posts: 238
Those SPCR results are quite old and while some things haven't changed, there are some very nice new products.

For Black Friday I was looking for a good low profile heatsink at a low price.

I looked at a retailer and the choices below $40 were not that many and most of them looked like poor designs. One had good reviews, a back plate design, used a very common 120*25mm fan size and was on sale for $20 or $25 dollars. I searched online for reviews and I had a winner, low noise with temperatures comparable to some of the not so great tower coolers.

That cooler was the be quiet Darkock LP.

I have never been terribly impressed with Scythe coolers, their price/performance isn't great and despite being in Silicon Valley I can never find any of the interesting models on the shelf to see what they look like. With high prices and fairly comparable alternatives I have never ordered one.

I had previously used a Zalman CNPS8900 or something and it performed well but is no longer available at a reasonable price (this has something to do with robotic vacuum cleaners).

Any way, I haven't got the be quiet yet so I shouldn't recommend it but look around at newer reviews.

One more thing, a lot of the tests use over clocked processors and synthetic benchmarks so with a lesser heat load you don't need top performance. Intel box coolers are sufficient so as long as you do better than that and get low noise you should do OK.


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