What about VRM cooling?

Cooling Processors quietly

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BrianF
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What about VRM cooling?

Post by BrianF » Sun Dec 31, 2017 5:54 am

My understanding, dating way back to when Intel first introduced the LGA775 socket, was that the placement of the VRM components is no accident: the down firing stock cooler inherently provides cooling for those components surrounding the CPU/socket itself. To this day Intel has maintained this basic design principal.

I'm wondering what happens when we use "tower" coolers (or liquid setups) which don't provide that same push of air past the VRM components. Is it an overstated requirement, or are we cutting into their lifespan (which I grant is probably longer than the boards practical life)?
Last edited by BrianF on Fri May 11, 2018 5:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

CA_Steve
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Re: What about VRM cooling?

Post by CA_Steve » Sun Dec 31, 2017 7:31 am

In an absolute sense, higher temps will cut down VRM lifetimes as well as add a few watts to your power usage (higher temps = higher leakage current = lower efficiency). However, a couple of things mitigate this a bit. The circuitry is designed to work at high temps, efficiencies have gone up (less waste heat = less self heating), and in general mobos are being designed with better heatsinks/heatpipes.

That said, I prefer some airflow over the VRM heatsinks if possible. Either via case fans (especially for liquid coolers) or a tower fan that drops down below the cooler's fin stack a little bit. Look for mobo's that don't skimp on the VRM cooling.

...and most of all, don't buy VRMs made out of pork products.
..the boars practical life..
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BrianF
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Re: What about VRM cooling?

Post by BrianF » Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:41 am

Thanks for that.

Anyone have any thoughts on the Noctua NH-L9x65? Its a downfiring model, but I wonder if it would really be any quieter than the stock Intel branded fansink...

CA_Steve
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Re: What about VRM cooling?

Post by CA_Steve » Wed Jan 31, 2018 7:51 am

Hard to say without knowing the CPU used. But, I would get this model if and only if your case limits you to this size cooler. It's the same price as the NH-L12S, and the latter beats the pants off of it in performance.
1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, Asrock Z97 Anniversary, MSI GTX 1660 Gaming X, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung 860 Evo 500GB, Crucial MX100 256GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic SSR-550FX. 35W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)

BrianF
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Re: What about VRM cooling?

Post by BrianF » Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:24 am

I do like the NH-L12S, but was still thinking about those VRMs. Of course the NH-C14S is an option, but at over a full kilo in weight, makes me nervous. :)

lodestar
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Re: What about VRM cooling?

Post by lodestar » Wed Jan 31, 2018 9:18 am

BrianF wrote:Anyone have any thoughts on the Noctua NH-L9x65? Its a downfiring model, but I wonder if it would really be any quieter than the stock Intel branded fansink...
According to TweakTown it is substantially quieter, even at full speed and a better performer as well (20C better at stock clocks, 14C overclocked).

BrianF
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Re: What about VRM cooling?

Post by BrianF » Fri May 11, 2018 9:53 am

Decision time: A very generous soul ordered me an NH-U9S. From the pics it looks like the fan can be dropped 10mm or so? Guessing that would be enough to send air strait to the VRM bank opposite the fan, but what about the other bank ("next to" the air direction)?

(I know you are thinking "just try it" but this is one of those things once I open it there is no exchanging it :) ).

lodestar
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Re: What about VRM cooling?

Post by lodestar » Fri May 11, 2018 10:29 am

Go for it. You could always add a second fan as well. For full info see the SPCR review of this particular Noctua cooler.

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