Intel LGA775 Low Profile Heatsink Roundup

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MikeC
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Intel LGA775 Low Profile Heatsink Roundup

Post by MikeC » Sat Jul 25, 2009 1:50 pm


Wirrunna
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Post by Wirrunna » Sat Jul 25, 2009 3:33 pm

Excellent and useful review.
"If readers have any good candidates for our next low profile heatsink/fan roundup, let us know in the forum discussion thread for this article."

Two heatsinks I have recently used and have been impressed with are the Silverstone NT06 Evolution - http://www.silverstonetek.com/products/ ... 06-E&area=

and the NT07-775 http://www.silverstonetek.com/products/ ... o=NT07-775

The NT06 fits perfectly in a Silverstone SG01/SG02 case and uses the power supply fan sucking through it rather than its own fan, result is its as quiet as the power supply.
The NT07 is an Intel look alike but much quieter, perfect for an E5200 that is not going to be stressed.

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Skip the optical drive?

Post by Sunrise » Sat Jul 25, 2009 7:22 pm

I was just out with a friend who had to return his 4870 because it overheated. While discussing the finer points of case airflow, he posed the question "Why can't I have my DVD drive on my desk instead of inside the box under my table?". That was something of an eyeopener for me. Most cases thet have a limited CPU cooler height can fit a much higher cooler if yuo don't include an optical drive. Sadly, I've already orderd most parts for my GD02 build...

As for the review; I'm a bit disappointed that all but one heatsink simply matched the performance of the best stock Intel cooler, leaving absolutely no choice but the Shuriken for 3rd party cooling. I'm not sure about the silentpcreview rules on linking to competing webistes, but (damn, can't post links before having 3 posts) has some alternatives. Noise/height-wise the Shuriken still seems to be in a class of its own, but some slightly higher ones surpass it in cooling capacity at higher noise levels and seem to be equal or better when undervolted.

Hmm. I guess I shouldn't circumvent the board rules by typing out the name of the site I was trying to link to. I guess most of you will be familiar with it anyway.

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Post by Shamgar » Sat Jul 25, 2009 10:20 pm

Article wrote:Stock heatsink/fans that shipped with desktop processors were among the key catalysts that brought SPCR into existence.
I also read that to say, "Stock heatsink/fans that shipped with desktop processors were among the key catalysts that brought many users like myself to SPCR." :)

No surprise to me that Shuriken won. Like many Scythe products, especially here in Australia, it commands a price premium. For a second, third or other person's PC where noise is not the primary concern, an Arctic Cooling would be a sensible and low cost alternative to the stock cooler, albeit with some compromises in noise character and with cooling performance at SPCR accepted noise levels.

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Post by nutball » Sun Jul 26, 2009 12:44 am

Curious, the stock cooler that came with my E7200 doesn't seem to match either of the three reviewed here. Appearance-wise it's closest to the first one (E0 stepping) but has a Nidec fan with specs that don't match that of the Nidec fan shown here, and the mounting is slightly different. The other I have came with an E2140 and looks like the second (G0 stepping) though with a Delta fan rather than Nidec. To my ear the former was pretty decent, the latter bloody awful.

I'm getting the impression that there's a large menagerie of stock coolers shipping with Intel CPUs. It's real hit-and-miss what you get.

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Post by pcy » Sun Jul 26, 2009 1:04 am

Hi,

Two more coolers to consider:

1. Nexus LOW 7000

At 70mm high (including fan) it is taller than the coolers in the review, but only by a few mm.

Compared to the Shuriken, it has a similar design and a slightly larger fan, plus a much more sensible mounting system - should make an interesting comparison


2. The Thermalright XP-120

This is a lot taller - 63mm without its fan, but its still "low profile" compared with most current coolers, and it's obvious it could be squashed down a bit. I use them with a 140mm fan. If nothing else it provides a referance point - aspiing low profile coolers should at least match the cooling/noise ratios achievable with this combo.



Peter

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Post by mkk » Sun Jul 26, 2009 5:46 am

Attention, you are actually reviewing the "Big Shuriken". :)

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Post by obtuse alligator » Sun Jul 26, 2009 7:52 am

mkk wrote:Attention, you are actually reviewing the "Big Shuriken". :)
Yeah, that's the brand new Shuriken which has only been out a few weeks.

There is a Scythe 'CPU Stabilizer' kit which could be used instead of the push-pins for 775. Also, a 120x120x25mm would only add 13mm to the overall height, I imagine both of these additions would improve performance.

Here's another one:

Cooler Master Vortex 752 - 75.4mm tall including the 92mm fan

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Great review

Post by gsacks » Sun Jul 26, 2009 9:17 am

I've been waiting for a review like this. It would also be a nice addition if SPCR would at a 'low profile' category to the recommended heat-sink list. As I've mentioned in two other post recently, and someone else has already pointed out here, scythe has a backplate kit that sells for about $11 at a popular etailer. Would be great if SPCR would mention this in the review, since you pointed out what a bad choice the push-pins are for the cooler. Looking forward to more low-profile heat-sink reviews.

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Re: Great review

Post by MikeC » Sun Jul 26, 2009 9:31 am

gsacks wrote:I've been waiting for a review like this. It would also be a nice addition if SPCR would at a 'low profile' category to the recommended heat-sink list. As I've mentioned in two other post recently, and someone else has already pointed out here, scythe has a backplate kit that sells for about $11 at a popular etailer. Would be great if SPCR would mention this in the review, since you pointed out what a bad choice the push-pins are for the cooler. Looking forward to more low-profile heat-sink reviews.
That backplate kit you mention may not be much better. It still requires access to the underside of the fins....

Image

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Re: Intel LGA775 Low Profile Heatsink Roundup

Post by purdah123 » Sun Jul 26, 2009 8:02 pm

Thanks for the review, I was interested in how my stock q6600 cooler performs against other coolers.

I have to concur that the stock cooler is ok for cooling, but a nightmare when it comes to the whirring drone that comes out of it.

Combine that with the Asus q-fan, and it can pulsate between two speeds making it the most distracting thing I have ever heard.

I replaced the fan with a 80 to 120mm fan adapter and a Nexus real silent fan and have been quite happy ever since. The temps dropped another 5 or so degrees, so that was a bonus too.

The mobo (asus p5q) temps went up, but that might be due to the fact that the fan has closed sides unlike the stock cooler, and the temp sensor is not close to the cpu.

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Post by RaptorX » Mon Jul 27, 2009 12:37 am

Could you revivew the CoolerMaster GeminII S? It should have similar or better performance than Schythe Big Shuriken and it's quite slim as well (<90mm height).

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Post by dawza » Mon Jul 27, 2009 6:32 am

I would be interested to see how a solid copper low-profile server heatsink would fare. Example:

Link

For low-profile cooling, I wonder if there is much advantage to be gained using heatpipes versus a solid chunk of copper. Obviously, a fan would have to be rigged to the heatsink, which is easily accomplished using double-sided mounting tape on the corners of the fan's frame.

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Post by MikeC » Mon Jul 27, 2009 6:51 am

dawza wrote:I would be interested to see how a solid copper low-profile server heatsink would fare. Example:

Link

For low-profile cooling, I wonder if there is much advantage to be gained using heatpipes versus a solid chunk of copper. Obviously, a fan would have to be rigged to the heatsink, which is easily accomplished using double-sided mounting tape on the corners of the fan's frame.
The problem with such heatsinks is the tight spacing of the small fins. They were originally intended for use in low profile 1U and 2U server cases which employ multiple high pressure, high speed, small diameter (60mm or smaller) fans. No fan is meant to go on top; rather, airflow goes across/through the fins from the edge, with the fins aligned front-to-back. In the context of low airflow cooling, such heatsinks can't match even all aluminum designs with fin designs better optimized for low airflow resistance.

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Post by dawza » Mon Jul 27, 2009 7:32 am

The reason I asked is that I have actually used these heatsinks in two builds- one a micro-atx, and another in an ITX. The results have been impressive considering their size- and I know others have had success in ITX cases. I just have not seen an actual comparison to modern low-profile heatpipe-based coolers.

I do agree that the fin spacing is optimized for high-pressure, high CFM cross-flow, but low-pressure top-down airflow seems to work as well.

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Post by MikeC » Mon Jul 27, 2009 8:10 am

dawza wrote:The reason I asked is that I have actually used these heatsinks in two builds- one a micro-atx, and another in an ITX. The results have been impressive considering their size- and I know others have had success in ITX cases. I just have not seen an actual comparison to modern low-profile heatpipe-based coolers.

I do agree that the fin spacing is optimized for high-pressure, high CFM cross-flow, but low-pressure top-down airflow seems to work as well.
We can include one in a future low profile cooler test, but I suspect that under long term high load conditions, they will not fare well with low airflow, top-down or otherwise. In typical usage, where extended high loads are not that common (other than in gaming), they probably work fine.

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Post by KansaKilla » Mon Jul 27, 2009 8:33 am

"Installation is almost a guaranteed exercise in frustration unless you happen to be gnome."

It's the humor interspersed in the excellent reviews that keeps me coming back for more.

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Re: Intel LGA775 Low Profile Heatsink Roundup

Post by northbear » Mon Jul 27, 2009 9:12 am

purdah123 wrote: I replaced the fan with a 80 to 120mm fan adapter and a Nexus real silent fan and have been quite happy ever since. The temps dropped another 5 or so degrees, so that was a bonus too.

The mobo (asus p5q) temps went up, but that might be due to the fact that the fan has closed sides unlike the stock cooler, and the temp sensor is not close to the cpu.
I was wondering how you accomplished this? The Intel stock cooler is held down with clips on the side rather then standard bolts. Any pictures or links? Thanks!

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Post by aztec » Mon Jul 27, 2009 2:02 pm

Alpine 11 Pro should be interesting as well...but as pcy mentions. the LOW 7000 should be one to watch.

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Post by eitheta » Mon Jul 27, 2009 2:25 pm

pcy wrote:Hi,

Two more coolers to consider:

1. Nexus LOW 7000

At 70mm high (including fan) it is taller than the coolers in the review, but only by a few mm.

Compared to the Shuriken, it has a similar design and a slightly larger fan, plus a much more sensible mounting system - should make an interesting comparison

2. The Thermalright XP-120
...

Peter


I just built a living-room PC using a Nexus LOW-7000, ten days ago. In a Lian-Li PC-C37B, with a Gigabyte GA-E7AUM-DS2H and C2D E8400.
Haven’t had time for any real tweaking, though. Not that there's room for much tweaking, inside this tiny little case.

A few trivial observations about the Nexus LOW-7000:

A.) It uses a 120x120x20 mm PWM fan.

B.) It does fit in this case, but only just. The heads of the little plastic pop-rivets that hold the fan onto the heatsink are only 1mm or so from the underside of the case’s aluminum top-cover.

C.) The position of the fan does not exactly align with the perforated region of the Lian-Li’s top cover. So some 30% of the fan area is just a couple mm from a solid aluminum surface. Quite sub-optimal, for airflow. If the Low-7000 were only 57mm tall (like the Big Shuriken), then there’d be room for air to sneak over and into the fan. This alone makes me wish I’d known about the Big Shuriken when I built this system. Maybe I should do a swap sometime. But given what a project it is to remove the Low-7000, maybe I should mod the Lian-Li’s top cover, instead, and create a larger perforated region by insetting a panel of hex-perf metal.

D.) The extreme asymmetry of this HSF allows it to overhang above the chipset’s passive heatsink, and blow air onto the northbridge. Air that’s been pre-warmed by the CPU, mind you, but at least it’s moving air. The bottom of the Low-7000’s fin-pack is only ~ 3mm (at the closest point) above the top of the chipset’s HS.

E.) It uses a PWM fan. With the CPU_FAN header in PWM mode (BIOS setting) the fan runs ~ 1500 RPM (system at idle) and screeches like a banshee. Not horribly loud, but a terrible fingernails-on-a-chalkboard tone to it. Setting (via BIOS) the CPU_FAN controller to voltage-mode instead of PWM made the thing MUCH quieter. It spins a bit slower (around 1250 RPM at idle), but much more importantly, the screeching quality is gone. Setting the CPU_FAN to full-speed results in ~ 2160 RPM – the thing is louder (quite audible from inside a ventilated wooden cabinet, when I'm 5 meters away across the room), but again without the screeching. Just a loudish broad-spectrum whooshing fan noise with a bit of mechanical rumble.

F.) The nasty screeching tone was present even if I removed the lid from the case, so it wasn’t just aluminum resonance due to the very close proximity to the lid. Damping the fan shroud or the HS fins etc with a little finger pressure reduced the ringing tone some, but not a lot. This suggests to me that the source of the screeching is as much the PWM controller as the Low-7000 itself.

G.) The mounting scheme is bolt-through. You attach big knurled standoff/nuts to the HSF’s base, and then run philips-head screws from the backside of the mobo, through a backplate and through the mobo and into those knurled standoffs. Solid and secure, and not horribly difficult. The only trouble is that the final screwdrivering is done from the backside of the mobo, so the Low-7000 must be attached to the mobo BEFORE installing the mobo into the case. Which means that swapping the CPU requires removing the mobo from the case, which turns into quite a project. As I learned, after I built the thing and THEN noticed the E7400 doesn’t support VT, and so couldn’t run Windows 7’s Virtual PC for compatibility with older software. Had to swap CPUs with the E8400 from another computer. So it seems (given MikeC's comments about the Big Shuriken) that the acoustically/thermally best coolers for these low-profile cases are just going to be a pain to attach & remove.

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Post by Darth Santa Fe » Mon Jul 27, 2009 8:01 pm

My E2200 stock heatsink was also different from the three reviewed. It's the size of the one with the Foxconn fan, but it's solid aluminum with a plate like the other Intel heatsinks. It also uses a fairly quiet (although buzzy) Nidec fan running at 1,500 RPM. I guess Intel doesn't care about consistency...

Cooler Master's "standard coolers" for LGA775 might be worth looking at (like this one:http://www.coolermaster-usa.com/product ... ct_id=2805). I bought an earlier version of one last year as an emergency replacement HSF. Mine doesn't have the slits around the fan frame, and it has a copper core, but the design is basically the same. It's not silent, but it's fairly quiet for having a 2,200 RPM fan. It kept a 65W dual-core pretty cool, too.

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Post by Cistron » Mon Jul 27, 2009 11:14 pm

I sometimes wonder how a mini Ninja would handle itself, if one removes a couple of the fins and bends the heatpipes. Quasi a mini-mini tower heatsink.

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Post by obtuse alligator » Tue Jul 28, 2009 2:32 am

Zerotherm CF900 - 77mm high including the 92mm fan.

They also make a really low-profile cooler - Atom 30H - only an 80mm fan though and it looks very similar to the small Thermolab models.

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Xilence Black Hawk Copper

Post by Noli » Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:48 am

The Xilence Black Hawk Copper got an extremely favourable review from xbitlabs so it was a shame it didn't make it into your selection but maybe a follow up mini-review on it could be done?

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cooler ... opper.html

They conclude:

"In our opinion XILENCE Black Hawk COPPER cooler may be considered a new reference solution among top-coolers for Intel Core i7 platform. Not so long ago this title belonged to Thermalright AXP-140 that won it from the already discontinued Thermalright SI-128 SE, which has been holding it for a long time.

Although Black Hawk costs about $20 more, the $90 you pay for it already include a fan and an LGA1366 retention kit, which you don’t get among the default AXP-140 accessories. Moreover, the new cooler won’t have an uneven base and won’t interfere with tall heat-spreaders on the memory modules. Besides, its fan frame features unique LED lighting, which will definitely appeal to modding fans. We didn’t discover any other drawbacks besides high retail price resulting from use of solid copper for the cooler heatsink. So, we have every right to recommend XILENCE Black Hawk COPPER as an excellent cooling solution for an overclocked CPU.

In conclusion to our discussion of performance and features of the new XILENCE Black Hawk COPPER cooler, we decided to award it with our prestigious Editor’s Choice title as the today’s best top-cooler for CPU"

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Re: Xilence Black Hawk Copper

Post by nutball » Tue Jul 28, 2009 10:00 am

Noli wrote:The Xilence Black Hawk Copper got an extremely favourable review from xbitlabs so it was a shame it didn't make it into your selection but maybe a follow up mini-review on it could be done?
Maybe I'm missing something...
The cooler measures 154.5x143x143.5 mm and weighs 1225 g
but that's not low-profile.

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Noli

Post by Noli » Tue Jul 28, 2009 10:49 am

Ok, fair enough - I thought it was top-down coolers but appreciate now that low profile was the priority...

My apologies :oops:

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Post by NeilBlanchard » Wed Jul 29, 2009 2:31 pm

Hi,

The Scythe Big Shuriken is screaming for a bolt through like the one on the Mugen 2!

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Post by sonic6k » Wed Jul 29, 2009 4:36 pm

NeilBlanchard wrote:Hi,

The Scythe Big Shuriken is screaming for a bolt through like the one on the Mugen 2!
I must understand push pins are not good, is it true? Of example I want buy new SCYTHE cooling NINJA 2, but SPCR reviewer said impossible with screws installation of bolt through kit! What do you say is push pins good for application of CPU cooling or must SCYTHE think anew of better installation?

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Post by jOcKeL » Thu Jul 30, 2009 4:13 am

I work on a low-profile cooler review too.

But there is a problem, which isn't called in this review. All Intel-Heatsinks are temperature-controlled. In a closed (test)system the fans of theese heatsinks rotate much faster with high load on CPU. Your measured fanspeeds are attainable only under room temperature.

Do you measured fanspeeds and sounds before stressing the CPU?

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Post by NeilBlanchard » Thu Jul 30, 2009 5:27 am

Hello,
sonic6k wrote:
NeilBlanchard wrote:Hi,

The Scythe Big Shuriken is screaming for a bolt through like the one on the Mugen 2!
I must understand push pins are not good, is it true? Of example I want buy new SCYTHE cooling NINJA 2, but SPCR reviewer said impossible with screws installation of bolt through kit! What do you say is push pins good for application of CPU cooling or must SCYTHE think anew of better installation?
The push pins are probably strong enough for the Big Shuriken, but from what I read in the review, installing them will be very tough because of access. The bolt through used on the Mugen 2 has the threads in the bracket on the front, and the screws come through from the back.

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