Low(ish) profile Passive Heatsink for an HTPC

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sando
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Low(ish) profile Passive Heatsink for an HTPC

Post by sando » Thu Apr 27, 2006 12:26 pm

I guess the Subject is a bit of a contradiction in terms, so i'm not necessarily expecting a good answer, but hey, you never know.

I'm looking to turn a PC i'm about to replace into and HTPC, and I'd like to passively cool the processor. It's a celeron 2 GHz system (Northwood), and I'm wondering which heatsinks i'm going to be able to use. At the moment the most likely case options are the Silverstone LC17, Antec NSK2400 or nMedia PC HTPC200, all of which are roughly 3U in height.

I'm assuming that rules me out of using the Scythe Ninja Cooler, or does it?

What about the Thermalright XP-120? Can that be used without a fan, or are the fins too close together.

I'm also concerned that a cooler with a specifc direction of flow like the XP-120 might not work so well passively the antec case where the air has to turn 90 degrees to leave the case.

Any ideas on this?

Thanks,

Sandy Scott

SLOTh
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Post by SLOTh » Thu Apr 27, 2006 6:11 pm

i can;t speak for the ninja but the xp-120 can fit (although barely) in a 2u container so you could fit it and a fan (preferably with a grill above it... (or here at spcr absense of a grill)

garmpe
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Post by garmpe » Thu Apr 27, 2006 7:13 pm

I'm doing much the same as you at the moment so I can highly recommend the XP (or SI) 120. I've done a fair bit of checking around and can tell you for sure that the nija won't fit in either the nsk2400 or the lc17. The XP120 can fit in both (depending on CPU placement).

Good luck with the search.

Garmpe
"I reject your reality and substitute my own" Adam Savage, Mythbuster.

sando
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Post by sando » Thu Apr 27, 2006 11:36 pm

Thanks, thought the XP-120 would probably fit, just needed to be sure.

However, what I really wanted to know it whether it's suitable for passive cooling, or are there any heatsinks that will fit in a case that size and still be able to work passively.

jaganath
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Post by jaganath » Fri Apr 28, 2006 1:14 am

Trying to cool a 2GHz Celeron passively is a tough job at the best of times, and even tougher in a small case. I think your expectations may be a little unrealistic here.

sando
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Post by sando » Fri Apr 28, 2006 1:27 am

Fair enough

IsaacKuo
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Post by IsaacKuo » Fri Apr 28, 2006 3:10 am

I've cooled a 2.5Ghz Northwood Celeron passively (with nearby fan) using a first generation Scythe Heatlane Zen. This Heatlane Zen has inferior performance all around than the XP-120.

You should have no problem at all with your slower Northwood and the XP-120.
Isaac Kuo

jaganath
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Post by jaganath » Fri Apr 28, 2006 4:54 am

I've cooled a 2.5Ghz Northwood Celeron passively (with nearby fan)
It's not really passive if there's a fan nearby, is it? :roll:

IsaacKuo
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Post by IsaacKuo » Fri Apr 28, 2006 6:00 am

Well, I actually agree with you. Linguistically, I really hate it that people call a heatsink "passive" when in fact there is some forced airflow across/through it. Unfortunately, the common usage for "passive heatsink" simply means the heatsink doesn't have a fan mounted directly on it or ducted to it.

To me, it's not "truly passive" unless either the entire system is truly passive or the particular heatsink is well outside the main airflow paths. But what's the point of using language in a way which contradicts the accepted common usage?

In this example, the XP-120 in question won't be "truly passive", due to the nearby case fan(s). Indeed, the short height of an HTPC case could almost act like a crude duct encouraging a larger fraction of the airflow to pass along the heatsink fins.
Isaac Kuo

sando
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Post by sando » Fri Apr 28, 2006 7:51 am

I only used "passive" in the confined sense of the CPU cooler, which I think is justified, as the intention is to cool the cpu without the extra fan, and hopefully not need the case fans to do much more work.

But you guess what I meant, so it's alright really

I reckon I'm going to get the XP-120 and a 120mm fan anyway, before I do the upgrade and get the benefits now (still got the stock cooler - it's probably 3-4 times louder than anything else in the case) and when I get the new case I'll do a few experiments and see if the cpu fan is needed.

stupid
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Re: Low(ish) profile Passive Heatsink for an HTPC

Post by stupid » Fri Apr 28, 2006 9:43 am

sando wrote: ...all of which are roughly 3U in height.
What's a U? I generally think in terms of milli-meters and inches.

pipperoni
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Re: Low(ish) profile Passive Heatsink for an HTPC

Post by pipperoni » Fri Apr 28, 2006 11:10 am

stupid wrote:What's a U? I generally think in terms of milli-meters and inches.
1U, 2U, 3U, etc are all rackmount speak (can also be called 1RU (1 rack unit) etc). Conversion wise, 1U is 44mm or 1.75".

A 1U heatsink is not actually 44mm tall though, they are roughly 25mm tall to accomodate the motherboard, CPU and enclosure thicknesses.
no method, just madness

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