Need an inaudible cpu/heatsink..non-clocker. Advice?

Cooling Processors quietly

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Dexoran
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Need an inaudible cpu/heatsink..non-clocker. Advice?

Post by Dexoran » Mon May 17, 2010 12:35 pm

Hello all. Long time lurker. First time poster.

Lately I have been in the market for a silent, inaudible CPU heatsink/fan. I don't mean 'purrs like a kitten.' I mean so silent it can only be heard from about a foot away or less. I have spent countless hours reading reviews for many different brands and products. Unfortunately it is impossible to determine the value of any product due to too many conflicting conclusions. Some say 'this fan is barely audible' while others say the same fan 'can be heard over everything else in my case.'

To be clear, I do not overclock. This computer is only being used for internet browsing and occassionaly some applications that require a little more processing power, such as recording tv and video conversion. Currently, my cpu fan keeps my HTPC between 42C and 45C at all times at 1650 rpm. I can't really say it's too loud. It just makes a kind of low whinning pitch that I'd like to do without if I can. In other words, I'm not looking for 'serious cooling,' just a fan/heatsink that will stay silent at 1650 rpm while providing adequate cooling.


I have an Intel Core 2 Quad Q6700 @2.66GHz HTPC. I should also point out that my motherboard has a pre-installed non-removable metal backplate under the CPU, making the installation of push-pins impossible. Also, my case will not allow anything larger than 120mm x 120mm x 155mm.

Edit: I seem to have made an error in my measurements. The area around my cpu is L 120mm x W 140 mm . And my case cannot be closed unless the fan/heatsink is under H 145mm. Thank you.


Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Last edited by Dexoran on Tue May 18, 2010 1:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Michael Sandstrom
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Post by Michael Sandstrom » Mon May 17, 2010 1:10 pm

Check out the the link.

http://www.silentpcreview.com/2010_CPU_ ... t_Platform

Recommended cpu coolers was updated last month. There are two great coolers that work very well with minimal airflow. You should pick either the Prolima Megahalems or the Noctua NH-U12P. The Mugan2 is also good plus inexpensive but the installation requires removal of the motherboard.

Before you order be sure to visit the manufacturer site to check compatibility with your motherboard.

I have a Noctua NH-U12P that will be installed in my AMD rig as soon as I receive the optional AMD installation orientation kit. The Noctua is very well made.

EDIT: I just realized my Noctua, the Megahalems and the Mugan2 are all at least 158mm tall. What case are you using? are you certain of the needed clearence? I was unsure the Noctura would fit in my Antec Solo so I searched for both Solo and NH-U12P to ensure compatibility.

Perhaps the top down Noctua NH-C12P would be sufficiently quiet.

QuietCat
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Post by QuietCat » Mon May 17, 2010 2:37 pm

Looks like you'll need a 92mm cooler with those size restrictions.

Thermalright Ultima 90: 115(W) X 55 (D) X 139(H)mm. Was a great cooler in its time. Have to search to find one....or I could sell you mine. ;-)

Or if you want NEW, there's the Noctua NH-U9B
95 mm(W) X 71 mm(D) X 125 mm(H)

Those are the only decent backplate mounted ones I can think of a Monday.

Michael Sandstrom
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Post by Michael Sandstrom » Mon May 17, 2010 4:02 pm

It would really help to know the model MB and case.

Dexoran
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Case and MB

Post by Dexoran » Tue May 18, 2010 1:47 pm

I have an HP Pavillion m9340f case with a Pegatron Benicia 1.01 motherboard.

Michael Sandstrom
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Post by Michael Sandstrom » Tue May 18, 2010 4:05 pm

I think you probably have more HS options than you realize if you are comparing published HS dimensions with your measurements. Companies measure HS width and depth where those measurements are at a maximum but the HS dimensions close to the cpu are much smaller. I think the top down Noctua NH-C12P would almost certainly fit. If your height measurement is off, the more effective Noctua NH-U12P might fit. I am putting the NH-U12P in an Antec Solo case which is fairly narrow with an outside side to side measurement of only 8 inches.

Companies that make cpu coolers usually publish lists of compatible motherboards but your proprietary HP board is not listed. You might consider either emailing the HS manufacturer or visiting a local computer shop for advice.

Two Links that might be of interest are below.

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/docu ... ct=3740326

http://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Announceme ... d-p/263103
Last edited by Michael Sandstrom on Wed May 19, 2010 5:34 am, edited 2 times in total.

theycallmebruce
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Post by theycallmebruce » Tue May 18, 2010 5:18 pm

I don't mean 'purrs like a kitten.' I mean so silent it can only be heard from about a foot away or less.
Currently, my cpu fan keeps my HTPC between 42C and 45C at all times at 1650 rpm.
In other words, I'm not looking for 'serious cooling,' just a fan/heatsink that will stay silent at 1650 rpm while providing adequate cooling.
I'm afraid you won't find anything like this. 1650RPM is fast for any fan. It will be audible from much more than one foot.

However, I doubt that you actually need that fan to spin at 1650 RPM to keep your CPU to a sensible temperature. 45C is very cool for a CPU.

My advice is to stop reading and start experimenting. Buy a cheap manual controller (like this http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.13913), and see what temperature your CPU hits with different fan RPMs under different CPU loads. Decide what is a comfortable maximum temperature. Buy a couple of different fans and listen to them for yourself at different speeds.

If your board supports it, undervolt your CPU as much as you can. This single step can very dramatically reduce the cooling required. And let us know what you find!

PS The Scythe Mini Ninja should be able to fit in your case, it's less than 120mm. Your CPU has 65W TDP right? Should be a decent match.

alecmg
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Post by alecmg » Thu May 20, 2010 12:50 am

Take an expensive heatsink with largest cooling area and amount of heatpipes. Preferrably with ribs more apart, not too stacked.
Use the default or 3rd party fan at 400-600-800 rpm (depending on your definition of silence)

...


Profit

I am very happy with my Thermaltake V1 at 600 rpm. Can't be heard from 20 cm open case. And enough cooling for 4GHz Core 2 Duo
Copper fins well spaced and fan in the middle. Perfect.

quest_for_silence
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Re: Need an inaudible cpu/heatsink..non-clocker. Advice?

Post by quest_for_silence » Fri May 28, 2010 2:41 am

Dexoran wrote:I mean so silent it can only be heard from about a foot away or less.

First of all, run sileently it depends of the specific motherboard PWM controller (and so of the motherboard itself), mostly, and not just the fan: a good fan marred by a not so good controller sounds always louder than it could do.

Then, probably the best quiet and not tall heatsink+fan is currently the Scythe Grand Kama Cross.

Regards,
Luca

MikeC
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Post by MikeC » Fri May 28, 2010 8:49 am

The Grand Kama Cross is unlikely to fit -- way too big.

A couple of comments to the OP:

1) Chances are, the heatsink fan is merely the loudest of your noise sources. If it was replaced with a truly quiet HSF, then the other noise sources would become audible -- and quickly be just as annoying as that original HSF. Those other noise sources -- the PSU fan, the fan on the graphics card (if there is one) and any hard-mounted hard drives. It's very unlikely that any of these components would be as quiet as an spcr-quiet hsf; on the contrary, they'd drown it out.

2) Hence, I'd suggest that a pretty quiet HSF is all you really need right now. A quick look at the drawings in the manual of your HP shows somewhat tight space in the BTX-style bottom mounted CPU area. One of the medium size HSF in the recommended hsf list will probably work -- but check dimensions and mounting to be sure. The Noctua NH-U9B SE2, not on that list, is a 92mm fan tower, an early version we reviewed some years ago. It has bolt-through mounting that should work well, and the fan should be decently quiet.

Once you've replaced the hsf successfully, I expect you'll be back for more info shortly. ;)

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