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Need help deciding on a cooler


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Hey guys so I've got an Antec P180 case and an i5 2500k. I also have an SLI setup with 2 GTX 460 1GB so case is pretty full. Anyways I've been looking at 3 different coolers, the Noctua NH-D14, the Antec Kuhler 920 and the Corsair H80. The H100 is out of the question since it won't fit inside my case, but taking into consideration that noise is probably my most important factor, what would you guys advise me to go on? I understand that the H80 and the 920 both seem to beat the D14 in tests but I'm wondering how they'd compare when the fans are at their lowest temperature. Also, do either the H80 or 920 have the ability to be controlled through my NZXT Sentry 2 fan controller? The D14 would fit fine by the way in my case and would not interfere with my RAM I already made sure of that. I was just hoping to get the quietest computer possible without sacrificing too much performance.

 

The D14 is 79.99, H80 is 89.99 and the 920 is 74.99 after MIR. Not much of a price difference either way so whatever gives me best performance vs noise would be best.

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Hey guys so I've got an Antec P180 case and an i5 2500k. I also have an SLI setup with 2 GTX 460 1GB so case is pretty full. Anyways I've been looking at 3 different coolers, the Noctua NH-D14, the Antec Kuhler 920 and the Corsair H80. The H100 is out of the question since it won't fit inside my case, but taking into consideration that noise is probably my most important factor, what would you guys advise me to go on? I understand that the H80 and the 920 both seem to beat the D14 in tests but I'm wondering how they'd compare when the fans are at their lowest temperature. Also, do either the H80 or 920 have the ability to be controlled through my NZXT Sentry 2 fan controller? The D14 would fit fine by the way in my case and would not interfere with my RAM I already made sure of that. I was just hoping to get the quietest computer possible without sacrificing too much performance.

 

The D14 is 79.99, H80 is 89.99 and the 920 is 74.99 after MIR. Not much of a price difference either way so whatever gives me best performance vs noise would be best.

 

First off the Nh-D14 beat out the H80 and the 920. The H100 is what give the Nh-D14 a run for it's money, but it still beats everything by just how quiet it is. The tests are not done well because they try to do it in a budget case (with poor air flow). This means the the Nh-D14 won't perform as well as it really can. I have the Nh-D14 myself and I can tell you that noctua for your situation is the best route. However, because of your case not having enough airflow to the intake fan of the cooler, the D14 would have to be mounted backwards to achieve maximum efficiency. This means that your exhaust in the back will be flipped around to be an intake and the top fan will be an exhaust port and the D14 will be facing the other way and yada yada yada ya.

 

If you don't have the desire to do it that way, I would go with the H80 and try to find it with the best sale possible and buy some noctua fans to replace the corsair ones to keep the thing dead silent. The fans included are WAY to loud.

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First off the Nh-D14 beat out the H80 and the 920. The H100 is what give the Nh-D14 a run for it's money, but it still beats everything by just how quiet it is. The tests are not done well because they try to do it in a budget case (with poor air flow). This means the the Nh-D14 won't perform as well as it really can. I have the Nh-D14 myself and I can tell you that noctua for your situation is the best route. However, because of your case not having enough airflow to the intake fan of the cooler, the D14 would have to be mounted backwards to achieve maximum efficiency. This means that your exhaust in the back will be flipped around to be an intake and the top fan will be an exhaust port and the D14 will be facing the other way and yada yada yada ya.

 

If you don't have the desire to do it that way, I would go with the H80 and try to find it with the best sale possible and buy some noctua fans to replace the corsair ones to keep the thing dead silent. The fans included are WAY to loud.

 

Ahh, I had a feeling that the D14 might be the best bet. I was just hoping for a quiet solution that wasn't so huge! But I'm guessing using the Noctua fans with the H80 would affect performance overall, and would add $20 per Noctua fan to the cost of the H80. Cost-wise that just isn't worth it. There's a good sale on the Antec 920 coming up for $59.99 after MIR where I am though so maybe that+Noctua fans? Only problem is that I can't seem to find anyone who's done testing with either kit + replacing stock fans with alternate fans so I'm not sure how that'd affect performance. Thanks for the info though, if all else failes I'll wait for a sale on the D14. Thanks!

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Ahh, I had a feeling that the D14 might be the best bet. I was just hoping for a quiet solution that wasn't so huge! But I'm guessing using the Noctua fans with the H80 would affect performance overall, and would add $20 per Noctua fan to the cost of the H80. Cost-wise that just isn't worth it. There's a good sale on the Antec 920 coming up for $59.99 after MIR where I am though so maybe that+Noctua fans? Only problem is that I can't seem to find anyone who's done testing with either kit + replacing stock fans with alternate fans so I'm not sure how that'd affect performance. Thanks for the info though, if all else failes I'll wait for a sale on the D14. Thanks!

 

I have the H80 and I have to say its not the H80 I hear on full PC load - it is the GTX 570. I have my H80 running on full fan speed because I really just don't find it it too make that much noise.

 

I did replace one of the stock fans but that was really just to achieve a look I was going for with my build. I still have one of the default fans it came with.

 

My Temps:

Idle: +7° over ambient temps (so if room is 25° I see 32°)

Full Load: 50° (ambient temps don't matter)

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I have the H80 and I have to say its not the H80 I hear on full PC load - it is the GTX 570. I have my H80 running on full fan speed because I really just don't find it it too make that much noise.

 

I did replace one of the stock fans but that was really just to achieve a look I was going for with my build. I still have one of the default fans it came with.

 

My Temps:

Idle: +7° over ambient temps (so if room is 25° I see 32°)

Full Load: 50° (ambient temps don't matter)

 

 

What fan are you using in that case? I need near silent if at all possible. I just got married recently and am living in a small apartment right now. No room for computer desk so the PC is attached to the bedroom TV. Since I'm usually gaming at night in the bedroom I don't want the wife to complain (as she already does) about the fan noise while she tries to sleep.

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The H80 or the 920 either one are great choices and VERY quiet. The 920 does not need a fan controller as the software that comes with it gives a nice customize option for you to set the low and high speed temp ranges and then it ramps inbetween. This means you have a lot of control and just have to set once and forget. The H80 has a three pre-set control that is built into the pump. The H80 is a bit easier to install but I think the 920 has better control and BOTH deliver great cooling.

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What fan are you using in that case? I need near silent if at all possible. I just got married recently and am living in a small apartment right now. No room for computer desk so the PC is attached to the bedroom TV. Since I'm usually gaming at night in the bedroom I don't want the wife to complain (as she already does) about the fan noise while she tries to sleep.

 

Well I use this fan (again for the look and had a pretty decent Noise / Air Flow Ratio) with the H80 as well as one of the default fans. Obviously its not the best fan out there but it fit my needs. The Sicklflow fans might be a better alternative tho as they are cheaper.

 

My PC makes very little noise on Idle, even though I have the H80 set to High. Even with it set to High it is drowned by my case fans. At load, the fan on my GTX 570 drowns out everything and is beyond obnoxious. If you are going for quiet build I would focus the attention on the video card and the case.

Edited by Fogel

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Just a heads up The antec 920 might not be the best option. I talked to my guy at Microcenter and he was saying that a lot of people return them and go with the h50. There is also a big problem with leaks, but I blame that on shipping. Bottom line, don't skimp on the close loop water cooling systems. On a side note, Intel should be releasing there own water cooling system soon. I don't know what sockets it will support, but the tubes are a lot bigger which means more water flow hopefully :thumbsup: . You might want to look into the before you make your purchase.

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Just a heads up The antec 920 might not be the best option. I talked to my guy at Microcenter and he was saying that a lot of people return them and go with the h50. There is also a big problem with leaks, but I blame that on shipping. Bottom line, don't skimp on the close loop water cooling systems. On a side note, Intel should be releasing there own water cooling system soon. I don't know what sockets it will support, but the tubes are a lot bigger which means more water flow hopefully :thumbsup: . You might want to look into the before you make your purchase.

 

Here is a nice article about the cooler Intel Water Cooling

 

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