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FX6300 OC cooling.

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Which air cooler would you recommend? I've looked at a few but am worried about the size. I'm running a ATX in a midtower its a 990fx sabertooth. I'm just worried about it covering ram slots

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To make a recommendation I need to know CPU clearance, RAM height and what your budget is.  Also where you live affects avaliabilty and price.  your 990FX has plenty of PCIe socket clearance for GPU so no problems there.

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OK well I am at work currently so I will have to measure everything when I get home. Budget wise though is under a hundred bucks. I live in Indiana so basically i get everything though New Egg

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That give lots of choises.  Top air is less than $100. Just need ot make sure it whatever you get fits with no problems. 


I've put together a list of most of the top coolers and their size / clearance measurements.  You might find it interesting. 

Cooler size comparison 
(Width x Depth x Height looking from front of case with motherboard laying flat)

    Cooler		 Heatpipes     Size W/O Fans	  	 Fans	       RAM Clearance*   CPU-Frt**     CPU-PCI-E***
Akasa Medusa		8x 6mm OD  144 x 129.5x163mm    140mm & 120mm PWM fans     54.6mm	       64.3mm
Cryorig R1 Ultimate	7x 6mm OD  140 x 142.4x168.3mm  XF140(140x25) fans	   45mm		   8mm *2*	70mm
Cryorig R1 Universal	7x 6mm OD  140 x 130 x 168.3mm  SF140(25mm) & XT140(13mm)  45mm	       8mm *2*	    70mm
K2 / Assassin		8x 6mm OD  140 x 128 x 158mm    120mm & 140mm PWM fans     48.2mm	       64mm	    70mm*4*
Dark Rock Pro 2		7x 6mm OD  138 x 124 x 166mm    120mm & 135mm PWM fans
Dark Rock Pro 3		7x 6mm OD  137 x 150 x 163mm	120mm & 135mm PWM fans	   44mm		51.5mm	    69mm*4*
NH-D14			6x 6mm OD  140 x 130 x 160mm	120mm & 140mm fans         49mm	       62mm	    70mm*4*
NH-U14S			6x 6mm OD  150 x  52 x 165mm     + fans		   	   46mm		   26mm		75mm*4*
NH-D15			6x 6mm OD  150 x 136 x 165mm	2x 140mm fans		    *1*		   67.5mm	75mm*4*
PH-TC14PE		5x 8mm OD  140 x 159 x 171mm	2x 140mm fans, PWM adaptor 45-50mm	   72mm		70mm*4*
Megahalem		6x 6mm OD  130 x  74 x 158.7mm	+ fans			   39.50mm	   37MM
SS HE01			6x 6mm OD  140 x 119 x 160mm	1x 140x38mm PWM fan	   47mm		   47.5MM *2*
Archon SB-E		8x 6mm OD  155 x  53.6x170.2mm	+ fanS			   42.35mm	   26.8mm	77.5mm
Archon IB-E		8x 6mm OD  155 x  53.6x165.2mm	+ fans			   48.2mm	   26.5mm	69mm 8.5mm***
Silver Arrow		4x 8mm OD  147 x 123 x 163mm	2x 140mm fans		   45.87mm	   61.4mm	73.5mm
Silver Arrow SB-E	8x 6mm OD  155 x 105 x 164mm	mid 150mm/frt 140mm PWM	   36.9/44/51mm*3* 51mm		77.5mm
SA SB-E Extreme		8x 6mm OD  155 x 105 x 164mm	mid 140mm/frt 140mm PWM	   36.9/44/51mm*3* 51mm		77.5mm
Silver Arrow IB-E	8x 6mm OD  154.6x103 x 164mm***	2x 140mm 1300rpm fans	   46.95mm	   51.5mm	67.8mm
SA IB-E Extreme		8x 6mm OD  154.6x103 x 164mm***	2x 140mm 2500rpm fans	   46.95mm	   51.5mm	67.8mm
TRUE Spirit 140 Power	6x 8mm OD  155 x  53.4x170mm	+ fan			   49.3mm	   26.5mm	77.5mm
HR-22			8x 6mm OD  150 x 120 x 159mm	+ fan			   41mm		   -1mm		70mm  5mm***	   

* add 3mm for motherboard to bottom fin
** center CPU to front of cooler W/O fan
*** Center CPU to PCIe side (base is off-center for better PCI-E slot clearance)
*1* recessed lower fins, the NH-D15 provide 64mm RAM clearance
*2* offest back for better RAM clearance
*3* fins are at 3 different levels
*4* fan clips add additional 3-5mm

If you notice any error or have any suggestions, please let me know. 

Here's a basic guide to case airflow and cooling



Case airflow and cooling is not hard to do but can be time consuming.
Setting up the case for optimum cooling is often the hardest and most time consuming part of a build...  And often the most neglected.

  • There is much more to cooling  than good cases and good CPU / GPU coolers.  Add the fact that many GPU's make more heat than CPU means getting that heat out of the case and keeping a cool airflow to components can be a challenge.  
  • There must be more air flowing through case than component fans are using. If the CPU cooler uses 70cfm and GPU uses 80cfm fans we need 180-220cfm.  
  • Cases, especially those with filters, usually benefit from fans with higher static pressure ratings than stock fans...  "cooler" fans instead of  "case" fans.
    Intakes are typically have more restricted than exhaust because of air filters, more restrictive grills, HDD cages, etc.  
  • I prefer more intake than exhaust.  And don't confuse number of fans with amount of airflow... or airflow with airblow
    • airflow is flowing cool air from intake to component and flowing hot air from component out of case without the hot air mixing with the cool air.
    • airblow is lots of fans blowing air with some of hot air from components mixing with cool air making it warmer resulting in warm air not cooling components as well as the cool air will.
  • Putting fans in case as intake and/or exhaust is only the first step.  These fans only move air in and out of case.
  • This does not mean heated air is not mixing with cool air.
  • Nor does it mean cool air is going to where it is needed.
  • Getting the air to flow inside of case properly is even more important.  We still need to manage where the air flows inside the case.  We can do this several ways; deflectors, more intake fans.. & exhaust fans, removing PCI slot covers, removing vent grills, removing HDD cage, using fans with higher pressure/airflow, building ducts to or from CPU/GPU cooler, etc.  
  • Using a remote temperature sensor to monitor what air temps are is the key to finding out where the  cool air is flowing and knowing heated air is not mixing into it.  By monitoring this we can than make changes to get airflow the way we want it.

How to monitor air temperature different places inside of case:
  • A cheap indoor/outdoor thermometer with a piece of insulated wire and a plastic clothspin works great.  
  • Made up with floral wire and tape.  We don't want anything to short out with metal. ;)
  • Clip and position sensor where I want to check the temp. Make it easy to see what the air temp going into components actually is relative to room temp. ;)
  • When system is working air temps going into coolers will be 2-3c warmer than room..  up to about 5c is okay.



Almost all of my builds now use CPU and often GPU PWM signal/s to give case fans automatic control. This allows the fans to slow way down for most use / load and speed up as load and heat increase the demand for more cooling / airflow. 

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Only thing you should have to worry about is the cooler hitting the side of the case with the Sabertooth, there is plenty of room for even the NH-D15 on there and that thing is huge.

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