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  • Adequate cooling for a new system - fans, heatsink, water cool, etc.

    Hey guys. I'm working on a new system and I really don't know much about how the cooling works and what is adequate so that my room doesn't feel like a sauna after 2 hours of BF3. I've switched out components like gfx card, RAM, PSU, DVD, HDD, and all, but I'm not so experienced with ground up build and placing a processor and heatsink onto a motherboard. I'm getting a new case and everything for the new build, and I want to focus on decent cooling (but not too extreme $$$).

    I currently have this case with the stock fans (one on side, plus main). And a cooler master heatsink fan. Got all of it from a buddy as cheap hand-me-downs. I'll be getting rid of it, but just to compare with what I'm working with now.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811156087

    So I'd like to not have quite so much noise with the fans, but most importantly, I don't want the room to go from 73/ 74 degrees F to almost 80 from playing for two hours. 72F is the perfect room temperature for me, so 80F sucks. I know I'm pushing my processor hard with current games, but it's always been like this with the heat, really, so I don't guess that has much to do with it. And I only use the PC for gaming, so I don't ever have it on for regular browsing or work.

    I'm wondering if just a better overall case design with enough fans and a good heatsink will do the trick. Or if water cooled is the only way to avoid the increased temperature in the room.

    This is the case I've been looking at. You see it has a lot of fans (3x 120mm fans). Think it'll do?

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811147144

    Here's a CPU cooler (is that the same as a heatsink fan??) that comes recommended and isn't expensive. Anyone have any opinion on it or something better?

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16835233081

    Here's the rest of what I'm looking at for what I need. HDD, DVD drive, PSU, gfx card, network adapter are all accounted for. I want to stay under $400, but if anyone has some ideas on good cooling or otherwise, I'd bump up to $450 if I had to.

    http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/Pu...umber=21590407

    Thanks guys!

  • #2
    Re: Adequate cooling for a new system - fans, heatsink, water cool, etc.

    Cooling the computer components is what all the coolers are for. The PC will produce heat and the idea is to get it out away from the PC. So where does this heat go? It goes to the room, so turn on the A/C or open a window to keep the room cool.
    The Old Guy
    kin3
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    • #3
      Re: Adequate cooling for a new system - fans, heatsink, water cool, etc.

      What kin3 said is spot on. Your cooling setup only has control over how cool your computer's components run, not the temperature of your room.

      There are two ways of reducing the heat buildup in your room. One way is to use A/C or turn on a fan with the window open to exhaust some heat. The other way is to reduce your computer's overall power draw. The more power your computer uses, the more heat it generates. You can reduce the computers power draw by carefully selecting the components that goes inside it. The fastest video card on the market is nice for framerates, but also generates the most heat. Selecting a mid-tier video card that has a good trade off of performance/price/power draw is a good idea. There are also low-voltage CPU's and memory kits as well, although you generally have to pay a price premium for that. Another important aspect is selecting an efficient power supply. I would look for a PSU that is at a minimum of Bronze certified (it goes Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum). Basically, more efficient PSUs will generate less wasted power and heat.
      "Looking for brahs to come fight crime with me" - Unload



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      • #4
        Re: Adequate cooling for a new system - fans, heatsink, water cool, etc.

        I'd buy the Hyper 212+ instead: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16835103065

        It's $26 (only $1 more than the Xigmatek cooler you linked to) and the 120 mm fan and larger surface area should keep your new CPU cooler than the 92 mm Xigmatek.


        I own the Rosewill Destroyer (case you are looking at) and use it in a LAN right now. Very nice case considering it was $40 at the time. You've got plenty of airflow considering all the 120mm fans you can mount: (1) front, (2) top, (2) side, (1) back, (1) bottom. Bottom-mounted PSU and all black interior.
        |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
        TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
        Former 9th & 13th

        Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
        Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





        SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

        TG Primer and Rules

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        • #5
          Re: Adequate cooling for a new system - fans, heatsink, water cool, etc.

          Originally posted by VoodooIT View Post
          What kin3 said is spot on. Your cooling setup only has control over how cool your computer's components run, not the temperature of your room.

          There are two ways of reducing the heat buildup in your room. One way is to use A/C or turn on a fan with the window open to exhaust some heat. The other way is to reduce your computer's overall power draw. The more power your computer uses, the more heat it generates. You can reduce the computers power draw by carefully selecting the components that goes inside it. The fastest video card on the market is nice for framerates, but also generates the most heat. Selecting a mid-tier video card that has a good trade off of performance/price/power draw is a good idea. There are also low-voltage CPU's and memory kits as well, although you generally have to pay a price premium for that. Another important aspect is selecting an efficient power supply. I would look for a PSU that is at a minimum of Bronze certified (it goes Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum). Basically, more efficient PSUs will generate less wasted power and heat.
          That all makes sense now that I think about it. Using the A/C is how I've been handling it lately, but I don't live alone, and it's hard to justify turning on the A/C going into the winter months. Window could definitely be an option.... just have to clean out the spider webs that have accumulated outside the window and pray to God that none come back and crawl in while it's open! :row__684:

          And I'll start taking that into consideration as far as parts go. I've already got my AMD 6870, and from charts, it looks like it's not too bad on power consumption. Certainly not the worst.

          Does RAM really put out that much heat?? I'm looking at the G.Skill set, which is really popular. It has heat spreaders, which I guess is good.

          The Core i5 2400 comes in at 97.5W at 100%. Could I do much better? Doesn't look like it.

          And I didn't realize that the PSU was that important for heat. It is good that this case I'm looking at has it placed on bottom, as I understand. I'll look for those certifications, but is there any particular one you'd recommend?

          And mobo doesn't have much to do with it, right?

          Originally posted by Acreo Aeneas View Post
          I'd buy the Hyper 212+ instead: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16835103065

          It's $26 (only $1 more than the Xigmatek cooler you linked to) and the 120 mm fan and larger surface area should keep your new CPU cooler than the 92 mm Xigmatek.


          I own the Rosewill Destroyer (case you are looking at) and use it in a LAN right now. Very nice case considering it was $40 at the time. You've got plenty of airflow considering all the 120mm fans you can mount: (1) front, (2) top, (2) side, (1) back, (1) bottom. Bottom-mounted PSU and all black interior.
          Ok, I put that cooler in my shopping list! Awesome, thanks for the review on the case. I'll definitely get it, then. Are the fans not too noisy (in a rattling type of way-- moving air noise is fine)? And I really want to know-- is it possible, with the computer in sleep mode, to not have any lights on on the computer? Like the fan lights. I don't want to turn off my PC every type I finish using it, but don't like lights at night.

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          • #6
            Re: Adequate cooling for a new system - fans, heatsink, water cool, etc.

            They're pretty silent considering they are sleeve bearing types (less noise but shorter lifespan than ball bearing). They also spin at 1250 rpm last I remember, so they aren't the fastest but still move around a sizable amount of air.

            If you're putting in LED fans, they should turn off once your PC enters sleep mode. Same goes for the rest of the lights and fans on the system. It should essentially be "turned off". I usually set mines to only resume if I press my power switch on my case (disabled mouse and keyboard wake).
            |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
            TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
            Former 9th & 13th

            Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
            Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





            SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

            TG Primer and Rules

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            • #7
              Re: Adequate cooling for a new system - fans, heatsink, water cool, etc.

              The case you're looking appears solid. The only thing I couldn't see is how much room is behind the back panel as this is key for cable management. Most gaming cases give you good cable management options but just to make sure I'd check around youtube for an unboxing video that might shed some more light on that subject. Cable management will go a long way in your overall effort to reduce heat and noise as a well managed cable system will increase airflow through your system. Another good thing about the case is the top fans which i looked for specifically when I did my last build. Since we all know heat rises, top fans are a no-brainer for getting rid of all that hot air in your case.

              As far as overall case cooling, unless you are trying to seriously overclock your CPU or GPU air cooling is still the most cost effective way to go. There are a few self-contained watercooling kits on the market that have gotten good reviews:

              http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16835181015
              http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16835209049

              Again though, don't spend the money unless extreme overclocking or complete silence is your goal. I personally still don't like the idea of water in and around my expensive electronics and the truth is that with a decent environment (as is mentioned by VoodooIT) and a well designed fan layout you should be able to cool your system quite well. The way I have my fans set up on my Antec 900 is that my front two fans pull air in across my RAM, GPU and CPU while my back fan, CPU cooler and GPU cooler push hot air out the back. Lastly the top fan pulls air out. While all cases are different, airflow, not just a plethora of fans, is important to consider when trying to get the most out of your air cooling.

              Acreo Aeneas made a good CPU cooling suggestion but take a look at Zalman's options too. I love the one that I got and the large heat-dissipating fins work well with a case that has good overall air-flow. They are more expensive but offer great cooling and with that good overclocking headroom.

              More air-cooling information:

              http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...sink,3053.html


              Your RAM choice looks good and you have the option to upgrade if you need to down the line.

              Finally as far as video cards go, that particular choice depends on a lot of personal variables like budget, brand preference and desired performance. There are lots of benchmarks out there that compare all the major players in the current generation of nVidia and ATI. Here's two spesific to BF3 that might help:

              http://www.guru3d.com/article/battle...enchmark-test/
              http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...ance,3063.html

              As well as some generic benchmarks:

              http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...orce,3067.html
              http://www.guru3d.com/category/Videocards/

              Right now the ATI cards seem to have a slight edge in price performance but with rebates that can be negligible. I'm personally a fan of nVidia and specifically eVGA because of their factory overclocked cards, fantastic customer service and great lifetime warranty on most of their cards (make sure you check the details for that info. Usually if two cards look the same spec-wise but one is $10-$20 more expensive than that's the one with the lifetime warranty vs. 3-year warranty). I am currently looking at either the GTX 560 ti or the GTX 570 for my own upgrade. If you have the budget I would seriously look at the GTX 570 and think about the option to pick up a second one down the line for some sweet SLI action. Both the 560 ti and the 570 seem to scale (percent of increased performance when adding a second card) very well with some games, including BF3, registering upwards of a 90% increase in performance making as second one of either of these two cards a great future investment.

              Good luck with your build, I hope everything goes well and you get what you're hoping for. Building my first rig was a great experience and I got some great help from fellow TGers so I hope you experience something similar.

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              • #8
                Re: Adequate cooling for a new system - fans, heatsink, water cool, etc.

                Originally posted by SuperDudeBT View Post
                Does RAM really put out that much heat?? I'm looking at the G.Skill set, which is really popular. It has heat spreaders, which I guess is good.
                No, RAM doesn't put out too much heat. I wouldn't worry about finding low-voltage RAM, the set you picked looks fine.

                Originally posted by SuperDudeBT View Post
                And I didn't realize that the PSU was that important for heat. It is good that this case I'm looking at has it placed on bottom, as I understand. I'll look for those certifications, but is there any particular one you'd recommend?

                And mobo doesn't have much to do with it, right?
                PSU isn't that important for heat, but it will make a difference. It all depends on how efficient the PSU is. Cheap power supplies that have no 80 plus or higher certification will be all over the place in terms of how efficient they are. I generally recommend people to always buy a PSU that is at least 80 plus certified.

                A quick explanationi: 80 plus certification for a PSU simply means that it will be 80% efficient with a 50% load. For example, let's say you have a 500W power supply with 80 plus certification. When this PSU supplies a 50% load of 250W to your computer, that means it's actually drawing 312.5W from the outlet. If you do the math, that's 62.5W of power that is converted into waste heat by the PSU. That sounds bad, but it's just a fact of life that power supplies will produce waste heat during AC/DC voltage conversion.

                So how does this knowledge help with your build? Buying an 80 plus PSU or better will save some heat compared to a cheap no-name PSU that could be as low as 70% or 60% efficient.

                The PSU you chose in your Newegg wishlist is an exceptional unit. 80 plus Silver certified means it is 88% efficient. It's actually so good that you could get away with a cheaper PSU if you wanted to save money, but having a good PSU is never a bad thing.

                Motherboards vary a little when it comes to heat output. Generally the higher end motherboards with the additional phase power will draw more power.

                All this information is overkill though. No single factor makes a noticeable difference, it's only when you take the sum of the parts where you can see some real differences between how much power is drawn from different computers. At the end of the day, the worst case scenario is that you have to crack open your window in the winter :)
                "Looking for brahs to come fight crime with me" - Unload



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                • #9
                  Re: Adequate cooling for a new system - fans, heatsink, water cool, etc.

                  Do you have any spare space in your fridge?
                  |TG-12th| Namebot

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                  • #10
                    Re: Adequate cooling for a new system - fans, heatsink, water cool, etc.

                    And I didn't realize that the PSU was that important for heat. It is good that this case I'm looking at has it placed on bottom, as I understand. I'll look for those certifications, but is there any particular one you'd recommend?
                    General rule of thumb (for me) is to have a bottom-mounted PSU in cases. This means the PSU is feeding in cold/cool air from the bottom of the case instead of all that warm/hot air from the exhaust from the other components in your rig (CPU, GPU, etc). Generally helps with lifespan on PSUs, especially if the room has no a/c during the summer months.

                    As for the 80Plus Certifications. They are great and all on paper, but is of almost no use to the consumer given many brands/manufacturers misuse that label certification. Some brands/manufacturers might only have one or a few PSUs are are actually certified but slap that certification on all of their PSUs. Also, read into how what those differing level of certifications actually mean (specifically what the PSU has to do to meet them). You'd be surprised how much (or little) it says about whether or not a PSU is "quality". I'd look up reviews on any specific unit you're considering before finalizing the purchase. A good review will go into detail about the PSU, with things like: internals, line voltage stability, varying loads, crossloads, etc. I usually trust sites like: HardOCP, Anandtech, JohnnyGuru, HardwareSecrets, and so on.
                    |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
                    TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
                    Former 9th & 13th

                    Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
                    Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





                    SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

                    TG Primer and Rules

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                    • #11
                      Re: Adequate cooling for a new system - fans, heatsink, water cool, etc.

                      Originally posted by Acreo Aeneas View Post
                      They're pretty silent considering they are sleeve bearing types (less noise but shorter lifespan than ball bearing). They also spin at 1250 rpm last I remember, so they aren't the fastest but still move around a sizable amount of air.

                      If you're putting in LED fans, they should turn off once your PC enters sleep mode. Same goes for the rest of the lights and fans on the system. It should essentially be "turned off". I usually set mines to only resume if I press my power switch on my case (disabled mouse and keyboard wake).
                      Yeah, I'm just talking about the fans that are already in it. On my current setup, my mobo has two red lights, even in sleep mode, and a see-through side panel. So that's why I picked a case with an opaque side panel. Anything more than a dot of light annoys me at night. I have a few cut out pieces of sticky label that has been blacked out with a marker over the little lights on different devices in my room. lol.

                      Originally posted by Tarthkin View Post

                      Good luck with your build, I hope everything goes well and you get what you're hoping for. Building my first rig was a great experience and I got some great help from fellow TGers so I hope you experience something similar.
                      Thanks for all the tips. Yeah, I don't plan to do any overclocking, so I'll just stick with air cooling. And I'm looking forward to getting my hands into this for ground up. I've worked inside of my current one, and even replaced a Mac laptop logic board (NOT fun). But I still kind of see the desktop as my buddy's old computer, and not "mine". So that'll be nice.

                      And I actually do already have a GFX card that I just got and put into my current system, and will be going into the new one. It's an XFX AMD 6870 2GB.

                      And everyone I didn't quote, thanks again for all of the info. I'll take it all into consideration and make a decision when I finally get that big end of semester paycheck for the past 4 months of work. ;)

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                      • #12
                        Re: Adequate cooling for a new system - fans, heatsink, water cool, etc.

                        There's only one tiny blue light (power light) on the front of the case, next to the two shiny chrome power and reset buttons. Maybe I'm so comfortable with blue leds, but I don't really notice it. For me, when I put it to sleep, everything turns off. The only light that would be on would be the green LED on the mobo that indicates power is coursing through it. That light would never turn off unless the board was totally unpowered (unplugged or a dead board).
                        |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
                        TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
                        Former 9th & 13th

                        Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
                        Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





                        SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

                        TG Primer and Rules

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