Suggestions for quiet cooling for Athlon 64
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Thread: Suggestions for quiet cooling for Athlon 64

  1. #1
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    Suggestions for quiet cooling for Athlon 64

    In my plans to upgrade come a new processor and with that comes a new heat sink + fan. I need something that is fairly silent. My current globalwin I got several years ago kicks out quite a loud hum. I don't plan on overclocking, but I still need something that keeps my CPU really cool. I plan on getting a Athlon 64 FX CPU assuming the price has come down some by the time of my upgrade which will be several months later. Since it will be a little while before upgrading, some good companies that make fans/heatsinks would be helpful as well. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Thermal Right XP-90 or XP-120 or Zalman 7000Cu/Al or 7700Cu/Al. The XP-90 use any 92mm and the XP-120 uses any 120mm fan. They all cool VERY good and can be run VERY quiet (even when overclocking). The Zalman 7700 is a monster and is a tough fit on most motherboards and cases. The XP-90 is probably the best overall for size, weight, cost, looks, fit, mounting, and cooling.

    I'd get an Athlon 64 3500+ 90nm core. These things are rated for only 67w and with Cool-n-Quiet you can let it clock itself down to as low as 1Ghz at only 1.05v (from 2.2Ghz and 1.4v) when not under load. Most BIOSes also can controll the fan speeds. Even a retail heatsink can be quiet if you are not overclocking. I've also heard they can run pretty good most of the time at 1.2v at stock speed, but you likely can not use C&Q then.
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  3. #3
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    Thanks for the info. From reviews the Thermalright sinks look like 2 exellent heat sinks. They are now my main considerations (of course I'm still looking. I've have to wait and see which motherboard I get so I'll know how much room I have to work with. Any suggestions on fans to go with those?

  4. #4
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    Well, what I use both on my A64 3200+ and on my Athlon XP 3200+ is a ThermalTake SilentBoost, but with a Papst 12 dBA fan instead of the Panaflo supplied.

    Cools more than enough (about twice as well as generic aluminium heatsinks) and, you know, it's only 12 dBA. You can't even hear it.

    Thing is, those huge heatsinks do look cool, but... for noise level, low speed 80mm fans are the current sweet spot. Go any higher or any lower, and you only get more dBA per cfm.

    In a nutshell, it's not as much about heatsinks as about fans: what you need is a good low speed 80mm fan. From that constraint you choose a heatsink which still does well with that fan. That means copper and lots of surface, hence lots of fins. (Heatpipes are no substitute for lots of surface, btw.)

    In my case, I picked the SilentBoost, but I suppose that any good 80mm copper heatsink would do just as fine. You have a lot of choice there.

    For example, if you really want to play it safe, you could get a ThermalTake Polo 735 instead:

    http://www.thermaltake.com/coolers/c...35/polo735.htm

    It actually has almost 50% more fins and surface than the SilentBoost, so that ought to give you enough cooling even on a FX-55.

    Or if you want to go for the heatpipe hype instead, try the ThermalTake PIPE101:

    http://www.thermaltake.com/coolers/c...01/pipe101.htm

    On the plus side, it can also take 92mm fans. So if in the future you decide "screw silence, I want to overclock the hell out of this CPU", you can always put a medium or high speed 92mm fan on it.

    Again, you have quite a bit of choice there. I only use ThermalTake as an example. I'm sure you could find equally good heatsinks made by other companies.

    But again, this all applies if noise is _THE_ priority, and all else doesn't matter. If looks or overclocking are the priority, well, then something else may serve your needs better.

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    My XP-120 and Vantec Silent 120mm fan cool well and are silent as the name implies. If the specs on the Vantec fan are correct, then it draws less than 1w of power. Your typical 80mm 32cfm fan eats about 2.1w of power. The Vantec fan consumes significantly less power (not that a watt matters, but it is the difference between being forced to use a 4-pin molex connector or plugging the fan directly into the header on your motherboard), is quieter and pushes roughly the same amount of air as a regular speed 2.1w 80mm fan.
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    Most fan headers can handle 6w. You can also get some VERY quiet 92mm and 120mm fans, but most will need a fan controller or a motherboard that can adjust the fan down lower to get into that noise level.

    But really most good heatsinks with a low RPM fan will cool an Athlon64 90nm chip pretty easy. I just read a reveiw on another promising looking heatsink, the Cooler Master Hyper 48. It comes with a Delta 92mm fan rated for only 18.5db. It is a monster though at over 850g.

    http://www.insanetek.com/index.php?page=cmhyper48

    considering 5 years ago, 35-45db was acceptable, I think anything under 25db is good and anything under 20db is great.
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    Thanks for the more suggestions. While quietness is a priority keeping my CPU as cool as possible is a bigger priority. My current system has a Globalwin FOP-32 if I remember correctly which is quite loud. Back then I just wanted ultra cooling. Mainly I just want something that won't keep me awake at night when I leave it on to perform that long task or to download that massive file. This is since my computer is close to my bed.

  8. #8
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    Hey I love my GlobalWin Fop32-1. It had a noisy 36db 60mm fan. I bent the fins out to fit a 30db 80mm fan and still use it to this day, but now on an AthlonXP 1800+ (Tbread rev A) overclocked to 1.833Ghz. Even though it is a solid aluminum heatsink from about 5 years ago, My XP runs at about 50'C full load. The FOP-38 were the really noisy ones with the Delta 38, which ran something like 48db (16x louder)!

    That one I linked to above looked pretty good. 18db is VERY quiet and it managed to keep a 3.5Ghz P4 Prescot to about 56'C. That is about 110w of CPU. It should keep an AthlonXP under 50'C pretty easy. Personnally I'd just get the Athlon64 3500+ 90nm core as it is not that much slower, costs much less and only generates 67w. It's your money. Of course for those prices, you might just water cool. You can get really good kits for around $250.
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    Dan W, well, I guess it's all relative. For me, even 20 dBA near my bed would keep me up at night. Hence, my recommendations tend to be the most extreme on this forum.

    E.g., when I say that 120mm fans are louder, bear in mind that I mean as in "but a good 120mm one is 18 dBA, while with a good 80mm HSF you can go as low as 12 dBA." Whether you too want to go to such extremes, well, that's for you to choose.

    But to get back on the topic of cooling, first of all, from my experience any _good_ copper heatsink will cool a lot better than aluminum ones. Not only because of the heat-conductive properties of copper, but also because they tend to have more fins and thus more surface. A good copper heatsink with lots of fins, can actually keep the CPU cooler on half the airflow.

    I.e., if you did well with the GlobalWin, a SilentBoost (or again any other good copper HSF with lots of fins) won't do any worse even on a low speed fan. And because of the lower speed fan will collect less dust too.

    Point in case, mine keeps my A64 3200+ idling at around 43C in Windows, or 45C in the BIOS, _without_ Cool'n'Quiet, and on 30C ambient air. Or to put it otherwise, the computer didn't overheat even with a closed case in August, after some 12 hour gaming marathons. Admittedly, though, with good case ventilation.

    Or you can get peace of mind by doing what Todd suggests: get a fan controller. And maybe also a good fan. For example, if you go with a 92mm fan, the Papst 3412/NGL does 23 dBA at 61 m/h ( 35,9 cfm ) and 1950 RPM. Or with an 80mm fan you could get the Papst 8412/NGME, which is 26 dBA at 58 m/h ( 34,1 cfm ) and 2600 RPM. With a fan controller you can run them at 5V when you need silence (e.g., for that late night download), or spin them up to full speed if you ever need that kind of massive cooling.

  10. #10
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    After looking around, and from the recommendations I'm now thinking about a ThermalTake PIPE101 with the ThermalTake 90mm Silent Cat fan. It seems to push a lot of air and still keep somewhat quiet at a rated 21db, which is good for the amount of air it moves. Of course I'll wait until final time to do my upgrade/new computer so by then maybe something better will be out.

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    While the heatsink is good, eh, I wouldn't take ThermalTake's noise (or airflow) figures for their fans anywhere near seriously. They seem to pull some numbers completely out of the ***. And I mean far better than even what the fan's manufacturer claims.

    (They don't actually manufacture those fans, or generally do anything other than put their own sticker on them.)

    E.g., most people seem to still think SilentBoost=Panaflo. Even then, bear in mind that the numbers ThermalTake claimed were surrealistic, compared to what the original Panaflo fan's data was. According to Panasonic itself (the manufacturer of the Panaflo series), the FBL08A12M is a _28_ dBA fan! ThermalTake's 21 dBA claim for it is, simply put, fraud.

    To make it worse, their cfm claim is a fraud too.

    And it's a real sad fraud too, because it's a case of some clueless idiots ruining a good fan. Those funny slits they did in the case do _not_ serve to draw in extra air, and thus support their larger CFM claim. Au contraire, they let air escape: think centrifugal (radial) fan. And you can see how bad it is when a 2050 RPM papst fan on it actually cools better than that 2450 RPM ThermalTake sells.

    Except then they switched to a cheaper and even noisier Everflow instead, and still kept the 21 dBA lie.

    And that long sad tale of fraud and idiocy, is the tale of the fan they now call the "SilentCat 80mm".

    So, well, I hope you'll understand if I could bet that the 90mm one is a similar fraud. There is _no_ fan, either 80mm or 92mm which does 21 dBA at 2500 RPM. Not Papst, not Panaflo, not _any_ fan.

    Edit: to give you an idea, the closest Panaflo 92mm fan in terms of RPM is rated 30 dBA. I'd bet ThermalTake did the same stunt as with the 80mm one: took that fan, cut some retarded slits in the case, and claimed 21 dBA just because marketting liked that number.

    Personally I'd say screw ThermalTake's fans, and just get a Papst or Panaflo. At least those give you the real numbers.
    Last edited by Moraelin v2.0; December 16th, 2004 at 10:28 PM.

  12. #12
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    Ahh, I thought Thermaltake was more reputable than that. How about the Vantec stealth line? I see someone mentioned them and I was looking at the 90mm one of those too

  13. #13
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    To be honest, I have no idea about Vantec. I didn't even know they manufactured fans.

    The only Vantec "Stealth" I know of is their PSU, which I've mentioned in the other thread. Which is a very very noisy PSU, but it can be modded to run with two slow Papst fans instead of the noise monsters it has by default. Bringing it down to a neat 15 dBA total.

    (Or Panaflo, if you prefer those. In fact, it's probably easier, since the Panaflo series does have a 15mm thin fan, while in Papst's case that would mean mounting one on the outside of the PSU.)

    Dunno, personally I'd say do get the ThermalTake heatsink, since that _is_ one think ThermalTake does well. Then, dunno, just get a good Panaflo or Papst fan for it, whichever you prefer.

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