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> Cooling advice for HTPC/Gaming PC
Posted: Mar 10 2010, 07:21 AM
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Hi guys,

I just finished building my new HTPC, and I shoved in there an ATI Radeon HD 5970 graphics card for my gaming needs. I needed to mention this because I am not sure what kind of cooling I will need especially when playing high end games, like Modern Warefare 2, Dragon Age, ..etc, and DX11 games like DIRT 2. The problem is that I foolishly did not do any research for the CPU fans and put my trust in a salesman who recommended the ZALMAN CNPS9300 AT for $100 (in my defence, it said ULTRA QUIET on the box). But the damn thing is louder than my fridge, literally. Now I am skeptical about getting another fan. Any recommendations?

Many thanks.

Silverstone LC13-E Black
Gigabyte 790FXTA-UD5
AMD Phenom II 965 Black Edition
ATI Radeon HD 5970
Kingston HyperX 6GB DDR3 1600
Force PowerBird Series 900W Power Supply
Posted: Mar 11 2010, 07:21 PM
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That's a hard core graphics card, and probably not the quietest graphics card in the world either. Are you sure it's not the graphics card fans or the case fans that are making all the noise? Also, do you have the fan connected to the motherboard via the 4-pin PWM motherboard connector? you need to connect the fan directly to the motherboard 4-pin connector for the motherboard to be able to control the fans speed (lower it or raise it as necessary). Also in your motherboard BIOS settings there are probably a setting to control how agressively the motherboard will speed up the fan based on CPU load or temperature. Many motherboards also allow you to set a "target" CPU temperature meaning the fan won't speed up until the CPU exceeds that temperature.

With all that said, I assume you're using a fairly large case for the CNPS9300 to fit in it (not exactly a low profile cooler). Assuming clearance isn't an issue I'd recommend the Prolima Megahelms or Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme. If height is a problem, I'd recommend the Noctua NHC12P or Scythe Ninja Mini. Again, make sure you use a quiet PWM fan from a manufacturer such as Scythe or Nexus who specialize in quiet fans.

While you're at it I would recommend replacing the case fans with quiet units as well.
Posted: Apr 25 2010, 03:41 PM
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My set up is not too dissimilar to yours. I have the GD01 case, Zalman 9500A CPU fan and two 8800GT's in SLI. Getting the balance between fan noise and cooling required some thought.

I used a fan contraoller, installed in a 5.25" bay eg
You can get 3.5" fan controllers too - I have mine controlling the CPU fan and three case fans.

For case fans I try and use the Enermax magnetic bearing 80mm fans as they are whisper quiet. I drilled some holes in the top of my case and glued one there to suck out hot air. If you don't have enough space you can also use a hard drive fan as they are only 10mm thick.

I also use one of those PCI slot coolers to suck out air from the back of the case. At the front I use two 92mm fans to get as much cool air intothe case as possible. On the side I have one of those 80mm enermax fans blowing cool air onto the CPU heat sink.

I also used some sound proofing padding on the inside of the lid and on the sides where there was space.

It sounds like the bulk of the noise is coming from your 5970 card, here is an excellent report on the heat generation of that card:

I use Rivatuna to control the fan speed on my two cards, not sure if it works on the 5970 but you can use MSI afterburner I think.

Good luck !
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Posted: Jan 28 2012, 05:37 PM
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Thats a VERY good temperature under load for that voltage. Even a really good water cooling system wont drop your temperature much more than 10C I reckon. That temperature is perfectly safe - I personally wouldnt change the cooling.

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