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Cooling recommendations needed

What CPU cooler do you recommend? My specs are this right here:

  • CPU: Pentium 4 D (dual-core) 2.66GHz
  • Mobo: MSI PM8M3-V (micro-atx) LGA775
  • Case: This one

I am looking for a cooler that isn’t to expensive, somewhat quiet, very good, and hopefully doesn’t have those plastic motherboard connectors I previously warned about. Thus far I have read a few reviews, but I don’t always trust those, since most websites tend to BS their results in order not to piss off the person who sent them the free components. Some of the shops I buy from and trust are Newegg, Directron, Tiger Direct (local), Frys (local), Microcenter (local), and sometimes hit up Amazon for stuff. Any recommendations will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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  • Eric Pritchett

    I’d recommend Lian-Li cases. They super nice, high quality and quiet. Depending on which model you get too they can be found at a good price and the nice thing about them is that they are all aluminum cases and no cheap plastic. Their website is at and I’ve been using my V1000 now for a while and it’s been great, but they have many others!

  • I have to check, but do you definitely have intake and outtake fans fitted on that case? Judging by the pictures, that should be a 120mm intake at the front, and a 120mm outtake at the back. It’s a pretty important detail for good cooling.

    The problem with the fittings is the standard fitting for practically ALL socket 775 coolers is pushpin-style. Implementations differ on a per-cooler basis, but that socket does not have any clip points or similar – at a stretch, you’ll find an obscenely large cooler which requires you to remove your motherboard and bolt a plate to the back of it (e.g. Akasa Evo120, which isn’t actually all that good).

    Try not to let the mounting mechanism worry you too much. – just seek out reviews from coolers your local stores sell, and pay special attention to mentions of noise (where one man’s silent is another man’s deafening)

  • I am good with case cooling, I am not good with CPU cooling. Inside the case is pretty much room temperature (22°C). There is 120mm in and 120mm out, air pressure is even as there is hardly any dust inside the case after 6 months. I remounted the heatsink yesterday and knocked down the temps a few degrees, but not what I would like to see. I do realize that the Pentium D’s are high wattage CPUs. I Like the Cooler Master Gemin II, but I don’t know if it will fit inside the case. I found some on for $15, and I have quite a few 120mm fans already stockpiled here. The CPU cooler is the main thing I am looking for. As for Lian-Li, I have 2 of them already. I actually have one of the first PC60’s to hit the market from like 1999/2000. I love that case 🙂

  • troll

    Thermalright producers many monsters like this:

    Extremely silent, the model in picture can keep my own 2.8G P4 cooled to 36C max with a 12 cm fan that spins around lazily in a room that has got ambient temperature of 25C.

    The downside is that any good heatsinks cost a lot, past 100 euros per each. A good fan with good bearings costs too.

  • Pete

    Hi Richard,

    I have tried a few different coolers & fans over the past few years. The blue orb worked well for my Athlon 64 3200. But recently I found a fan company and purchased a few of there 120mm fans. I was very impressed with there performance. The noise is very low and air flow was exceptional. specs (20x120x38mm – 14dBA – 60CFM Fan)
    They have a line of processor coolers which I intend to purchase one of during the next upgrade round.
    here is there website for coolers:


  • @Pete: Ya, I have noticed the silenx coolers, and I think I found out that they are somehow related to scythe, another company that makes some coolers and super quiet fans. I am keeping an eye on them as well. They aren’t all that expensive either which is nice.

    @troll: Ya, I have been looking at the Thermalright Ultima 90 and the 120. Both seem to get some of the best scores in the reviews I have read, but finding one at a decent price is hard. I did find one spot that has the Ultima 90 for like $25, but guess what? They are all sold out 🙂 Figures, I want it now, but have to wait on that one.

  • troll

    Hey, I got an old xps-120 (iirc the model correctly, ancient..) and paid for it 150eur (about $200)… It’s your own comfort you are paying for so don’t be cheap. Mine has been running non-stop for couple years now and it’s still hush hush quiet and the temperatures are unbelievably low. In any case no matter what you buy get something with 12cm fan system that is replaceable. It’s always a good sign.

  • ya, I am going for the best now, as I am watching a few with a couple of hours left on Ebay, watching amazon, but going for 120mm like you said. HERE is one I am considering, but would like to see one up close first and see if it will fit inside my case. It takes 2 120mm fans, and if I went with the Scythe fans that are super silent, that might be a decent setup.

  • Pendragon

    I have just upgraded my system, I have made the move to Intel for the first time since my 486DX100 LOL…

    I know what you mean about the plastic connectors! WTF is wrong with screws?!? Anyhow it’s the way they want to go so you will probably have to live with them.

    Here is a tip, the new MoBo had a nice thin foam sheet in the box. I placed this on the desk, lay the now empty ESD bag on it. This made for a reasonable work surface for building up the MoBo prior to fitting it in the case.

    The CPU cooler I went for after some good advise from the guys at the forum is the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro. it’s a bit big, so make sure it will fit in your case.

    I have only had a quick look at overclocking the CPU but without adjusting the Voltage I have the FSB from 800 to 1160. So the Intel E2160 is running at 2610MHz instead of the stock 1800MHz So a £48 quid cheapo CPU is running almost as fast as top end £130 bad boy.

    Here is the link to NewEgg

    Cool! Well not that cool at that OC but you know what I mean…

  • @Pendragon: You are about the 5th person today that has recommended that cooler, so it must be pretty decent. I am wondering how hard it would be to mod in order to put a 120mm fan on.

  • Pendragon

    The fan mod could be done. Unlike most coolers I have come across the fan is not screwed to the HS. The HS isn’t a solid aluminium casting, rather thin plates stacked, soldered to the heat pipes. There are vertical groves along the leading edge. The fan housing then clips to the HS, this makes for very easy removal. If I were to fit a larger fan I would be tempted to “NOT” fit it directly to the HS. Instead construct a mount from the case. This would remove some of the pressure from the already heavy HS.

    If I were to mod this cooler it’s the other end that I would direct my attention. Having read your previous post about the fixings failing has me worried. I couldn’t get a monkeys about how much noise my PC makes! Given that I like to overclock the buggery out of my system a cooling failure could be catastrophic. I think I will be investigating some small machine screws, nuts and insulating washers…

  • Thomas

    I would say arctic cooling, but I don’t know if the pricing is reasonable in the US.

    They seem to do well with clever, low cost designs and the case a friend bought was simple, inexpensive and very quiet.

    As for the push pins: I’d say the quality of the material is what counts, not the concept. Although I like AMD’s design better.

  • I use a Freezer 7 on my Core 2 Quad Q6600 and it works perfectly, has the plastic clips that you don’t like though.
    Though, I think just about any heatsink would keep that chip cold, the Intel Core series just like running cool.

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