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Having built my system just a few months ago, I researched the best HS/Fan combo and came up with this:http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835185093
If you can manage to get another 120mm Scythe fan and clip and put this in a push-pull config, you will get as good/better performance than liquid cooled systems at a fraction of the cost and complexity. The only thing to keep in mind is that the auto speed on the fan will result in an error message upon booting with an Asus P6T v2 board (since it runs about 600 RPM). Very quiet and cool at an amazing price. Not as heavy as the Cooler Master V8 (I believe)
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The problem with CPU coolers is that the various sites that report product comparisons also use widely different testing methods and thus the rankings you read about, can vary from site to site. So which one do you really believe being the most reliable? I don't know, but generally AnandTech leaves a good impression. Are they the most trustworthy of the bunch?
From all the reports I have seen, despite their different testing methods, there are two top contenders, the Noctua and the ThermalRight, but nearly always closely followed by the Scythe Mugen and the CoolerMaster. The difference between these coolers is usually small or even undiscernable. What does make a difference is whether they have push-pull configurations, as Oren pointed out. That makes more difference than brand A or B.
I would look at availability of push-pull configurations and price and decide on that basis. Weight would not be a factor for me.
Just my $ 0.02
I can see I have more reading to do... thanks to both of you for the ideas
I looked at the Scythe you linked, and all of the pictures Newegg has linked to that page
I don't find a picture showing how the fan is mounted to the heat sink
How-Where is the fan mounted?
The included fan can be mounted to any side of the heat sink. There are detents and 2 clips that attach the fan included with the unit. I haven't decided on getting a 2nd fan yet, but it would also require a clip (only one is included). Installation is a little tricky, since the board needs to be upside down and out of the case entirely. Not an easy upgrade, but worth the purchase if you're just building your system.
I think you can find reviews on Toms Hardware (can't remember where I saw the latest review, but that is my go-to site).
Also, you can check out Silentpcreview.com and endpcnoise.com for more HS reviews.
Thanks... got the full model number from your Newegg link, so will Google for reviews
Since I am NOT going to overclock, just want better than stock cooling to make the CPU last longer, I think one fan will be plenty
The Cooler Master Scout case I bought includes 3 fans (front, back & top) and has mountings for two 120mm side fans... Cooler Master makes a 120mm fan that is really quiet, so I may get a couple of those to blow air in and directly on the motherboard and components
Since my budget is small (I'm buying components over time, as they are on sale) the price of the Scythe looks good to me... the Noctua may get a degree or two more of heat reduction but, again, I'm going to run the stock clock speed so I may not even need anything better than the bundled Microsoft cooler (my current P4 has been running for several years with the stock cooler)
I'm going to do some more reading... and have plenty of time, since I don't plan to do my final build until CS5 is out and I know how it will work with Win7 64bit
>Installation is a little tricky, since the board needs to be upside down and out of the case entirely
The CM Scout case has a cutout "under" the motherboard, designed so the motherboard may be mounted to the case, and then the CPU cooler mounted to the motherboard... may need two people... one on the back with the screws and the other in front holding the cooler until the screws are set, but should save having to put things upside down
Added... Googled and did some reading
Several comments about size (should be no problem with the case I bought) and awkward mounting (again, case makes allowance for cooler mounting)
With one fan it had very good cooling... on to "best" or "superior" cooling if a 2nd fan is added for push/pull air flow... at stock clock speed, I don't think I'll need a 2nd fan
Unless I see something better before I start building, this one at $37 at Newegg is my leading choice