Hello, I wanted to create a thread were users can discuss and recommend the best: -CPU Air Cooling Heat Sink(s), GPU Air Cooling Heat Sinks, Vreg or Mosfet Air Cooling Heat Sinks, etc -Fans -Mounting Techniques -Cost which are shared among users. Not all what to water cool their PCs nor do they want to spend countless hours trying to google reviews on what heatsink and fan combo to buy. There are some who: A. Want the best HSF combo regardless of noise (to a degree of couse!) B. Want the best HSF combo that offers the least amount of noise C. The best HS that doesn't necessarily need a fan. However, can benefit from good case fans. D. What ever hasn't been said in A, B or C I'll start off with one particular review that uses a up to 125W heat load for AMD and 150W heat load for Intel based results using several heatsinks you should already know about. The results are found here. CPU HEATSINKS Also, I wanted to provide you a few pics of some heat sinks commonly used and or popular: Thermalright Archon Thermalright VenomousX Owners overclocking101 Noctua NH-U12P Owners Duffman hayder.master Ultra 120 Extreme Owners: exodusprime1337 DjJakl Weer Yukikaze craigwhiteside Ultra 120 Owners King Wookie G-wiz Thor's Hammer S126384 Owners sneekypeet Xigmatek Dark Knight Owners ShadowFold S1284EE (not the Dark Knight) sneekypeet frankie827 Xigmatek Achilles S1284S Owners randomflip Psychoholic Xigmatek Red Scorpion W/ Socket 1366 crossbow kit. sneekypeet Xigmatek HDT-S1283 (also showing the underside) Owners: Kursah DonInKansas MRCL kyle2020 p_o_s_pc sneekypeet True Black Owners Lordbollo True 120 (IE Regular one, not in Black) Arctucas True 120 (IE:Regular one, not in Black) warup89 (IE:Regular one, not in Black) True Copper ZeroTherm FZ120 (also showing the underside) CoolMaster V8 (hmm, I wonder how well this works without a fan??) Owners Castiel _jM mep916 and many others... LARGE CPU HEATSINKS The few HS's I found that appear to work without the fan can be found below. I am sure there are plenty other HS's (Heat Sinks) out there that can be used without a fan. However, it's better to research their performs 1st before buying. Either through this thread (hopefully users will tell of their experience with such HS's) or through some sort of review. Thermalright Silver Arrow (replaces Thermalright IFX-14) Prolimatech megahalems Rev. B Owners Krony Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme Artic Cooling Freezer Xtreme Owners 3dsage erixx Sunbeam Tuniq Tower Coolmaster Hyper Z600 Owners mlee49 (watercooling now) Zalman CNPS9700 Owners TRIPTEX_MTL and many others... MOUNTING HARDWARE AND BACKPLATES However, before you install a HSF combo it's typically a good idea to use some sort of backplate. From what I've learned, a good backplate should prevent the motherboard from bowing when you are trying to obtain the best contact between the IHS of the CPU and HS. Below are a few back plates (there are others). LGA 775RM LGA775 Bolt thru Kit LGA1366 Bolt thru kit AM2 Bolt Thru Kit LGA 1155 is compatible with LGA 1156 LGA 1366, etc Xigmatek Crossbow ACK-17753 for the LGA775:HDT-D1264, HDT-D1284, Achilles S1284, HDT-SD964 Xigmatek Crossbow ACK-17751 for the LGA775: HDT-S963, HDT-S1283, RED SCORPION-S1283 Xigmatek Crossbow ACK-17754 for AMD CPU and original clip with one hole and many others... Now these kits do come with mounting hardware. However depending on what HS you use you may or may not need to use the mounting hardware. Furthermore, depending on what HS you buy they may come with their own backplate/mounting hardware. Check what accessories come with your HS before you buy. LGA 1155 MOUNTING HARDWARE Remeber, 1155 is directly compatible with 1156 so you don't need another mounting hardware kit if you are currently using 1156. It is possible to get LGA 775 working with a 1156 however, it takes some modifying. And, you still have to buy a 1156 mounting hardware kit. This is only useful when you have a mounting "Top" bracket that will work well with whatever HS/waterblock you still want to use. For those occasions where you want to keep an existing cooling solution. In any case below are some 1155 compatible mounting hardware kits: Thermalright Noctua Xigmatek GPU HEATSINKS This area of PC cooling can be a little tricky. With GPU cooling, you have to also maintain active cooling with the ram ICs, mosfets and/or vregs. When choosing a after market GPU cooler you also have to research if it comes with the necessary hardware to cool those items. Furthermore, there are so many different vga card configurations you have to make absolutely sure that the GPU cooler and hardware is specifically designed for your video card. Once this has been determined you then may need to seek out website reviews to determine what kind of performance is possible over OEM HSF designs before making your purchase. Let's not kid ourselves, OEM HSF vga coolers are very good. Furthermore, they do allow fan speed control via drivers which may/may not be the case if you go with after market cooling. In some cases all that an OEM HSF needs is a quick lap (sanding down) of the OEM HS to remove any imperfections and/or drill marks and re-apply thermal compound. So, in cases like this an after market cooler may not bee needed. You have to weigh your options carefully when going with a after market vga cooler. And, it is imperative that you have proper PC Case Cooling. As most after market vga cooling solutions don't ventilate heat out of the case. Not only that, but you want to make sure there is some sort of active cooling with mosfets/vregs and ram IC's of your video card. So good air circulation in your PC is a most. However, having read this and you are still interested in after market vga cooling you do have a few options: Artic Cooling Accelero S2 (2 heatpipe design) Arctic Cooling Accelero S1 Rev 2 (4 heatpipe design). Not sure why this isn't the S2. Thermalright V2 Thermalright HR 03 RevA Scythe Musashi Owners King Wookie Thermaltake DUOrb Auras Fridge Xigmatek Axe VD964 120mm FANS The last aspect one could consider is a fan. Although some HS's come with a fan others don't. So that leaves some of us wondering what to buy and, what should one pay for a good fan. That's a tough choice to make because fans are more of a personal opinion then another other component when it involves cooling your CPU. Some like a moderately silent fan, others like a fan that's pushes a lot of CFM but have a case that can muffle the noise. While others want the a fan that silent even if heat is increased because of it. There are possibly many other scenarios that can can be added here. Hopefully the users here at TPU will help address those concerns on a individual bases (which is why I created this thread). However, there a few popular fans out there that can be considered. Scythe S Flex SFF21F 1600 RPM 63.7CFM 28.0dBA Scythe SlipStream SY1225SLH 1,600 rpm 88.11CFM 33.00 dBA Yate Loom D12M12 1650 RPM (+/-) CFM 70.5 dBA 33 XiqmaTek XLF-F1253 1500 RPM 61 CFM <20 dBA Blacknoise Noiseblocker Multiframe S-Series M12-S3 73 CFM 1800 RPM 73 CFM 27 dBA 1500 rpm ± 10% (max) 57,91 CFM 21.2 dB and many others... Fan review(s) A good review of fans found here. Mudducktor's Review Noctua NF-P12 vs Scythe SY1225SL12M vs YL D12SM vs Scythe SFF21F vs Zalman ZM-F3 vs Panaflo L1BX vs Panaflow M1BX vs Delta EFB1212LE vs Sunon KD1212PMB1. Mudducktor's Subjective noise test: Noctua NF-P12 vs Scythe SY1225SL12M vs YL D12SM vs Scythe SFF21F vs Zalman ZM-F3 vs Panaflo L1BX vs Panaflow M1BX vs Delta EFB1212LE vs Sunon KD1212PMB1. VaporsReview: San Ace 1011 vs Comair Rotron MC1287 vs Panaflo U1A vs Sunon 38mm vs Sunon 25MM Vapors Review: Yate Loon SL vs Thermaltake Silent vd Scythe Infinty vs Thermaltake BT vs Lian Li, vs Noctua 1200 vs Silverstone FN121 vs Akasa Amber Vapor's Review: Scythe S-Flex E vs Scythe Slip Stream M vs Yate Loon D12SL-12 vs FNoctua P12 vs Noctua P12 vs San Ace 109R1212H1011 Vapor's Review: Delta WFB1212HE vs Scythe Ultra Kaze 3000 vs Panaflo U1C vs Sanyo Denki San Ace 109R1212H1011 Vapor's Fan Filter Airflow Comparison: AeroCool Turbine vs Noctua P12 vs Yate Loon D12SL-12 vs Slip Stream M vs S-Flex G vs Panaflo U1C Vapor's Review: True vs S1283 vs IFX-14 VGA MOSFETS/VREG & RAM HS Whenever you decide to use a after market cooler for your VGA card you must also take into consideration cooling your mosfets/vregs and ram as well (and anything else not mention that is pertains to your vga card). There are different heat conductive tapes available that may/may not improve of thermal transfer of heat. But for all intent and purposes what comes with the ramsinks should be enough to do the job effectively. However, please make sure you actively cool your ram, mosfets/vregs. Scythe svch1000 vga heatsinks Thermalright 3870/3850/8800gt heatsinks (I assume they come in different designs) Zalman ramsinks Zalman 4850 mosfet HS (active cooling maybe required) Zalman 4870 mosfet heatsink (please actively cool this) Iandhs 4870 mosfet heatsinks (again it's a good idea to keep this area of your vga card cool) Thermalright 9800 ramsinks PC CASE VENTILATION Now that you've invested in cooling your hardware why are you not getting lower temps? Well, in all intent and purposes, the reasoning behind why can vary and may not be answered in this post. However, we can discuss a few points that should effect pc case ventilation. A. Make sure that there are no over hanging obstructions like ide ribbon cable, etc that can block air circulation. This may take some time for some of you who never thought of this. Figuring out what to tuck away safely without causing a short or damage your PC can take some time for figure out. In some cases you may have to re-wire or convert to SATA hard drives and dvd/cd players in order to achieve this. But in any case please make sure you don't do something that can cause a short or damage pc components. B. Make sure you have an adequate intake fan that will push enough air into the pc case that. You can check by placing your fingers at the rear vents (next to the PCI slots) and open air pci slots to feel any air movement. No air movement equals not enough ventilation and, you may have to invest in a fan that maybe a tad bit louder for higher CFM which can bring better static pressure. This is were a high CFM offfering the lowest noise fan comes into play. A rule of thumb, a 60 CFM or better should do the job. C. Always use the side cover of your PC when in use. Not only does that reduce dust intake (negative pressure vs positive pressure is for another debate/thread) but should help properly circulate air in your case as by the manufacture's design. If your chipset, CPU and/or GPU temps increase when using the side panel it's an indication that air is not properly circulating. Sidenote: I've found that cutting out some plastic window installation and taping it up alone the side of the case to work very well for my pc case. I cannot guarantee this will work for your pc case. I have found that because pc cases come in all shapes and sizes you are going to have to come up with ideas based on your pc. What works in one pc may not work in another. Be that as it may I want to explain what's positive pc case air pressure and what's negative PC case air pressure (from what I've learned): Positive air pressure: Is when you have more fresh air coming into the pc case than there is hot air exiting the case. Usually what you have is a pc case with a intake fan's CFM (which should create higher air pressure) that is greater then the exhaust fan. This technique should reduce dust as the air is escaping ventilation holes instead of coming in. If you decide on PAP setup you may want to invest in a high CFM fan and PCI ventilation slots. Negative air pressure is when you have air coming into the case from every ventilation hole and orifice found within the pc case. This also includes air coming in through the 5 1/4" and/or 3 1/2" drive bays. This is why rear and top mounted fans need to exhaust air. As fresh air is coming in through every entrance possible. Some believe that this can increase dust inside your case as this method circumvents the fan's dust screens. A demonstration of positive air pressure can be found here. THERMAL COMPOUND And finally, unless I missed something, one of the last things to consider is thermal compound. I won't go into whole lot of detail on this because there are quite a few brands out there that are both popular and offer decent performance. Here are a few: AS5/AS5 Ceramic ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 Tuniq TX-2 Cooling Thermal Compound and many others... Sidenote: ArctiClean Thermal Material & Surface Purifier really does work well if you have thermal compound that's hard to remove. Also, so does Akasa Thermal Interface Cleaner ONLINE STORES There are a few online stores that offer HS. However, it's impossible to list them all based on nationality, preference and personal experience. Frozen CPU Heatsink Factory Newegg Performance PC Petra's Tech Shop Sidewinder Computer There are many more out there. This is not a personal recommendation. Please note that you are still responsible for any and all modifications to your PC. The information presented here and from users are not held responsible for any information that is presented in this thread. As with any PC and or electronic modifications experience in this field is a must. The information presented in this post is not a personal recommendation!