Author Topic: TBG's Low-Profile CPU Cooler Shootout  (Read 7765 times)

Ari Altman

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Re: TBG's Low-Profile CPU Cooler Shootout
« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2016, 12:42:49 PM »
Do you have a picture of this fan curve? It would be easier for me to see it visually. If you had one for the CPU too that would be great.

Here you go:



As a bonus I'm also including my maximum stable overclock on my card, which is an Asus GeForce GTX 1070 FE. YMMV!

The CPU cooler fan profile is best set in the UEFI when using the Z170I Pro Gaming. Here's the profile I'm using with a Reeven Steropes, which runs at around 600RPM until it hits 60C, and then quickly ramps up:



Because a CPU will almost never hit 60C during typical desktop use, it remains silent most of the time, while running much faster once hit with a gaming or other intense load. The problem with the Thermalright AXP-100 Muscle that you have is that the fan has a very narrow operating range, starting at around 1000RPM. It's never going to be all that silent.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2016, 01:55:45 PM by Ari Altman »

waleh

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Re: TBG's Low-Profile CPU Cooler Shootout
« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2016, 03:54:59 PM »
Awesome thanks! I can't really hear my AXP-100 on idle anyway and during load the GPU is louder than the CPU. I use ASUS AI suite to control the fans. Is using the UEFI better? I also have one noctua 120 mm fan as intake. Should that follow the same curve as the CPU?
« Last Edit: October 09, 2016, 03:57:08 PM by waleh »

Ari Altman

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Re: TBG's Low-Profile CPU Cooler Shootout
« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2016, 05:01:51 PM »
Awesome thanks! I can't really hear my AXP-100 on idle anyway and during load the GPU is louder than the CPU. I use ASUS AI suite to control the fans. Is using the UEFI better? I also have one noctua 120 mm fan as intake. Should that follow the same curve as the CPU?

I like the functionality of AISuite a lot, but it crashes more than it should. And fan profiles only take effect once the app had loaded, meaning it can be loud during boot up. When using the UEFI, there is no app that needs to load. The profile is always active.

The Noctua fan can use a similar profile, but you may want it to start at a higher RPM to keep air moving. That will keep the CPU fan from needing to ramp up and down so much. The Noctua fan is much quieter at the same rpm, while offering much more airflow. That's the benefit of being a full-sized, premium fan.

nostos156

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Re: TBG's Low-Profile CPU Cooler Shootout
« Reply #18 on: July 04, 2017, 05:02:32 PM »
But of a thread Necro, but I'm looking into these coolers.

In the past, I bought an AXP-100 Muscle and used it. It's a damn awkward cooler, but it cooled an overclocked (4.5) G3258 well for a side spare build and worked just fine for what it was, temps were good too, nothing to be concerned about during gaming.

However, I am switching that box to a 24/7 Linux machine that will be running a bot, and have also moved the build into a Silverstone ML05 case. This gives me 70mm of room to play with for the height now, and I thought hey I can just throw a 120mm fan onto the heatsink and have it be even quieter (it will be in the bedroom thus silence is the most important thing now).

Well, of course, it was never that easy, as the muscle doesn't come with the enhanced fan bracket, so I'm SOL there. So I've started looking into other coolers instead. I do hate how the 100 always ends up bashing into something, currently, the best I can do is have it bash into the USB 3.0 cable slightly.

I'll likely run the CPU at stock now as there's no need for that kind of performance in regular applications, especially in Linux. With all of that considered, would the L9x65 be the best choice considering how silent it is, or should I go for something else? My initial thought was going for one with a large heatsink like the Shuriken and then slapping a thicker 120mm fan on it (have spare Noctuas) and then just running it at extremely low RPMs, but now I'm not so sure anymore since it seems all the large top heatsinks all have damn fitting issues.

Edit: I came across the Samuel 17 that I can get in the UK. How is this one? It looks pretty good and easily fits as 120mm fan on top as well.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2017, 06:32:50 PM by nostos156 »

Ari Altman

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Re: TBG's Low-Profile CPU Cooler Shootout
« Reply #19 on: July 04, 2017, 10:29:35 PM »
But of a thread Necro, but I'm looking into these coolers.

In the past, I bought an AXP-100 Muscle and used it. It's a damn awkward cooler, but it cooled an overclocked (4.5) G3258 well for a side spare build and worked just fine for what it was, temps were good too, nothing to be concerned about during gaming.

However, I am switching that box to a 24/7 Linux machine that will be running a bot, and have also moved the build into a Silverstone ML05 case. This gives me 70mm of room to play with for the height now, and I thought hey I can just throw a 120mm fan onto the heatsink and have it be even quieter (it will be in the bedroom thus silence is the most important thing now).

Well, of course, it was never that easy, as the muscle doesn't come with the enhanced fan bracket, so I'm SOL there. So I've started looking into other coolers instead. I do hate how the 100 always ends up bashing into something, currently, the best I can do is have it bash into the USB 3.0 cable slightly.

I'll likely run the CPU at stock now as there's no need for that kind of performance in regular applications, especially in Linux. With all of that considered, would the L9x65 be the best choice considering how silent it is, or should I go for something else? My initial thought was going for one with a large heatsink like the Shuriken and then slapping a thicker 120mm fan on it (have spare Noctuas) and then just running it at extremely low RPMs, but now I'm not so sure anymore since it seems all the large top heatsinks all have damn fitting issues.

Edit: I came across the Samuel 17 that I can get in the UK. How is this one? It looks pretty good and easily fits as 120mm fan on top as well.

Welcome to the Forum, nostos156!

The Prolimatech Samuel 17 is a cooler other readers have asked about, and in my opinion it's far too expensive to be a general recommendation, given that it won't work without an extra fan, and its basic design doesn't warrant its price. That being said, in your situation, where you want the greatest possible cooling in a SilverStone ML05 case, it's possible that it may work. The Samuel 17, which is 45mm tall, plus a standard 120mm fan, which 25mm thick, will be 70mm tall, or at the extreme limit of what the ML05 can fit. Even the slightest variance, for example the rubber anti-vibration mounts on the Noctua NF-S12A 120mm fan, it may in fact be too tall.

Rather than take the chance just to reuse a large fan, just go for the Noctua NH-L9x65. It's the optimal size for your setup, which really doesn't require extreme cooling anyway. It's ultra-low noise is what makes it a good pick.

And yes, the Thermalright AXP-100 series is deeply flawed, and hasn't been recommended on this site for years, although as you likely saw, it was included in the low-profile cooler roundup.

By the way, the ML05 is an obsolete design, and if you choose to go this route, I'd suggest the superior SilverStone ML09. Not only can it accept standard tray-loading laptop optical drives (assuming you're using a 37mm-tall cooler, which you're not), it can also take certain double-slot video cards.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2017, 11:20:41 AM by Ari Altman »

nostos156

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Re: TBG's Low-Profile CPU Cooler Shootout
« Reply #20 on: July 05, 2017, 05:42:11 AM »
Hi,

Fair enough there - I had a spare Noctua fan kicking around (including the A15 if that monster can fit inside the case) and it is only 35 only OverclockersUK. The l9x65 is a tad more expensive at around 44. As for the fan height thing - the AXP-100 is 44cm without the fan, so roughly the same as the Samuel almost, but I could throw a 120mm on top and it still had plenty of room for the top panel to fit on. I think it can work as it's never usually 70mm bang on despite what the specs always say. I'll recheck though just to be sure.

The most annoying thing is how there's never a complete roundup on the same test bench of all these coolers - your write-up was probably the closest thus far but didn't do the Samuel 17. Some say it's worse than the Shuriken Rev B and other reviews like this one say it is one of the best they've tested. Stuff gets real hard like this.

I see the ML09 is the same size, but since the front panel is all I'll be seeing I wanted to take the 'best' looking one. I have a massive dislike for those really crappy looking 'piano gloss black' finishes, and that's what the ML09 looked to have, as well as an even larger ODD cutout, which I'm not a fan of either. The ML05 had gloss too, but at least it was grey and not black.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2017, 05:45:04 AM by nostos156 »

Ari Altman

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Re: TBG's Low-Profile CPU Cooler Shootout
« Reply #21 on: July 05, 2017, 08:22:25 AM »
Hi,

Fair enough there - I had a spare Noctua fan kicking around (including the A15 if that monster can fit inside the case) and it is only 35 only OverclockersUK. The l9x65 is a tad more expensive at around 44. As for the fan height thing - the AXP-100 is 44cm without the fan, so roughly the same as the Samuel almost, but I could throw a 120mm on top and it still had plenty of room for the top panel to fit on. I think it can work as it's never usually 70mm bang on despite what the specs always say. I'll recheck though just to be sure.

The most annoying thing is how there's never a complete roundup on the same test bench of all these coolers - your write-up was probably the closest thus far but didn't do the Samuel 17. Some say it's worse than the Shuriken Rev B and other reviews like this one say it is one of the best they've tested. Stuff gets real hard like this.

I see the ML09 is the same size, but since the front panel is all I'll be seeing I wanted to take the 'best' looking one. I have a massive dislike for those really crappy looking 'piano gloss black' finishes, and that's what the ML09 looked to have, as well as an even larger ODD cutout, which I'm not a fan of either. The ML05 had gloss too, but at least it was grey and not black.

I agree - roundups are the way to go when it comes to CPU coolers, and I do my best to get a wide range of samples whenever I do a test. I'll no longer test coolers one-off, which is what manufacturers really prefer. When I did my last roundup, which was for 120mm tower coolers, I definitely ticked off a few of the manufacturers because obviously they didn't all "win," and when you write a one-off review, you can play the wording to make any product sound like a winner. I won't do that, and that means I won't get samples in the future from a few cooler manufacturers!

I totally understand your preference on cases - if you don't need the ODD bay, the slot-loading design of the ML05 is actually a benefit, because it looks sleeker from the outside (it's just incredibly expensive to equip with an actual drive!).

In your situation, since you have the Noctua fan, go for the Samuel 17. It's actually a good value if you have a fan already. By the way, the Shuriken Rev. B is a very old model, but I've tested (and actually continue to use) a derivative model from Reeven called the Steropes that works very well for height-limited applications (at 59mm tall). Alas, designs like this are always going to have an Achilles heel: loud bearings. That's because super-slim fans by nature have super-slim bearings, and I would like to see more manufacturers develop slim heatsinks with 25mm-thick fans, to allow for high-quality bearings. Perhaps they've already discovered that more metal and less fan is ideal for thermals, but it's not ideal for noise.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2017, 08:24:27 AM by Ari Altman »

nostos156

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Re: TBG's Low-Profile CPU Cooler Shootout
« Reply #22 on: July 05, 2017, 10:18:54 AM »
Hi,

Fair enough there - I had a spare Noctua fan kicking around (including the A15 if that monster can fit inside the case) and it is only 35 only OverclockersUK. The l9x65 is a tad more expensive at around 44. As for the fan height thing - the AXP-100 is 44cm without the fan, so roughly the same as the Samuel almost, but I could throw a 120mm on top and it still had plenty of room for the top panel to fit on. I think it can work as it's never usually 70mm bang on despite what the specs always say. I'll recheck though just to be sure.

The most annoying thing is how there's never a complete roundup on the same test bench of all these coolers - your write-up was probably the closest thus far but didn't do the Samuel 17. Some say it's worse than the Shuriken Rev B and other reviews like this one say it is one of the best they've tested. Stuff gets real hard like this.

I see the ML09 is the same size, but since the front panel is all I'll be seeing I wanted to take the 'best' looking one. I have a massive dislike for those really crappy looking 'piano gloss black' finishes, and that's what the ML09 looked to have, as well as an even larger ODD cutout, which I'm not a fan of either. The ML05 had gloss too, but at least it was grey and not black.

I agree - roundups are the way to go when it comes to CPU coolers, and I do my best to get a wide range of samples whenever I do a test. I'll no longer test coolers one-off, which is what manufacturers really prefer. When I did my last roundup, which was for 120mm tower coolers, I definitely ticked off a few of the manufacturers because obviously they didn't all "win," and when you write a one-off review, you can play the wording to make any product sound like a winner. I won't do that, and that means I won't get samples in the future from a few cooler manufacturers!

I totally understand your preference on cases - if you don't need the ODD bay, the slot-loading design of the ML05 is actually a benefit, because it looks sleeker from the outside (it's just incredibly expensive to equip with an actual drive!).

In your situation, since you have the Noctua fan, go for the Samuel 17. It's actually a good value if you have a fan already. By the way, the Shuriken Rev. B is a very old model, but I've tested (and actually continue to use) a derivative model from Reeven called the Steropes that works very well for height-limited applications (at 59mm tall). Alas, designs like this are always going to have an Achilles heel: loud bearings. That's because super-slim fans by nature have super-slim bearings, and I would like to see more manufacturers develop slim heatsinks with 25mm-thick fans, to allow for high-quality bearings. Perhaps they've already discovered that more metal and less fan is ideal for thermals, but it's not ideal for noise.

Have you ever tested/reviewed the Samuel 17? Curious as to why it didn't end up in the roundup considering its uniqueness.

Yeah, that was my main reason for picking the ML05 on Amazon when I saw them all. It was the cheapest and looked the 'best'. (Well, the ML06 looked better but brushed aluminium is a pain to keep clean as well. Sigh). I don't need an ODD and haven't used one since the late 00s, so it's entirely a wasted feature to me. The lack of a double slot slim GPU is a bit sad, but I don't think I will ever be using it for that purpose anyway.

That was my main beef with the L9x65 - I couldn't replace the fan because I'd go well over the height limitations. Interestingly enough, I see that in terms of pure mass, the Samuel 17 is about 400g without any fan, and the l9x65 is 340. Seems like all things considered there the Samuel should be equal or superior and then you slap on a huge fan (I also have a spare A15 so if I can somehow fit that complete monster inside the case then I can run the thing at a couple hundred RPM and it should cool excellently with I hope zero detectable noise across the room at ambient).

As a side note, have you ever experienced a Thermolab LP53? Some seem to rave about it due to the complete copper nature of it.

Ari Altman

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Re: TBG's Low-Profile CPU Cooler Shootout
« Reply #23 on: July 05, 2017, 12:02:26 PM »
I haven't tested the Samuel 17, and at this point I doubt I will, as I don't believe it's a current product. To be considered for review, products really need to be available at either Amazon or Newegg.

I hadn't previously heard of the Thermolab LP53, but at first glance I have to say I really like the concept. It uses a full-width 92mm fan (ideally it would be square, not round, for aesthetic reasons), which ensures the availability of quiet-running options, and of course is pure copper. The problem is that it's extraordinarily expensive for the size (the heatsink is tiny), so it had better run well to justify the price. But it's exactly the type of design I'd like to see more of, at least to test whether this type of compromise (thick fan, thin heatsink) actually works.

I might reach out to the manufacturer to see if it's sampling to the media.

nostos156

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Re: TBG's Low-Profile CPU Cooler Shootout
« Reply #24 on: July 05, 2017, 12:09:17 PM »
That's fair enough - I believe the Samuel is still available but it has always been hard to find in certain places for some reason. OcUK stock a fair number of them and have sold a lot.

I guess at this point I may as well as just go for one and see how it works out.

Ari Altman

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Re: TBG's Low-Profile CPU Cooler Shootout
« Reply #25 on: July 05, 2017, 12:27:51 PM »
That's fair enough - I believe the Samuel is still available but it has always been hard to find in certain places for some reason. OcUK stock a fair number of them and have sold a lot.

I guess at this point I may as well as just go for one and see how it works out.

I think the Samuel 17 is a great option for your situation. If you end up trying it, please report back!

alohajoke

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Re: TBG's Low-Profile CPU Cooler Shootout
« Reply #26 on: October 02, 2017, 11:38:51 PM »
Thank you for the useful content.

Ari Altman

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Re: TBG's Low-Profile CPU Cooler Shootout
« Reply #27 on: October 03, 2017, 03:02:59 AM »
Thank you for the useful content.

Glad to hear you found it useful!