• Welcome to Overclockers Forums! Join us to reply in threads, receive reduced ads, and to customize your site experience!

Cooling Tutorial

Overclockers is supported by our readers. When you click a link to make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn More.


Feb 11, 2004
Yes im nub and yes this is a broad topic but since no one else is brave enough to cover the whole thing i guess ill try :p if you like this then check out my other tutorial:

Cooling guide by AZNmodder

Okay cooling is probably the broadest topic out there so I’m going to try to cover it as well as I can. When cooling you should set goals to what you want to achieve. You want to make sure your CPU stays at a nice cool level (under 63*C load is probably the number you should shoot for). You want it to be cooperative to your ears as sometimes cooling can get rather noisy and might disturb you while using your computer. Modders usually want some fans that are more then plain 1 dull color fans. Sometimes price must be pushed to a budget where anything above air cooling is too heavy on your wallet. This guide will hopefully help you meet your goals.

The most important part of cooling is cooling your processor because it’s usually the hottest part in your computer. Without any cooling a processor fries in about 15 seconds literally. It’s really fun to watch too! Anyways if your P4 EE fries in 15 seconds it might make it a little less fun. Once you have your processor seated correctly in the socket there are several things you must do to keep it cool. It starts with thermal paste/pads.

Thermal paste is a material that is a think liquid (paste) that conducts heat well. Thermal pads are cooling that change from solid to liquid when heated. Thermal pads don’t do as well as thermal paste so I’m not even going to talk about them when it comes to CPU cooling. So there are many types of thermal paste. Usually it comes with your heat sink (we will talk about heat sinks later). For example the stock Intel Pentium 4 heat sink comes with preapplied thermal paste on the bottom of their heat sinks that you shouldn’t touch or wipe off unless you want to use better thermal paste (which is dumb cause the thing sucks either way) The most efficient way of applying thermal paste (info from artic silver) is to put half a BB or a piece of rice sized blob of thermal paste on the center of your processor. Rub a small amount of thermal paste around on the bottom of your heat sink. Place the heat sink on the processor a wiggle/turn it around to squash the blob of thermal paste really well. Lock the heat sink in place. That will probably make your cooling nice and efficient. The type of thermal paste is very important also. The best thermal paste you can get is probably Artic Silver 5. This can be bought at your absolute greatest www.xoxide.com site for 8 bucks for 3.5 grams (15 processors worth). There is also a 12 gram package which on average cost 20 bucks. Artic silver Ceramique contains no silver but is a good choice for a thermal paste as well and is quite cheaper then Artic Silver 5. Almost all heat sinks come with thermal paste preapplied or in a container for you to apply. If I were deciding I would get Artic Silver 5 as its better then all other thermal compounds for its price.

After the thermal paste you need a heat sink. This is really a huge topic that should have a tutorial of its own but I will try to cover the area regardless. Heat sinks increase the surface area of your processor so heat may dissipate at a faster rate. Copper is the best material for heat sinks but weighs a lot and cost quite a bit. Aluminum is a close second and doesn’t weigh nearly as much. Weight is somewhat important because you don’t want to crush your processor. So now its time for a nice shopping guide.

Thermalright(not thermaltake heat sinks: Thermal right makes the best (air cooled) heat sinks you can buy. However they are big and heavy, expensive, and usually to get the most performance possible they require a nice big fat loud fan (you can still go on stock speed with a silenced fan or possibly no fan but don’t try it). Not all thermalright heatsinks fit on every motherboard but thermalright has provided a nice compatibility chart on their website. Different for intel and amd.

Thermalright Intel:

Best: SP-94 (has heat pipes and looks ultra pimp) beware they mis-weighted the heatsink it is really about 800grams
Price/performance: SLK-947U
Quietest: this isn’t a good company for quietness
Budget: not a cheapo company
AZN’s choice: SP-94 (cost 15 more then 900U and you get heat pipes)

Thermalright AMD:

Best: SP-97 (same as SP-94 but amd style)
Price/performance: SLK-947U
Quietest: why don’t you check out the zalman section
Budget: ALX800
AZN’s Choice: SP-97

Zalman heat sinks: Zalman makes great cooling products and they are usually lose a little performance compared to Thermalright but are much more silent and more efficient at using the air created by fans. They weigh more usually then thermalright heat sinks.
They don’t fit on all motherboards.

Best: CNPS7000A-CU (not CNPS7000Al-CU)
Price/performance: CNPS7000A-AlCu
Weight/performance: CNPS7000A-AlCu
Quietest: CNPS7000A-CU (keep in mind this ahs the best noise/cooling ratio)
Budget: Wrong company for cheap heat sinks
AZN’s choice: CNPS7000A-CU

Thermaltake heat sinks: Usually for the budget person. Nice heat sinks and they look okay too. They actually cool rather well and have lots of abilities to choose your fan speed causing them to be quiet when needed. Different for intel and amd. I don’t know a lot about thermaltake’s heatsinks.

Thermaltake Intel:

Best: Spark 7+
Price/performance: Spark 7+
Quietest: All the same almost
Budget: Thermaltake Dragon Orb
AZN’s choice: Spark 7+

Thermaltake amd:

Best: Volcano 12 or Venus 12
Price/performance: lower volcano or Venus 12
Quietness: Venus silent boost
Budget: lower volcano’s or orbs
AZN’s Choice: Venus 12 or Volcano 12

Coolermaster heat sinks: Budget and looks and nothing else. Use cross blowers to cool dead spots however which is nice. Some look hot too.

Best: Jet 4 or Jet 7
Price/performance: Jet 4 lite or Jet 7 lite
Quietness: Jet 4 lite or Jet 7 lite
Budget: Anything you can afford by coolermaster cause they all suck
AZN’s Choice: Jet 4 or Jet 7

Swiftech heat sinks: On par with thermalright and zalman. Usually made with pins rather then fins. To lower the weight they usually use a copper base with aluminum pins. Great stuff and you can’t go wrong (just like thermalright and zalman) I’m only going to mention the intel ones as they have only like 1 amd heat sink which is also good btw.

Swiftech heat sinks:

Best: MCX4000
Price/performance: MCX478-V
Quietness: they come with no fan
Budget: not your budget company
AZN’s choice: MCX4000

Intel and AMD stock heat sink: Well….they suck. Really though they will run your processor on your regular speed and you might even be able to overclock your processor a little. These are really small light duty heatsinks that are poorly made and come with pre applied thermal paste. If your not going to overclock and you don’t care about sound or looks then you might as well just use this for the sake of money.

Heat sink roundup:

Best: SP-94 or SP-97
Near Best: CNPS7000A-CU or MCX4000
Price/performance: MCX478-V
Budget: Stock Heat sink
Weight/Performance: CNPS7000A-AlCu
Quietness: CNPS7000A-Cu
Good Standard Looks: SP-97 or SP-94
Good Original Looks: Jet 7 or Jet 4

Now if your heat sink didn’t come with a fan, most likely any case fan will do so look in the fan section to see what you want to put on the heat sink. That is all the very basic things to know about heat sinks.

Cooling Ram: If your Ram didn’t come with Ram plate then most likely it doesn’t need to be cooled. If it did then stock cooling is fine. However just in case for special cases if you need some ram cooling the on www.xoxide.com you can get the thermaltake passive memory cooling kit (active is unnecessary).

Northbridge cooling: If your northbridge came with a active cooling solution (has a fan and heatsink) then most likely it needs no replacement until the big overclocks. If it came with stock passive (no fan) then it will be okay for small overclocks but sooner then active it will need a replacement. (northbridge is located on your motherboard. For more information look in your motherboard manual.)

Best Active: Swiftech MCX159 or Thermaltake Tiger 1
Best Passive: Zalman ZM-NB473
Budget: Zalman ZM-NB32J or stock

Hard drive cooling: Hard drives are getting very hot lately. If your hard drive is SATA or IDE and runs at 7200 rpm or lower just leave some space under it and don’t put another hard drive right under it but a slot or 2 lower. If you have SATA 10000 rpm then you might want a front intake fan (see case fan section for different kinds) blowing across it (bottom is hottest) still no cooling is fine here. Any SCSI or faster then 10000 rpm most likely needs better cooling. Here are coolers for your hard drive that attach directly to it.

Since there is no real best here are some to consider:

Xoxide 3 fan hard drive cooler(however cooling the front isn’t as efficient as the bottom), Zalman ZM-2HC1 (passive heatpipes for silence), Vantec Vortex (very cool in both ways, best most likely), Vantec HDC-502A (probably best price/performance), and Coolermaster Aerogate II (multi-purpose).

Video card cooling: Video cards are probably tied for the second hottest component in your computer only to the processor and tied with the northbridge. Usually if your not overclocking or even if you are a little stock is fine. For you extremist more is required. Keep in mind if u need to attach anything to the video card that has no retention then you must use thermal adhesive rather then thermal paste to get it to stick(such as Artic Alumina Epoxy).

Main video card cooler:

Best: Thermaltake Giant III (just came out and omg its freaking crazy)
Price/Performance: Zalman ZM80C-HP or Artic Cooling VGA Silencer
Budget: Vantec Iceberg 4 Pro CCB-A4P
Quietest: Zalman ZM80C-HP no fan
AZN’s Choice: Thermaltake Giant III

BGA Ram Sinks:

Best: OCZ Flower Mini Sinks
Price/Performance: OCZ Copper BGA ram sinks
Budget: OCZ Aluminum BGA ram sinks
AZN’s Choice: OCZ Copper BGA ram sinks

PCI cooler: any will do….they are all exhaust. Xoxide has some nice UV ones.

Case fans: This is going to be a large section….The most common fan is the one found in a case. They attach wherever they fit. Heatsinks for your processor might use a case fan to cool off if no fan was attached when you bought it. Case fans cause most of the noise in a case unless you have a loud Hard drive/ CD drive. They come in sizes such as 40mm, 70mm, 80mm, 92mm, and 120mm. As the size of the fan increases the amount of air blown increases exponentially. For example if there is a 120mm fan and a 80mm fan that are similar then the 120mm fan will blow out about 3 times more air then the 80mm! When picking your case remember that. 80mm is the most common size. A good size for your fan on top of your processor is 92mm. 40mm is very small and lets off almost no air at all. CFM measures the amount of air blown out in cubic feet per minute(higher is better). dBA are decibels and measure acoustics or how loud the fan is(lower is better). There are many fans and I will try to cover as many as I can. Almost all fans under 80mm don’t make a huge difference so I will start at 80mm. Just because it has lights doesn’t mean it isn’t as good as a normal plain fan in all cases. Sorry for the bad set-up and inconsistent way of typing….I’m sooooo lazy.

Lighted/decorated 80mm Case fans:

Vantec Spectrum Series: UV reactive. . Plenty of air and sound for an 80mm fan. Good looks. CFM 39. DBA 34.

Aspire UV Series: UV reactive. Some have LED(light emitting diode). Average air for low sound. CFM 32.4. DBA 25.

Antec UV series: UV reactive. Average air for more then normal sound (not good). CFM 34. DBA 30.

CoolerMax Crystal LED fan: High air for average sound (never heard of company but nice specs) CFM 40.62. DBA 32

Aerocool UV LED fan: UV and has LED. Average air for slightly lower then normal sound. CFM 34. DBA 27.

Vantec Spectrum LED series: UV and LED. Slightly higher air and sound levels. CFM 32.5. DBA 28.3.

Aerocool UV LED fan (different model): UV and LED. Very low air and soundless. CFM 22.9. DBA 21.8.

CoolerMaster Neon LED Fans: Has LED. Average air with low sound. CFM 32.11. DBA 25.

CoolMax Chameleon Fan: Changes colors(I got one and they’re cool both ways) High CFM with Average sound. CFM: 41.41. DBA: 32.

Thermaltake Blue-eye: Blinks with HDD activity. Lower then normal air for soundless. CFM 27.8. DBA 21.

Thermaltake Smart Case Fan II with Cool Mod: Variable Speed from super low air and soundless to tornado! Looks cool too. CFM: 20.55/75.7 DBA: 17/48.

Xoxide 80mm(omg why did I do this when da31fox already did):

Xoxide Aluminum LED fans: Has LED. Really low air for soundless. CFM: 21.5. DBA: 20.3.

Xoxide Aluminum Heat Activated Fans: Has LED and Heat sensitive colors. From Silence to higher then normal speeds. CFM: 21.5/29/35.2. DBA: 20.3/24.6/29.5.

Xoxide Alien 1 Quad Blue LED fan: Has 7 LED and looks really nice. Average air for lower then normal sound. CFM: 30. DBA: 25.

Spiral CCFL(cold cathode) fan: Beware the red one is hot pink. No longer have package so I cannot say what the speed and stuff is. Made by Unincom.

CCFL fan: Made by Sunbeam and very high quality. Average Air and sound. CFM: 31.7. DBA: 28.

UV reactive fan: UV reactive. Average air and sound. CFM: 32.5. DBA 28.8.

Quad Blue LED fan: Very nice LED but not as good as the picture shows. Average Air and sound. CFM: 32.5. DBA: 28.3.

Tri LED fan: Higher then average air and sound. CFM: 34.1. DBA: 30.

Quality Normal 80mm Fans:

Zalman ZM-OP1: Attach to your video card. Very slim.

Thermaltake 80mm: 37 cfm for 30 dba is a steal.

Vantec Stealth: 27cfm for 21dba makes it the most efficient and high quality silent solution. I have 4 and I love them even though I can’t hear them.

Vantec Tornado: 84.1 CFM for 55.2 DBA makes it as good as very low end water cooling but as loud as a vacuum cleaner.

Aluminum 80mm Fan: 32.5 CFM for 25 DBA. Extremely high quality but the blades aren’t made of aluminum and there is no 3 pin power connector...only 4 pins.

92mm Fans (not nearly as many as 80mm so all in 1 category):

Vantec Stealth: Super silent high quality. 28cfm for 20dba.

Antec 92mm fans: Not as good as others. 42.4cfm for 33dba(you can get this with an 80mm fan)

Vantec tornado: 119 CFM for a blazing 56.4 dba. Ear breaking powerfulness.

Xoxide quad Blue Led: Nice looking but not as good as the picture shows. 48.11cfm for 34.5dba is pretty good too.

Xoxide aluminum: Fan fins are not aluminum and no 3 pin power connector. 48.5CFM for 27.5 dba is as good as it gets. I got one and its good stuff. I wish there was a 3 pin connector so I could control this monster.

Thermaltake 92mm Fan: If I’m correct it is really 90mm but it will still fit in all 92mm slots. Its 56cfm for 35dba. Slightly louder then normal but more air too.

120mm Fans:

Xoxide UV: UV reactive. Some are discontinued. 69cfm for 39dba isn’t the greatest since it’s 120mm.

Xoxide Aluminum: High quality, quiet and super powerful. 84cfm for 31dba. No 3 pin connector or aluminum fins.

Thermaltake 120mm: 78cfm for 34dba is pretty powerful.

Xoxide Quad Led: Has LED but blue is a lot brighter then red. 69.15cfm for 39dba isn’t that good.

Vantec Stealth: High quality but more noisy then the rest of the series. 53cfm for 28dba.

Antec Clear 120mm Fans: Pretty good compared to the other sizes of antec fans. 79cfm for 29.8dba.

Antec LED 120mm: Has led. Spoke to soon about the quality of 120mm antec fans. 70.6cfm for 36dba.

Time for Case fan awards. This doesn’t take size into consideration:

Best Performance(CFM): Vantec Tornado
Best Performance/Sound(CFM/DBA): Xoxide Aluminum Fans (no LED)
Best Sound(DBA): Vantec Stealth
Best Looks: Xoxide Alien 1
Close second in Looks: Coolmax Chameleon Fan
Brightest Lights: Sunbeam CCFL Fan (sold in 80mm at xoxide)
Best Looks/Price: Xoxide Quad Led Fans
Best Performance/Price: Thermaltake Case fans
AZN’s Choice: (I like looks and performance in one package) Coolmax Chameleon Fan

End of Air cooling section.!!!!!!!!

Water cooling: Air cooling is very limited nowadays due to the fact that components are getting hotter exponentially and require more cooling. Air cooling never brings a component to cooler then room temperature and it gets so noisy when you have so many fans. A new solution was developed and it was water cooling. The Basics of Water cooling is there is a radiator that cools the water(usually to room temperature), Water blocks which allow heat to transfer from the hot component to the water without letting water touch the component, a pump which allows water to flow at a pressure and speed suitable to optimize results and pipes and possibly a reservoir to hold and carry water. Water cooling uses distilled water usually with chemicals added such as Anti-Freeze, Anti-Rust, and other chemicals that improve the amount of heat water can carry. Usually this is mixed all together to make products such as water wetter. Sometimes this is mixed with distilled water altogether so the user doesn’t have to worry about mixing the right amounts of things and can just dump the fluid in and be done with it such as the Koolance Liquid refill packets. So without further ado here’s my analysis on water cooling kits (make sure if you are interested in these to completely read all of the specs and such and find more info on these systems before you buy them to make sure it is what you want.)(btw im a wcing nub but since not amny people want to actually make a tutorial i decided i would attempt it):

Koolance PC2 Case series: Very good for the a newbie water cooler. Comes with a Case and water cooling system. It doesn’t have a Power supply to allow for flexibility. Overall it isn’t the greatest water cooling system but it is a lot better then air cooling.

Koolance EXOS Series: Come in steel and Aluminum. Very nice good looking outer Cooling system. Very easy to set up once again. It’s actually just like the PC2 series without the case included.

Thermaltake Aquarius III: New thermaltake system that is external. Comes with everything you need to cool your processor. This has less performance then Koolance and is on par with high end Air cooling. The reason for this being that thermaltake has a super crappi-licious reservoir and pump included. Not worth the big bucks imo. On a positive note it’s silent.

Thermaltake Aquarius II: Cheap and Silent but not very powerful. It’s kind of worth the money if you can find it for a cheap price. Getting old though.

Dangerden Overall Parts: Extremely good for the prices. If you want a quality water cooling system then look no further. Very customizable. Bit harder to put together then the Koolance. RBX requres a strong pump but is a very nice wcing component and allows for lots of tweaking (accereration blocks)

Swiftech H2O-8501A: Very good watercooling system even though the radiator is quite small it will fit inside your case which is a plus. Swiftech products are on par with dangerden imo. High quality water blocks

Swiftech H2O-22501P: Swiftech’s more powerful water cooling system usually requires you to mount the radiator outside the case. Leaves plenty of room for expansion.

Asetek Waterchill: One of the best preassembled water cooling kits. Asetek makes pricy but extreme cooling products. Check out their other products too.

There are many other kits out there some very good but My knowledge on water cooling is extremely small compared to other people on xoxide forums so if you are interested then go make a post in the cooling and overclocking section. Now for the Best kits.

Best Customizable Kit: Cathar's (not mentioned)
Best Easy to get kit: Dangerden/D-tek(not mentioned)
Best All in one Kit: Asetek Waterchill
Best Price/Performance: DIY kit or dangerden
Best for Newbie: Koolance EXOS
Budget Kit: Thermaltake Aquarius II
AZN’s Choice: Dangerden

Best Water blocks: Cathar Cascade
Best Easy to get waterblock: Dangerden RBX or D-tek white water
Best Pump: Eheim 1260
Best Price/performance pump: Eheim 1250
Best small pump: Mag3
Best Reservoir: I prefer T-line but round res beat bayres
Best Radiator(for it's size): 86 chevy heatercore
Tubing: It is thought that tygon is better then clearflex but I can't confirm it
Water Additives: Once again no one will help me confirm which is better so either Water wetter or zerex

Keep in mind that if a plastic pipe bends or the water cooling leaks then you’re screwed. Water cooling is more risky then air cooling and cost more however the results are quite amazing. Parts that can be water cooled and priority of cooling need: Processor is most important, Video Card and Northbridge are second unless you are doing a OC of more then 15% then Northbridge takes priority, Hard drive is next in line, and last is your ram.

Thermoelectric Cooling: Thermoelectric cooling is a cheap Sub-zero or near Sub-zero cooling solution. It was discovered in 1834 by a guy called Jean Peltier. Therefore people call thermoelectric cooling units Pelts and call the concept the Peltier Effect. The way I understand it is there are 2 metals. The cold side gets a negative DC charge and the hot side gets a positive charge. The Electrons move from the cold side and absorb energy from the heat. The electrons jump over the vacuum between the 2 metals and release energy on the hot side and the vacuum prevents heat from traveling back. The result is a heat pump that takes heat from one side to the other however you must still cool the other side of the pelt and also must prevent condensation on the cold side. TEC stands for thermoelectric cooling and usually refers to the Pelt like a noun. Okay enough Science here comes the Pelts(btw more wattage means the cold side is colder but the hot side is hotter). Only going to make a few different ones(once again im a nublet at all extreme cooling).

Thermaltake Subzero 4G: Comes with a pelt for your processor with air cooling, 80mm LED fan and a controller unit. The controller unit is quite well made and controls the speed of the fan and measures dew point in the air to make sure the pelt never gets so cold that condensation forms. Quite pricy yet cheaper then most water cooling. Uses a separate power supply so it doesn’t stress your own. An issue is that the heat sink gets very hot because it is only air cooled so it will bring your case temperatures up quite higher. Pelts are much more risky then water cooling however are usually cooler. All in all this is an excellent Pelt and is probably the best newbie TEC.

Swiftech MCX4000-T: Swiftech’s best air cooled peltier. Insulated cold plate eliminates condensation they say. It is required that you use a 80mm or 92mm fan with a minimum of 68cfm. When fans have 68CFM they are LOUD. So there is no way to escape the fact that you will have a loud fan to cool off this TEC. Cheaper then the Thermaltake and more powerful.

Swiftech MCW5002-PT: Swiftech’s water cooled peltier has the same pelt as the MCX4000-T. The difference is this one is water cooled therefore allowing you to have more silent cooling and also more efficient. Cost almost the same as the Thermaltake.

(keep in mind i didnt include just plain good ol pelts like dangerden ones)
Best: Swiftech MCW5002-PT
Best for Newbies: Thermaltake Subzero 4G
Best Air cooled: Swiftech MCX4000-T
Safest: Thermaltake Subzero 4G
Best Features: Thermaltake Subzero 4G
Price/Performance: Swiftech MCX4000-T
Quietest: Swiftech MCW5002-PT
AZN’s Choice: Thermaltake Subzero 4G

Phase Change Cooling: Phase Change Cooling is a concept that is used in refrigerators that Asetek decided to make into a concept for cooling your computer. It is fairly expensive but is more safe and a lot more cooler (both ways) then water and thermo electric cooling. The concept is advance just like Thermoelectric cooling. The idea is cycling a refrigerant around in a cycle. It starts in gas form as it enters a Compressor. The compressor obviously compresses the gas to make its pressure a lot higher to make its boiling/condensation point higher. It then goes into an area to cool off this refrigerant. This is usually called the condenser because as the gas cools it turns into liquid at a high pressure. The liquid can absorb heat very well. The liquid goes in an area where it loses pressure to lower its boiling/condensation point. It then goes to the processor and absorbs heat causing the liquid to boil and turn into gas once more. It then goes back to the compressor to repeat the cycle. This is called the phase changing cycle. I will talk about one of Asetek’s Vapochill products:

Asetek Vapochill for the CPU: For almost a grand you get the Vapochill unit and a pimpin Case. Ultra-cool (once again both ways but for real this time). This is probably the best cooling there is unless you want to custom make some liquid nitrogen cooling.

Other Phase Change Cooling: Prometeia Mach II and Mach I

Cooling round up:

Best Temperature: Phase Change Cooling
2nd place Temperature: Peltier (Swiftech is best)
3rd place Temperature: Water cooling (Cathar's)
4th place Temperature: Air cooling (Thermalright is best with Vantec Tornado)
Best Silence: Phase Change Cooling
Best Price/Silence: Watercooling Swiftech?
Best Price/Performance: Watercooling Dangerden
Budget Water cooling: Thermaltake Aquarius II
High Budget Air cooling: SP-94 with Vantec Tornado 92mm
Absolute Budget: Stock
AZN’s Choice: Dangerden

(keep in mind that the 1st-4th place temperature only names the type of cooling not the products themselves)

Little Tricks in cooling:

Heatsink Lapping: This is the concept of taking many different grains of sand paper and going from roughest to smoothest as you sand the bottom of your heatsink. This improves the contact between the heat source and heatsink because it gets rid of all the microscopic grooves. Some companies such as swiftech are nice enough to pre-lap their heatsinks for you. You can tell by placing an object next to it and looking for the mirror finish or run your fingernail over the base to feel for bumps. You should go from 400 grit to 2000 or even 2500.

Lapping the processor: Same concept of heatsink lapping. Remember that when you lap you must keep the surface flat and sand it evenly. Therefore it is not recommended that you sand using just sand paper and your hands but get a sanding block or something.

Where air comes from on a fan: The most FAQ question I’ve heard is which way does air blow out of a fan. Well from my experience if you look at a fan one side has little sticks leading from the outer frame to the center of the fan while the other side has the center of the fan complete disconnected from the outer frame. The air comes into the side with no connections and goes out the side with the frames.

(Load) Processor Temperatures: Anything below 20*C is phenomenal. 20-30*C is cold. 30-35*C is cooler then average. 35-45*C is the usual average. 45-50*C is slightly warmer then average. 50-55*C is Warm. 55-60*C is hot but still okay. 60-65*C is too hot for comfort(this is where you should lower the overclock or get a better cooling system) 65-70*C is very hot and will lower the life of your processor. 70-75*C is critical. 75*C+ your processor can melt in at anytime from 15 seconds to 2 weeks.

Wire management: Wires block air flow in a case so you can lower your temperature by a few degrees by managing them. Rather then using ribbon cables try to use round cables. Try to hide your power cables behind your motherboard tray. If you can’t then buy wire loom or sleeving. Zip ties help a lot in wire management too.

Fan placement: While there is no 100% perfect way to place fans usually you want the ones on the very front usually bottom to be intake fans to cool the hard drives. You want all the side panel (side that is away from the motherboard tray) to be intake as well to cool your components such as processor, video card, and north bridge as well as the ram. The fans on the back of your case should be exhaust to pull hot air away from the processor and the hot air that rises from your video card. Remember heat rises. The fan on the very top of your case is called a blow hole. This should be exhaust because hot air rises and some of it just gathers and stays here for a long time.

Adding fans: By use of a dremel one can add holes to their case for more fans. This is not a modding guide so I’m not going to explain how. However the key places where a fan will be most efficient are: Over or slightly below the AGP slot to bring cool air to that very hot video card. Over the processor to blow cool air directly to the heatsink but be warned not to make a vacuum with the back exhaust and etc. A blow hole on top to blow all that hot air out.

Dust prevention: A con of air cooling is a large deal of dust settles in your case. This si bad if you have a window or a full acrylic case. To lower the amount of dust in your case add all the CFM of your intake fans and all the CFM of your exhaust fans and make sure that the Intake>Exhaust. Also you can buy fan filters at xoxide.com and you will have to clean them every once in a while.

El Fin

If you think that any of my information is inaccurate because my knowledge on cooling is actually not as good as many people…then to bad.

Check out my other tutorial: http://www.ocforums.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=272614
Last edited:
did u look at my other guide i edited a link...and i dont know any mods :(
about an hour for this one and about 2hours and 30mins for the other one
i msged that mod so maybe it will get stickied...maybe someone here can bmp my other tutorial its falling behind :(
AZNmodder said:
Yes im nub and yes this is a broad topic but since no one else is brave enough to cover the whole thing i guess ill try :p

Actually someone else was brave enough to try, twice. So, what say the rest of you? Should this thread be stuck with the other ones?
Re: Re: Cooling Tutorial

eobard said:

Actually someone else was brave enough to try, twice. So, what say the rest of you? Should this thread be stuck with the other ones?

yea but no one actually gave opinions on different fans and i think i go into a little more detail on different subjects....did you read my computer guide too?
Have you tested all of those fans though, or are you just basing your opinions on their stats?
i dont have them but my friends have some and many of those fans i had to go to another forum and find people who bought them and ask them so some ive never seen myself but others told me about unfortunately their is an effect of being biased however
what about ducting?

Great job and it's very impressive.

But -- if you're going to cover cooling "in general" you ought to mention the best way to get the most out of your fans: ducting.

With a duct, one fan can do the work of 4 or 5 ...

Or is this just a hardware guide?

the wesson
yea i know about ducts but i forgot to put it in the guide but o well theres just too much about cooling....so are yall gonna sticky this or what?