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

So many fans.. which to use?

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


Jan 4, 2001
I'm going to a computer show on Saturday (Worcester Centrum) and as I plan on doing some upgrading, I've been researching what components I should be looking for.

I haven't done a processor upgrade in a long time, and I can't believe how many damn types of fans and heatsinks there are now. I'd never even heard of an "orb" until today.

I plan on buying a gigahertz thunderbird and most likely an Epox 8KTA2 (since the 3's havent really been released yet). What type, brand, or model of cooling system should I be looking for? I don't plan on doing lots of overclocking, although I may experiment a bit, so I don't need something rediculously complex or expensive. However, I read that a T-Bird will fry inside 8 seconds if uncooled so I want to get something of quality that will last.

Any advice will be appreciated

I would stick with Alpha coolers, the PEP66 is great for Durons/T-birds but it will set you back a bit. I have had good success with Global-Win coolers (32's?) for my Duron ([email protected], 1.85V, 42C). As to fans, YS-tech, Sunon, Pabst, Delta all make good fans with Pabst being the quietest, Delta the highest CFM and noisiest and sunon/YS-tech fans being a good compromise between noise and performace along with being the most readily available. The best are Pabst, but they are impossible to find. :)
I like the papst fans.. I contacted their site and they gave me the Brazilian adress of their support, I contacted them and they snet me more than 200 pages of complete catalog and datasheets of their products. They will send directly to me. They have even varable speed fans with termistor of 80mm, 92mm, 120mm... They have 120x25 or x32 or x38 !!! With different rotations speed cfm and noise to you lyking.
Personally i think the 60x25x25 with 33cfm is the higher performance with tolerable noise... People say the delta are unsuportable... I saw the papst 33cfm on the swiftec site with promotuional price for overclocker.com readers, just mention oc.com... But in any doubt, contact papst personaly!
I Agree, an Alpha is your best bet, stay away from all of those orb's, they're garbage hence the nickname gorbage
Well, thanks for all the advice.
Unfortunately, there wasn't a lot of variety in the way of fans at the computer show. It was actually incredibly tiny, there were maybe a dozen vendors there. Some must have been scared off by the snow or something.

Anyway, I wound up just buying the fan that they they had alongside the CPU's. Picked up an Abit KT7 and a gig T-bird, as well as one of those takes-up-a-slot turbine-like exhaust fans for underneath my video card. And let me tell you, it was a task and a half trying to attach that damn heatsink to the MB, the clip is VERY tight.

Here's my next question, though. According to MBM5, the CPU is running pretty stable at 55-57C. Is this acceptible? Should I be doing more to try to cool it? Or is this normal considering the speed of the CPU? I have it set to run a shutdown script if it ever hits 70, so it won't burn itself out, but I'd like to keep it running in as best a condition as possible.

And anyone keeping up with distributed.net, I'm now getting over 3500 kkeys/sec (RCA) and over 8000 knodes/sec (OGR) :)

...That's under full load, though, which I forgot to take into consideration.

I turned off RC5 for a bit, and I actually heard the cooling fan on the CPU turn down a bit. The temperature also dropped to around 48. So I guess that's ok then.

I tried taping closed all the air intakes on the power supply except the side closest to the CPU, hoping for better air removal where its hottest, but it didn't seem to affect the temperature at all, so I opened the vents back up.

I put an exhaust fan underneath the video card, and the case itself has air intakes on the side with the removable panel, towards where the CD-ROM is, so the airflow is as good as it can be.

So as far as I can tell, this is as best a temperature as I'm going to get, outside of going out and getting some sort of funky hs/fan, which probably wouldn't fit anyway, since the existing one is already almost touching the power supply.

Thanks again for the suggestions, but I think I'm done for now.

This sounds quite similar to my experience with my tbird 700 at first. When I got it, and unoverclocked, it ran 57-59C at load. I had a mini case (sounds as though you do too), so that rather than being below the psu, the cpu and heatsink were beside it (the psu was on its side in the case to accomodate this). I figured that all the hot air would be accumulating at the top of the case, and as it was such a small case, this was right where my cpu was! (about 1 inch below the top). I just cut a hole for a low-cfm 80mm fan directly above the cpu, sucking the hot air out - and because the cpu fan blew air onto the heatsink, it was helped by the blowhole sucking air away from the heatsink side. Basically, to cut a short story long :) this dropped my load temps by 10C to 47C, and solved my problem of crashes in games!

Even if you're not going to overclock, you can definitely cool the cpu down by a good 10C easily,
and this'll help prolong the life of your cpu and might solve any stability problems - and you may have some operating at that temp.
I'm no expert (all I learnt was from this site) but that seems too hot.. or should I say, it can be cooler. My setup is a TaiSol 742 HS, Arctic Silver, External PSU, 120mm top exhaust and 80mm intake.. nothing too funky, all done by hand myself, standard full tower case.

I'm running a 1Ghz TBird at 1.1Ghz and I idle at about 30c (load about 46c). I thought there was something wrong with my sensor initially, but I'd replaced a Duron [email protected] which was idling at 26c..

Borderline too hot. Getting it down another 10C would be ideal. As to how, better HSF combo or increse the case airlow. The globalWin HFS's keep my [email protected] at 44C under load (1.80V), try one of those ($22). Other than that, go for the gusto and order an alpha, try http://www.millisec.com for cooling stuff. Hasta!
Get a globalwin FOP38, lap it, use a THIN layer of Artic Silver on it, and BAM, you'd get like a 14+ deg. Cel. reduction...if nothing, Lap the Heatsink, and use some heatsink compound.
Ok, for now I'll try swapping cases.. I have access to another one which has an exhaust fan under the power supply. I can cut a hole in the front of the case, and install a simple dust filter.

So with three exhausts (power supply, slot turbine, and case fan) and an intake on the front it should do better.

I also want to modify the slot exhaust fan so that the opening is further back about 1", closer to the heatsink on the video card. I don't know how much it'll matter; there's about 1/4" of the heatsink directly over the air intake as it is (I got an OEM Radeon which doesn't come with a fan on the h/s).

And I heard that thermal compound works better than the pink crap that comes stuck to the bottom of the h/s. Is this true? If so I'll scrape it off and put on some paste instead.

Or is that what CFusion meant by "lapping"? I'm a cooling newbie so I don't have much terminology yet.

Thanks again everyone

The little thermal pad on the heatsink doesnt ussually work very well, some people have had luck heating it up by turning the fan off for a few seconds to make it more conformal to the core of your cpu. Personally I'd stick with thermal grease. Lapping is when you take a piece of glass <or something similar, needs to be really smooth> and progressively flatten and smooth the heatsink with finer and finer sand paper, most heatsinks have machining grooves on the bottom and the flatter surface pulls the heat out better. Make sure you use a very thin coat of thermal grease, holding a razor blade at about a 30 degree angle and pulling it across the surface does a good job of applying just a little paste.
Ok, this might sound like a dumb question, but isn't the purpose of the thermal paste to compensate for the irregularities in contact between the heated surface and heatsink? What's the point of smoothing the bottom of the heatsink if you're going to use thermal paste anyway?

[email protected], default volt, KT7 :p
Thermal paste, while being a very effective heat transfer compound, is not as efficient as a direct contact between the heatsink and cpu core - the flatter the better therefore, as there can be more direct contact between the heatsink and cpu, and better thermal transfer. The reason such a small layer is needed is because it is only to fill in the irregularities, there ought to be some direct cpu-hsf contact.
ah, ok, thanks. I'll try that.
Can't till this weekend though.

I'll let you all know how it works :)

TheBrewmaster (Jan 10, 2001 08:12 p.m.):
ah, ok, thanks. I'll try that.
Can't till this weekend though.

I'll let you all know how it works :)


lapping how-to: http://sysopt.earthweb.com/articles/lap/

first, lap in a figure 8 direction, not a circle...rotate heatsink 90 deg. every couple minutes...and start with grit 300-400 (coarse) and work up to 1500 (fine)...
I couldn't find any fine-grain sandpaper while I was home, so I didn't bother lapping. I scraped off the pink plastic-like stuff, cleaned off the CPU core as best I could, and used some themal paste instead. Also, I added an intake fan to the front of the computer. Didn't have to do any surgery or anything, there was a slot already in place in which I just placed the fan.

I wasn't very impressed with the changes, looked like maybe a degree change. Then I took the computer back to where I'm living and it dropped about another 4 degrees. Guess my parents' house is just a lot warmer than mine.

So with the addition of a cooling fan and thermal compound (instead of pink-stuff) the temperature of the CPU dropped about 5 degrees C, so I'm running full-load around 51-52C. Next month, I'm going to another computer show, and I think I'll buy a new case, which has more room for an exhaust fan. (The case I have now is small-mid and has the power supply sideways, next to the ATX ports, almost touching the h/s of the CPU inside). Also, I'll invert the CPU fan so it sucks instead of blows, shuttling air more efficiently to the exhaust.

Thanks again for all the info.