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Why worry about temps?

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Mar 7, 2001
All this discussion about HSF performance/temps/comparisons, etc. are getting to me. For example, there was a report on Anandtech comparing about 10 different heat sinks. They discussed how much better some were than others, citing results which differed by ~4 degrees C, thus justifying the extra expense.

I'm sorry, but if you're running your MB/CPU at such a marginal level at which 4 degrees C (~7 degrees F at the temp range we're talking about) makes a REAL difference, then you deserve all you get if your system fails.

So you're all telling me that your system can't function in the summer time? Or if you hit a hot day that's 7 degrees F higher than when you set up your system? "Uh oh, we're in for a hot one today, better slow down my system clock speed so I don't lock up!" Oh come on.

Heat sinks do their job of keeping the temps in a reasonable range. An $80 heat sink which keeps your CPU at 41 degrees C is *NOT* worth it when compared to a $20 heat sink that functions at 45 degrees C. That extra 4 degrees (or 7 degrees F) is pretty much meaningless. I've even seen people on this forum say "With my new Arctic Silver II and a Delta fan, I dropped another 3 degrees!" Yeah, with a jet-engine sound. I've seen comparisons down to as little change as 1 degree C. Cripes.

And don't tell me that "I'm running my computer at the bleeding edge of performance" either. So, do you overclock slightly higher at night, or maybe turn off the heat in your house to get better speeds? I think not.

"Oh no! The sun's shining through the window onto my computer case, it's gonna cause my computer to lock up!"

Bah. Let's keep this all in perspective.
at the end of the day if you aren't willing to pay the extra for the best heatsink then you don't have to pay it, I know I don't.
where does this stop though, sure a gorb is cheaper than an FOP and stock intel heatsinks and fasn come with the chips, but each one will usually let yoy overclock a little higher or maybe reach what you are aiming for. 4oC can make a lot of differance, especially if used in conjunction with other cooling tricks like lapping an AS and some case fans, you can sometimes knock off more than 20oC from stock by doing all this.
Making sure your cpu is the coolest it can be helps with Overclocking and prolongs the life of your CPU.
$20 gets a good HSF like the FOP 38, Just gotta know where to shop
Phil (Mar 13, 2001 04:07 p.m.):
4oC can make a lot of differance, especially if used in conjunction with other cooling tricks like lapping an AS and some case fans, you can sometimes knock off more than 20oC from stock by doing all this.

I disagree 100% that "4 deg C can make a lot of difference." And then, you're not comparing apples to apples when you talk about using "case fans" and "cooling tricks". I'm saying that all heat sinks (not the cheapo weak stock HSF combos, which is mostly due to the fan anyways), like the GlobalWin, Alpha, Swiftech, Coolermaster, etc., right out of the box, when compared against each other, are all *about* the same. The difference is really not worth mentioning in terms of REAL LIFE applications. Yet, every site I've been to talks about how great certain ones are, but they're only a few degrees cooler than the "losers" in the comparison. There's been so much bandwidth wasted on comparing these sinks it's ridiculous. (Hah, and I'm wasting even more! )

Granted, you can achieve higher overclocking with cooler CPU temps. And prolonging the life is always nice. But at what price? Let's say you purchase the $80 Swiftech model as opposed to the $15 Volcano II. Is that $65 REALLY worth it when many people are using a <$100 processor to begin with? Besides, I've yet to see a processor die before it's well past it's usefulness anyways. And if you're consciencious enough to take the time and effort to overclock, you'll likely be the type of person buy a faster processor in a year or so anyways.

And how far do you go? Why not just put a refrigeration unit on? Or water cooling? Granted, we're WAY off the topic here, but it's all relative to what you're doing.

The bottom line is that most, if not all, of the "good" aftermarket heat sinks are pretty much equivalent. There's no practical reason to go all out just to save a few degrees C on CPU temps.

How about just buying an 80mm case fan (or using an old one) and using the stock heat sink that came with your processor? Some slight mods or some well-placed RTV/construction adhesive and I'll guarantee it will be equal to or better than a $30 FOP38 screamer or a Swiftech with a Delta fan. It's the CFM that does 90% of the work, not the sink. (And don't get technical here... yes, there can be bad sink designs, too.)
You sure seem to know a lot about thermal dynamics for being "new2overclocking" :D

The truth is that just 5*C can make a monumental difference in the overclocking world.

And not all aftermarket heatsinks are created equal. Alpha and Swiftech really stand out with superior performance. Were talking temps 5*C cooler with only a 27CFM when comparing them to many other "performance" heatsinks which are using a Delta38.

I've put a Delta38 on a Retail Intel 1GHz heatsink. Sure it made a huge difference. But my PFH6035 with a 27CFM fan cools 10*C cooler than it did. And that makes a lot of difference when overclocking.

Not everyone who overclocks does it for better performance. I don't anyway. I do it for fun.
what I was saying about all the other trick is that to an overclocker every little bit counts, doing several things to knock off 1oC here and 3oC there is part of the challenge and a heatsink that can knock off 4oC is a real plus, I still wouldn't pay for it as I would sooner just buy a faster chip, but some people do it becasue they want to see how much they can push it, to these people it doesn't matter if it's a pentium 166 or a tbird 1.2ghz (though they generally have the latter, god damn rich kids!) and another thing about the swiftech is it is good enough to handle some peltiers which will mean you don't need an expensive water cooling set up and a peltier can really make a lot of differance
Jeff Evans (Mar 13, 2001 05:36 p.m.):
You sure seem to know a lot about thermal dynamics for being "new2overclocking" :D

The truth is that just 5*C can make a monumental difference in the overclocking world.

--- I think you mean "thermodynamics" :) (no flame intended)

And you'll never get me to believe 5 deg. C makes a "monumental difference" in and of itself.

I'd like to hear just ONE case where someone said, "I took out that lousy Volcano II with the Sunon fan (or FOP32, Taisol, etc.) that I bought for $15 because it was overheating and locking up and put on that Swiftech with the jet-engine Delta fan and now it's cool as a cucumber, and I can clock it faster too!"

Well, maybe I'll never hear that exactly, but you get the point: the "losers" in all these reviews are just as good for all practical reasons as the much-higher-priced "super coolers."

For all intents and purposes, most people are overclocking to get the most out of their slower-MHz system without spending the money on a $280 processor, not to double its throughput by adding a Freon-based A/C unit (slight exaggeration). For these "regular" people, any of the aftermarket coolers are just fine.

For the other people, then I guess "every -4 degree cooling trick" does indeed count. Maybe that's the whole point behind it all... I don't know. It just seems that people obsess over which HSF is better, when in reality they'll all do pretty much the same job for 90% of us "regular" overclockers. How many threads are started with "which one should I buy, the Alpha or the GlobalWin?" (or whatever).

Stop the insanity, people!
new2overclocking (Mar 13, 2001 07:09 p.m.):--- I think you mean "thermodynamics" :) (no flame intended)
That's actually what I typed first, but then I though "that's not right is it?" so I changed it. :D Everyone in this forum knows that Jeff can't spell worth a s__t so don't worry about it. :)

I agree, that "regular" overclockers have different needs than the obsessive. But when someone asks "what is the best heatsink for overclocking a P3 700E", they may very well need those few extra degrees that the king coolers offer. But if someone were to ask "what is the best heatsink for overclocking a P3 600E" I would probably tell them to lap the retail heatsink and throw a larger fan on it.

Unfortunately when people ask us "which CPU is the best for overclocking?" we usually assume that they mean "which CPU is the best for overclocking under a best cooling scenario?" So we usually tell them to get a 700E (assuming were talking Intel).

Then the come to the cooling section and ask "I'm getting a P3 700E, which cooler is better, cooler X or cooler Y?". Well since we know that the difference between cooler X and cooler Y may mean getting to 133FSB or not, we tend to tell them to buy the one with the very very best cooling.

See why we are so obsessive about which cooler is better now?
Please remember too, that this is a HOBBY. This is fun. We tweak, we poke, we prod, we try all manner of new things to see if we can get a few degrees cooler or a few MHz faster. This isn't practical computing anymore than hot-rodding is transportation.

When I decided to upgrade my HSF, I didn't think, "OMG, I need to be 4C cooler than I am now!" I just said, " OK, let's try to take the bottleneck out of my air-cooling scenario as much as possible." So you get a new HSF, lap everything, round your cables, tweak your case fans for airflow, etc...

We recently ran a thread on putting heatsinks on video ram chips. We concluded two things: 1. It probably does little or no good. 2. We think it would be fun to do anyway. Do you understand, now?
New2overclocking, for your information I would be very happy with a decrease of my cpu temperature by 4C. And yes there are distinct differences between the heatsink. I like the alpha's for there price, power, noise level, and setup. Yes I think spending $35 on a really good heatsink is worthwhile. What else on your system can you spend that small amount of money and gain 200mhz of processor power in return, hmmm? I agree with Jeff completely that the 4C makes a difference. For someone who claims to be new to overclocking you sure have no problem condeming us who spend a little more on cooling. Besides if someone has $85 to spend on air cooling why not let them. If you don't find the articles interesting than don't read them. It's as simple as that.

PS - I can't spell for sh_t either. Using that as an attack because you don't have the information to defend what you said is pretty lame.
One thing that I didn't see mentioned, is the effect of the higher temps over time. Sure you could let it run a little bit hot and still be able to eek a few more MHz's out of it, but in the long run you're severely decreasing the life of the chip.Try running you car a little bit hot for a period of time and see what happens.

As for as the statement about not believing that some people would run their machines right at the limit, believe it. Like one of the previous posts stated, this is a hobby. Not unlike somebody who invests thousands of dollars into modifications to a drag car to get maybe a couple of thousandths of a second shaved of their quarter mile times. Then turn around and do it again, over and over.

Maybe you should do a little bit of research on the subject before coming in here and making such statements that you obviously know very little about. Or maybe you could find a site called;


Ps, ad this to my signature,
"All I need is one more $4.00 fan and I think I can hit 1.1G!"

Door Knob (Mar 13, 2001 11:33 p.m.):
PS - I can't spell for sh_t either. Using that as an attack because you don't have the information to defend what you said is pretty lame.
He didn't mean anything by it Knob. And if he did, your no better for accusing him of it. And I probably wasn't right in making that joke about him being "new2overclocking". Even though I didn't mean to hurt feelings.

Let us all strive toward civility.
I yanked the Gorb off of my Celeron 600 a while back...replaced it with an Alpha PEP66T.

The Gorb was lapped, the Alpha was not.

Both used with Arctic Silver

Alpha has the 60x60x10 "quiet" Delta fan on it.

I dropped 7 degrees celcius.

I paid $15 for the Gorb, and a member from this forum hooked me up with the Alpha for $25.

BTW...did I mention I got 5 MHz of FSB in the process?!? Honest Injun.....

I'll take the best cooling I can get, thank you very much.

Mr B
Mr B (Mar 14, 2001 12:55 a.m.):
I yanked the Gorb off of my Celeron 600 a while back...replaced it with an Alpha PEP66T.
I dropped 7 degrees celcius.
BTW...did I mention I got 5 MHz of FSB in the process?!? Honest Injun.....

This is what I'm talking about. So, if the sun comes out and heats up the room, your computer no longer handles the 5MHz increase? What about a 2 or 3 degree increase in the room temp? What happens then? Maybe your A/C isn't functioning very well today, so you can't do any work cause your computer no longer functions?

I find it hard to believe anyone would do this, even as a hobby, for it would be far to annoying if this were the case. And if you're talking about just "seeing how fast I can get it," then fine, put heat sinks on top of your heat sinks... but from my understanding, *most* people on this forum generally just want to get their stuff running fast and *stable* so they can 1) do work, 2) play games. Not to be a drag race car driver. And it shows when they start threads that say, "New Computer Setup - Which Heat Sink To Buy?"

And of course, there'll always be the guy who takes this all personally, starts flying off the handle with the attitude of "well, then stop reading those articles about heat sink reviews, you moron." Eh, what would this world be without them?

I read them because I like to be informed. Also, isn't it okay for someone to react to information differently than someone else? Last I heard we were all entitled to opinions.

U came to the right place to learn which means that u have a great deal of reading to do, but it will be fun.

Unless u control the heat your not taking the cpu anywhere.

The first thing u do is find the coolest place in the house for your box. Sum put it in the frig.

The second thing u do is u buy the most efficent fan/heatsink u can find, just ask if u dont know.
Keep in mind that the gorb is not an overclockers heatsink.

This will be the begining of a great journey for ya. Just ask your questions an read, read, read. Youll catch on an mabe even get a great overclock.


My rig is a lot like my mailman.......;

Stable and reliable, in rain, snow and gloom of night. Plus sunny days, wherever the sun shines...on my case or not.

Go figure....still runs better with the Alpha.


Mr B
New2, I think you're missing one important point. Each different HSF is not only different in how well it cools, it is also different in the noise level it runs at. In the end, we all want good cooling, but at a reasonable noise level (and generally price). The more recent fan mods and hacks we have seen (like the recent ones discussed on the FOP/WBK GlobalWin heatsinks) are not necessarily to cool better, but to reduce the god-awful noise emitted by the computer.

I agree, most aftermarket HSFs offer SIMILAR (though not identical performance), but they also cost a SIMILAR amount. With the exception of the Swiftech, all coolers cost in the $15-$30, with many in the low to mid-twenties. Spending an extra $5 on a slightly better heatsink, hardly makes someone a madman. For $5 you can go out for fast food ONE TIME. Spending a couple extra bucks on an 80mm fan to decrease noise is not the sign of an obsessive overclocker.

Also, I feel you are greatly missing the point of a 4C drop in temps. What if the 4C drop is just enough to allow the CPU to maintain stability on the HOTTEST day of summer? Maybe with a weaker HSF, the chip would be unstable under the worst possible conditions (not the best). Do you suggest that we just clock the chip down because one day per year our weak little GORB can't handle it? I think not!
Also, isn't it okay for someone to react to information differently than someone else? Last I heard we were all entitled to opinions.[/quote]

Exactly. And you and your fresh perspective are very welcome here. Nothing like someone asking the question to make us think about why we do the things we do.

But let me ask this: you're obviously interested in overclocking, or you wouldn't be here. You're just as obviously not interested in obsessing over temps. So what's your approach to overclocking? What sorts of things are important to you? What makes it fun for you? And while you're at it, just out of curiosity, what are your system specs?
I FINALLY got my P3125 in the mail today. I sent out the $$ two weeks ago (I'm near Boston, and the seller is in British Columbia, Canada), and I've been dyin' to start playin' with the P/// 600E

I didn't even bother lapping the Alpha, just applied the A.S. and assembled.


Temps under load dropped 15 degrees celcius vs. the intel heatsink/fan.

That's a LOT MORE than 4 degrees......

I had seen the temps peak at 49c with the intel hsf, and I ran the P/// w/ the Alpha, Prime95 Torture test, one half hour, and the temp rose to 32.5c.

Sorry, new2overclocking, but a good hsf makes a big difference!!!

BTW......138.7 FSB/ 832 MHz @ 1.8v (max for the Soyo mb I have in there right now.)

Mr B
can i flame 2!!!

hyea... overclocking is for fun... if we wanted teh fastest comp wed buy teh fastest processor out....then overclock haha... its a sport.. if you wanna do your best in a 100m sprint would you run in cheap shoes or top dollar spikes?

anyway.. its 3:15am an di gotta sleep