Cooling Cryorig C7 or Noctua NH-L9i for i5-2400?

Valantar

Shrink Ray Wielder
Original poster
Jan 20, 2018
2,189
2,190
I'm modding a dumpster-dived Dell Optiplex 990 SFF into a light gaming PC, and I need a new CPU cooler as the addition of a GPU requires me to scrap the large blower-type cooler it came with. The end of the GPU will overhang the CPU socket, so the cooler needs to be low profile, and there are DIMM slots right next to the CPU socket, so nothing above 92mm is likely to fit either.

This is the layout of the case. The GPU will roughly replace the blower cooler, but will overlap the CPU socket by about half.


The way I see it, my best alternatives are the Noctua L9i and the Cryorig C7. The C7 is taller, but not so tall as to cause issues (I think - no way of measuring until I have the GPU in hand and the case modded to fit it), and rated for 100W. The Noctua is thin enough that it should fit without any issues, and I might even be able to stick a 25mm fan on there, but it's a bit more expensive. It also is noted to support the i5-2400 "in cases with good airflow", which it's debatable if this will qualify as. It currently has a single high-speed 80mm intake fan in the front; I'm planning to add two more for a positive-pressure setup (there's plenty of ventilation in the back for the air to escape), so I'm hopeful this will be enough for the cooler. Airflow will be somewhat blocked by the RAM slots, but there's space above them for air to pass, so I'm thinking even the L9i will be okay.

Also, the board has the standard markings for the socket keep-out zone, but has some caps very close to this that are taller than the CPU socket by about 1mm. From looking at the coolers, they have contact plates lower than the fin stacks, so I'm thinking this shouldn't be an issue - am I wrong?

I put a piece of straight plastic across the caps, but sadly the gap is hard to see. It's there, but it's very small - I'd say around 1mm, definitely less than 2.


Any thoughts?
 

Valantar

Shrink Ray Wielder
Original poster
Jan 20, 2018
2,189
2,190
Oops, I saw your other thread ✌
Did you ever get a CPU fan error when bootin up after installing the Noctua?
Nope, no errors, but then I connected the fan to the CPU fan header (see the other thread for how) so the fan replacement ought to be relatively "transparent" to the motherboard. All the motherboard knows is that it gets an RPM reading from the CPU fan header and that it responds to PWM speed changes. Without a response to the PWM signal it freaks out during POST IIRC with some sort of error (I don't think I ever ran the CPU cooler disconnected, but I did at some point have only non-PWM fans connected to the chassis fan header, and it didn't like that). A skippable error message, but still an error.