Cooling Low-Profile Cooler Suggestions

Tephnos

Average Stuffer
Original poster
Jul 5, 2017
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You keep thinking of it only in terms of absolute cooling power though, where I've explicitly stated I care about noise most of all. If it's not silent, then it's useless to me, and using the bottom fan in the L12 means it's a smaller fan which means higher RPM and more noise. (Interestingly enough the L12 in terms of mass is the same rough weight as the Samuel not including fans).

Also, I wasn't referring to getting the L9x65, I mean I would try the Samuel 17. Now if for some reason that doesn't work out, then it'll be time to concede and look at the smaller fan options - that is my current line of thinking thus far.
 
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Aibohphobia

aka James
Gold Supporter
Feb 22, 2015
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It does if the fan is 15mm.

Huh, I wrote it off because there's a slant instead of a groove to catch the clip:


But I tried it and you're right, it does work. Though I'll have to be careful now and not pick up the motherboard by the CPU fan like I usually do :p
 
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grumpyrobin

Airflow Optimizer
May 11, 2017
260
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You keep thinking of it only in terms of absolute cooling power though, where I've explicitly stated I care about noise most of all. If it's not silent, then it's useless to me, and using the bottom fan in the L12 means it's a smaller fan which means higher RPM and more noise. (Interestingly enough the L12 in terms of mass is the same rough weight as the Samuel not including fans).

Also, I wasn't referring to getting the L9x65, I mean I would try the Samuel 17. Now if for some reason that doesn't work out, then it'll be time to concede and look at the smaller fan options - that is my current line of thinking thus far.

Well, According to Noctua, the bottom fan on the L12 is 17.6 db/A (pretty damn quiet compared to the 22.8 (still very quiet compared to non noctua fans that can go up to 40, or max 30 for your AXP 100 Muscle) of the fan on the L9x65.
Now, as you said, a bigger fan will work less for the same cooling thus being quieter. At which point I cannot say if X will be better than Y with your exact case and other conditions.

I was recommending the L12 because of the very nice and big heatsink.
But I see how the Samuel 17 could be nice.
Although I prefer having the heatsink at the top like the l12, the Samuel 17 does have 2 more heatpipes.
But the L12 comes with 2 noctua fans that are 21.99 for the 120, and 14.99 for the 80mm one if you buy them alone, while the Samuel L17 doesn't have any fans? the ocuk page didnt confirm yes or no, but the pictures dont show coolers in general.
Of course, if you are already set with coolers then theres no point in having extras.
 

grumpyrobin

Airflow Optimizer
May 11, 2017
260
189
Huh, I wrote it off because there's a slant instead of a groove to catch the clip:


But I tried it and you're right, it does work. Though I'll have to be careful now and not pick up the motherboard by the CPU fan like I usually do :p

One small detail I just noticed about the l12 replacement.
If you read the sign carefully you will notice that the heatsink is infact 4mm taller than the current one. Which I suspect they did to improve ram clearance?
 

Tephnos

Average Stuffer
Original poster
Jul 5, 2017
70
153
The AXP-100 is supposed to be 22dB at idle loads, but it was way too loud for me. I'd be surprised if the 92mm Noctua fans really were 17.6dBA. I don't think I've ever seen a review put it that low ever. I normally trust Noctua's ratings, but at 17dB most people would start to experience symptoms of tinnitus because it is that quiet. I saw the L9x65 rated at 23dB at TweakTown, which would be the same as the AXP-100 supposedly.

I have no real preference to where the heatsink is placed - I think that matters more in densely packed fin designs which are mostly absent when you go this low in size. As I'll be using static pressure optimised Noctua fans (I have an NF12 and an A15 spare to try out) it is probably best that the fan is on top to force air through the heatsink anyway.

You're right though, the Samuel 17 doesn't come with any fans as standard. The main reason why I'm fine with it is that I have the Noctua's already sitting around doing nothing anyway.
 
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K888D

SFF Guru
Lazer3D
Feb 23, 2016
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I've used the AR06, NH-L12 (bottom fan only), Big Shuriken 2 and AXP-100. I will try and get across my thoughts up jumbled on the matter below:

The ML05 has a vent hole pattern above the CPU, if your CPU fan is within 2mm of this vent then you will experience turbulence noise at low fan revs no matter how quiet the actual fan model is, if your fan is within 5mm of this vent then you will experience turbulence noise at medium revs no matter the fan. Ideally you want the fan to have a 10mm gap between the fan intake and vent to give the best acoustic performance in terms of airflow turbulence noise. This means that if you want to use a top down cooler then your height limit should really be less than 60mm if silence is your priority.

I'm not aware of any cooler on the market that will allow you to fit a 120mm x 25mm fan and come in at less than 65mm in height.

My experience of the Thermalright AXP 100 is that it does indeed have a noisy fan, it is audible at low rpm even in open air (no turbulence). I've used other Thermalright fans as well and they tend to be very noisy compared to other brands. The heatsink itself is actually very good and if you were to swap the Thermalright fan for a better quality 120mm x 15mm fan then it would be a quiet cooler even under load.

The Silverstone AR06 is a very quiet as well, can perhaps even be considered a silent cooler under idle load. It's 58mm height means that it should not suffer from airflow turbulence through the top vent, it can however get noisy under high load as it uses a slim 92mm fan, this can be quietened down if the Silverstone fan is swapped for the Noctua 92mm slim fan.

The NH-L12 when using the bottom 92mm x 25mm fan only is an oddball, it is completely silent when idle, but as the fan is not covering the entire heatsink it doesn't have the same instant cooling power as a 120mm fan would provide and it ramps up in rpm quickly during heavy load. When the 92mm speeds up it suffers from some turbulence noise as its pulling through the heat sink fins rather than open air. Its not overly noisy, but by no means silent. My experience of this cooler however is based around an i7-7700, not sure how that stacks up against the G3258 in terms of heat output under load.

Of the all the heatsinks in this height class that I've tested the Scythe Big Shuriken 2 blows the others away, probably due to the sheer number of heat pipes it has. The fan used on the Scythe Big Shuriken 2 is similar to the Thermalright being audible at idle rpm which lets the cooler down. But, if you were to swap the Scythe fan to the current king of 120mm slim fans - the Noctua NF-A12x15, then I think you would have the ultimate 61mm tall CPU cooler in terms of low temps and low noise.

Not sure you could improve on that combo within your 70mm height limit + 10mm gap for air turbulence reduction.
 

Tephnos

Average Stuffer
Original poster
Jul 5, 2017
70
153
Interesting writeup, and thanks for your thoughts. I didn't actually consider the turbulence noise as I did not think it would amount to much. Unfortunately, the Samuel 17 has already been ordered, so I'll report back on how I feel with that one given different fan configurations and see what's up and if the turbulence makes a noticeable difference in my case.

On the Shuriken, I did not realise how small it would be. I initially dismissed it because the large footprint of it is known to cause serious issues with fitting in certain cases, and of course the Samuel ends up performing the same if not better than it.
 

zovc

King of Cable Management
Jan 5, 2017
852
602
Have Scythe not announced an adapter Kit?

I did some quick looking and it looks like they have said they will not make one for AM4.

I just glanced around for info on the Samuel 17 and didn't see any word either way. They do have older AMD mounting kits (AM3), if those are compatible?
 

Aibohphobia

aka James
Gold Supporter
Feb 22, 2015
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I've used the AR06, NH-L12 (bottom fan only), Big Shuriken 2 and AXP-100. I will try and get across my thoughts up jumbled on the matter below:

What CPU did you test those on?

The heatsink [AXP 100] itself is actually very good and if you were to swap the Thermalright fan for a better quality 120mm x 15mm fan then it would be a quiet cooler even under load.

FWIW, the stock fan is a 100mm but the mounting holes are for a 92mm fan.
 

K888D

SFF Guru
Lazer3D
Feb 23, 2016
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What CPU did you test those on

I've not done a side by side comparison with each of them in the same system. It's been a variety of different CPUs in different cases over the years.

The AR06 I've tested with CPUs ranging from Skylake i3's up to non K Kaby Lake i7's. Usually inside the Silverstone ML08 and ML03 cases, they work really well in these, you can't hear the fan when idle with any CPU. With i3's it barely breaks a sweat and remains almost silent when stressed, i7s however do push the fan close to it's full rpm under stress load.

The AXP-100 I used in an ML08 as well I think with an i5-6500, it was reviewed really well so I expected it to perform better than the AR06. But the fan can be heard at its lowest rpm in free air, this was for a HTPC which needed to be silent for whilst carrying out light duty tasks. I had to use a fan resistor in the end to slow the fan down and bring the noise levels to near silent. The good thing about the cooler though was that it kept the CPU temps low with low rpms so it remained fairly quiet.

The Big Shuriken I tested with an i5-6500 in the LZ7, with the fan swapped to an Akasa AK-FN078. Under full prime95 and Unigine valley stress testing the CPU topped out at 50C, which is pretty incredible, the best part though was that this was achieved with a silent fan curve, the fan was only spinning at 900 rpm to achieve this temp under full stress which was extremely quiet. When the fan curve was changed to auto the rpm increased and the fan became audible, but the CPU temp dropped to under 45C under full stress conditions. I understand that the i5-6500 is probably not utilising its full 65w yep as the i7-6700 is also rated at 65 tdp. But I still think this is a great result.

The Noctua NH-L12 was tested with an i7-7700 again in the LZ7, it's not ideal conditions for it as the PSU covers around half of the top of the heatsink, it would perform better in a case with a vent directly above the cooler. But even so, it kept the 7700 at 80C during Prime95 8x thread testing with a fan speed of 1400rpm, at this speed the fan can be heard as a low level humming, the fan a much more pleasant tone than coolers which tend to use slim 92mm fans for instance.

FWIW, the stock fan is a 100mm but the mounting holes are for a 92mm fan

Good point, forgot about that!
 
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