75 months ago
I'm currently planning a gaming PC build for a friend that I will be building in a couple months. One thing he want is one of those closed loops liquid cooler, and since I've always used air cooling in the past, I'm asking for some advice. I know that air coolers tend to have a better value, but he wants a liquid cooler for the clean look and RAM clearance (He's not very tech savvy, so he want to have easy access to the RAM without removing the cooler).
Right now, I have set a budget for about CAD $60 for the CPU cooler(price in Canada), and there are 4 options at this price, but I'd like to know which one would be the best option.
Of course, I want the best cooling performances, but I also want it to be reliable(and have a good warranty) and to be reasonably quiet(don't need it to be dead silent, but I don't want it to be annoying either). I don't plan on extreme overclocking but I'll overclock it as high as the cooler and motherboard allows. Note that for the moment, I plan on using the stock fan included with the cooler, otherwise it would go out of the $60 budget - So I don't care if a cooler perform better with a Noctua fan, I want to know how it will perform at stock configuration.
I am set on a FX-8350 CPU with Asus M5A99X EVO R2.0 motherboard right now.
So, at this price, the candidates are:
- Corsair H60 (the newer version with the thicker tubes and better fan)
- Thermaltake Water 2.0 Performer
- Antec Kuhler H2O 620
- Zalman LQ-310
Now I have a hard time finding a comparison between these. Most comparison of the Corsair H60 compares the older version, which wasn't as good as the new one and was more expensive when it came out, making it a bad choice - But the newer one seems to be pretty decent. One thing is that I'm not sure about RAM clearance on the motherboard I plan to use(Asus M5A99X EVO R2.0). The RAM slots are quite close to the CPU socket and the tubes on the H60 sticks out on the right side of the CPU block. I'm afraid it might cover the first RAM slot - and rotating the cooler means a sideways or upside-down Corsair logo... no so cool. Anyone tried using a H60 with the motherboard? It also has a 5 years warranty, which is always good to hear(It means the manufacturer is confident about the product reliability).
I can't find many review of the Zalman LQ-310, except the review from Hardware Secrets, which they say it performs almost as good as the Corsair H100, but when I read user reviews, many people says it performs worse than a Hyper 212. So I'm confused. The cooler does looks very good, and I like the fact that I can rotate the CPU clock 180° without having the logo to appear upside down. Zalman products are usually pretty good, and it's probably made by the same OEMs as the others anyway (Asetek or Coolit) - But the short 1-year warranty is quite a bummer....
The Antec Kuhler H2O 620 seems a little bit old to me and I didn't hear many people recommending it, but it might be a good option too. It has a 3 years warranty. What do you think?
And finally, the Thermaltake Water 2.0 Performer, which from now, seems to be the best performing in the lot, but would cost $5 more tough. It seems quite loud from what I read, too... The black and white fan would fit pretty well in the NZXT Phantom 410 White case I plan to use. Some sites says it has 3 years warranty while other says only 1... I'm not sure, but I'd definitely like it to have more than only one year.
So right now I'm leaning to the Corsair H60 (again, the newer version), as it seems to be a decent performer and has an impressive 5 years warranty - But I'm worried about clearance issues and actual performances. I'm not sure about the noise too. The Water 2.0 Performer seems to be the most performing in the lot, but cost a bit more, is apparently noisier and has a much shorter warranty - 1 or 3 years.
What do you think I should get? Is the new corsair H60 a good idea with a FX-8350 and Asus M5A99X EVO R2.0 motherboard? Again, I don't plan on extreme overclocking, but if I can get 0.1-0.2GHz more with one cooler over the others, it's a good bonus.
Anyway, thanks in advance for your advice!