Question 140mm CPU Air Cooler Recommendations

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Mantrid-Drone

Senior member
Mar 15, 2014
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I'm looking for an air cpu cooler either designed for or a 120mm type capable of taking replacement 140mm fans with 120mm mounts.

I have two unused Akasa Viper R 140mm 'round' 120mm mount fans I know work very well as cpu coolers. Another I've used with an Scythe cpu cooler, mounted horizontally, gives temperature readings with a 3rd gen i5 as good as a CM Hyper 212 used with two 120mm Akasa Viper fans. So I want to find a cooler which allows me to use them but without fouling any RAM slots using standard height modules.

The problem is the Viper R is genuinely round with an approximate 145mm diameter so even some coolers designed for 140mm are likely unsuitable.

In my researches even when a 120mm fan fitted cooler's height dimensions are shown it is not clear how much leeway you have beneath to be able to mount, or not, a 140mm fan like this.

There is also an issue even with the coolers designed for 140mm fans. The one(s) provided are often not typical 140x140x25 size either. I've found coolers which use 140x150x25 fans (Noctua), other with unique 135mm 'round' fans (Be Quiet) and other two fans coolers where the first has to be a 'slim' type so that it doesn't foul the RAM.

My case will take a cooler up to 180mm height to that should not be a problem. I'm not bothered with the fan(s) fitted or the claimed performance of the cooler because I know the Viper R's will have better AF and SAP. The primary concern is fitting the Viper R and RAM clearance.

Initially I'm doing without a GPU so will likely be going for a i5 cpu with OB HD graphics. Therefore the only other criteria is that it should have S1700 mounts available.

I have looked at the CM Hyper 212 V2 black edition and, I think, that might work as the heat sink is slightly offset but there must be others.

Any suggestions appreciated.

EDIT 1

Interesting; I revisited Noctua coolers and looking through the options I found the NH-D15S which specifically mentions that if you add a front fan to that it can be positioned higher to allow for RAM clearance.

I've messaged them to ask about this, although not mentioning the purpose is to use a non-Noctua fan and how high it can be mounted without affecting the cooling performance.

EDIT 2
They replied very quickly confirming that on either cooler, which are essentially the same just supplied with/out the extra fan, the front fan in either case can be positioned up to 20mm higher to prevent RAM module fouling without it affecting performance.

I think I'm sold.
 
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Tech Junky

Diamond Member
Jan 27, 2022
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You can get fan clips on their own or get creative with zip ties. Sandwich the fans on either side and secure them however you can. It's easier with proper clips and looks more refined but funtionality is more important here. Arctic I've been using for years and also don't die. Just pick a cooler that works well with the CPU you want to use. If you want to spend $100 then do it.
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
15,669
1,422
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Here's one for you. When I build a new system, I always end up using air-cooling and heatpipes, so I try and pressurize the case and force all the air through the CPU cooler (with an exception of a second exhaust in some instances, but that's another topic).

I buy a selection of fans just to try them, and put back the surplus in a parts-locker .

Last year, I was planning to build another system from spare parts -- identical in most ways to the one I have, but an improvement. I had to set the work in progress aside, in an initial stage.

So I picked up my project this year. I was stunned that I had actually bought - and installed -- a Delta 5,000 rpm PWM 120mm fan for the exhaust, sitting behind the cooler in ThermalRight's patent accordion duct. Somehow, I'd also picked up a Noctua 120mm iPPC 3000. I swapped the Noctua for the Delta today in the case.

I don't know what possessed me to put that Delta in there. It draws 1.46 Amps, well over the limit that most motherboard fan-ports are spec'd for.

I try to get as much airflow as I can, and direct it. But even with the iPPC fans, my machines are quiet. I'm not so sure the Delta could be tamed to lower decibels.
 

Mantrid-Drone

Senior member
Mar 15, 2014
330
39
91
Just an update on the fan mounting configuration on the Noctua NF-15S I've had replies to my enquiries on this matter and they recommend against using the second fan as a 'pull' on the back of the second heatsink because it 'may cause additional noise'.

Hmmm, not convinced about that as mounting three fans (front, centre and back) whilst not recommended practice is addressed as being possible. It is stated as being no more effective at reducing the temperatures than just two fans but it is not proscribed.

There are YT videos showing just such cooler fan set ups without any reported or obvious noise problems.

Two things I want to add here is that Noctua customer support is some of the best I've ever experienced. Quick replies to my two enquiries and despite an unequivocal offer from me to pay for three additional sets of fan clips plus shipping to the UK they've already sent them free of charge.

That is the way to do it.
 
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bigboxes

Lifer
Apr 6, 2002
37,909
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Just an update on the fan mounting configuration on the Noctua NF-15S I've had replies to my enquiries on this matter and they recommend against using the second fan as a 'pull' on the back of the second heatsink because it 'may cause additional noise'.

Hmmm, not convinced about that as mounting three fans (front, centre and back) whilst not recommended practice is addressed as being possible. It is stated as being no more effective at reducing the temperatures than just two fans but it is not proscribed.

There are YT videos showing just such cooler fan set ups without any reported or obvious noise problems.

Two things I want to add here is that Noctua customer support is some of the best I've ever experienced. Quick replies to my two enquiries and despite an unequivocal offer from me to pay for three additional sets of fan clips plus shipping to the UK they've already sent them free of charge.

That is the way to do it.
I have both in a push config. One for each tower. They are pretty massive and are right next to the 140mm exhaust fan. I have shared this video before. It's not under load, but the thing is dead quiet.

 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
56,004
9,876
126
I don't know what possessed me to put that Delta in there. It draws 1.46 Amps, well over the limit that most motherboard fan-ports are spec'd for.
Hmm, I was going comment on, maybe using higher-than-spec fans was what burned out your USB ports, and not static discharge on the ports.

Then I realized, USB is running off of the +5V (or +5Vsb), and the fans are generally +12V, but running off of a PWM fan-controller chip.