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Question Air cooler dilemma - tower versus compact? Help me decide between Cryorig C7 and Coolermaster TX3 (see case inside)

AnitaPeterson

Diamond Member
Apr 24, 2001
5,645
41
91
Howdy folks,

I've been mulling over a new build for a while, and I can't make up my mind over the type of cooler I need in this particular case.
So I'm hoping some other AT folks with more experience in these matters might give me advice.

Here's the scenario: An Intel i5-8400 with a mATX motherboard, inside an Acer case.

This is a really nice case - even though it's older - with plenty of space for storage and optical drives, and includes a SPDIF output aside from the regular brackets (and I will be using that SPDIF output). It won a Red Dot Design award, back in 2008 (I believe). So I'm set on using it, and not buying something else instead.

You can see pictures of the case here: https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/acer-aspire-e380-ed422a-250-gb-amd-1787487331 (ignore the motherboard)
And here's how it looks on the inside: https://38.img.avito.st/image/1/M-1M2raxnwR6bR0JJtIV9dx5nwDwe5UG

There are two considerations at play here: while I'm trying to keep the CPU and components as cool as possible, I'd also like the whole system to be as quiet as it can.

Right now, the case does not have any fans. That's why I'm linking the pictures: to show that there are plenty of ventilation holes on the side panel and on the back.

The power supply does have a fan, which looks pretty much like the one in the second picture (showing the insides). I assume that fan will extract air from inside the PC and expel it through the back of the PSU.

Now... considering that it's a 65W CPU which will not be overclocked, should I choose a Cryorig C7 or a Cooolermaster TX3 for it?

These are two coolers that I already have - no point in buying something else.

But I'm trying to decide what's the best choice, because the two coolers are extremely different:

- The C7 is small and compact, and looks like the stock Intel cooler. It's a "top-down", so it sits on top of the CPU and the air flows downwards, going through the fins and spreading across the motherboard.

- The TX3 is a "tower". I can also put the fan in various settings - either to blow through the fins or to extract air from the fins and push it towards the back of the case (and outside).

If necessary, I can also attach a 9 cm fan with 3-speed control to the back of the case (you can see where it goes in the pictures).
Since it's the only fan in the case, popular wisdom says it should work as an exhaust, blowing hot air out. That would definitely help the TX3.

So what do you think? Between the case vents and the two coolers, what would you advise?



Thanks in advance.
 
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AnitaPeterson

Diamond Member
Apr 24, 2001
5,645
41
91
Hmmm... So nobody had any opinion/idea?

Ended up going with the TX3, since it pushes the air outside the case.
The whole rig is quiet and temperatures seem pretty good.
Will add more RAM and a more powerful videocard soon.
 

UsandThem

Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
13,704
4,300
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Between those two coolers, it wouldn't matter much.

I'd personally add a case exhaust fan regardless of which cooler you use. You wouldn't have to run it at high RPMs, so it really shouldn't add any noise. That way the heat will be pulled out instead of rising and collecting in the case.

Cooler Master doesn't usually put that great of a fan on their coolers, so you could always buy a cheap and quiet replacement if the fan noise was noticeable (which it really shouldn't be a low RPMs).
 
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VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
49,556
5,606
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Yes, don't rely on the CPU cooler to move hot air outside the case. Get at least a (low-rpm, if necessary for 'silence') case fan. Even a slow-moving one will eventually move the air, which is what you need. The CPU cooler will start to not work effectively, if there is no case fan, because the air inside the case will just continue to heat up.
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 28, 2005
18,291
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Can you even buy a C7!?!? those things are near impossible to get in the USA due to trade sanctions and tariffs.
I even remember the note on there website which went into detail that they would not do business here anymore outside a third party.
I assume your not in the USA?
 

thor23

Member
Jul 13, 2019
80
21
41
I don't think you need an exhaust fan because you already have your psu fan doing that, unless it runs 0rpm on low load? You could replace the cooler master fan with a 92mm noctua fan which will move much more air with less noise.
 
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AnitaPeterson

Diamond Member
Apr 24, 2001
5,645
41
91
Can you even buy a C7!?!? those things are near impossible to get in the USA due to trade sanctions and tariffs.
I even remember the note on there website which went into detail that they would not do business here anymore outside a third party.
I assume your not in the USA?
I'm not in the US, that's correct.
Damn, didn't even know there are trade sanctions involved (well, that's Trump for you!)
I bought my C7 last year, from Canada Computers - it looks like the price has jumped considerably since.

While working on this build, I realized that I have several cooler models in my spare parts collection... I even toyed with the idea of using an older Scythe Katana instead of the TX3, but its slanted design sends the hot air downwards towards the motherboard (or RAM).
 
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mindless1

Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
5,499
483
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Given the low TDP of the CPU, either should work, but the C7 looks like it has a low quality, thin fan which probably won't have good lifespan, and will produce more noise for same cooling (same resultant temperature) due to needing higher RPM to achieve it.

Coolermaster's bundled fans aren't known for high quality either, but at least with a standard size and full 25mm thickness, it should be a better option whether it's just longer life or easier replacement with a HQ fan later.

At only 65W TDP, the motherboard VRM subcircuit shouldn't be producing a problematic amount of heat so blowing down onto the board isn't nearly as important as o'c or stock TDP well past 120W (depending on mobo design). To be clear, heatsink blowing (heated) air down towards the motherboard is a benefit not a problem, is still cooler than the temperature of the mosfets you'd be trying to cool if they needed it from a higher CPU TDP load, but since the CPU is only 65W, it won't make much difference.

US-China trade issues are not likely to effect flow of things like a heatsink, at most it would just cost a couple bucks more. Clearly China is still importing tons of similar goods. The COVID epidemic seems far more likely to cause certain products' supply issues for the time being, or simply lack of interest in the product. If it's similar to an OEM 'sink, who buys it instead of the retail boxed product coming with a 'sink? I know it's supposed to be more efficient than the stock 'sink, by 25% according to claims, but it is still a niche product for people customizing for a thin case.

Always use a case rear exhaust fan instead of depending on PSU alone, unless it's some especially low power build, mobile CPU, integrated video, etc. However, that Acer case may not be unusual for an OEM but was designed by an idiot, or at least not designed for function over cost. The rear fan mount should be cut out, those perforations are a substantial impediment to airflow while causing more noise and dust buildup trapped where it's more of a PITA to clean out (unless using intake filtration as mentioned below).

The perforations lower on the rear wall of the case should all be blocked off so dust doesn't come in that way and create a shorter loop where the air get sucked in those, up and just goes right out the back wall fan and PSU fan, only to then have this heated air sucked back down in to the bottom perforations again.

Instead your rear wall fan and PSU fan should be pulling air from the bottom front and side panel vents where it helps to flow past the video card more and more video card heat up and out. Even better would be a side panel fan blowing across the video card, placed near the bottom of the side panel perforatons, then block off the upper portion of those perforations. Even better, cut out a fan hole for it as suggested for the rear wall fan, though a 120+mm fan will probably move plenty of air without doing that, is less significant than the rear fan obstruction from the perforations, but would still have the extra work cleaning dust out and reduced airflow:noise ratio.

Putting a filter panel on any active or passive intake areas would be my preference too, and while doing that at the front bezel area, I'd look at whether there is adequate intake area or if that needs some improvement.

Granted, there is a point where some of this becomes overkill because it's not a high heat system, but it can still achieve lower temperatures and/or lower noise and lower internal dust buildup, and fans running on a controller that responds to temperature, will last longer spinning at lower RPM to reach that temperature.

Optimizing an OEM case can defiinitely be a bit of work, though if standard ATX, once it is modded it's got more long term potential and service ease.
 
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