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Solved! CPU Cooler Recommendation for Limited Vertical Space Setup

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ControlAlternateDelete

Junior Member
Jul 4, 2021
13
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Hello Everyone:

Problem:
Following the apparent death of my liquid cooler, I am in the market for a quality replacement. However, the major hurdle (for an air cooler at least) is the "vertical" space I have for installation (the space between the first PCI-E card and the top of the case).

While manufacturers specifications exist (and I will certainly look at them), I find sometimes unseen installation problems can creep in (esp. when you are working with small tolerances). So I thought I would ask for recommendations here.

Specs:
Cooling (liquid): Corsair H100i v1 (Not Working)
CPU: Intel i7-4770K
MoBo: Asus Maximus VI Formula
PSU: Corsair HX1000
Case: Corsair Carbide Air 540
RAM: Corsair Vengence Pro 2,400MHz DDR3

Measurements:
Since I am not sure how to describe the dimensions involved, I will be measuring them in centimetres (with approximate inch conversions) as taken from the centre or edge of the CPU (pictures included).

A) Asus Maximus VI Formula Layout



B) Setup side view (with H100i CPU heat sink intact):



C) Setup side view close up (with H100i CPU heat sink removed but radiator/fans intact):



D) Close up of CPU and RAM



E) Measurements (apologies for the potato photo quality: best I could do with an old phone)

a. Distance between first PCI-E card and the centre of the CPU: 6 cm (2.4 inches)



Since I believe most air coolers are symmetrical around the CPU centre line, I assume this will be the major limiting measurement. Any CPU air cooler with a "width" of more than 12 cm (4.7 inches) might be out.

b. Height of RAM: 4.5 cm (1.8 inches) and distance of RAM from edge of CPU, (3.5 cm or 1.4 inches).





I assume this would be the second major limiting factor as my RAM components are tall.

c. Separation between the CPU and the case's wall (not pictured) is 19 cm (7.5 inches)

Requirements:

The only requirement is that the cooler fit the space

Nice-To-Have (but not essential):
a. Air cooler preferred (since for a water cooler, space is not an issue).
b. More metal and less plastic involved the better.
c. No or minimal RGB and bright colours.

Price:
Since prices vary between countries, I would set the max price (for the air cooler) as equivalent to how much ever a Noctua NH-D15 sells for where you are.

Notes:
I really liked the Noctua NH-D15 and the DEEPCOOL Assassin III but both are (just!) too large and would require the removal of the first PCI-E card. If an air cooler is really not an option then please recommend any AIO water-cooler setups.

If you would need any extra details, please mention them and I will do my best to provide.

Thanks for reading!


Locking this thread as there is already an existing thread created two days earlier discussing the same issues/questions. We do not allow multiple active threads on the same question/subject. Please use your other thread for additional questions/help.
https://forums.anandtech.com/threads/cpu-overheat-corsair-h100i-v1-cpu-fan-error-cpu-over-temperature-error”.2595079/

AT Mod Usandthem
 
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aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 28, 2005
19,201
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I think we are really overthinking it here.

It's a 4770k, not a unlimited wattage late model Intel CPU here. I would buy the cheapest, not terrible cooler available and make sure that there isn't something else wrong with this PC.
on top he is not overclocking.

The problem is the sinks in his country which are available.
It was the pricey D15 and Deepcool Sin3, both which i stated are overkill by far standards, but they are available to him next day.

The original sinks i recommended were the Ventroo and ID-Cooling, unfortunately, he stated were niche markets.
I believe he even said the Deepcool GAMMAX was no go even.

So he is really only looking at the D15 and Deepcool Sin3.
In that unless the Sin3 is priced near or same as the D15, the Sin3 is the best choice you can go.

However for some reason or other, i have seen noctua sinks priced the same, and if that is the case, if the D15 is priced within 10-15% of the Sin3, get the D15. The Fans are worth that much of an increase, but not anymore then that.
 

blckgrffn

Diamond Member
May 1, 2003
8,105
1,359
126
www.teamjuchems.com
So... to be that guy... ;)

Can you move the PCIe card (sound card?) down into one of the other slots in your case? I think that would open up your air cooler options to the ones you listed.
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 28, 2005
19,201
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i do not honestly think any of the heat sinks i recommended to you on the other forum would have clearance issues.
What you describe is pretty basic.
Unless its a 10 dollar heat sink, im sure the vendors already planned out most of what your concerned about.

There are some exceptions to the ram clearance, but you are not running those ram sticks.

Also looks like your cards have experienced gpu sag.
 

blckgrffn

Diamond Member
May 1, 2003
8,105
1,359
126
www.teamjuchems.com
So... to be that guy... ;)

Can you move the PCIe card (sound card?) down into one of the other slots in your case? I think that would open up your air cooler options to the ones you listed.
Never mind - GTX 780 SLI! I see it now.

Yeah, I think you are going to be OK especially if you get that radiator out of there. It will feel more spacious.
 

ControlAlternateDelete

Junior Member
Jul 4, 2021
13
2
11
So... to be that guy... ;)

Can you move the PCIe card (sound card?) down into one of the other slots in your case? I think that would open up your air cooler options to the ones you listed.
It is a sound card, well spotted :). And no, I cannot move it: all the other ports covered by the SLI GPU's.

Yeah, I think you are going to be OK especially if you get that radiator out of there. It will feel more spacious.
The problem is the limiting measurement is the one between the CPU and the first PCI-E slot (i.e. sound card). The distance between the CPU and the "top" of the case should be fine, as you said.

i do not honestly think any of the heat sinks i recommended to you on the other forum would have clearance issues.
What you describe is pretty basic.
Unless its a 10 dollar heat sink, im sure the vendors already planned out most of what your concerned about.

There are some exceptions to the ram clearance, but you are not running those ram sticks.
Thank you for those suggestions, I am cross-referencing them now with my motherboard on the PCPartsPicker website to see if they overlap the slot.

Also looks like your cards have experienced gpu sag.
:(

What's the solution? If I place the case such that the motherboard is horizontal (keeping space for the PSU exhaust), would that help?

P.S. Apologies for the delayed reply: work intervened.
 

kschendel

Member
Aug 1, 2018
103
39
71
Many CPU coolers have offset pipes to assist in RAM clearance, and all but the largest will be fine with PCIe clearance unless the sound card is unusually bulky. Some completed builds on pcpartpicker strongly suggest that an NH-U12S fits without a problem, and that might be your best option. Cryorig H7, possibly the dual fan version, is another possibility if you can get it at a sensible price.
 

blckgrffn

Diamond Member
May 1, 2003
8,105
1,359
126
www.teamjuchems.com
I think we are really overthinking it here.

It's a 4770k, not a unlimited wattage late model Intel CPU here. I would buy the cheapest, not terrible cooler available and make sure that there isn't something else wrong with this PC.

Thinking a Cooler Master Hyper 212 equivalent. Plenty of cooler for a 4770k. And less gnashing of teeth when it has fitment issues, which I don't think it will at all.

Even the Be Quiet 92mm fan cooler is an option that shouldn't have any issues with fitment OR cooling.


Although I hate the push pins on principle, for one and done installations I hate them less.
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 28, 2005
19,201
1,595
126
I think we are really overthinking it here.

It's a 4770k, not a unlimited wattage late model Intel CPU here. I would buy the cheapest, not terrible cooler available and make sure that there isn't something else wrong with this PC.
on top he is not overclocking.

The problem is the sinks in his country which are available.
It was the pricey D15 and Deepcool Sin3, both which i stated are overkill by far standards, but they are available to him next day.

The original sinks i recommended were the Ventroo and ID-Cooling, unfortunately, he stated were niche markets.
I believe he even said the Deepcool GAMMAX was no go even.

So he is really only looking at the D15 and Deepcool Sin3.
In that unless the Sin3 is priced near or same as the D15, the Sin3 is the best choice you can go.

However for some reason or other, i have seen noctua sinks priced the same, and if that is the case, if the D15 is priced within 10-15% of the Sin3, get the D15. The Fans are worth that much of an increase, but not anymore then that.
 
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