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Question Replacement cooler - please give me some recommendations and opinions

IndyColtsFan

Lifer
Sep 22, 2007
33,474
545
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So, I got up Saturday morning to do some work and when I booted my system (the 8700k system in my signature), CoreTemp reported CPU temps of over 100! The system shut down and on repeated attempts to reboot, it would repeatedly shut down. I figured that my Arctic Freezer 240 mm AIO pump had died and since my system is critical for the work I do, I had purchased a cheap Coolermaster Masterliquid 240 Lite on a Newegg sale a year or two ago as a backup. I swapped them out and my system is up and running.

I've since been thinking about whether or not I should use this Masterliquid 240 Lite long term or if I should replace it. It seems to do OK as far as temps but since it is a lower-end model, I'm concerned about eventual leaks. Complicating the decision is the fact that I intend to build a system next year, so ideally, if I were to buy a new cooler now, I'd want something that could likely cool a 16 core CPU. Here are the options I'm considering:

1. Keep the Masterliquid 240 Lite cooling the 8700k and maybe buy a cheap Hyper 212 air cooler to have as an emergency replacement.
2. Keep the Masterliquid 240 Lite cooling the 8700k and buy a nicer unit to keep as a backup in case the Masterliquid dies. This backup would be selected on the basis that it would cool the CPU in my next PC, so if I never use it for my 8700K, it will be ready for my next-gen machine.
3. Replace the Masterliquid with something nice and return the Masterliquid to its box to serve as a backup.

I really like having a backup cooler onsite; I know I can get many via same day shipping from Amazon, but that might take several hours and my PC is critical to my work, so I want to keep something here at my house. Best Buy's inventory is iffy and Fry's Electronics is probably going to close, so I can't guarantee I can easily find a local source within an hour's drive. Anyway, here are a few questions for the folks of AT:

1. This whole adventure makes me wonder if I should just return to air cooling. Thoughts?
2. Which option from the list above would you pick?
3. If you had to buy a cooler now which you thought would work for Zen 3 next year, which would you pick?
 

UsandThem

Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
13,077
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1. This whole adventure makes me wonder if I should just return to air cooling. Thoughts?
I like air cooling. Easy, effective, long-lasting, and it only has a fan that can go bad (and easily replaced).
3. If you had to buy a cooler now which you thought would work for Zen 3 next year, which would you pick?
I'd go with a cooler like the Noctua NH-U14S, or if you have the space for it, the NH-D15S.
 

IndyColtsFan

Lifer
Sep 22, 2007
33,474
545
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Thanks. I'd have to research whether or not those would block the RAM slots. Currently in a Phanteks Enthoo Luxe case so I think either would likely fit.

There's also the remote possibility I could upgrade to Threadripper next year, so I was also considering going with a cheaper cooler than the Noctua now as a backup. That's why I was considering the Hyper 212 - it's cheap and should cool the 8700K, even though I might have to drop the OC down for it.
 
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UsandThem

Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
13,077
3,725
146
Thanks. I'd have to research whether or not those would block the RAM slots. Currently in a Phanteks Enthoo Luxe case so I think either would likely fit.

There's also the remote possibility I could upgrade to Threadripper next year, so I was also considering going with a cheaper cooler than the Noctua now as a backup. That's why I was considering the Hyper 212 - it's cheap and should cool the 8700K, even though I might have to drop the OC down for it.
The NH-U14S might interfere with the 1st DIMM slot (although the fan can be installed up a bit), however the NH-D15S should clear just about all modules out there outside of some insanely tall ones (like some of the crazy OLOy modules). Noctua maintains a pretty good motherboard QVL, and you can look and see if their will be any mounting/installation issues on your particular motherboard. For the NH-D15S it is here: https://noctua.at/en/nh-d15s/comp

https://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/7301/noctua-nh-d15s-style-cpu-cooler-review/index5.html

 

VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
48,406
5,101
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Why do you worry about your ML240 Lite leaking? Just because it's a LQ, or something intrinsic to that model?

I've been using the original (white LED, prior to the RGB model), for a year or more thus far, no issues that I can discern.

Edit: It is good to have some sort of backup cooler, preferably air, just in case, though. I agree with that. (Backup PSU as well.)
 

IndyColtsFan

Lifer
Sep 22, 2007
33,474
545
126
Why do you worry about your ML240 Lite leaking? Just because it's a LQ, or something intrinsic to that model?

I've been using the original (white LED, prior to the RGB model), for a year or more thus far, no issues that I can discern.

Edit: It is good to have some sort of backup cooler, preferably air, just in case, though. I agree with that. (Backup PSU as well.)
My main concern is the backup more than anything because I make money with this PC. I do have backup PCs as well that I can use if I have to, but this system already has everything I need. It dying on Saturday almost bit me hard, as I had a client meeting but was able to get the missing software I needed loaded on my second PC quickly before the meeting started.

The ML Lite may last for 10 years for all I know (I have the white LED one, not the RGB), but it is certainly not as nice as my deceased Arctic Freezer 240, which died about 3 weeks out of warranty. It feels kind of cheap in comparison and I really don’t like the plasticky hoses - they seem too rigid to me. The main reason I bought this model was because I wanted a backup and I think I got it for $40 from Newegg on a Black Friday a year or so ago. I could just buy another ML Lite for backup purposes but like I mentioned earlier, I think I may just go back to air after this misadventure.

EDIT: Another thing I don’t like about the ML Lite is that it is loud compared to my old Arctic Freezer and has an annoying hum.
 

IndyColtsFan

Lifer
Sep 22, 2007
33,474
545
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You do realize, those are the non-kink skin covers for the hoses, not the hoses themselves?
Yes, and I don’t like them - they’re too rigid and I fear that you could inadvertently put too much torque on them and weaken the attachment point on the radiator. I also could see them cracking in the future and I’d be concerned with sharp edges. I wish they would’ve charged a few dollars more and had them covered in braided nylon or something.

As I also mentioned, the noise annoys me. In addition to the hum, I’ll be working and occasionally hear a sloshing sound. I look out the window and it’s sunny out, so that isn’t rain - it’s the AIO. Maybe that’s normal for AIOs; the Arctic Freezer was my first AIO but was almost completely silent - MarkFW recommended it to me and he nailed it.
 

IndyColtsFan

Lifer
Sep 22, 2007
33,474
545
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@VirtualLarry are the fans on your Masterliquid Lite kind of loud? I'm using the default fans on the bottom and 2 Arctic Freezer fans on the top in a push/pull arrangement. The Arctic Freezer fans were always OK for me, so it seems the noise I'm hearing is coming from the pump or Coolermaster fans. Not 100% sure which one yet.

I think I'm likely going to pull the trigger on the DH-15s. I seriously thought about the EVGA CLC 280 as well but I think going back to air will be easier. My only concern is that this room gets warm in the summer and I wonder if there would be much, if any, difference in cooling between the NH-D15s and the EVGA CLC in a warm room.
 

VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
48,406
5,101
126
@VirtualLarry are the fans on your Masterliquid Lite kind of loud?
Not especially. Though, possibly the pump used to be. I say, "used to be", because I don't hear it any more, and CPU temps are actually lower. So possibly, there were some pump-bearing issues early on that seemed to wear their way through, or it was unbalanced somehow.
 

IndyColtsFan

Lifer
Sep 22, 2007
33,474
545
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I replaced the Coolermaster Masterliquid Lite 240 with the Noctua DH-15s today. The machine seems quieter but the thermal performance doesn't match my old Arctic Freezer 240 and honestly, I'm disappointed. From what I recall, my Arctic Freezer kept the CPU well under 80 even on Prime 95 small FFT. The Noctua hits 90 within a couple of minutes. I did remove and reattach the HSF and also reapplied thermal paste (Noctua NT-H1) as my first application wasn't great but for the second, I put a 4-5 mm dot in the middle and screwed the HSF on. Idle temps are 33-36 C in a 72 F room.

I never ran Prime on the Coolermaster to test its legs, but I think idle was around the same as the Noctua (maybe a little lower). I'm wondering if I should just replace the fans on the Coolermaster and return the Noctua at this point. I'm pretty confused at this stage, but as long as the system is stable for me, I suppose I should just leave it alone.

EDIT: Just ripped and re-encoded a video and the Noctua definitely outperformed the Coolermaster.
 
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UsandThem

Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
13,077
3,725
146
I replaced the Coolermaster Masterliquid Lite 240 with the Noctua DH-15s today. The machine seems quieter but the thermal performance doesn't match my old Arctic Freezer 240 and honestly, I'm disappointed.
EDIT: Just ripped and re-encoded a video and the Noctua definitely outperformed the Coolermaster.
Well that was a quick change of direction. It usually takes at least a few posts before that happens. ;)
 

IndyColtsFan

Lifer
Sep 22, 2007
33,474
545
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Well that was a quick change of direction. It usually takes at least a few posts before that happens. ;)
It is still running warmer than my Arctic Freezer, however. I’m more concerned what will happen once summer gets here and the room is warmer. I could add a second fan to drop the temp a few more degrees and probably will do that at some point - I have a smaller Noctua dual tower model in my Ryzen box with push/pull and it seems to work well.

I will say that I love the ease of installing Noctua coolers - they’re a pleasure to work on.
 

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