When I decided it would be a good idea to modify the cooling in my PC I had no idea that it would be so involved, some things were due to, so Im told, unfounded concerns and others due to the components in the MESH machine being a little odd. Certainly none of the issues were due to QuietPC.com as their technical support has been very good.
I have to say that when I first visited their site, I was astonished at the weight of some of the CPU coolers, up to nearly a kilo and I was not happy that I could hang anything this heavy from a vertically mounted mainboard and concluded that I might be better off knowing what the TDP was for the processor, which turns out to be 95W. Which allowed me to narrow things down a little to the Zalman CNPS5X or the Arctic Cooler Freezer 7 Pro Rev 2. QuietPC.com suggested that the Zalman was good for CPU up to 100W TDP and weighed in at 320g and the Artic Cooler for 130W at 520g. This generated the first email to tech support and they advised that neither would be a problem as regards weight.
Next up was an additional case fan, probably not essential but as I was going to be inside the case messing about that I thought that I might as well add one, having just the single fan exhausting out the back of the case at present. I mean, how tricky can it be? Needless to say, in my case, the answer is ‘trickier than you thought’. The first thing I discover is that the mainboard has just single headers for 3 pin and 4 pin PWM fans and both are in use. So I looked at a PWM fan that came with a splitter but after another email to tech support it was suggested that this was not a good idea as the case fan speed would ramp up with the CPU cooler fan speed and that this was not really necessary and they suggested another 120mm fan that came with a Molex pass through. This must be the answer right? What PC is without a Molex connector or two? Mine is without it seems, all the connectors from the PSU are SATA, 5 wire connectors And whilst QuietPC sell PWM splitters, they do not sell 3 pin splitters. They can be obtained elsewhere but for a £2 component I expect I would have to pay at least as much again to in p & p to get it shipped.
So still not made a final decision; I will probably go for the Arctic Freezer and if I have to get a splitter then I will have a free hand on which 120mm fan to choose and possibly add a resistor to slow down the noisy existing fan given the increased airflow from the new fan.
Having cleaned up the stock cooler, the CPU is now running at 50C at 55% load and when I use BOINC to run it up to 100% it settles at about 59-61C, still warmer than I want it and I hope that whatever bits I throw at it will bring this down by 10C.