The Best CPU Cooler – Period

The Best CPU Cooler – Period

I recently built a tower server to provide room for a nice GPU. I had most of the parts already because I was pulling them from a rack mount server chassis, but I knew that regular heat sinks would not be sufficient. I then discovered, the hard way, that the Cooler Master 212 EVO does not fit on server LGA1366. The screws were not able to thread into the Xeon backplate. The Cooler Master used to be my go to cooler for desktop applications. After the Cooler Masters were returned, I ordered a set of Intel Server/Workstation coolers because I knew they would be compatible. They did a decent job, but had an unbearable loud whine to them. I keep my servers in the spare bedroom next to mine and you could just hear the things screaming away through the door/walls.

After I little more research I settled on spending more money and ordering two Noctua i4 CPU Coolers. Their website clearly shows they are compatible with the LGA1366 socket and Xeon backplate. There were also some good reviews from people online saying these fans were quiet and worked well. The only bad reviews were the ones where people did not realized they were shipped a server CPU cooler and had to order the motherboard backplate separately.

Packaging

When you open the box it is easy to see the quality of how well these things are built.
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They also came bundled with additional brackets, screws, cables, and enough thermal compound to mount at least three separate CPUs.
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Installation

Installation was very straight forward. With my LGA1366 Xeon socket I had to swap out the four short silver screws for the longer black ones. The brackets were already lined up but the fans on the heat sink had to be removed. The clips attaching the fans to the heat sink just needed to be pulled back a little bit and pulled away. After removing the fan, you will see a thin strip of rubber on the heat sink that provides vibration dampening. Once the heat sink is secured the fans clipped right back together. The clips make it impossible to mess up the fan direction as long as you do not remove them completely.

Conclusion

While I do not have a decibel meter, I can say these fans brought the unbearable whine of the Intel fans down a level that I could sit next to while working. They are absolutely amazing and I will never order anything other than Noctua fans in the future. The cost was a little bit higher, but with the included accessories and low noise to cooling ratio it is absolutely worth the extra money.

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