AM3+ cooler compatibility

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AM3+ cooler compatibility

Postby asassin' » Fri Nov 09, 2012 6:40 am

Do all AM3 coolers fit +'s; what gives? Looked ot Zalman's site, says CNPS9900 Max fits; resellers' don't. I'm aware they came out about 2 years ago, but with their craveat not to transport assembled, I'm a little nervous about the tricky installation (my last builds were XP/MP Athlons).
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Postby Mr T » Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:39 pm

The Coolers rated for 939,940, 754, AM2 will fit an AM3, AM3+ CPU as the retaining brackets are all the same.. Just make sure it is rated for the TDP of the CPU, ie 95W, 125w or 145W...
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Postby asassin' » Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:14 am

Thanks Mr T, but your answer raised another question. Zalman lists Qmax instead of TDP. Are they a 1 to1 ratio, or is there a conversion factor as in UPSs' VA to W?
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Postby Mr T » Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:41 am

Reading through the reviews it seems to me that Qmax is the maximum wattage of heat to power dissipation.. TDP is the maximum power to heat that the CPU will disperse.. This is only my reasoning (correct me if I am wrong).

If the Qmax of the heatsink/fan is rated to 350w, it will cool the CPU running at maximum TDP (ie 125w) in a proprtional ratio and cool it well. If your qmax is close or lower to the TDP of the CPU then the cooler won't work or won't work well for that CPU. Remeber due to the green brigade CPU manufacturers are trying to get the TDP of any CPU as low as they can without affecting performance.

I have read on some suppliers sites (recent) that the Zalman CNPS9900 will cool AM3+'s as well, bearing in mind its Qmax is 350w and AM3+ TDP's are generally in the 95w range and below (again correct me if I am wrong).

Me personally am not a fan of Zalman heatsinks. They tended to concentrate on noise reduction at the expense of reasonable cooling, but they do look nice. If I am not overclocking, the stock heatsink does fine, I have tested this many a time using Handbrake to convert DVD formats. This uses all the cores on any CPU to the max and will cause a system to crash if the CPU cooling isn't up to it. On my Q6600 the temps overclocked on stock heatsink running at 3Ghz went up to near 70 deg C with no problems. I replaced the stock with an ARTIC freezer Extreme heatsink and got a 20 deg C reduction in temps.
I have been programming on computers since the ZX81.
I am an apprentice trained Electronics Engineer with qualifications to back it up.
I have been repairing computers since 1996.
Yet to some people I still know nothing...
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Postby asassin' » Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:07 am

Thanks again; your reasoning seems reasonable. I also am not a fan of Zalmans; my first gave me fits. However, for this particular rebuild of my wife's Lian Li with scorpion window (her sign), noise and looks are important. Trying to maintain her red & black color scheme, I figured this cooler would go well with Fatal1ty mobo and psu. The 9KA it got from MaximumPC sold me as long as it fit.
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