Monday, January 17, 2011

Push pull?

I have a Thermalright MUX-120 cooler in my PC. I bought it for JPY3950 in June. I didn’t buy it just for overclocking the CPU. It is one reason. But there were few more.

This is a very silent performer. The stock fan is about as quiet as you get in a high performance after market cooler. The stock Intel fan for the Core i5 750 was so loud. I love silent operation. I don’t want everyone in the house to know the whole PC is running. My PC is in my bedroom when I was in Sri Lanka and it would disrupt my sleep as I used to run the PC overnight download stuff, and it is not so different anymore either – I mean, the ROOM part, not the DOWNLOAD part. (The whole apartment is so frigging small! You can hear anything from anywhere!). The other thing was, it was out on sale. Today when I checked the prices of it, it was about JPY1500 higher than the price I bought it for.

Now, the heat sink came with only one fan. There was additional clips for mounting another fan. You could mount two fans so that both of them blow at the heat sink. But the push pull config is the most popular arrangement these days. I haven’t compared the two, but it doesn’t disrupt the natural airflow inside a case. Besides, two fans will give better thermal performance than one fan. Even two slow fans are desirable to one high RPM fan.

The stock fan that comes with the HSF is a Thermalright X-Silent 12. 1200RPM, 19.8dBA. But about 36CFM iirc. It is OK, and I checked to buy a second X-Silent, but I couldn’t find any in Japan. (I checked the regular places online)

There was another option. The video card was running a little bit hot when playing games, so I could add the X-Silent to the side panel of the case, and buy couple of brand new fans to mount on the heat sink. I was looking for something BETTER than the X-Silent, otherwise it would not be much of an upgrade, would it. What I meant by “better” was not high CFM.

1. Better CFM @ same noise

2. Same CFM @ less noise

3. Better CFM @ less noise

Obviously, the options was the best. I checked few fan reviews and specs and after a lot of consideration, I decided to buy couple of Enermax T.B. Silence 120mm fans. Enermax? Who would have thought! Usual contenders are Scythe, Coolermaster, GELID, but the T.B. Silence ones seemed to have the best specs. 43CFM @ 11dBA??? That cannot be true. I listened to some noise comparisons on youtube too. They seemed to work so well.


I ordered it when I was in SL. I specified delivery time to be later in the day I arrived in Japan. Awesome.

So when they arrived, I installed them and I couldn’t tell from 1 feet away whether they were running or not! They were that silent. I checked the airflow too. The airflow was very good as well. Much higher than the X-Silent. So what about the temps? I used to get over 70C while running LinX with the old fan. Now I get max 62C. The ambient is a bit lower these days, but it is definitely NOT 8C+. I’d say the push pull config relieved the CPU off by more than 5C. It is a win! But it didn’t increase the overclocking potential of the CPU. It still requires a lot of volts to get to 4GHz stable. Doesn’t seem worth the risk and power bill. 3.8GHz is where I stop at with this CPU.

One more note:

All this time I thought the MUX-120 was not a very good cooler. It seems, it is one of the best out there. Check this out.,2535-14.html


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