The trouble with water coolers..
I was wandering around my local TigerDirect store a while ago and came across a Thermaltake CPU water cooler. It was in the clearance section at a reasonable price, but I walked away from it.
Reading through reviews, water coolers inevitably come out on top when it comes to cooling CPU’s, but what happens if the pump part decides to give up? Have you ever seen pump assemblies on sale as accessories? I haven’t. This is why I don’t have one on my PC.
The sealed system water coolers render easy repairs impossible, and exchanging for a new one takes time and may require the motherboard to be removed before the new one can be fitted.
The trouble with air coolers..
As I have found with my SilenX EFZ-120HA4, if it is mounted such that the air is pushed through it, the first two memory slots become inaccessible. This is not a huge problem as, in normal use, one doesn’t have to remove memory, but it is a problem if the fan has to be removed for replacement or cleaning. The rubber mounting lugs are a real pain to slide back into the heatsink slots, and the only way is to apply a small amount of silicon lubricant to them.
The one thing that it does have going for it is that it is a standard 120mm three pin type which can be bought at any decent computer store.
So, if I do decide to change the heatsink, it will be for one of these (see right). It is a CooleMaster V8, not particularly cheap and quite bulky, BUT..
Note the position of the 120mm x 25mm fan. It is in the middle of the heatsink and is secured down by four screws in the top cover. Remove the cover and it just lifts clean out, great for replacement and cleaning. The only drawback is that the heatsink on the memory side may well obscure at least on memory slot.
Standard CPU heatsink and fan assemblies tend to employ fans which are NOT stock sizes or fittings. It is always best to replace these with a type for which fans can be easily obtained. AMD fit 70mm fans to their stock heatsinks. Try getting one of those from your local friendly computer store.
There is no easy or cheap way out and some of the options could lead to being without a working computer for days if having to rely on warranty exchanges. Bear these points in mind when selecting a cooling option..