Pentium-D CPU cooling

Now that the promised late April Pentium D price drops are finally appearing, I’ve ordered myself a new system. I managed to snag a Pentium D 930 retail for ~ $225, which I thought was a decent deal. I was going to buy a fancy Zalman 7700 120mm cpu cooler for it, but I scrapped that plan at the last minute when my researches turned up that the intel mobo I’d ordered doesn’t have the clearances for large hs/fans. So right now the only cooling I have lined up for my 930 is the stock hs/fan included with a retail CPU.

Anyone know how cool and how quiet the stock cooling is for a Pentium D 930? Alternatively, anyone have good recommendations for a smaller sized hs/fan that outperforms the retail box one?

Thermalright’s are pretty good. Not familiar with that chip so do not know the TDP / heat from it. Suggest you go to and search for your motherboard. Possibly someone already did all that fun research for you.

I use the Zalman CNPS9500 in an Intel D975XBX motherboard. Works fine – you just need to make sure you case has the clearance above the cooler, since it’s one of those vertically mounted jobs.

Another vertical cooler that’s a little more forgiving, and cheaper, is the Arctic Cooling Silent7. Uses standard Intel mounting tabs rather than having to install a custom bracket.

Both these coolers keep Pentium 955 EE’s at under 48 degrees, so they do work.

If you don’t plan to overclock, stock cooling is fine. I don’t know about noise though. If that’s an issue you could look into something else. It won’t be a heat issue, however. Unless you live on Mt. Doom near the lava.


Hey what are you new system specs?

Eh? Nothing all that special

Intel 945P motherboard
Pentium D 930
2GB (2 x 1GB) Patriot DDR2 PC5300 RAM
Antec Sonata II case
eVGA 7600GT vid card
A hard drive
A DVD drive

Oops, heh, omitted an important detail. Case is a Sonata II with the air duct thingamabobby that goes over the CPU. So no tall coolers either.

Thanks for the info. Stock cooling it is then. Hopefully the Sonata II case I’m using will help muffle it. If it’s too noisy, I plan to buy that sound insulating foam kit for the Sonata II and install that.

With an Intel D955XBK, neither the CNPS 9500 or Silent 7 were viable options in an Antec Sonata case. Both fans blow across the motherboard rather than down on the heatsink, and with a Pentium D 840, the caps around the CPU were breaking thermal limits. Might not be a problem in a bigger case with more airflow, but I found that you need a fan that blows down with the Intel motherboards.

I went with a Thermaltake 120 and it finally solved my heat issues.

Get the P150 instead, unless you’ve already bought the case.

I have already bought it but it’s unopened, so a return isn’t out of the question for sufficient reason. Why the P150 over the Sonata II? The main lure of the Sonata II was that I’e always enjoyed my original Sonata and the availability of the acousti muffling foam for the Sonata II might mean even quieter operation.

Man those chip prices are tempting - Mmmmm dual core. If I didn’t have to dump my AGP card and my 2 gigs of DDR memory for DDR2 I’d probably jump right on it.

The P150 has some sound dampening of its own, though not nearly as much as the kit you can get for the Sonata II. Note that you can also get a P180 with the foam installed, which makes that the best (but also priciest) solution.

But the P150 is much easier to work inside of.

I thought they were too tempting to pass up. I was waiting for the Pentium D 920s to get under 230ish before buying one, so when I saw the 930 model under 230 on newegg I just jumped at it. Sort of an impulse buy, but I don’t feel bad since I was only advancing my timetable by a few weeks.

I’ve rolled out a few systems in Sonata II cases. The first thing I do is permanently remove the big plastic muffle. It’s size and position make it a huge PITA to get access to your components, and as noted, it drastically reduces your fan/heatsink options.

I’ve heard that the Sonata II is a pain to work in, but I’ve worked in bad cases before and have all the little cuts on my fingers to prove it.

I only do forklift upgrades, so I’m not the kind of guy who cracks my computer open every few months to swap parts or fiddle around inside. If I can dedicate a day to a thorough system buildout and get it all done really nice I’ll be fine. Darn thing probably won’t get re-opened except for annual fan cleanings.