Guide: 1356/1366 Xeon Aftermarket Heatsink Selection/Installation

Discussion in 'Processors and Motherboards' started by chinesestunna, Mar 4, 2015.

  1. chinesestunna

    chinesestunna Active Member

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    Hi all,

    I recently upgraded my server to a dual Xeon L5630 on Supermicro X8DTE-F board and learned many things along the way. Funny enough one of the key lessons I want to share is choosing and using aftermarket heatsinks (if you have the space) for a quiet and cool system, or to save some $ as those Supermicro 4U heatsinks aren't cheap for their performance level.
    With the flood of cheap boards flooding eBay recently I hope this helps some folks out :)

    Background:
    When I started this project, I figured heatsinks compatible with socket 1366 will fit and went ahead and purchased a Coolermaster Hyper 212+ heatsink to pair up with the one I already have. I didn't realize at the time that Xeon boards have a different backplate than consumer boards and that would cause issues with many aftermarket heatsinks' mounting mechanisms.
    Consumer board:
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Note the rectangular backplate, it doesn't obstruct or block the mounting holes in anyway, allowing for a variety of mechanisms such as the Corsair H100 brace above to be used.

    Some UP and most DP Xeon boards have this backplate:
    [​IMG]
    Note the wing shaped extensions which blocks the regular mounting holes, or rather they provide the mounting holes, M3 threaded to be exact. This creates a problem for most consumer solutions as they are designed to bolt directly through to their custom backplate, any screws etc included is designed to take that height into consideration and may not be M3 threaded.

    CoolerMaster Hyper 212+/Evo
    This is a cheap and effective cooling solution, often found for <$20 after rebates online and does a good job. It also has it's only backplate and mounting bracket with bolts preinstalled so couldn't be installed due to the mounting bolts are 6/32" threaded and needs to be fastened to the supplied backplate:
    [​IMG]

    Solution:
    Standard M3 PCB standoffs from eBay that will bolt directly to the Xeon backplate that provides enough height for the CM Hyper212+ mounting bracket:
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Why did I include 2 different height standoffs? Because Coolermaster changed their heatsink base design for the 212+ and I had an older one along with the new one I bought:
    [​IMG]
    Why they did that I'm unsure, but the base of these standoffs are meant to be flush against the motherboard PCB, so I measured their height above PCB then I measured the Xeon backplate mounting holes which protrudes about 2mm above motherboard PCB and got ones that would provide the correct height.
    Here's the heatsink mounted:
    [​IMG]
    Both mounted in the chassis:
    [​IMG]

    Summary
    I think the best options for selecting aftermarket tower heatsinks for these boards are to consider:
    1. If you like Noctua, they make special editions of their coolers with mounting mechanisms designed for Xeon boards:
      1. Noctua.at - sound-optimised premium components "Designed in Austria"!
      2. Noctua.at - sound-optimised premium components "Designed in Austria"!
    2. @Marsh has a great suggestion for a lower cost alternative: Intel Core i7 CPU Cooler Fan Heatsink Socket LGA 1366 PC E97381 001 | eBay Very cheap around $10-20, quiet and fits 4U enclosures
    3. Carefully look at the mounting mechanism of the heatsink you're considering, I think reversed bolt-through designs are actually easier since you can just go to the hardware store and get the correct M3 screw, example would be Corsair A50
      1. [​IMG]
      2. The bolts are actually part of the backplate, which will not be used and the top plate provides mounting holes for M3 screws
    4. Be very mindful of hard to install and larger heatsinks such as Zalman CNPS14X, there's VERY limited space around the socket on Xeon boards and clearance may be a major issue.
     
    #1
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2015
  2. Patrick

    Patrick Administrator
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    I use a pair of 212's on my main workstation cooling 2x 8 core E5 v1's. They have worked great and it is extremely quiet for the speed.
     
    #2
  3. chinesestunna

    chinesestunna Active Member

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    Your review was the only real world result I was able to find while researching 212+ or evo on dual Xeon boards.
    Socket 2011 boards seems less affected as they bolt to the socket on both consumer and server boards.
     
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  4. T_Minus

    T_Minus Moderator

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    I like the SM 4U for the 2011 platform, works great very affordable.

    E5-1650 in the high 20s at idle.
     
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  5. Marsh

    Marsh Moderator

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    212 evo is my favorite LGA2100 heatsink, I use it on few E5-2650 and E5-2660 in last few years.

    This is my favorite LGA1366 and LGA1356 heatsink
    Intel Core i7 CPU Cooler Fan Heatsink Socket LGA 1366 PC E97381 001 | eBay

    Search for "E97381" , usually goes for $10-$20 new. I buy dozen at a time and it is very quiet.
    Height is around 5.5 inches with motherboard , so 4U or tower case only.
     
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  6. chinesestunna

    chinesestunna Active Member

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    Very good suggestion! I'll add it to the OP

    I would've probably gone this route if I didn't already had a 212+ and wanted matching coolers, I also felt it had more surface area so would have a better chance of passive cooling
     
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  7. britinpdx

    britinpdx Active Member

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    #7
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  8. T_Minus

    T_Minus Moderator

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    I don't see the point spending $$ on the EVO when the 4U SuperMicro works fine for the E5s, WAY WAY easier to work with/install, more room around components, etc... You can get them on sale here and there, but $35 isn't bad at all.

    I'm with britinpdx those are the EXACT HSF I have and use for my servers. SM or INTEL, the EVO212 on my desktop will be replaced with a SM 4U or a NOCTUA $90 unit if I want to OC it... or maybe a AIO water cooler, or maybe the 10 Core i'm swapping out will be a lot cooler. The E5's seem to run cooler than the i7/consumer counter-parts that's for damn sure.

    Remember these are servers they're meant to run "hot" compared to a desktop though, at-least in my opinion the desktop crowd trying to stay under 55* or 60 or whatever magic # they make up is just stupid. YOu can run these intel CPUs way way hotter without problems. You're just dissipating heat into the room keeping it "cooler" it's doing no harm for the CPU to stay warmer than most desktop users like.
     
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  9. chinesestunna

    chinesestunna Active Member

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    I agree with your points, I'm not necessarily advocating 212+/Evo being better than SM/Intel solutions, in my case it was cheaper since there was a rebate sale and I already owned one and with more surface area it would be easier to passively cool.
    I couldn't find specific info about 212+/Evos on a 1366 Xeon board when I was trying to do my plan and ended up having to improvise a bit and learned a lot, figured I share my learnings so future folks can benefit.
    Regarding running the CPUs hotter, I think it depends on the CPU as well, my L5630s are rated by Intel at a TCase of 63C, which is WAAY lower than most other server/desktop CPUs from the same range. From experience I don't think it will go bad if I ran it at 70C or even 80C, but Intel does have different recommended temperature ranges for different chips
     
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  10. Patriot

    Patriot Moderator

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    Warning, thread hijack:

    If anyone wants to cool G34... Let me know...

    [​IMG]
    And there was a purpose to the madness... I overclocked the 61xx Opteron Dodecas from 2ghz to 3.8ghz.
    At ~3.3-3.5Ghz they outclass E5-4650 V1s. Unfortunately they also draw twice as much power.
     
    #10
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2015
  11. Marsh

    Marsh Moderator

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    212 EVO goes on sale $20 with rebate, except lately, I only see 212 plus on sale.

    I believed the difference between 212 evo vs 212 plus , 212 evo have the hardware for LGA2011 , 212 plus does not come with necessary hardware for LGA2011 , LGA2011 hardware is option that you need to pay extra for.
     
    #11
  12. chinesestunna

    chinesestunna Active Member

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    Actually I have checked with CoolerMaster about this, 212+ post 2012 has the same mounting hardware as the evo and can mount onto Socket 2011 according to them. I believe that's also why they increased the base height and provided the higher standoffs to retain compatibility with 1366, 1155,56,50. The bolt hole spacing for 2011 and 1366 are identical
    Main difference between the 2 seems to be a slightly different fan and less gaps on the heatpipe contact areas on the Evo
     
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  13. T_Minus

    T_Minus Moderator

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    Very good points. the 1366 can't go near as hot as the latest stuff I forgot about that.

    My 5930k IIRC pushes ~80*C with the 212 after only 15-20min of Prime, yes I know Prime is not the best for Haswell, but Intel and other tests don't even load the CPU 60% let alone 100%. In comparison the E5-1650 (which IIRC = 5930k just for servers) under full load never got above the 60s*C with the SM 4U. That's a HUGE difference, and why I'll probably swap-out my 5930k, no need to keep my room warm :)
     
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  14. T_Minus

    T_Minus Moderator

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    Awesome!
     
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  15. chinesestunna

    chinesestunna Active Member

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    Is that 5930K running stock?! Is the Evo fan spinning up with PWM or constant - that's another annoyance I've noticed is PWM implementations vary greatly by board, some are reluctant to spin fans up when CPU gets hot, some are reluctant to spin fans down when CPUs are idle...
     
    #15
  16. T_Minus

    T_Minus Moderator

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    Yep, 100% stock. Yes PWM fans, I added a NOTUA on the other side too, and I have an exhaust fan right there, it comes in the front through the cooler and right out the back. It's a MSI board and I have the PWM controls myself, it ramps up to max RPMs on the CPU cooler but isn't able to control the temp in PRIME95 w/high heat load. I got some 3000rpm noctua industrial to put on there but for the $$ using those in my servers for less sound, and then will eventually replace the 5930k/hsf or combo :)

    For what it's worth, and sorry to hijack... I can play Battlefield4 w/lots of other misc software running for work (no vms, etc) and load doesn't even approach 40%. When I start loading up VMs that are active is a concern because some may cause high loads for 5-15min bursts... we'll see :)

    FWIW: I used Artic Silver 5, and same I used on my SM HSF too. On the new builds I switched to GELID EXTREME because in all the 'web tests/reviews' it was the only one that was 1. affordable 2. non-conductive and 3. dropped temps significantly figured, why not upgrade my thermal compound :) after what 10 yearS? LOL I have some Shin-EtsuMicroSI but not sure I'm going to use it... maybe some test :)
     
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  17. TubaMT

    TubaMT Member

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    Great writeup @chinesestunna! I wish I would have seen it sooner! I just bought some Supermicro SNK-P0040AP4 active heatsinks, which should work fine, but I would have used my CM Hypers that I have laying around instead!

    I also found an article explaining how to mount older Noctua heatsinks to a server motherboard: Intel Xeon Nehalem + Noctua? | Tech Caddie

    Has anybody measured how much space is actually available for mounting a tower cooler into a 4U enclosure? I've measured the clearance to be about 150mm (just barely) in a Norco 4220/4224 case. I have not measured it in a Supermicro SC846 4U case. And I'm not sure the height clearance in a 3U Supermicro SC836 case either. I was under the impression that most consumer CPU coolers like the CM Hyper 212 + and the Noctua CPU coolers were taller than this and would not fit into a 4U server case? The CM Hyper 212+ is 159mm in height for instance. Thanks in advance!

    Also here is an article comparing the benchmarks of a 212+ vs a 212 Evo. They are pretty much the same except the Evo has the heat pipes connected where it contacts the CPU: Benchmarks - Page 6
     
    #17
  18. chinesestunna

    chinesestunna Active Member

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    Glad I could help! I don't think 212+/evo will fit 4U cases, definitely seems too tall. Here's a great resource for rackmount heatsink heights and recommendations: Top 5 Low Profile Intel & AMD Heatsinks on Frostytech

    Here's FrostyTech's measurements:
    4U Heatsink (mid-tower cases) - 154mm high or less
    3U Heatsink (slim type case) - 110mm high or less
    2U Heatsink (low profile case) - 75mm high or less
    1.5U Heatsink (HTPC, miniITX type cases) - 45mm high tall or less.
    1U Heatsink (server) - 29mm tall or less.
     
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  19. TubaMT

    TubaMT Member

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    Yea Frostytech is great! According to benchmarks I've found that these CPU coolers to be the best at cooling and that should fit in a 4U server case (if you can find them and if they are worth the extra couple degrees):
    -Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme Rev 1
    -Scythe Katana 4
    -Thermaltake Contac 21 (Similar to the CM TX-3 and also allows adding a 2nd fan)
    -Coolermaster TX-3 (similar to the 212+ and Evo but smaller and cheaper, uses a 92mm PWM fan, and allows for a 2nd fan, but does not work for Socket 1366)
    -Raijentek Aidos (similar to the CM TX-3 and Contac 21 but cannot add a 2nd fan)
    -Xigmatek Loki SD963
    -Silenx EFZ-92HA3
    -Iceage 120 Prima Boss or Iceage 120 Plus

    I've done a lot of looking, but just ended up getting the Supermicro SNK-P0040AP4 heatsinks as I was able to get a bunch of them for pretty cheap off ebay and I knew that they would be compatible with my server motherboards. If I'd do it again, I'd probably get the Coolermaster TX-3 or the Thermaltake Contac 21 so I could add 2 fans to it and hope that I could mod the mounting bracket like you @chinesestunna did.

    Oh and @Marsh how do those Intel E97381 heatsinks work as far as cooling? Do they keep things pretty cool? I know these are servers so they can run pretty hot, but I like to keep things as cool as possible including the motherboard and components. It's probably from building mainly office/gaming pc's. Thanks!
     
    #19
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2015
  20. Marsh

    Marsh Moderator

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    Intel E97381 heatsink is great, these are genuine Intel heatsink. I am pretty sure Intel give some thoughts when they designed / approved it.

    I don't have notes on the temp. If you want, I could run some Prime95 stress test. Just let me know which one you want.
    I have E97381 on a pair of L5520, and few other systems with dual LGA1356 E-2430L.

    I buy E97381 by the dozen, when the price is around $10 - $15 each. Very quiet, and there is a switch to change the operation mode. But I have not noticed any real difference either way.
     
    #20
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