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Best Phenom II Coolers
Best Air Cooling Solutions for Phenom II CPUs
Phenom II is an older high-end dual, tri-, quad-, and hex-core CPU series from AMD. Like all modern high-performance desktop CPUs, Phenom II generates a lot of heat under load and requires adequate cooling.
The box cooler bundled with your CPU might be enough for the average user, but if you plan to do any overclocking, core unlocking, or want to make your PC as silent as possible, it is just not going to cut it.
There are lots of great heatsinks and fans on the market that can cool even the fastest overclocked CPUs. I'll take a look at four of the best coolers for Phenom II, from the most powerful and expensive, to budget ones that still do a great job of cooling your processor.
The best heatsink for Phenom II (and Intel Core i5 & i7 as well).
Prolimatech Megahalems is a massive 790g heatsink with 6 heatpipes that constantly places at the top of most cooler benchmarks. Due to its innovative design and huge size, it dissipates the heat from your CPU very well. While it is probably the best Phenom II heatsink, it doesn't come cheap. Megahalems doesn't even include a fan, so you will have to purchase one (or two, if you're going for a push/pull) yourself - the silent Noctua NF-P12 is a pretty good choice.
Another important thing to note is that Megahalems doesn't come with an AMD AM2/AM3 retention mount. You will need to purchase an adapter kit called ARM-01, or use another compatible backplate when installing this heatsink on a Phenom II processor.
As you can see, the Megahalems is pretty expensive (although still affordable compared to water cooling), so unless you're overclocking a six-core Phenom II X6 1100T or want the best possible air cooler available, one of the cheaper cooling solutions below might be enough for your needs.
One of the top coolers for Phenom II CPUs.
Scythe Mugen is a very popular universal cooler that offers great performance at an affordable price. It is compatible with all modern CPU sockets (most of Intel's LGA and AMD's FM and AM numbers). The heatsink alone weighs 625g; it has multiple copper heatpipes for optimal heat transfer, and comes with a silent, PWM speed controlled Scythe fan (speed 0 to 1300 RPM, max. noise level 36.3 dBA). The heatsink is very large (130 x 88 x 156,45 mm with the fan attached) so make sure it can fit in your case before you buy it.
Performance-wise, Mugen is just a little behind Megahalems. Combined with a much lower price, this makes it a great choice for Phenom II cooling.
Xigmatek Dark Knight
Another good choice for an AMD CPU cooling fan.
Dark Knight S1283W is yet another popular choice for cooling modern Intel Core i3 / i5 / i7 and AMD Athlon II / Phenom II CPUs. Compared to Mugen 2, it is somewhat smaller (120 x 50 x 159 mm) and easier to install, while offering similar performance. The heatsink uses H.D.T. (Heat-pipes Direct Touch) technology, meaning the heatpipes will be in direct contant with CPU for better heat transfer. The fan uses PWM speed control and can spin at 1,000 to 2,200 RPM with a maximum noise level of 30.1 dBA. Xigmatek Dark Night cooler is also relatively light weight (600g including the fan).
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo
Probably the best cheap CPU cooler with Heatpipe Direct Touch.
Hyper 212 Evo from Cooler Master is a budget cooler that still does a great job of cooling those hot Phenom IIs. It uses a universal back plate that is compatible with all modern CPU sockets. Hyper 212 is sized at 120 x 79.7 x 158.5 mm and weighs 626g. The fan is PWM-controlled with 600 to 2,000 RPM and noise level of 13 to 32 dBA.
Similarly to Dark Knight, Hyper 212 uses Heatpipe Direct Touch design. You will notice some gaps between the heatpipes at the base of the heatsink - these should be filled with thermal grease for better contact with the CPU. The surface of the heat sink is pretty rough (I assume that this allows Cooler Master to reduce the cost), so lapping it might be a good idea if you have the time and the means to do so.
Cooler Master Hyper 212 is probably the best cheap CPU cooler right now. Its price vs performance ratio is great, but it might not be enough to cool the newest hex-core Phenom II processors. It will do a great job with everything else, though - personally I've used it with a AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition overclocked to 3.8 GHz without any problems.
What is the Best Cooler for Phenom II?
Pick the best overall Phenom II cooler below:
What do you think is the best Phenom II cooler? Share your experience below.