[Beowulf] Re: Reliable CPU fans

Jack Wathey wathey at salk.edu
Wed May 12 18:31:57 PDT 2004

Here's my favorite combination for keeping 2GHz Athlons happy:

Fan: Delta model AFB0612EH
size: 60x60x25mm cfm: 38 rpm: 6800 noise: 46.5db mtbf: 60k hours


  (There are several other models of Delta fans available on the bestbyte

Heat sink: All-copper Thermalright SK6+


Thermal compound: Arctic Silver 3


I have been using 198 coolers of this kind for about half a year with no
problem.  That's not much time, I know, but the Delta fans are popular
among the serious overclockers, judging from the online reviews I've read.
I don't know how trustworthy the 60k h mtbf number is.  The SK6+ heatsink
may be discontinued by now, but Thermalright makes lots of other excellent
heatsinks.  I'm also using two of their SLK800 heatsinks in my server.
They are truly amazing.

The disadvantage to the Delta fans is that they are loud. If, like most
cluster people, you cram everything into a cluster room, close the door
and work somewhere else, that's not such a big deal.

Best wishes,

On Tue, 11 May 2004, Richard Fryer wrote:

> I have had a fair amount of maintenance on a fairly small cluster (~16nodes)
> with Cooler Master fans.
> In various workstations I've tried getting Alpha and other brand coolers but
> the real reliability issue has been of course the fans.  When specified I've
> always chosen a ball bearing (some say 'dual' ball bearing) fans, but this
> has not led to spectacular reliability either.
> Thermaltake seems to be the best I've used but lacking hours-on data for the
> workstations, I doubt the data to be significant.
> Has anyone discovered a good resource regarding CPU cooler reliability to
> point me to?  Or - taken enough data to have a good opinion?
> Thank you
> Richard Fryer

More information about the Beowulf mailing list