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CPU Coolers for Maximus X Apex?

Genjin88
Level 7
Hello everyone, I'd like to seek some advice from other Maximus X Apex builders.
I'm preparing to build a 8700k Setup on the Maximus X Apex and originally I wanted to go with a Noctua NH-U14s Air Cooler, but I've now discovered that it won't really fit because the Apex's RAM Slots are situated closer to the CPU Socket than typical and I ended up returning the cooler. Now I'm looking for alternatives.

It looks like Air Coolers are hard or impossible to do with this Mainboard, and my original Noctua choice was at the limit of the size I'd accept for a CPU Cooler as well. I'm looking into AIO and I found the Corsair H115i Pro RGB. Would that fit if I top mount it into my Phanteks Enthoo Pro M case without conflicting with the RAM? Or would I need to reorient it? For the NZXT Kraken I've read many people had to reorient it because the Tubes were too thick with the RAM, but I don't know about the Corsair.

Also if anyone know any compatible Air Cooling choices, I'd appreciate that too because I'm nervous about the many pump failure reports I've been reading in regards to AIOs.

What are you guys using with your Apex?

Thank you in advance
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3 REPLIES 3

Menthol
Level 14
I have a Corsair h115i on my Apex, I am using the Corsair Mag Lev fans, they are quieter than the standard fan equipped with the cooler. I have a binned, delidded 8700K clocked at 5.2 GHZ @1.4 volts which never see's 80 degrees at 100% load.
The new Corsair coolers have a different block with the tubes on the side of the block which possibly could interfere with the memory modules but the block could be orientated to not interfere if needed.

digital_chaos
Level 8
I have a Maximus X Code but was in a similar situation. I started with an air cooler on my 8700k but wasn't happy with the temps or the noise. I switched to AIO and all is well.

It comes down more to your chassis/case than your motherboard. Most AIO coolers require very little clearance. I have the Corsair Hydro H115i and the CPU block is only slightly larger than the socket itself and doesn't interfere with RAM clearance at all. I could have every RAM slot occupied with no problems.

As for the tubing, it's going to be depend more on your case and the model AIO you get. Some have tubing from the side which could interfere with RAM but most Corsair ones have the tubes coming out of the front now which is ideal.

Radiators can be mounted with the tubing on the left or right. I have a huge case but even with the case, I couldn't get the tubing to work on the right hand side since it hit my hard drive cages. With the tubing on the left, it fits fine.

You just need to find a case with enough room to fit your radiator and you should be fine. Most case specs these days will tell you what size radiator they can fit and where at in the case.

As for the pump concern, this is also my first AIO and I was nervous. Yes, the pump can and will fail one day but most have 3-5 year warranties and by the point, I'm probably upgrading something anyway. If the pump fails, your system will simply power itself off. With air coolers, you also run the risk of a fan dying and the same thing happening.

I think the better temps, less clutter and less physical stress on the motherboard is worth the downside of a potential pump failure one day. Keep in mind, your car also has a pump and radiator. Do you worry about that failing every day?

Deepcuts
Level 10
Long time user of big bad air coolers like Noctua NH-D14 and D15.
Those are a pain to work with if you plan on working inside your case, take out RAM sticks, replace thermal paste, connect/disconnect 12V PSU cable near the CPU socket, plug in the CPU FAN headers or just move the case around.
Got myself a Kraken X62 and I am happy now. By the way, if you go for a Kraken, change them noisy fans with some Noctua 2000 rpm industrial and keep them at ~ 700-1200 rpm for dramatic noise reduction and a bit more cooling performance.