I built a home theater PC from scratch a while back. It has an Intel D945GCZLR motherboard with a Pentium D 925, a passively cooled GeForce 6600, and an Avermedia PCI-e Combo TV Tuner, all inside an Evercase ECE1341 case. I went with the best BTX CPU cooler I could find: the Thermaltake CL-P0191. This thing sounds like a lawn mower.
Frank, your motherboard doesn’t support Core 2 CPUs, and you can’t just mount an ATX CPU cooler on there, either. Oh, and nobody makes BTX CPU coolers anymore, though you can still find old ones online.
The Doctor thinks your best bet is to replace the 9.2cm fan on your Thermaltake CL-P0191 with a quieter one. Noctua makes a quiet 9.2cm fan that should do well, but beware: It puts out about 30CFM, roughly half what the stock fan puts out. If your current fan rarely goes above half-speed, you might be OK, but those old Pentium Ds put out a ton of heat, so you should test the new fan thoroughly to make sure it can handle your processor.
Upgrading your graphics card to one with a fan might help cool your case, but there’s a reason they have fans: They heat up. We’re not convinced that the added airflow would compensate for the greater heat output.
Ultimately, you’ll probably want to move away from BTX. A low-power Core 2 or Phenom in a mini-ITX or micro-ATX board with a PCI-e slot will run cooler and quieter, and with a smaller footprint. And unlike BTX, both specs are in wide use.
SUBMIT YOUR QUESTION
Are flames shooting out of the back of your rig? First, grab a fire extinguisher and douse the flames. Once the pyrotechnic display has fizzled, email the doctor at
for advice on how to solve your technological woes.