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I am going to be building a computer for a college student. He is going into general engineering while he figures out exactly what he wants to do. The budget for this computer is about $1500 USD (just for the tower). This computer will be running Windows 10. He will be using this computer for school work and for gaming.

From my previous question, it looks like I will be getting an Intel i7 5820K Haswell. The only problem is that it doesn't come with a heat sink. In my previous builds, the stock cooler was enough to get the job done.

As I will not be overclocking the system, air cooling should be enough. The heat sink must fit the LGA 2011-v3 socket. The case that all of this goes in will be no smaller than an ATX Mid case.

Since there are many options, I will try to narrow it down. I don't care about the noise level, as long as it doesn't sound like a jet engine. It should be more effective at cooling than the average heat sink. I am hoping that I can purchase one for less than $50.

Which heat sinks are worthy of a recommendation?

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Whenever I hear "heatsink" I immediately think of the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO (~$30). I, along with tons of other people, will instantly recommend this over anything else. It's actually gained sort of a cult following for how great it is.

  • Fits LGA 2011 sockets and many others
  • 2x120mm fans (600-2000 RPM)
  • 9-36dB — 9dB on the lowest setting is insanely quiet, 36dB is still great too
  • Four pipes and the large number of aluminum fins directly remove heat for faster cooling
  • Outstanding performance for pretty much any workload

And of course, temperature management is awesome for the price. This graph shows the 212 EVO's idle and load temperatures compared to others of the same capacity. It isn't the coolest heatsink on the market right now — you can get unimaginably cool ones now — but since heatsinks are, after all, all about temperature, price goes way up as temp goes down. The 212 EVO sits at above average in every category.

  • Although the 212 EVO is an awesome cooler, there are usually many alternatives at a similar price point: tomshardware.com/forum/id-2467876/… – timuzhti Sep 17 '15 at 10:35
  • @Alpha3031 There are absolutely lots of alternatives available. The 212 EVO is just a better bet than some of the others. – Adam Sep 17 '15 at 13:36
  • Warning: Check the height restrictions of your setup first as sometimes the heatsink size causes issues. – Gram Sep 17 '15 at 15:27
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    @Gram, OP hasn't picked a case yet, but it won't be too small, as apparently OP is opting for a ATX mid tower case. – timuzhti Sep 17 '15 at 23:30

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