I wasn't happy with the factory supplied Air CPU cooler, so went on a quest to find the best Air Cooler I could fit in the 8950 chassis. The cooler height is the biggest problem, have to stay under about 145mm otherwise you cant fit the side cover back on. In the end, I found the Be Quiet Dark Rock TF2 not only fit, offers significantly better cooling for both the K and non-K CPU's. However, this cooler may still be a bit small for the i9-12900K, but still better than the Air Cooler from Dell.
No modifications to anything was needed. I just had to request the LGA1700 bracket form Be Quiet, which was sent to me free of charge. I had to pickup and use some M3x20 cap screws (pack of 50 from McMaster Carr for $7) to drop down the Be Quiet stand offs and brackets to the chassis mounted screw bosses.
I am experimenting with the direction of air flow, up or down, and with one fan or two. It appears the recommend direction of top down does produce the best results. There is enough room to use both fans, however I didn't have the top fan mounted for the photos here. The Dark Rock TF2 is silent, much quieter than the stock cooler fan. Its not a cheap cooler, but its quality and it works.
What model of the Be Quiet Case fans did you use at the front of the case to replace the Dell Factory single case fan? They have quite a few models. Also, any issues with the installation of these fans? Mounting to case? Any connection issues to the MB to power the fans? Any issues on boot with Dell not recognizing the Be Quiet case fans? Appreciate any response these questions. By the way great job on your XPS 8950! Thanks for your time!
The case fans are the "be quiet! Silent Wings 3 120mm PWM High-Speed". I enlarged the mounting holes in the metal fan brackets slightly with a Uni-Bit for the be quiet anti vibration rubber mounts to center correctly. Used the L side of the anti-vibration mounts to the fan brackets to get the push pins tension better. There is only two PWM chassis fan headers on the MB, so if you try to mount a third fan, you will need a PWM Y splitter cable. The BIOS warned me the fans had been changed, just had to enter the BIOS setup, save, and continue, no issues since.
Thanks for taking the time and providing that information. Much appreciated! Do you feel as though what Dell provided for a front chasis fan was insufficient? Was it noisy? Just curious. I see the spot above the Dell case fan as an area to add another fan if needed. I would consider a Be Quiet case fan for that area but want to see what my thermals are and noise level once I receive my 8950. Thanks again!
The stock fans are very quiet at idle, its more my OCD and need for symmetry. The supplied fans are 140+ CFM and can get very loud if they need to. The BQ fans are half that and are much quieter anyways. I had a second fan bracket so added a second front fan.
Here is a photo showing the clearance between the top TF2 fan and the case, there is adequate room for airflow.
I hear ya on the ocd....lol... I suffer as well...lol. I can't thank you enough for taking the time to take pics and explain the process. I'll Await my 8950 and make a decision after setting it all up. I got the 12700k but with liquid cooling...Thanks again man. Much appreciated. Enjoy your 8950!
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