Question about VRM cooling

I have been lurking here a while before this first post.
I am looking to build a server for Unraid with a VM running my Windows 10 daily driver and looking to add Active Directory and roaming profile for my family’s Windows computers.

I started this project with the thought of just re-purposing my old desktop which had Asus M2N-Sli Deluxe MB, AMD Phenom II x4 945 CPU (the fastest the MB could use) and 6 GB ECC RAM. In the process of preparing it, the motherboard decided to die.

The Anniversary 2.0 seems overkill for my needs but seems very economical.
The last time I put a PC together was a video editing desktop for my son in 2016. I cooled its Intel i7-4790K with the Noctua NH-C14S because I like having a nice big downdraft fan cooling the VRMs along with the CPU.

I’d like to move my son’s build to my old case and setup the server in his Fractal Define R5 case. This means no larger than ATX size MB.

A single CPU would be sufficient, but dual hardly costs much more. Among the ATX dual-CPU motherboards in the guide, I like the
Supermicro X9DRL-iF.

Obviously, a cooler like the Noctua in my son’s build won’t fit at all. In fact, any down draft cooler that would fit would have to use a much smaller, probably noisier fan.

So the question is: when people use the recommended tower coolers how hot do the VRM’s get? I think the Supermicro MB’s have a temperature sensor on the VRM’s. What do you see?

For example, the table top build in JDM’s video from 2017:
or Sparky’s build:


VRMs have plenty of cooling if you’re not overclocking, which is not possible on most server motherboards, and nearly all dual-socket motherboards.

Thanks for your reply.

I wasn’t looking to overclock, but concerned whether the VRM cooling solution for a motherboard designed to go into a rack chassis with a high volume of air flowing through it would still work ok when used in a desktop case like the Fractal Design R5.

I have seen forsale posts for Supermicro MB’s with the heatsink for the VRM’s closest to the front (fan) side of the chassis missing completely!

Anyway, it seems to not be an issue.


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