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Cooler Master Seidon 120V Liquid CPU Cooler Review

Introduction: Budget Cooling Options and the Seidon 120V

The Seidon 120V is Cooler Master's newest 120mm all-in-one liquid CPU cooler, and its affordable price adds another option to anyone looking for an aftermarket cooler on a budget. But when we start comparing low-cost options it's valid to wonder just how much better a liquid cooler in this price range might perform over air. To find out we'll test the Seidon 120V against a popular budget air solution, and see how these aftermarket coolers compare against the stock solutions from AMD and Intel.

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Image courtesy of Cooler Master

Cooling on a Budget

When you’re pricing out a new computer build these days it’s pretty easy to put together a solid group of components for $500 or so, and these will get you going on all the latest games at HD resolution. Sounds awesome! Of course, within that tight budget certain things are going to have to wait, and right up there on the list is probably some better cooling. It’s easy enough to change out a CPU cooler later, but if the stock cooler is doing the job within the thermal specs of the processor is it really needed? Clearly, AMD and Intel are not going to ship a cooler with their product that can’t keep it cool enough under stock workloads, but having better cooling can allow for overclocking as well as extend the life of not only the CPU, but the components around it on your motherboard. Aftermarket coolers are often able to cool more efficiently as well, producing less noise.

So...many...options...

The selection of aftermarket coolers available is, well, ridiculous. As easy as it is to get lost looking at, say, every virtually identical stick of DDR3 memory, scrolling through product pages for CPU cooling is on another level entirely. Liquid cooling systems are much easier to navigate, as there are not only fewer of them, but the pricing segmentation allows for easier selection if you’re on a budget.  For instance, the Seidon 120V at around $50 was the least expensive AIO option on Amazon when this review was started (actually coming in at 47.99 shipped, though this has been fluctuating quite a bit lately). Finding a suitable budget air cooler was not so easy, and it needed to be at least comparable to the performance of a liquid cooler, while coming in at or below the $50 mark of the 120V. (This might take a while…)

On the air-cooling side of things narrowing the selection to $50 or less doesn’t help much, as there are still (roughly) 50 million to choose from in that price range. There are going to be so many different preferences and opinions on these, so an easier alternative would be to simply follow the consensus pick, e-tail style. This intensive research project involved visiting Amazon and typing “cpu cooler” into the search box. (OK, that was pretty easy!) The plan was to put whatever came up first under $50 in the cart. Turns out the most popular air-cooler is also under $50 (not surprising). This top result was also from Cooler Master, their Hyper 212 EVO which was selling for under $34 shipped. Done.

Continue reading our review of hte Cooler Master Seidon 120V Liquid Cooler!!


Specifications:

Cooler Master Seidon 120V
Intel Socket Support Intel LGA 2011 / 1366 / 1150 / 1155 / 1156 / 775
AMD Socket Support FM2+ / FM2 / FM1 / AM3+ / AM3 / AM2
Radiator Dimensions 154 x 119 x 27 mm
Radiator Material Aluminum
Fan Dimensions 120 x 120 x 25 mm
Fan Speed 600~2400 RPM (PWM) ± 10
Fan Airflow 19.17 ~ 86.15 CFM ± 10%
Fan Air Pressure 0.31 ~ 4.16 mm H2O ± 10%
Bearing Type Rifle bearing
Fan Noise Level (dB-A) 19 ~ 40 dBA
Warranty 2 years

Now let's take a look at the kind of liquid cooler you can get for less than $50 these days.

Packaging and Contents

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The Seidon 120V from Cooler Master ships in a very modest brown box with some basic info printed on the outside. It resembles a tiny computer case box more than a modern AIO cooler, but it gets the job done. 

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Inside the components are wrapped in plastic and sit neatly within the usual paper-based tray.

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The kit includes everything needed to install the cooler on all recent AMD and Intel processors, along with thermal paste and instructions.

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Next we'll take a closer look at the Cooler Master Seidon 120V.

May 2, 2014 | 01:18 PM - Posted by Keno5net (not verified)

I read something intriguing about exposed heat pipe coolers like the 212 EVO when used with Haswell processors. The core of the Haswell is long and narrow and it usually runs horizontal on a motherboard mounted in a tower case. The question is will the exposed pipe cooler have better results with the heat pipes running perpendicular to the core so all the pipes pass over part of the core instead of parallel where the outside pipes miss the core? Any thoughts on this.

May 2, 2014 | 02:38 PM - Posted by AirSKiller (not verified)

Logical answer would be that running the heat pipes perpendicular would result in better cooling performance since the heat would be spread out evenly through all of the pipes.
However, things aren't all that simple, there are so many variables that it's impossible to know for sure. You could test it and end up with no difference at all or even an illogical conclusion (for example, having the fans blowing horizontal vs perpendicular could harm/improve cooling).

May 3, 2014 | 12:17 PM - Posted by Sebastian Peak

The reply from AirSKiller answered this as well as I could - and it is an interesting question. I'd hope that the thermal material under the cap on my 4770K is good enough to distribute heat evenly on the surface, but I'd never know without some pretty destructive research :)

May 2, 2014 | 02:23 PM - Posted by pdjblum

Excellent review. I have the EVO on at least one my rigs, and it continues to be the little train that could based on these amazing results. But this seems to be a very nice AIO for the price, if you want to go that way. Thanks much.

May 2, 2014 | 03:32 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Not bad for $50 I guess, but I'd still save my pennies and choose a Coolermaster Hyper 212 Evo. Thing is a beast even on a i7 3930K. Silent and cool.

May 7, 2014 | 01:15 AM - Posted by builder (not verified)

What is the "life span" of these types of liquid kits? what kind of maintenance is required?

May 9, 2014 | 01:19 AM - Posted by Sebastian Peak

Units like the Seidon 120V have a 1-year warranty - and no maintenance is required during that period. Beyond this I'd have to go based on anecdotal information online...search around but they are pretty reliable. I haven't owned/used any one particular self-contained unit past its warranty period myself, but I haven't ever had an issue with one either. I think the oldest one I ever tested was 2 years old at the time, and had never received any maintenance...It was a Corsair H40 or H50 I think. Worked fine.

May 23, 2014 | 04:21 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

To improve the cooler, you have to add rubber dampers under the 4 screws which are "pressing" it on the CPU. The basic screw aren't right enough to assure the best contact between the cooling plate and the CPU.
I did that and gained 5°C idle and 15°c when full load with FPU only test in Aida 64 or Prime 95. Now my cooler really squishes the cooling paste between the CPU and itself, filling all the gaps.

The cooler is good hardware (pump, tubes and fan/radiator) but the fixing isn't so good and you have to perfect it yourself. Then this is absolutely fantastic, specially if you consider the price of it.

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