Thermalright Inferno IFX-14 CPU Cooler Review
Components and Design
The IFX-14 CPU cooler appears to be a combination of several successful features found in previous Thermalright heatsinks. The two large aluminum fin arrays are similar in size and shape to the Ultra-120; but now the IFX-14 has twice the surface area. And the large 8mm heat pipes were previously used on Thermalright’s SI-128 SE cooler along with the universal mounting hardware.
The Thermalright IFX-14 main cooler features a solid copper base, four U-shaped heat pipes and two large aluminum fin arrays. The entire assembly is Nickel plated and exhibits excellent build quality and finish; just what we have come to expect from Thermalright!
The copper heat pipes used in the upper main cooler are 8mm in diameter, which is slightly larger than what most heatsink manufacturers are using (typically 5~6mm). This may not sound like much, but a small increase in diameter results in a large increase in surface area. That translates to an increased contact area in the base plate and aluminum fins, which optimizes heat transfer and results in better overall cooling performance. Using the large diameter heat pipes is particularly important to help extract as much heat as possible from the relatively small CPU area.
The precision machined copper base of the IFX-14 main cooler exhibits a smooth machined finish and appears to be flat.
The Thermalright IFX-14 uses the same universal mounting hardware kit that we saw on the SI-128 SE. It supports both Intel LGA775 and AMD processor platforms and features a sturdy bolt-thru design instead of relying on wimpy push-pins or retention frame lugs. Much better IMHO for larger cooler designs. A common backing plate is used, which incorporates different hole patterns for different socket types. The backing plate is also used to mount the IFX-10 backside cooler.
The base of the IFX-10 backside cooler is sandwiched between the universal backing plate and the bottom of the motherboard. A thick thermal pad prevents direct contact between the IFX-10 base plate and motherboard. The top surface of the two flattened 6mm heat pipes are covered with a thick plastic insulator to prevent contact with any exposed electrical components on the bottom of the motherboard.
The aluminum fins on the small backside cooler are spaced further apart for better airflow using passive, natural convection cooling.
No cooling fans are provided with the IFX-14. The choice of size, quantity and speed are left up to the end user.