Introduction and Specifications

FSP might be familiar as a manufacturer of power supplies, but the company has a growing product offering that now includes cases and CPU coolers, among other things. In this review we will examine the Windale line, which consists of the Windale 4 and Windale 6, a pair of tower-style CPU air coolers.

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"FSP CPU Air Cooler Windale Series come out with two models: Windale 6 and Windale 4. Both of them are featured with CPU direct contact technology which can release CPU heat more efficiently. The 120mm extreme quiet fan enhances better cooling performance. The High-tech 120mm fin design provides optimized cooling effect. They are highly compatible with the latest sockets of Intel and AMD."

FSP has priced their coolers to compete in what is often called a 'crowded market', and the $29.99 Windale 4 in particular seems to directly compete with the ever-popular Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO - on price, if nothing else. Can FSP's first effort dethrone the EVO as a budget favorite? To this end we will see exactly how the Windale 4 and 6 perform against Cooler Master's venerable air cooler with a toasty Intel Core i7-7700K supplying the load temps (and my trusty SPL meter along for the ride to capture noise levels).

We will get right into it with a summary of the specifications for both FSP Windale coolers:


Windale 4 (model AC401)

  • Heatsink Material: Aluminum Alloy
  • Heat-pipe: 6 mm x4
  • Fan Speed: 600-1600 RPM (PWM) ± 15%
  • Bearing Type: Sleeve Bearing
  • Fan Air Flow: 60 CFM ± 10%
  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 122 x 83 x 158 mm
  • Weight: 620 g

Windale 6 (model AC601 - blue LED)

  • Heatsink Material: Aluminum Alloy with black plating
  • Heat-pipe: 6 mm x 6
  • Fan Speed 600-1600 RPM (PWM) ± 15%
  • Bearing Type: Sleeve Bearing
  • Fan Air Flow: 60 CFM ± 10%
  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 122 x 110 x 165 mm
  • Weight: 823 g

Continue reading our review of the FSP Windale 4 and 6 coolers!

Manufacturer: Koolance

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Introduction

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Courtesy of Koolance

With the introduction of the CPU-390 series blocks, Koolance improved on their CPU-380 series block design. The CPU-390 was designed with a different flow design in it top cap with the inlet port closer to the block center. Further, the micro-channel design in the base plate was enhanced with finer grain channels, dramatically increasing the surface area through which the coolant passes through the baseplate. The block under review is their Intel CPU-390CI water block, featuring a factory installed Intel mounting kit as well as a full nickel-plated copper top. With an MSRP of $89.99, the CPU-390CI waterblock comes at a premium price for the premium performance it offers.

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Courtesy of Koolance

The block bottom is nickel-plated copper, machined flat and polished to a mirror-like sheen. The block is assembled with hex-head screws going through the copper base plate with the screw heads flush with its surface.

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Courtesy of Koolance

The CPU-390CI block comes factory assembled with the Intel universal mounting bracket. Packaged in with the block are the LGA-115X and multi-socket backplates, backplate rubber spacer, LGA-2011 and multi-socket mounting hardware, allen wrench, and a tube of Koolance-branded thermal compound.

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Courtesy of Koolance

Koolance also provided their AMD socket AM4 mounting kit. The kit includes a mounting bracket that fits over the base block, a back plate, a rubber spacer, and threaded mount nuts.

Technical Specifications (taken from the manufacturer website)

Water Block Specifications
Weight 0.94 lb (0.43 kg)
Materials Nickel-Plated Copper, Stainless Steel, EPDM
Max Pressure @ 25°C 2kgf/cm2 (28.5psi)
Max Temperature 80°C (176°F)
Intel socket support Intel socket LGA 2011 / 2011-v3 (Square ILM only)
Intel socket LGA 1150
Intel socket LGA 1151
Intel socket LGA 1155 / 1156
Intel socket LGA 1366 (may require BLT-CPASZD12 for fixed motherboard back plates)
Intel socket LGA 775
AMD socket support AMD socket AM4
AMD socket AM2, AM2+
AMD socket AM3, AM3+
AMD socket FM1, FM2, FM2+

Continue reading our review of the Koolance CPU-390CI CPU water block!

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Introduction

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Courtesy of Thermalright

Thermalright is a well established brand-name, known for their high performance air coolers. Their newest edition to the TRUE Spirit Series line of air coolers, the TRUE Spririt 140 Direct, is a redesigned version of their TRUE Spirit 140 Power air cooler offering a similar level of performance at a lower price point. The Thermalright TRUE Spirit 140 Direct cooler is a slim, single tower cooler featuring a nickle-plated copper base and an aluminum radiator with a 140mm fan. Additionally, Thermalright designed the cooler to be compatible with all modern platforms. The TRUE Spirit 140 Direct cooler is available with an MSRP $46.95.

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Courtesy of Thermalright

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Courtesy of Thermalright

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Courtesy of Thermalright

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Courtesy of Thermalright

The Thermalright TRUE Spirit 140 Direct cooler consists of a single finned aluminum tower radiator fed by five 6mm diameter nickel-plated copper heat pipes in a U-shaped configuration. The cooler can accommodate up to two 140mm fans, but comes standard with a single fan only. The fans are held to the radiator tower using metal clips through the radiator tower body. The cooler is held to the CPU using screws on either side of the mount plate that fix to the unit's mounting cage installed to the motherboard.

Continue reading our review of the Thermalright TRUE Spirit 140 Direct CPU air cooler!

Manufacturer: Alphacool

Introduction and Specifications

Alphacool's Eisbaer is a line of pre-assembled liquid CPU coolers using standard parts that add quick-release connections to make adding components to the loop simple. Today we'll have a look at the 360 mm and 280 mm versions of the Eisbaer and see what kind of performance you can expect from an all-in-one solution from a respected brand in custom liquid cooling.

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"With the Alphacool “Eisbaer”, we’re offering an extremely quiet high-performance cooler for every CPU on the market currently. A closed water cooling system that’s easy to install and can be easily and safely expanded with its quick-lock closure."

Not all AiO liquid coolers are created equal, of course, with different materials and approaches; and there are generally tradeoffs to be made between design and pricing. The best performance can result in pumps and fans that produce more noise than a high-performance air solution, while some liquid coolers manage to balance noise and performance in a way that makes liquid a far more attractive option - especially when overclocking a CPU.

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True to the premium nature of a product line like this, Alphacool has incorportated first-rate components into the Eisbaer series including all-copper radiators, high-performance fans, and touches like anti-kink springs for the hoses. The capability of easily adding a GPU to the loop with the quick-lock closure (Alphacool offers a line of GPU products called "Eiswolf" that connect with these quick-lock closures) is a nice plus, and the use of standard G1/4 fittings ensures compatibility with custom parts for future expansion/modification.

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The Eisbaer 360 spending some quality time on the test bench

Continue reading our review of the Alphacool Eisbaer 360 and 280 liquid CPU coolers!

Introduction and Specifications

Fractal Design is well known in PC enthusiast circles for their excellent cases, and they also entered the self-contained liquid CPU cooler market in 2014 with the Kelvin, and today are releasing a brand new cooler lineup called Celsius. There are two models being introduced, with the 360 mm Celsius S36 and the 240 mm Celsius S24; the latter of which we have for review today.

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While on the surface this might appear to be a standard 240 mm all-in-one liquid CPU cooler, there are some key features that help to differentiate the Celsius lineup in an increasingly saturated market. The hoses (themselves flexible rubber in nice-looking sleeves) are attached at both ends with metal fittings, with the radiator side the standard (and removable) G1/4 variety, and the fans connect via an unusual radiator-mounted header that receives power via a hidden fan cable in one of the sleeved hoses. Additionally, the Celsius coolers offer a dual-mode setting with the choice of automatic fan control or PWM passthrough from the motherboard - and this is controlled via a clever switch built into the trim ring around the pump.

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I have been impressed with the low noise of Fractal Design fans in the past, and I went into this review expecting a very quiet cooling experience. How did the Celsius S24 fare on the test bench? Read on to find out!

Continue reading our review of the Fractal Design Celsius S24 Liquid CPU Cooler!

Manufacturer: EKWB

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Introduction

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Courtesy of EKWB

EK's Supremacy line of CPU waterblocks are well known for their performance and style. Their latest version in this block line, the Supremacy MX, advances their design in the hopes of getting more optimized performance out of a less costly version of their award winning block series. The base Supremacy MX CPU waterblock is a copper and plexi construction using the same jet-impingement and micro-channel design as that used in their previous block versions. The block comes fully assembled from the factory with a single CPU mounting bracket type (in this case, the Intel version). Note that additional CPU mounting kits are available for purchase. With an MSRP of $54.99, the Supremacy MX waterblock offers a compelling purchase in light of its performance potential.

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Courtesy of EKWB

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Courtesy of EKWB

The block is assembled with hex-head screws going through the copper base plate with rubber grommets ensuring the integrity of the block internals. The top aluminum cover plate is held to the plexi top using short hex-head screws that thread directly into the plexi top plate. The center inlet feeds the micro-channels embedded in the copper base plate through the jet-impingement assembly. The mounting bracket sits in between the top plexi plate and the copper base plate, making any an interesting upgrade if you want to switch out the CPU mount plate to use the block on a different CPU family (like going from Intel to AMD Ryzen for example). The aluminum top plate gives the block a sleek appearance and acts to redirect illumination from the side mounted LEDs (if you choose to use LEDs with the block that is).

Continue reading our review of the EK Supremacy MX CPU waterblock!

Manufacturer: Alphacool

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Introduction

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Courtesy of Alphacool

Earlier this year, Alphacool launched their "Eis" series of products, a collection of high performance liquid cooling products improving upon their existing products. The Eisblock XPX CPU water block introduces a new internal design compared with their previous NexXxOS block series, updating the internal design with an optimized jet impingement-fed micro-channel system. The block consists of a nickel-plated copper square base plate and an acetal top with an aluminum cover plate and an illuminated logo. The block offers compatibility with all current CPU socket types, including the Intel LGA2011 and LGA1150 and the AMD AM4 sockets.

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Courtesy of Alphacool

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Courtesy of Alphacool

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Courtesy of Alphacool

The block is held together with screws going through the nickel-plated base plate with a snap-on top cover. Use of a snap-on aluminum top cover gives the block a sleek appearance. Further, it allows for easy customization of the embedded LED color not to mention the top cover color by switching out the top cover plate without interfering with the block internals. Alphacool offers a variety of top cover plates and customization kits for the Eisblock XPX water block to match virtually any system theme setup. With an approximate MSRP of $73 US, the Eisblock XPX is at price parity with other high-end water block offerings.

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Courtesy of Alphacool

The Eisblock XPX waterblock comes standard with hardware supporting all current generation Intel and AMD processors, including the AMD Ryzen AM4 socket. The block's support brackets snap in place in channels along the lower sides of the block, making for easy customization of the block for different processor and socket types if necessary.

Technical Specifications (taken from the manufacturer websites)

Water Block Specifications
Manufacturer Alphacool
Dimensions (LxWxH) 65 x 65 x 30mm
Threads 2 x G1/4"
Tested Pressure 2 Bar
Material cooling plate Copper
Material top cover Aluminum / Acetal
Socket Compatibility Intel
775 / 1156 / 1155 / 1150 / 1151 / 2011 / 2011-3

AMD
AM2 /AM2+ /AM3 /AM3+ / FM1 / FM2 / FM2+ / AM4

Continue reading our review of the Alphacool Eisblock XPX CPU waterblock!

Manufacturer: DEEPCOOL

Introduction and First Impressions

The GENOME is the world’s first computer case with an integrated liquid-cooling system, and this unique design allows users to simply drop in the main system components and have a complete system with liquid cooling loop (and with very little effort).

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“One of the first things many of us look at when considering the purchase of a new case is whether it will accommodate the cooling subsystem that we’d like to install in our next build. Can you install big enough radiators? Is there room in the main interior space for the reservoir and pump that you have your eye on? How will it look when everything is put together? To improve PC user experience is why DEEPCOOL comes up with GENOME, which is a PC hardware component, consists of an ATX PC case and an extreme liquid cooling system.”

When I first heard about the GENOME I was nonplussed - wondering how I would even go about reviewing at since it defies conventional classification. It’s as much a CPU cooler as a case, and DEEPCOOL calls this simply a “cooling system”. But however you label it there is no doubt that this novel concept has the potential to produce a polished build with a minimal effort (if it is well-designed, of course).

If you have switched cases as often as I do (no one should - I do it once every week or two), you might appreciate any sort of labor-saving design in a case. As a reviewer moving a test system from one enclosure to the next, I just want an easy build with adequate clearance and good cable management (these requirements are true for most normal people as well). Some cases are much easier to build in that others, and I was very curious to see how something which sounds quite complex would actually come together.

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Continue reading our review of the Deepcool GamerStorm GENOME liquid-cooled case!!

Introduction and Specifications

In this roundup we'll explore the performance of three premium (and large) air coolers - with the ultra-popular Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO in the mix to see how this $29 option stacks up against the big dogs on test.

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Many of the large air coolers on the market are built for ultra-efficient cooling at whisper-quiet volume levels. With massive heatsinks (and sometimes pairs of them) they can often cool demanding CPU loads with minimal fan speeds, and this usually results in very low noise output. Another advantage is the increased thermal headroom such a cooler provides, which can allow for overclocking without the need for liquid cooling - or even much additional noise.

So what coolers are included? In alphabetical order we have:

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Can the $29 Hyper 212 EVO hold its own in this group?

Kicking Cooler Testing up a Notch

I reviewed the Thermalright Le Grand Macho RT recently, using a Core i5 6600K-based test platform (the Scythe Ninja 4 was also reviewed using this platform), and readers correctly pointed out that a cooler of this size should really be tested with some more challenging thermal loads. The Core i5-6600K is a quad-core, single-threaded design with a 91W TDP, and in moving to a new CPU cooler test system I decided to make the jump to the 140W TDPs of Intel's LGA2011 processors.

So I ended up with a Core i7-6800K; a newer Broadwell-E design with a 6 core/12 thread configuration (and of course that 140W TDP). The base speed of the CPU is 3.40 GHz, with a maximum turbo frequency of 3.60 GHz. Without much trouble I was able to push the CPU to 4.0 GHz on each core, and proceeded to test each of these coolers at both stock and OC frequencies. My hope is that the results to follow will adequately demonstrate just how effective these coolers are when really pressed.

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Continue reading our roundup of large CPU air coolers!!

Introduction, Specifications, and First Impressions

Cooler Master has introduced a pair of new all-in-one liquid CPU cooler designs, with the former Nepton series now replaced by the MasterLiquid Pro 120 and 240. It is the larger of these that we have for you today, and in this review we'll see just how well this new design performs.

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“Based on our expertise in thermal technology, we reengineered how liquid absorbs and expels heat throughout the all-in-one (AIO) closed loop of the cooler. Our holistic approach to the flow puts in your hands a comprehensive cooling machine that lasts longer, performs better and requires virtually no maintenance.”

The MasterLiquid Pro 240 uses what Cooler Master is calling “FlowOp Technology”; a series of design choices that are intended to improve all aspects of the cooler's efficiency. It begins with the pump, which “sprays liquid directly at the center of the water block”, and the block, which offers what Cooler Master claims to be 657% more surface area (thanks to many more “ultra-fine fins on the copper base”) and 40% greater performance compared to previous designs.

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The radiator features a square fin design, which the company claims “creates greater surface area for absorption of the heat and allows for spacious airflow”.

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These claims, along with a pair of Cooler Master’s new “MasterFan Pro Air Balance” fans, make this new design sound very powerful, and I couldn’t wait to get it on the testbench to find out just how powerful - and quiet - it might be.

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Continue reading our review of the Cooler Master MasterLiquid Pro 240 CPU Cooler!