A Trio of Air Coolers
Scythe is a major player in the air cooling space with a dizzying array of coolers for virtually any application from the Japanese company. In addition to some of the most compact coolers in the business Scythe also offers some of the highest performing - and most quiet - tower coolers available. Two of the largest coolers in the lineup are the new Mugen 5 Rev. B, and the Grand Kama Cross 3 - the latter of which is one of their most outlandish designs.
Rounding out this review we also have a compact tower option from Scythe in the Byakko, which is a 130 mm tall cooler that can fit in a greater variety of enclosures than the Mugen 5 or Grand Kama Cross due to its lower profile. So how did each perform on the cooler test bench? We put these Scythe coolers against the Intel Core i7-7700K to see how potent their cooling abilities are when facing a CPU that gets quite toasty under load. Read on to see how this trio responded to the challenge!
Subject: Cases and Cooling | September 30, 2017 - 02:26 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: tower cooler, just delivered, FM2+, cryorig h5 ultimate, CRYORIG, air cooling, air cooler
Just Delivered is a section of PC Perspective where we share some of the goodies that pass through our labs that may or may not see a review, but are pretty cool none the less.
Find the Cryorig H5 Ultimate on Amazon!
I have been slowly rebuilding my wife's desktop PC following a failure of the all-in-one liquid CPU cooler that saw leaking coolant kill the motherboard and power supply (surprisingly the GTX 750 Ti survived despite getting a bunch of coolant on it). I recently replaced the motherboard and PSU (while discovering FM2+ boards are still pretty expensive on eBay) and today got in the last component: a Cryorig H5 Ultimate air cooler. I wouldn't mind replacing the TD03 with another water cooler (it was nice and quiet when it worked), but got a good deal on the air cooler. Anyway, the Cryorig H5 Ultimate is a monster tower style air cooler measuring 168.3 x 143 x 110.9 (HxWxL) with the included fan and weighing 920 grams (2.03 pounds).
I forgot to take an unboxing picture, here is what it comes with though (from Cryorig's website).
The Cryorig H5 Ultimate is rated at 180W TDP and features 38 aluminum fins in an interesting hive / honey comb design that allegedly reduces noise, improves air flow, and strengthens the fin stack. The fins are connected with four 6mm copper heat pipes to the nickel plated C1100 copper baseplate. A 140mm XF140 fan (76 CFM) pushes air through the fin stack spinning anywhere between 700 and 1300 RPM with rated noise levels of 19 to 23 dBA respectively.
There are no LEDs on this monster, but it doesn't need them to look good in my opinion. Fortunately, the fan height is adjustable and you are able to mount the fan on either side of the heatsink which will be important because it can and will interfere with your RAM modules depending on your motherboard and height of RAM heat spreaders! As you will see, I ran into this, but my PC chassis gave just enough clearance that I was able to move the fan up enough to clear the G.Skill RAM (which is on the shorter side). The fan is mounted using two wires and is fairly easy to take off and install.
Cryorig supports both AMD and Intel motherboards (including AM4 with a separate mounting upgrade kit) including FM1, FM2, AM2, and AM3 on the AMD side and LGA 775, 1156, 1150, 1151, and 2011 on the Intel side. The cooler has two mounting kits for AMD and Intel with both requiring you install a backplate.
In my case, I am installing the Cryorig H5 Ultimate on a FM2+ socket motherboard. I had to unscrew the default AMD mounting system and install Cryorig's backplate. There are four screws that screw onto the backplate posts with a slight bit of give which is normal (the backplate will not be tightly screwed to the board, it should be able to move a bit). Then another bracket is screwed onto the backplate screws until hand tight (tighten them using the X method going corner to diagonal corner).
Easy enough so far! However, now here is where I ran into some trouble with the installation. Much like the experience of installing RAM for the first time where you can sometimes feel like you need to use a lot more force than you think you should need to install them, the Cryorig cooler takes quite a bit of force to properly install. Learn from my frustration:
After applying your thermal paste, it's time to install the cooler. You will notice that there are two holes in the top of the cooler and two screw holes in the bracket you installed over the CPU socket. You will line the cooler up so that the spring mounted screws on the cooler are over the holes in the bracket. I found it easiest to put my finger by one of the screws and make sure that screw was lined up, then let down the other side of the cooler so that both screws are lined up. Now, you will need the special screwdriver Cryorig provides in the box. Using one hand push down on the cooler and use the other hand to stick the screwdriver in one of the holes. You will need to keep pressure on the cooler while turning the screw so that it can catch onto the threads in the bracket and start, well, screwing in. Make a few turns so that it is in, but do not fully tighten the screw down. Now, move your hand to the opposite side of the cooler where the other screw hole is and press down. You will need to push this side of the cooler down with quite a bit of force (again, thinking back to the RAM example, don't hulk smash anything, but don’t' be too gentle either). While keeping pressure on this side to hold it towards the socket, start screwing down this side of the cooler. (If you did it right the other side won't pop out, if you didn't screw the first side down enough it might pop out and you'll have to start over heh) Once both sides are partially in, just alternate screwing the screws down until they are hand tight.
Trust me, you might think you are going to break this thing or bend something, but it's just normal SOP. Finally, plug in the XF140 fan into the CPU_fan header and you're good to go!
The Cryorig H5 Ultimate dwarfs my GA-F2A78M-HD2 mATX motherboard leaving just enough room for two memory DIMMs and the graphics card! Heck it still looked huge installed in the old A88X ATX board!
Since installing it I have been playing around a bit with the PC trying to get some temperature readings for you, but am discovering that getting accurate temperature readings from AMD processors (especially older APUs) is not that easy. I am still testing things out and looking into overclocking, but best I can tell the Cryorig cooler is keeping the AMD A8 5600K processor somewhere around 55°C under load using AIDA64 stress testing. At idle the cooler is very quiet and while it does ramp up under load it is barely audible compared to the case exhaust fan! This is not a formal review but so far it has been an interesting cooler assuming you can find it at a good price.
If you are interested in a monster cooler like this, definitely double check your case and RAM clearances though. The install was not too bad the second time around (I first installed it on her old motherboard not knowing if it was dead yet as I did not have another cooler to test), but it is not as easy on this AMD FM2+ socket as their video (and others I found on YouTube) makes it look for the intel platform! With the knowledge that you can and need to use force to press it down to get the screws in it's a fairly quick install, I just wish that information was better spelled out in the instructions as it would have saved me a ton of time the first go around! I don't have formal noise or temp numbers as I am just starting to test it, but so far, I am happy with it.
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.
"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
Introduction and Specifications
The JUSTICE from REEVEN is a tower cooler with six heatpipes, and a 120 mm PWM fan with distinctive yellow-and-black styling. But what really matters is performance, and that’s what we’re going to find out about as we pit it against the Intel Broadwell-E test system.
Have you heard of REEVEN? A search on Amazon reveals only a pair of older models, but Newegg carries the full range of coolers and fan controllers the Taiwanese company offers. Prices are low for this segment, with their CPU coolers starting at $24.99, and this JUSTICE cooler priced at $42 on Newegg. What you get for this price sounds impressive on paper, and I wasted no time in finding out how that translated into real-world results.
REEVEN sent along a second 120 mm COLDWING 12 fan for us to test with the JUSTICE, as the cooler includes installation hardware for a dual-fan setup, and I tested the cooler with my Core i7-6800K in both configurations - with both stock and overclocked CPU loads.
Introduction and First Impressions
The Scythe Ninja 4 (SCNJ-4000) is the latest model in the Ninja series, and an imposing air cooler with dimensions similar to Noctua's massive NH-D14. But there's more to the story than size, as this is engineered for silence above all else. Read on to see just how quiet it is, and of course how well it's able to cope with CPU loads.
"The Ninja 4 is the latest model in the Ninja CPU Cooler Series, developed for uncompromising performance. It features the new T-M.A.P.S technology, an optimized alignment of heatpipes, and the back-plate based Hyper Precision Mounting System (H.P.M.S) for firm mounting and easy installation procedure. These improvements and a special, adjustable Glide Stream 120mm PWM fan result in an increased cooling performance while reducing the weight compared to his predecessor. Also the design of the heat-sink allows fan mounting on all four sides. This enables the optimal integration of the Ninja 4 in the air flow of the pc-case and reduces turbulence and the emergence of hotspots."
The Ninja 4 is built around a very large, square heatsink, which allows the single 120 mm fan to be mounted on any side, and this PWM fan offers three speed settings to further control noise. And noise is really what the Ninja is all about, with some really low minimum speeds possible on what is a very quiet Scythe fan to begin with.
Will a single low-speed fan design affect the ability to keep a CPU cool under stress? Will the Ninja 4's fan spin up and become less quiet under full load? These questions will soon be answered.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 8, 2013 - 08:14 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: tower cooler, noctua, nh-u, air cooling
Noctua has launched two new single-tower air coolers in the NH-U series. The new NH-U12S and NH-U14S slim tower coolers come in both 120mm and 140mm sizes respectively. The air coolers are slim-enough to be installed in most system configurations, even with tall RAM heat-spreaders in use.
The Noctua NH-U12S is an updated version of the company's NH-U12P-SE2 cooler. It features a 45mm thick tower heatsink paired with a 120mm NF-F12 fan.
On the other hand, the NH-U14S is Noctua's first air cooler sporting a 140mm fan. The cooler is 52mm thick, and is compatible with Intel's enthusiast LGA 2011/X79 platform. Further, it uses NF-A15 140mm fan that provides ample cooling power at lower RPMs (which means less noise, ideally).
Both the NH-U12S and NH-U14S air coolers include Noctua's SecureFirm 2 mounting system, NT-H1 thermal compound, and PWM-controlled fans. Users can also attach the low-noise adapter to reduce the maximum fan speed from 1500 to 1200 RPM should they value quiet operation over maximum performance. Noctua is supporting both air coolers with a 6 year manufacturer warranty.
Both the 120mm NH-U12S and 140mm NH-U14S will be "available shortly" according to Noctua. The NH-U12S has an MSRP of $64.90 USD (59.90 EUR), while the larger NH-U14S is priced at $79.90 USD (69.90 EUR). In all, they appear to be decent air cooling options, and Noctua has demonstrated quality support in the past (such as the free Haswell mounting kit upgrades for older HSFs). Personally, I'm interested to see how the 140mm unit performs.