Review Index:
Feedback

FSP Windale 4 and 6 CPU Air Cooler Review

Installation, Performance, and Conclusion

Installation

View Full Size

The process begins with the fitting of a standard plastic bracket beneath the CPU socket, with four bolts which pass through the mounting holes to secure the metal brackets above. This is a similar system to the one that comes with Noctua coolers, though I was impressed by the attention to detail that FSP's design offers.

In a first (for me, anyway), the plastic spacers beneath the metal bracket are threaded, which made securing everything in place from the beginning of the process extremely easy.

View Full Size

The heatsink attaches to the retention system with another steel bracket, and this is secured with a single machine screw on either side.

View Full Size

View Full Size

Securing the heatsink requires the fan to be installed afterwards, and here I encountered my only difficulty with the install process as the soft fan mounts were a little tricky to align and fit at the bottom of the heatsink fins with the limited clearance available after installation on the CPU.

View Full Size

The upper mounts are easy, of course, but I regretting my choice to attach the mounts to the fan first when I had to slide the lower mounts under the heatsink after installation. I imagine this could be done in the reverse order, but after I did this a couple of times it was easier to do by feel.

View Full Size

As you can see, both the Windale 4 and 6 provided excellent clearance, with no interference with standard memory modules (very tall RAM would be another story in the nearest slot to the fan) or adjacent VRM heatsinks, etc. Overall the install process was excellent, and the result felt very secure.

Performance

Now the part we've all been waiting for: how effective are these coolers? To test this I benchmarked both of the Windale models on a platform which includes an Intel Core i7-7700K processor.

Test Platform
Processor Intel Core i7-7700K
Motherboard ECS Z270-LIGHTSABER
Memory Crucial Ballistix Sport 8 GB 2400 MHz DDR4
Graphics Card (CPU Graphics)
Storage Samsung SM961 NVMe SSD
Power Supply Corsair TX650 PSU
OS Windows 10 64-bit

To measure load temps I used the x264 benchmark, and stress results were obtained using the Prime95 small FFT torture test. I re-tested the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO with the same platform to provide an accurate comparison with this popular budget cooler.

View Full Size

The first thing I noticed was the Windale 4 trailing the Hyper 212 EVO in load temps slightly, though they both hit a wall in the prime95 test. The Windale 6 proved to be more effective across the board, and while the load temps were less than 2 C better, it is important to note that under stress the Windale 6's advantage is much more significant. Clearly the additional heatpipes will help with more challenging loads compared to the smaller coolers.

What about noise output? I used my Nady DSM-1X meter to measure idle and load noise levels using the same standard fan profile from my test system's motherboard. Both FSP coolers were spinning at around their max 1600 RPM under load, with the Cooler Master fan at approximately 2000 RPM under the same load.

View Full Size

A huge difference between the EVO and these Windale coolers with noise output, and this is largely due to the slower speed of FSP's fan. To cool as effectively as both Windale coolers were able to do at these low noise levels is very impressive, and places the FSP coolers in a class ahead of the budget Cooler Master. To achieve premium cooling at very low noise is a staple of brands like Noctua, and here FSP is offering a similar premium experience for a lower price. Impressive!

Conclusion

View Full Size

The Windale 6 is available with both blue and white LED fan illumination

I found both of FSP's first CPU coolers to be outstanding products, with capable cooling performance enhanced greatly by very low noise output. Indeed, my only complaint with them was the slightly inconvenient nature of the rubber-like fan mounts after heatsink installation on the CPU - though these did seem to cut down on vibration noise based on my results with both coolers. FSP's mounting hardware is outstanding, resulting in a secure fit, and I'll add that AM4 support out of the box is a plus as well.

The Windale 6 outperformed the smaller Windale 4 as expected, but with less than a 2 C difference in testing with the i7-7700K the larger cooler will likely be more important to consider with the more demanding CPU above the 91W TDP of this chip. At $29.99 the Windale 4 becomes a very attractive alternative to the Hyper 212 EVO, and though it did not eclipse the popular Cooler Master's cooling performance it provided dramatically lower noise levels. The same goes for the larger Windale 6, which uses essentially the same fan (with white and blue LED lighting the only difference).

View Full Size

Both the FSP Windale 4 and 6 take home our Gold award for great performance and value 

FSP has a very solid first effort in the CPU air cooler space with both of these Windale models, and these are not only very effective but very quiet as well, making them an even better value.


August 31, 2017 | 05:48 PM - Posted by fade2blac

The span of the 6 direct contact heat pipes is pretty large compared to the i7-7700K IHS. I am curious if the Windale 6 would be able to demonstrate better performance relative to the Windale 4 when used with processors which have larger mating surfaces (Ryzen or Intel X-series?). HardOCP noted that their i7-4770K appeared to contact just a bit more than 4 of the 6 heat pipes.

*EDIT* Added link to HardOCP article
https://www.hardocp.com/article/2017/06/19/fsp_windale_6_cpu_air_cooler_...

August 30, 2017 | 05:31 PM - Posted by H380

Well if they have a better mounting scheme than the 212 EVO at the same price you have a winner. Because the EVO mounting sucks.

August 30, 2017 | 10:39 PM - Posted by Corrigan (not verified)

It's not hard to have a better mounting system than the 212 Evo, but it's nice to see more budget air coolers use such a simple and effective design. I wish Cryorig went this route with their H7 instead of their X bracket + pins you have to screw in from the back of the mobo mounting system.

August 31, 2017 | 03:21 PM - Posted by agello24 (not verified)

im curious to know why the review was done on a intel chip and not an AMD chip? at least do the review on both chips.

August 31, 2017 | 05:56 PM - Posted by micromarx (not verified)

It is a cooler review, measuring the coolers ability to dissipate heat relative to other coolers on the market, in this case the Hyper EVO.

The chip does not matter.

September 1, 2017 | 01:39 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The chip does matter, at least since Intel stopped soldering their mainstream CPUs. With those chips, there is a potential heat bottleneck where it doesn't matter how effectively the cooler can remove heat from the heatspreader because the heat can't make it from the die to the heatspreader.

September 2, 2017 | 08:56 PM - Posted by micromarx (not verified)

Did the results show one cooler being more effective than the others? Yes!

Is the whole point of these reviews to find out if product A is better than product B under the same conditions? Yes!

Did the review successfully demonstrate this? Yes!

Does the chip matter? No!

September 1, 2017 | 11:22 AM - Posted by Anonymouss (not verified)

You do realize not everyone has and AMD chip laying around just to keep random people on the internet happy right?

September 6, 2017 | 01:16 AM - Posted by Sebastian Peak

If I had unlimited time and resources I'd love to do AMD and Intel, stock and overclocked, on all cooler testing. Maybe when my son is a little older I can 'convince' him to arrange this for me :)

I went with the i7 even though (true story) I was planning to kick off an AM4 test bench for cooler reviews...because I don't want to deal with a CPU temp offset (again). I am very reluctant to go down the road of trying to either estimate based on the board reported temp or hope the particular offset can be trusted - and it was anything but clear back on AM3 with my FX setup that I scrapped for this reason.

I bought an AM4 board and a Ryzen 7 1700X - and sold it to a friend after choosing to stick to a platform that has well-established core temp reporting - and the i7-7700K in its unmodified state is a very hot CPU so it should provide a good test of any cooler.

Another site I could mention simply uses a thermal load generator - and no CPU at all. If I had access to that equipment I would probably do the same. In the end, if this i7 is consistent and I use the same fan profile for every test, I will always have good comparitive data to present in reviews like this.

September 8, 2017 | 06:43 AM - Posted by suraj tiwari (not verified)

really EVO mounting is irritating and it sucks. I think you should go for some other schemes, otherwise, you are not going to gain any kind of advantages from it.
http://bestpowerdrills.net/

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <blockquote><p><br>
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.