Spec Tables

Today we're looking at six closed loop liquid coolers from NZXT, Corsair, Swiftech, and now Cooler Master. Representing Asetek are the Kraken X40 and X60 from NZXT as their packages are ultimately more feature rich than Corsair's curiously barebones implementations of the 140mm and 280mm Asetek coolers in the H90 and H110. Corsair's H80i and H100i are both popular models, so they fill in on 120mm and 240mm duty. As the best performing 240mm cooler I've tested, owing at least partially to the copper and brass radiator, the Swiftech H220 demanded to be retested. This time we're using a retail kit as well, instead of the preproduction press model we tested with before. And finally there's Cooler Master's Seidon 240M, which we discussed earlier.

  Corsair H80i Corsair H100i Swiftech H220
Type 120mm 240mm 240mm
Dimensions (in mm) 120x152x38 120x275x27 127x269x29
Fans (Supported) 2 (2) 2 (4) 2 (4)
OEM CoolIT CoolIT N/A
MSRP (NewEgg) $109 ($89) $119 ($105) $139 ($139)

  NZXT Kraken X40 NZXT Kraken X60 Cooler Master Seidon 240M
Type 140mm 280mm 240mm
Dimensions (in mm) 138.4x172.5x27 138.4x312.5x27 120x273x27
Fans (Supported) 1 (2) 2 (4) 2 (4)
OEM Asetek Asetek N/A
MSRP (NewEgg) $99 ($99) $139 ($136) $99 ($109)

The competition is interesting. Corsair's H80i, at least for now, doesn't have to directly compete with anything on our charts except similarly priced air coolers. At 240mm, though, we have the H100i and Seidon 240M squaring off against each other, while the Swiftech H220 is more expensive owing to its higher quality radiator and vastly more powerful pump. Meanwhile the Kraken X60 is the definition of niche, though 280mm radiator mounts are becoming increasingly common in modern cases.

For the Kraken X40, I decided to try something different during testing. The X40 performed pretty poorly in our last roundup against competing 120mm kits, and I wondered if NZXT and Corsair hadn't hamstrung themselves by only including one fan. To even the odds, I swiped a fan from the X60 and attached it to the X40 in a push-pull configuration, and you'll see it made a huge difference.

Meanwhile, for air coolers, I elected to drop all of the DeepCool coolers as well as the Noctua NH-L9i. The Intel stock cooler also wasn't tested. I actually used the Noctua NH-L12 with just the 92mm fan as an upper heat bound; this is a notably more powerful solution than Intel's stock cooler, but it still had trouble keeping our overclocked i7-2700K under 100C.

  Noctua NH-D14 Noctua NH-L12 Noctua NH-U12S Noctua NH-U14S
Dimensions (in mm) 158x126x120 93x128x150 158x125x71 165x150x78
Fans (Supported) 1x 140mm & 1x 120mm (3) 1x 120mm & 1x 90mm (2) 1x 120mm (2) 1x 150mm (2)
Weight 1240g 680g 755g 935g
Rated Noise in dB(A) 13.2~19.8 13.1~22.4 Up to 22.4 Up to 24.6
Price at NewEgg $81 $69 $65 $75

  SilverStone Heligon HE01 be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 2 CM Hyper 212 EVO
Dimensions (in mm) 140x119x160 147x138x166 120x80x159
Fans (Supported) 140mm (3) 1x 120mm & 1x 135mm (2) 120mm (2)
Weight 926g (w/o fan) 1250g 580g
Rated Noise in dB(A) 18~41 13.5~26.4 9~36
Price at NewEgg $75 $99 $33

The two new Noctua coolers were included, but they don't have listings on NewEgg for pricing as of this posting. They're expected to be available soon. What will be interesting will be seeing how the addition of even a low-powered exhaust fan affects this group of coolers.

The Noctua NH-U12S and NH-U14S Testing Methodology
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  • spidey81 - Friday, April 26, 2013 - link

    This article was to test the performance of the coolers at a certain clock speed. However, I think you would find that when pushing the overclock higher you would see some coolers wouldn't be able to keep the temps in check while others could. There's a difference between efficiently transferring the heat and the amount of heat capable of being transferred. That's why the D14 and TRUE are popular among overclockers who push higher than what we see in this test. To that end, the 240mm or 280mm closed loop coolers will also be able to handle higher overclocks.

    In this (http://www.overclock3d.net/reviews/cases_cooling/s... review of the H220, you can see that on the socket 2011 cpu the air coolers weren't able to maintain the extreme overclocks like the closed loop coolers could.
    Reply
  • spidey81 - Friday, April 26, 2013 - link

    sorry, link broke. http://tinyurl.com/cu24bwk That should work better :) Reply
  • epoon2 - Friday, April 26, 2013 - link

    You meant that as the load/watt/heat produced by CPU increases, the order in this graph http://images.anandtech.com/graphs/graph6916/54390... changes?

    but in the above test, the fans are at constant, max speed already ... I know what you mean but I just can't figure out the science/reason behind why your scenario would happen.
    Reply
  • BrightCandle - Friday, April 26, 2013 - link

    Two key factors are at play:
    1) the amount of watts of heat the solution can dissipate at a given delta temperature to the air.
    2) the thermal interface performance to the CPU itself and hence what temperature the CPU is running at.

    Water is cooling the water block but then water itself is above ambient temperature. This often means the ambient temp CPU effectively sees is higher compared to what it was with air. But water warms and cools much faster than air by volume, and it can hold a lot more energy. Combining water with a substantially larger area to exchange its heat to air and you get a solution that cools better given a large number of watts of heat but does less well on low wattage where air cooling fits and is sufficient.

    A 2600k pulls about 170W over clocked. A 3930k can be over 300W. 170W is about the point to consider water but you need an overspecced loop to show any advantage at all. Passed 200 watts however and water takes a clear lead and air stops being able to do the job.
    Reply
  • epoon2 - Saturday, April 27, 2013 - link

    Assuming the water pipes dissipates negligible heat, the role of the water system is equivalent to that of the thermal compounds: to transfer energy and heat to the sink and radiator.

    The difference in rate of heat exchange between the metal pieces and the external environment becomes the key.

    In an open air test, the rankings should remain the same as amount of heat generated by the CPU increases. In the real world , the performance of air coolers depends on the effectiveness of the case's heat exchange system..
    Reply
  • A5 - Friday, April 26, 2013 - link

    For future reviews, I wouldn't mind seeing the Xigmatek SD1283 tested. A lot of people recommend it for people who want something better than the CM Evo but don't want to spend Noctua money. It typically runs ~$50 so it fits that niche price-wise as well. Reply
  • A5 - Friday, April 26, 2013 - link

    I guess I meant the silly-named "Dark Knight 2" when I wrote this. Didn't know they had 2 different SD1283s. Guess I wouldn't mind seeing the cheaper, non-coated "Gaia" as well. Reply
  • Dr_b_ - Friday, April 26, 2013 - link

    Does the U12 have socket 2011 mounting capability? Reply
  • epoon2 - Friday, April 26, 2013 - link

    http://www.noctua.at/main.php?show=productview&... Reply
  • Dr_b_ - Friday, April 26, 2013 - link

    thanks 4 link. NH-D14 is really too big, blocks a socket in my x79-UP4 gigabyte. U12 looks like it might work here. Reply

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