Cooler Master Seidon 240M and 12 More Coolers: The Retest and Mega-Roundupby Dustin Sklavos on April 26, 2013 6:01 AM EST
The Cooler Master Seidon 240M
It's easy to mistake the Cooler Master Seidon 240M as another Asetek design; apparently Asetek thought it was close enough that it was worth suing Cooler Master over. How that suit pans out remains to be seen, but the Seidon 240M definitely has enough distinctive characteristics to make it worth evaluating on its own.
Cooler Master may not have been doing well in our recent radiator fan roundups, but the two fans they've included for the Seidon 240M's 240mm radiator appear to be the same breed as the fan they use on the widely loved (and rightfully so) Hyper 212 Evo air cooler. Unfortunately, while the waterblock is copper and of Cooler Master's own design, the radiator uses aluminum fins much like competing units from Asetek and CoolIT, and you'll see later that this does have a tangible negative impact on performance.
Where Cooler Master beats just about everyone else, though, is in their mounting system. The mount for the waterblock is freakishly simple and secure; there are a pair of brackets that get screwed on to the waterblock (one for AMD and one for Intel), along with an adjustable backplate that comes out of the box ready for LGA 1155/1156. Four screws come up through the mounting holes in the motherboard, and then bolts attach to those. The brackets attached to the waterblock then screw into those bolts. It's actually a very simple design and nowhere near as finicky as Asetek's, CoolIT's, or even Swiftech's.
As for fan control, Cooler Master is a step ahead of Corsair's H90 and H110 coolers: the pump uses a standard 3-pin connector and can be connected to any motherboard fan header, while there's a splitter for the two PWM fans included to use the single CPU fan PWM header on the motherboard. No proprietary software, just clean use of the motherboard's integrated fan control. I honestly prefer this approach to Corsair's Corsair Link software and NZXT's Kraken Control, but your mileage may vary.
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epoon2 - Friday, April 26, 2013 - linkwow that was fast, maker updated with editor's choice logo already btw
tsponholz - Friday, April 26, 2013 - linkI don't understand why the Thermaltake WATER2.0 Series doesn't seem to make it to these lists. I have the Performer and love the performance and noise. The review I have seen (never in a round up) put it on top of the Antec and Corsair offerings.
karasaj - Friday, April 26, 2013 - linkAny good places to get the NH-U12S in the US for that 65$?
Hrel - Friday, April 26, 2013 - linkMan, that 30db noise floor is REALLY becoming a problem. You guys would CLEARLY get value/use out of better equipment. I would REALLY REALLY REALLY like to see that happen.
Razorbak86 - Friday, April 26, 2013 - linkFeel free to make a contribution of said equipment to the site's standard test setup.
DanNeely - Saturday, April 27, 2013 - linkWhen you're buying something to donate; keep in mind getting ambient noise levels much below 30db is easier said than done and an anechoic chamber large enough not to turn into a hotbox during testing isn't going to be cheap.
TrackSmart - Friday, April 26, 2013 - linkGreat review. Kudos to Cooler Master for giving us cheapskates something to play with at $33 that will handle some significant overclocking, while also staying quiet. I've usually dismissed aftermarket coolers as being a poor return on investment for mid-range builds (i.e. it is more cost effective to spend the money on a beefer CPU than a bigger cooler). But $33 is a price point where it might make sense to invest in better cooling over a modestly higher-end CPU.
crimson117 - Friday, April 26, 2013 - linkNot sure how you can give a bronze award to such an expensive item - price/performance value simply isn't there. It's 3-4 times more expensive than the Kraken X60 or Noctua but doesn't offer nearly that much improvement.
Razorbak86 - Friday, April 26, 2013 - linkHuh? Where are you getting your pricing? o.O
In the US, the Swiftech H220 is $139.99, and the Kraken X60 is $109.99. Maybe my math is a little rusty, but I calculate the price premium to be 27% higher (i.e., [$139.99-$109.99]/$109.99 = 27%). If it was 3-4x higher, it would be priced at $329.97-$439.96.
Treckin - Friday, April 26, 2013 - linkDustin! you promised to include the Antec Kuhler pieces in your closed loop reviews!
Hope thats still planned!