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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  • epoon2 - Friday, April 26, 2013 - link

    wow that was fast, maker updated with editor's choice logo already btw Reply
  • tsponholz - Friday, April 26, 2013 - link

    I 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. Reply
  • karasaj - Friday, April 26, 2013 - link

    Any good places to get the NH-U12S in the US for that 65$? Reply
  • Hrel - Friday, April 26, 2013 - link

    Man, 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. Reply
  • Razorbak86 - Friday, April 26, 2013 - link

    Feel free to make a contribution of said equipment to the site's standard test setup. Reply
  • DanNeely - Saturday, April 27, 2013 - link

    When 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. Reply
  • TrackSmart - Friday, April 26, 2013 - link

    Great 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. Reply
  • crimson117 - Friday, April 26, 2013 - link

    Not 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. Reply
  • Razorbak86 - Friday, April 26, 2013 - link

    Huh? 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.
    Reply
  • Treckin - Friday, April 26, 2013 - link

    Dustin! you promised to include the Antec Kuhler pieces in your closed loop reviews!

    Hope thats still planned!
    Reply

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