Top Tier CPU Air Coolers Q3 2015: 9-Way Roundup Reviewby E. Fylladitakis on July 6, 2015 8:00 AM EST
The SilentiumPC Grandis XE1236
SilentiumPC is a Polish company that is fairly well known in Europe, yet with virtually no presence in the North American markets. The company was founded in 2007, aiming to provide a wide variety of cooling and case solutions at competitive prices. For the means of this review, SilentiumPC provided us with the Grandis XE1236, which currently is the best cooler the company produces.
The Grandis is supplied in an aesthetically plain but effective cardboard box. There is nothing of note regarding the appearance of the packaging, as the only artwork is a picture of the cooler itself. It does offer good shipping protection though, with the cooler protected inside a clear plastic shell and the bundled items grouped in secondary cardboard boxes.
With the company focused on minimizing the costs, we did not expect the bundle of the Grandis to be grand. Nevertheless, besides the necessary mounting hardware and wire clips for three fans, SilentiumPC provides a tube of quality Pactum PT-1 thermal compound and a Y 4-pin fan power splitter. A small wrench tool is also provided, necessary for the installation of the cooler.
The Grandis is supplied with two 120 mm cooling fans. Both fans are mechanically and electrically identical, with black solid frames and tinted black blades. They have been rebranded and it is difficult to recognize their OEM. Their electrical specifications, speed and sleeving type match the Power Logic PL12S12L, yet the acoustic ratings are worlds apart.
The Grandis XE1236 is a symmetric dual tower CPU cooler, with relatively narrow towers for its class. The fins of both towers are perfectly symmetric as well, meaning that both their front and rear sides are identical, mostly straight with shallow indentations near their center. SilentiumPC died the top fin black, obviously for aesthetic purposes only, but it does not cover the copper heatpipes.
Up to three 120 mm cooling fans can be installed on the Grandis, using the provided wire clips. The wire clips are strangely shaped and very wide, expanding above and below the cooling fans. This makes them flimsy and prevents the movement of the front fan upwards to offer clearance for the RAM modules, if necessary. The center fan will have to be removed for the installation of the cooler, as there are no holes for a screwdriver. Do note that a Philips PH2 screwdriver with a shank longer than 145 mm is necessary for the installation of the Grandis, which is not supplied.
The base of the Grandis XE1236 is about as simple as the rest of the cooler is. It is split into two parts: the narrow lower copper part serves as the contact surface and the aluminum/steel top part provides mechanical cohesion and retention. Six 6 mm copper heatpipes expand from the base of the cooler to either tower on both sides, evenly spaced at the right and the left half of each tower. In order to keep the costs down, SilentiumPC did not plate the copper parts of the Grandis. The quality of the contact surface is disappointing, not because it has not been polished at all but because there are multiple machining marks visible with the naked eye and easily feelable by touch.
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Pissedoffyouth - Monday, July 6, 2015 - linkI wonder how a D15 or similar, with the fans removed, would work with a 45w or 65w APU to make a passively cooled PC.
ImSpartacus - Monday, July 6, 2015 - linkThat's a really interesting consideration.
MrSpadge - Monday, July 6, 2015 - linkThis will depend greatly on your case airflow. And if you only run short load bursts (browsing etc.) which can easily be absorbed by the heatsink heat capacity or continous loads (games, work), where the exchange of heat from the heatsink to the outside world limits cooling.
iamezza - Tuesday, July 7, 2015 - linkWith good fan control you could set the fan to switch off below a certain temp. So it could be silent 99% of the time but with a low rpm fan there if needed.
Mumrik - Tuesday, July 7, 2015 - linkYou'd probably still need some level of airflow.
I've never had a fan on my Scythe Ninja that cools an i5-2500k. I think that's a 95W TDP.
It's close to the single 12cm rear exhaust though.
Beany2013 - Wednesday, July 8, 2015 - linkI did similar with my old SLACR Q6600 95w CPU - Noctua D14 (I think) with a fan on a controller. At stock speeds (with a pair of Noctua case fans on it) it had just enough airflow to run without the CPU fan running at all. When I wanted performance, I could overclock from 2.4ghz to 3.something ghz (I can't remember but I think they went to 3.6ghz?) and just turn the CPU fan up to 'normal' speeds and it'd never get above 70deg and it was still a very quiet machine - HDD noise was far more noticeable than fan noise.
I really must get some decent fans for my current rig - a slightly long-in-the-tooth A8-3870 mit 16gb RAM that is still running the OEM cooler. Yes, I've got bored of overclocking. I still have that noctua kit kicking around somewhere, really must dig it out and see if I can get an adapter for it. I'm sure that'll tide me over till we see if Zen is worth a light...?
Essayjedii - Friday, July 10, 2015 - linkI have made a post about D15 in here <a href="http://www.dumblittleman.com/2015/04/14-problems-f... Hope ou find it interesting and useful.
Essayjedii - Friday, July 10, 2015 - linkI have made a post about D15 in here http://www.dumblittleman.com/2015/04/14-problems-f...
Hope ou find it interesting and useful.
Haravikk - Sunday, July 12, 2015 - linkMy current machine is an i7-4790T (45W, 2.7ghz, quad-core, hyper-threaded, 3.9ghz turbo with HD4600 graphics) in an Akasa Euler case, which means the case acts as a heat-sink. As I type this I'm transcoding video on all eight hardware threads with a total load of about 760% (where 800% is max), at a CPU temperature of 85ºC and a clock speed of 2.97ghz.
Of course that's for a passive case rather than a heat-sink on its own, but as long as you have somewhere for that heat to go it definitely seems doable. For example if you used an open-air case then ought to just rise out between the heatsink fins so airflow may not be required at all.
Basically keeping the case from becoming a big box of hot air is crucial; the Euler case with my processor (which is a slightly higher TDP than the 35W that the case recommends) gets pretty hot internally, which isn't great for internal drives. I ended up having to swap an mSATA SSD for a 2.5" one, as the mSATA drive just got too hot, while the 2.5" one has a bigger surface area and a metal body. Even so, I squeezed a tiny 40mm fan inside just to help pull hot air out on warmer days.
So ehm… yeah, possible, but you have to be sure you've considered where that heat is going to go before you attempt it. But as others have said; if your case has room then you should just put fans in there anyway and set them to switch off at lower temperatures; you can also use very slow, quiet fans so even if they do run they're silent.
Oxford Guy - Tuesday, July 14, 2015 - linkStick with a cooler like the NoFan models which are made specifically passive cooling. They will be much more effective.