Cooler vendors might tell us that down-draft designs aren't intended for the same applications that cross-draft coolers excel in. But, in the end, cooling performance is still just that, and we’ll benchmark these down-draft models just like any other heat sink.
First up is Enermax's ETD-T60-VD. It weighs in at 530 grams and sports 54 aluminum fins placed next to each other, vertically. It stands about 120 mm tall. The bottom of the cooler and its six 6 mm-diameter heat pipes are made of copper. The pipes don't make direct contact with the CPU, and they don't come out of the cooler's base on either side and run up through the heat sink, either. Instead, four heat pipes emerge out of one side, and two come out of the other. They stretch through the aluminum fins and protrude out just a few millimeters.
Enermax boasts about its "Vortex Generated Flow" and "Vacuum Effect Flow" design features. These refer to small spoilers and fin flaps that purportedly optimize the air flow to maximize cooling. How does all of that translate to real-world performance?
The ETD-T60-VD does well, though it can't quite compete with the best cross-draft coolers listed in our CPU Cooler 2011 charts. This is especially obvious at lower fan speeds (1000 RPM), or about half of the 1910 RPM maximum that we measured. At idle, Enermax's cooler keeps our CPU 7.8 degrees Celsius higher than the ambient temperature. At full load, this jumps to 37.8 degrees Celsius. The maximum CPU temperature is 59 degrees Celsius, which is acceptable, and there’s always the option of cranking up the fan’s speed if things get too hot.
Then again, Enermax's ETD-T60-VD produces an annoying 48.2 dB(A) at its maximum fan speed. Slowing it to 1000 RPM brings the noise down to 32.1 dB(A). That's still not great, but it's at least quiet enough to not be glaring in a normal office environment.
- Down-Draft Coolers For Compact Cases
- Enermax ETD-T60-VD: In The Box And Installation
- Noctua NH-L12: In The Box And Installation
- Scythe SCKC-2100: In The Box And Installation
- Benchmark System
- Enermax ETD-T60-VD: Cooling Performance And Noise
- Noctua NH-L12: Cooling Performance And Noise
- Scythe SCKC-2100: Cooling Performance And Noise
- Benchmark Overview
- A Down-Draft Cooler For Everyone