The Tom’s Hardware team is made up of enthusiasts, so we understand that proper cooling is imperative, regardless of whether you’re running at stock frequencies or overclocked settings. From closed-loop liquid solutions to heat sinks and aftermarket graphics coolers, we know what to look out for.
Fixing The Radeon R9 290 With Arctic's Accelero Xtreme III
Nov 17, 2013 - in Reviews
One of the best things we did for our Radeon R9 290 review was pop off AMD's reference cooler and attach Arctic's Accelero Xtreme III. Today, we show you how we did this, we dive deeper into the results, and ultimately recommend the aftermarket heat sink.
Eight Low-Profile CPU Coolers For Your Compact PC, Reviewed
Nov 13, 2013 - in Reviews
A recent look at ASRock's M8 compact barebones PC saw us undervolting our CPU in order to run stably, overclocked. This forced us to ask the question: how much cooling can we fit inside a slim enclosure? Eight heat sink vendors helped us find the answer.
Thermal Paste Comparison, Part Two: 39 Products Get Tested
Oct 20, 2013 - in Reviews
It's time for the numbers. In addition to testing liquid metal compounds and thermally conductive adhesives, each paste is discussed on its own merits before we chart out the results of four usage cases. After all, these products behave differently.
Thermal Paste Comparison, Part One: Applying Grease And More
Oct 10, 2013 - in Reviews
If you find yourself fighting a stubbornly-low overclock, there's a chance that your thermal solution isn't working as effectively as it should. We're testing a number of thermal pastes that might help. But first, let's go over the basics of CPU cooling.
Four New Closed-Loop Liquid Coolers Versus Noctua's NH-D14
Oct 6, 2013 - in Reviews
Four new closed-loop liquid coolers seek to improve thermal performance in a number of ways. We certainly understand the benefits of these configurations, but can they out-do the reigning air-cooling champion, Noctua's NH-D14? Check out our benchmarks.
Three Thermalright True Spirit Heat Sinks, Reviewed
Aug 5, 2013 - in Reviews
Thermalright sent over all three models in its True Spirit heat sink family, complete with 92, 120, and 140 mm fans. We dropped each one onto an FX-8350 processor to gauge its cooling performance and acoustic output. Which one takes the value win?
Nine Big Air Coolers For Intel's Haswell CPUs, Reviewed
Jul 14, 2013 - in Reviews
Intel's Haswell-based CPUs have a unique cooling problem that leaves many overclockers in a quandary. Today, we're rounding up nine different sink and fan combinations to see if any can contend with the fourth-gen Core processor's copious heat.
Four Closed-Loop CPU Coolers Take On Noctua's NH-D14
Dec 30, 2012 - in Reviews
Closed-loop liquid coolers relieve stress from our motherboards, without the portability and maintenance issues of traditional open-loop kits. Are these the best devices for system builders who plan to move their machines and want to avoid damage?
Three Down-Draft Heat Sinks: The Last Of A Dying Breed?
Oct 7, 2012 - in Reviews
There’s an enormous amount of aftermarket coolers available to those wanting more performance or lower temperatures. The market’s currently dominated by tower coolers, and top coolers have fallen out of favor. Rightfully so? We find out.
Custom Cooling: Deepcool's Dracula And Arctic's Accelero Xtreme
Oct 2, 2012 - in Reviews
Overclocking AMD's Radeon HD 7970 requires effective cooling, but the company's design is incompatible with most aftermarket heat sinks. Arctic and Deepcool claim to have solutions able to get the job done, without the reference cooler's loud fan.
Extreme Air Cooling: Our Five-Slot (Quiet) Radeon HD 7970
Jul 25, 2012 - in Reviews
The good news is that it’s possible to cool AMD’s flagship Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition to less than 75 degrees Celsius under full load, maintaining a quiet 32 dB(A) at the same time. The bad news? It'll cost you five expansion slots and more than $100.
Four ATX Cases For High-Capacity Water Cooling, Reviewed
Mar 13, 2012 - in Reviews
Big radiators need lots of space that most enclosures simply weren't designed to offer. We're using Swiftech’s latest triple-fan cooler to test the fitment and performance in four cases supposedly set up to accommodate high-end water cooling setups.
In Pictures: Four ATX Cases Perfect For High-Capacity Water Cooling
Mar 7, 2012 - in Picture Story
Big radiators facilitate lots of cooling power without much noise. But taking the plunge into water also requires a specially-designed case. We inspect the layout and features of four 3 x 120 mm-capable chassis prior to our upcoming performance analysis.
Big Air: 14 LGA 2011-Compatible Coolers For Core i7-3000, Reviewed
Feb 15, 2012 - in Reviews
Do Intel’s Core i7-3000-series CPUs really need closed-loop liquid cooling? Today we're testing fourteen different LGA 2011-compatible air coolers on an overclocked Core i7-3960X in order to determine whose is the most effective.
In Pictures: 14 LGA 2011 Coolers For Your Core i7-3000 CPU
Feb 6, 2012 - in Picture Story
Do LGA 2011-based processors really need to be matched up to closed-loop liquid coolers? Not at all. We collected 14 different high-end heat sink kits able to do the job with air. Keep an eye out for our upcoming performance write-up, too!
Chris Angelini On Tom's Hardware In 2012
Jan 16, 2012 - in Reviews
I just got back from CES 2012. And although I’ve attended a great many Consumer Electronics Shows, Computexes, and Comdexes (never a CeBIT), this year’s show was by far the most intense. It wasn’t that there were tons of really awesome products. In fact,
Antec Kühler Vs. Corsair Hydro: Sealed Liquid CPU Coolers Compared
Dec 4, 2011 - in Reviews
Offering a taste of liquid-cooled performance without the maintenance hassle, sealed-liquid systems are the logical choice for many high-end builds. We compare four options to an air-cooled standard to see if any of them stand out above the others.
How To: Properly Plan And Pick Parts For An Air-Cooled PC, Part 2
Nov 15, 2011 - in Reviews
After discussing the theory of PC cooling, in Part One, we now move on to technology and implementation, discussing case fans, CPU coolers, and thermal grease. We even wrap up with a recipe you can use if you fail to cool your PC properly.
How To: Properly Plan And Pick Parts For An Air-Cooled PC, Part 1
Nov 7, 2011 - in Reviews
What better way to wrap up a scorching summer than with a last word on cooling? We explain the most important rules for creating ideal airflow, address the potential effectiveness of side fans, and discuss the finer points of graphics card cooling.
Thermalright's Shaman VGA Cooler: The Quiet Giant?
Dec 27, 2010 - in Reviews
Thermalright's Shaman is the largest VGA cooler we've ever seen. Having recently reviewed three competing aftermarket graphics cooling solutions, we're eager to find out if size really matters when it comes to overclocking the ultra-hot GeForce GTX 480.
Roundup: Six Sub-$40 Performance CPU Coolers Compared
Nov 23, 2010 - in Reviews
Remember when overclocking was all about getting more performance for less money? It's hard to do that when you're spending top dollar on premium heatsinks and fans. Today we round up six true value-oriented coolers that could help unleash hidden speed.
Three Aftermarket Graphics Coolers On GeForce GTX 480
Nov 7, 2010 - in Reviews
Today we're testing three of the largest graphics card coolers available: Arctic Cooling's Accelero XTREME Plus, DeepCool's V6000, and Zalman's VF3000F. Can these products bring performance to the table commensurate with their large triple-slot size?
Corsair H70: Next-Gen Self-Contained Liquid Cooling
Oct 29, 2010 - in Reviews
Liquid cooling still has the image of being expensive and complicated. Corsair, in cooperation with the cooling specialists at Asetek, now offers the H70 that aims to simplify the step up from air cooling. Can it beat less expensive premium heatsinks?
In Pictures: 20 Heat Sinks That Look Cool, Too
Jul 2, 2010 - in Picture Story
Are you getting tired of that boring old fan whirling around inside your PC? Why not jazz it up with something big, flashy, and downright eye-opening? In today's picture story, we take a look at 20 heat sinks that give a new meaning to the word "cool."
Overclocking On Air: 10 LGA 1156-Compatible Performance Coolers
Jan 26, 2010 - in Reviews
Intel’s latest Core i5 and Core i7 processors for the LGA 1156 interface are great overclockers, but they still have thermal limits. Today we compare nine coolers that can take clock speeds to the next level. Read on if you have 4 GHz+ ambitions.
Small Water Versus Big Air, Part 3: Cooling Questions Answered
Sep 11, 2009 - in Reviews
Parts one and two of our air and self-contained water cooler reviews compared components on an open bench with each model's included fan. Understanding that performance will differ in an enclosure, what happens when we install these solutions in a case?
Is It Worth Upgrading Your Stock CPU Cooler?
Sep 3, 2009 - in Reviews
Retail processors usually come with a bundled cooler, which will serve you well—at least until you try to overclock. We replaced the heat sink that Intel includes with its Core i7-920 with a higher-end model from Zalman in order to gauge the improvement.
Part 2: Little Water, Big Air--Corsair H50 Versus Rosewill FORT120
Jul 31, 2009 - in Reviews
Immediately following our first air versus water cooling comparison, Corsair and Rosewill announced new products. In part two, we test these latest air and water coolers against the Cogage and CoolIT contenders from part one.
CoolIT Vs. Cogage: Little Water And Big Air Compared
May 8, 2009 - in Reviews
What happens when you compare a relatively small liquid cooler (without remote-mounting capabilities) to a similarly-sized air cooler? We compare CoolIT’s Domino A.L.C. and Thermalright’s new Cogage-brand True Spirit
Updated: Big, Bad, Cooling Systems
Mar 14, 2009 - in Picture Story
Do you think you've put together an interesting cooling configuration? Check out some of the following setups we've run across while doing our own weekend reading and compare what other enthusiasts out there are doing!