UpHere C5C and D6Sec Air Coolers Review: Decent performance for less than $20

It might be the cheapest cooler I’ve tested, but it performs well, all things considered.

UpHere C5C and D6Sec
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

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Thermal results without power limits

Without power limits enforced on Intel’s i7-13700K, the CPU will hit its peak temperature (TJ Max) and thermally throttle with even the strongest of air coolers. When the CPU reaches its peak temperature, I’ve measured the CPU package power to determine the maximum wattage cooled to best compare their performance.

The general exception to this comes with the strongest AIOs on the market, which can keep Intel’s i7-13700K under TJ Max. This is no small task, as many AIOs fail this test.

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The performance of UpHere’s C5C and D6SEC air coolers was on the lower end of the spectrum. The C5C model is technically the second-worst result we’ve seen from any air cooler tested here. But I don’t consider that a bad thing given its low maximum noise output and budget price of $17 USD.

The D6SEC model had peak performance similar to Arctic’s Liquid Freezer 240 and BeQuiet’s Dark Rock Pro – but it makes a lot of noise to sustain that performance level, reaching 49 dBA! This is the loudest result I’ve recorded from any air cooler on this testing rig. I consider this a very bad result, because this thermal performance does not justify the loud maximum noise level.

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Thermal results with noise normalized to 38.2 dBA

Finding the right balance between fan noise levels and cooling performance is important. While running fans at full speed can improve cooling capacity to some extent, the benefits are limited and many users prefer a quieter system. With this noise-normalized test, I’ve set noise levels to 38.2 dba. This level of noise is a low volume level, but slightly audible to most people.

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When set to a low noise level, the D6SEC holds the same overall position in our charts as with the previous maximum performance results. 

UpHere’s C5C performs a little better in these terms, outperforming both Jiushark’s JF13K models and Thermalright’s Silver Soul 135 – cooling 183W during the course of the test. This isn’t chart-topping, but it shows the cooler performs well enough that you can set it to run quietly and not have to worry about throttling in common scenarios.

175W Cinebench results

Most coolers on the market can keep Intel’s i7-13700K under its peak temperature if the power consumption is limited, so for this test, we’ll be looking at the CPU’s actual temperature.

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The C5C result is again technically our second-worst performer, but this is acceptable given its low price and relatively quiet noise levels. The D6SEC’s performance was acceptable, similar to Cooler Master’s Hyper 212 in both thermal performance and noise levels.

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125W Cinebench results

The lowest power limit I test with Raptor Lake CPUs is 125W. This is a high enough limit to allow the CPU to maintain its base clock speeds even in the most intensive tests, and most coolers should be capable of keeping the CPU below TJ Max (the max temperature before throttling) – even low-end coolers.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Really, thermals do not matter in this scenario. Even Intel’s stock cooler can handle a load like this with ease. Noise levels, rather than CPU temperature, are the most important factor here. Still, the thermal results of both coolers stay in line with previous results.

The thermal performance of the C5C leaves a bit to be desired, but it runs quietly at only 38.2 dBA. Given the low noise levels and budget price for this model, I consider these results relatively good. The D6SEC model performs better thermally, but it also runs louder – reaching 41.4 dBA.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Conclusion

UpHere’s air coolers are budget-minded products that provide essential performance. Of the two coolers tested in this review, I’d personally recommend the C5C. It delivers decent thermal performance and low noise levels for less than $20 USD. You really can’t ask for much more given its low price.

However, I would not recommend the D6SEC model due to its high maximum noise levels and because there are many alternatives that perform better and run quieter than the D6SEC for $30-$40, particularly from Thermalright.

Albert Thomas
Freelancer, CPU Cooling Reviewer

Albert Thomas is a contributor for Tom’s Hardware, primarily covering CPU cooling reviews.