Valkyrie Vind SL125 Review: Anime aesthetic meets underwhelming performance

Beauty is only skin deep.

Valkyrie Vind SL125
(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 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 most 360mm AIOs still fail this test.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The performance of this cooler was underwhelming for the price it commands and the noise levels it creates. At 224W, it performed similarly to DeepCool’s AK400 and just behind Thermalright’s Peerless Assassin. This would be considered acceptable if the cooler ran quietly, but it does not. Reaching 48.2 dBA, the Vind SL125 is one of the loudest air coolers I’ve tested to date.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

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.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

With our noise normalized results, the Vind SL125’s rank drops quite a bit in comparison to other coolers. Where it is in the middle of the road for results in maximum performance, our noise normalized results have it holding the ninth worst result we’ve benchmarked thus far. Most of the coolers that perform at this level during noise normalized testing are much cheaper.

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.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

With a result of 59 C over ambient, the Vind SL125’s performance is middle-of-the-road. This would be a reasonable result, except that the cooler runs just as loudly as a full intensity workload, reaching 48.2 dBA. This means that you’re going to notice the sound of the cooler in intensive workloads or even in demanding games.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

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. Valkyrie’s Vind SL125 jas a result of 45 C in this test, which is on par with other single tower coolers

Noise levels, rather than CPU temperature, are the most important factor here. Noise levels get a little better in this test, dropping to 40.9 dBA. This isn’t loud, but it’s certainly louder than most other coolers that I’ve tested.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)


(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

When I first opened the Valkyrie Vind SL125, the detail and care of its packaging set my expectations high for its thermal performance. The white and blue design certainly stands apart from the competition aesthetically.

But in testing, the Vind SL125 failed to impress. My main problems with this cooler are the noise and the price tag. If the fans ran quieter and the cooler was priced around $20 cheaper, It would be easier to recommend it for niche-themed builds.

But as it stands, this cooler's biggest strength is its looks, while its tested performance leaves something to be desired.

Albert Thomas
Freelancer, CPU Cooling Reviewer

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

  • -Fran-
    Not a cooler I would ever buy, because I like my PCs black and in a corner where I can't hear them or see them, but it's definitely a looker for the right crowd. It's a shame they dropped the ball on the higher power loads, but to be fair, given its construction I wouldn't have expected more cooling out of it. The price though, that's where the debate will be interesting, as it's definitely what will do or break this. Completely agree the crowd for this cooler is not enthusiast, but theme-builders first. Which is an interesting thing to think of: is it more of a "budget theme builder" type of cooler? The price is definitely high, but how much would it be anodizing your own cooler (like, say, a Peerless Assassin) into what you want and all that?

    Interesting product for sure, but not one that I would personally buy.

    As always, nice review Albert and thanks for the data!

  • Amdlova
    @Albert.Thomas This cooler it's not loud! just a Valkyrie Scream forever Everytime your Cpu has load!
  • expunged
    Admin said:
    The Valkyrie VIND SL125 is an anime-themed cooler with fancy packaging, but can it compete with other similarly priced products?

    Valkyrie Vind SL125 Review: Anime aesthetic meets underwhelming performance : Read more
    This just continuing a worrying situation. These companies are investing more time into the aesthetics than the engineering and you get a nice looking product that does not preform.
  • Albert.Thomas
    Amdlova said:
    @Albert.Thomas This cooler it's not loud! just a Valkyrie Scream forever Everytime your Cpu has load!
    Have you tried it? haha
  • usertests
    The cooler that punishes you for liking anime.