Which LGA 2011 Cooler Would We Buy?
The top three cooling performers, in order, are Noctua and Zalman, followed by Phanteks. The three coolers with the highest cooling-to-noise ratio are from Thermalright, Zalman, and Noctua. Wouldn’t it be nice if one of these companies could also top our cooling-to-price chart?
Alas, the least-expensive models take that prize. All three of the best cooling-per-dollar contenders use mid-speed fans, and only Corsair needs a pair of fans to achieve this value rating.
If we exclude Enermax from this overclocking-oriented cooler comparison due to its relatively low thermal performance, we’re left with the 31 db Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo battling Corsair’s A70. A temperature difference of only 1° C certainly makes it hard to argue against Cooler Master’s lower noise level, yet price parity will probably push many enthusiasts to take that 1° to the bank.
It’s at this point where we must wonder what would happen if we compare acoustic efficiency to price.
Cooler Master wins this time, and by a wider margin. If we were basing this review on Intel’s upcoming Core i7-3820, we might even hand out a value award and be done with the story.
But we’re not using a low-cost processor, and prices on Intel’s six-core models justify higher standards of cooling and noise. Putting cost aside, we like the low temperature and noise of Zalman’s CNPS12X. But it also doesn’t fit our motherboard in the desired orientation, or even provide proper memory clearance for our 1.55” tall DIMMs. Instead of using the CNPS12X backwards or trying to remove its fans and face them the other way, and then installing shorter memory that we didn’t even want, we’re forced to consider Noctua’s second-place performer as a perennial champion ever since its took the performance lead two years ago.
The problem with “Best of” awards is that the best often changes before we can even get a review published. Determining that something's the best also means we have to test all of its competition. If we trust that Noctua’s competitors put forth their best efforts for this comparison, two years of performance leadership make the NH-D14 deserving of our highest honor.
But how valuable is this award, really? The NH-D14 just earned this editor’s very first “Best of Tom's Hardware” in the award's four-year history!
On a side note i wish the "ZALMAN CNPS9900MAX-R" was reviewed as well considering on newegg it is compatible with LGA 2011, and I've been eye balling that one since it came out for my next build.
I've heard nothing but great things from CM's Hyper 212+ and Evo variants. Might I add the other powerhouse in affordable cooling, Thermalright's TRUE Spirit 120 for just about the same price. It seems the Hyper 212+ and TRUE Spirit have fallen off in Heatsink/Fan comparison charts despite kicking some serious ass against there competition price rise, and can even hang very well against high-end coolers costing 2-3 times as much.
I realize you have to compare modern products to modern products for the sake of it, but just a FYI for those not familiar with the cooling scene. Don't ever count out a product that first debut 2-3 years ago, they can still hang, the good ones at least.
Water cooling is a lot more expensive and a lot more complicated. Water cooling systems are not maintenance free and always add the risk of a leaking pipe.
$80-$90 is a small price to pay for getting a quieter PC without resorting to water cooling.
Noctua NH-D14 weighs 900g without fans and it did 45c at full load.
900g/45c= 20.00 efficiency ratio.
Panteck PH-TC14PE weighs 970g without fans, performing at 46c.
970g/46c= 21.09 efficiency ratio.
CM Hyper 212 EVO Weighs 580g with fan, performing at 51c.
580g/51c= 11.37 efficiency ratio.
Ideally, the lower the ratio, the more efficient a cpu cooler is. Other charts count as well when making a final decision.
I checked newegg and amazon
seems like a good replacement for my sunbeam core contact heatsing
By that logic, having no cooler at all is the most efficient... 0g/200c= 0 efficiency ratio. And a dead CPU.
Also, the higher the temperature (Bad), the lower the ratio, which doesn't make sense.
You would also need to use the ambient temperature delta rather than the absolute temperature in any sort of ratio for the results to be meaningful.
I think that the majority of people don't care how heavy their cooler is, only about the price.
I am not saying that i need mass to make my decision. And i agree that surface is important. All i am saying is that i want to see cpu heatsinks to be more efficient or equal at cooling with less metal.