Thermalright IFX-14 - The Giant Of Cooling
For an air cooler, the cooling performance of Thermalright's IFX-14 is very good. The cooler is sold without a fan, so we decided to test it using the Scythe SY1225SL12M (120x25 mm, 1200 RPM, 116.4 m³/h, 24 db(A), $10). This would also be the recommended fan for the IFX-14.
The placement of the fan has only marginal impact on cooling performance; we were only able to measure a 1-2°C temperature difference. The optimal position for the fan seems to be at the centre of the cooler. Mounting equipment for two fans is included as well.
At the slowest fan speed, the processor temperature was 71°C - some coolers don't achieve this kind of performance even at full speed. When running at its highest setting, the IFX-14 cools the CPU to a very impressive 62°C.
Regardless of whether the cooler is running at its lowest speed of 800 RPM or full blast at 1200 RPM, it is virtually silent thanks to the Scythe fan. You could even use it as a passive cooler with slower CPUs, although we would still recommend active cooling.
Another special feature of this cooler is its second small passive heatsink, which conducts heat away from the bottom of the motherboard, and is mounted underneath the CPU socket. During testing, we were able to confirm that this second heatsink gets noticeably warm, indicating that heat is indeed being drawn away from the CPU.
We do have to criticize the installation procedure, though. The motherboard has to be removed from the case, and mounting the cooler in the motherboard proves difficult, as the heatsink does not slide into place anywhere, and the screws can only be fastened with the motherboard lying on a flat surface. Installing the IFX-14 inside a tower would be extremely complicated. Its large size (4.5 x 12.5 x 14.5 cm in length, width and height) may also contribute to making the installation a little more difficult.
Finally, the good performance also comes at a handsome price. The cooler costs around $65, with the Scythe fan adding another $10 on top of that. Nonetheless, this product is well worth this price, thanks to its very good performance.
|Noise||38.8 dB(A)||37.7 dB(A)|
|Fan Speed||1200 RPM||800 RPM|