Skip to main content

CPU Cooler Charts 2008, Part 1

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.

Thermalright IFX14

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.

HR-10 Back-Board

Underside

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.

Mounting components

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.

Retail box

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.

Technical Data
CPU100% loadidle
Temperature 12V62.5°C35°C
Temperature 5V71.5°C36°C
Noise38.8 dB(A)37.7 dB(A)
Fan Speed1200 RPM800 RPM
Weight866 grams
Intel Socket775
AMD SocketAM2AM2+

Installation

  • Thank you, been wondering what cooler to buy for an OCed Quad, and high temps are good when dying :D
    Reply
  • sorrii
    ... must be stupid ...! The fan is istalled at wrong side of the cooler ...
    Reply
  • Thermalright FTW!! Every time.
    Reply
  • suspect
    I cant believe that photo...sorrii I am with you only a nutjob would use or test it in that configuration!!!
    Noctua clearly state orientation of their coolers and that is ass about.
    Every other review I have read rates the NH-U12F much more highly... always near best in class
    Reply
  • wkornf
    your numbers of near 70C on every cooler is outrageous, if those numbers are true not a single one of these coolers would keep a computer stable in a closed case outside the northeast. and a couple minutes isnt a good measure of cpus final temp, if u look over a temp log after a long game session you know it creeps up. to many factors.
    Reply
  • dragunover
    Bullshit article.I agree with wkornf.

    If my Artic silver 5 + Scythe Katana 2 cooler(for only a massive price of 25 USD! I can keep my outdated Pentium D under 100 degrees fahrenheit,infact around HALF of these tests,even under water cooling? Wow,according to this,I should actually worry about getting a quad core because of the heat.And no,I don't have any fans in my case,it's open,only fans are from my GPU,CPU,and my PSU.
    No extra 4 250mm performance fans.And an X38? That's just unbelievable.
    Reply
  • eaglestrike7339
    Do you guys get the point? They maxed out everything, so the cooler could show off the best that it could do in the most extreme conditions.

    A good article, i especially like the tests for installation and sound, as those are what i would look into most when purchasing a cooler, and unlike CPUs, there are usually no charts to go along with.
    Reply
  • suspect
    eaglestrike... do you see mounting the noctua fan in the wrong direction as good testing???
    They have it on the top side of the sink flowing in a downward direction!!!
    it goes against basic laws of physics and logic.
    Reply
  • cliffro
    alot of the coolers listed of a particular design are installed all goofy like, Of course on their open setup it doesn't make much difference(i think)

    but when installed in a normal ATX case, would be detrimental to the coolers performance. Especially coolers designed similar to the Noctua and Scythe Ninja plus.

    I can't be certain about others but Arctic Cooling's Freezer 7 Pro is supposed to be installed like this(one would assume others of similar design would be the same)
    http://bigrockies.com/media/cooler.jpg
    Reply
  • suspect
    cliffro I think to some degree you are correct but it still does not follow good practice when supposedly collecting data to represent consumer products.
    As these have published manufacturer recomended installations why would you reverse it.
    I recently read a review of the latest Noctua cooler at Legitreviews
    where Noctua actually contacted them on this very issue... as a result they retested and found some improvement in cooling.
    http://www.legitreviews.com/article/741/1/
    Reply