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Roundup: Six Sub-$40 Performance CPU Coolers Compared

Deepcool Ice Matrix 400

Deepcool’s product arrived with the most elaborate design we’ve seen, from the shape of the cooler’s fins to the multi-compartmented box in which it ships.

The Ice Matrix 400’s base and heat pipes appear to be plated in either tin or nickel, either of which would be adequate for preventing tarnish of the copper parts beneath. Deepcool refers to its ultra-flat base finish as “micro polished,” but it appears to have been finely sanded prior to plating.

The Ice Matrix 400 includes Deepcool’s signature low-noise rubberized fan in addition to thermal paste, extra fan clips for a second fan, mounting hardware, and power adapters. AMD-based platforms, LGA 1156, and LGA 775 motherboards get full support plates, while LGA 1366 users must make do with a set of large, plastic-faced support nuts.

Four standoffs secure the socket plate for both AMD and Intel installations, using plastic washers to protect the motherboard surface. The heat sink’s brackets are attached to its base using a single screw, while two spring-loaded screws on each bracket connect it to the standoffs.

Deepcool is one of only three brands in today’s roundup to support cross flow orientation for most AMD motherboards. While this is perfect for a majority performance configurations, the few platforms with sideways mounting brackets will be limited to an updraft configuration. Because Intel processor interfaces are square, the cooler can be installed either way on these boards.

  • amk09
    i wished you included a cooler such as the coolermaster hyper 212, that seems to be a highly recommended cooler and it would have been nice to see how it squared up against these ones.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    amk09i wished you included a cooler such as the coolermaster hyper 212, that seems to be a highly recommended cooler and it would have been nice to see how it squared up against these ones.We did:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/lga-1156-heatsink,2535-4.html
    That's why the same system was used for both tests. It's all mentioned in the article, too.
    Reply
  • Twoboxer
    Its incomprehensible that the Hyper 212 was left out of this kind of review. That decision makes this article worthless.
    Reply
  • Wolygon
    "Its incomprehensible that the Hyper 212 was left out of this kind of review. That decision makes this article worthless."


    Read the article before posting please.
    Reply
  • Twoboxer
    Sorry, I read your Opening page, the thermal results page, and the conclusion page. Did I miss how these products compare to the Hyper 212?
    Reply
  • dogman_1234
    ^ Or water cooling. It was a great article but, How about comparing to Hydro cooling and add an AMD system too. Intel is great at generating heat, AMD is better thought!
    Reply
  • duk3
    How did the Zalman CNPS10X Performa get into this review at $35?
    Reply
  • sudeshc
    was waiting for this kind of article for some time now, thanks toms. Loved the article, thinking about to go with Zalman's Cooler.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    duk3How did the Zalman CNPS10X Performa get into this review at $35?It was $35. It went up at Newegg about a week ago, but if you look around enough you might find the launch price elsewhere.
    Reply
  • Just wanted to say thanks for the article. And I think it's extra awesome that you actually respond to the comments/questions (I just read through the other roundup from earlier this year).
    Reply