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Three Down-Draft Heat Sinks: The Last Of A Dying Breed?

Benchmark Overview

Enermax's ETD-T60-VD has the best cooling performance at idle, but only when its fan is spinning as fast as it'll go. The downside of this quickly becomes apparent in the face of a 48.2 dB(A) noise level, which is the loudest in our round-up. Scythe's SCKC-2100 performs slightly worse with its fan going all-out, but it generates a much less obnoxious 39.2 dB(A). You can further slow the fan speed down to 1000 RPM without losing much cooling performance and get to a nice 32 dB(A).

The finishing order looks the same under full load. Enermax and Scythe lead, as Noctua's NH-L12 can’t quite compete with them. As we pointed out before, it's interesting that the Noctua NH-L12 cooler performs similarly with a fan speed of 1000 and 1460 RPM.

Noise and Weight

  • boulbox
    My h100 is horrible compared to this :(
    Reply
  • JohnnyLucky
    WOW! Sound levels are way above advertised levels.
    Reply
  • killerclick
    Scythe coolers are the best overall, but 1000+ RPM is just too high.
    Reply
  • Darkerson
    I used to have a Thermaltake Dualorb, and it was really nice because both fans would also blow over the ram and and chipset heatsink. I am currently using a 2500k running at 5GHz with a CM Hyper 212+, and my ambient on the cores is around 28-30, and peak is on average about 67-68c. At any rate, interesting article.
    Reply
  • luciferano
    JohnnyLuckyWOW! Sound levels are way above advertised levels.
    Don't forget to account for ambient noise, which is already often higher than the rated loudness of many coolers.
    Reply
  • with the enermax and noctua both @ $68 the scythe is a steal @ $40 on amazon.
    Reply
  • antemon
    coolermaster didn't send in their vortex (which is what i have)
    Reply
  • merikafyeah
    It has been my life-long dream to pair a Cooler Master GeminII S524: bit.ly/PiVHxw
    with the greatest 140mm desktop PC fan in existence, the Sanyo Denki 9LB1412M501: bit.ly/QOHXJA
    Specs: 140x140 51mm 138CFM 2000rpm 39dBA 12V 0.5A
    Essentially the most perfect balance of airflow to noise I have ever seen.

    I can only imagine how well this fan can cool not only the CPU but virtually the entire upper half of the motherboard as well. Alas, my dream will remain a dream since although I know where to buy the fan, the min. order quantity is 10, pushing the total price to at least $500; way out of my reach.

    But speaking of which, Tom's, why not compare motherboard voltage regulator and RAM module temps with these top-down coolers vs tower coolers? Myself and many overclockers will be extremely interested in these temps.
    Reply
  • doive1231
    You could just get an Ivy Bridge CPU and sleep tight.
    Reply
  • rantoc
    Top->Down coolers are my favourite choice for building normal non-oc rigs since they cool so much more than just the cpu, as for overclocking "real water" cooling with extra spot on fan for the voltage regulators + ram is my favourite. Seem some forget that with water/air tower designs the MB don't get much often needed airflow around the upper part of the MB.
    Reply