Comparison Coolers, Testing Results & Conclusion
Standardized data collected from our Intel Core i7-5930K test system from previous CPU cooling reviews allows us to graph and evaluate various air and liquid coolers. We will look at the Enermax ETS-T50 Axe alongside the Scythe Grand Kama Cross 3, the FSP Windale 6, and the Cooler Master MasterAir MA610P. All of these are moderately large, heatpipe-equipped CPU aircoolers.
The ETS-T50 Axe turned out almost exactly group-average temperatures in our Prime95 load periods at both full and half fan speeds. It also pleasantly surprised us by turning in the coolest reported values from our motherboard voltage-regulator thermal probe, proving it is able to cool not only our processor, but also the surrounding hardware.
The Enermax 1800 RPM fan clocked in just a bit over its rated speeds, which does give it the fastest rotational speed of our testing group at both full and half speed. However, we see that higher fan speeds also result in higher noise output.
In a rather surprising turn, the ETS-T50 Axe, with its group-fastest fan speeds, had the second lowest decibel readings, if only by the smallest of margins, with the FSP Windale 6 sneaking in with the lowest 100% reading and the Cooler Master MasterAir MA610P with the lowest 50% reading. Enermax did, however, walk away with the lowest average decibel reading.
Considering how well the Enermax ETS-T50 Axe performed against its peers in the group, it is no surprise that we see a strong showing in our acoustic efficiency chart when we evaluate relative thermal performance against sound-level performance.
Our overall Performance Value results showed the ETS-T50 Axe finishing second behind the FSP Windale 6, due to the latter's slight acoustics edge and small edge in unit retail cost. The Enermax ETS-T50 Axe wiggled just under our average unit cost with a current price of $52; however, the FSP Windale 6 stretched out a bit in our final evaluation due to a slightly lower retail price.
With straightforward good looks and no-frills lighting, the Enermax ETS-T50 Axe provides solid cooling performance for most modern processor platforms at a reasonable price. By integrating the mounting screws into the cooler base, it is literally a snap to complete cooler installation by attaching the fan and directional shroud mounts onto the cooler. We enjoy simple cooler installations, especially since they allow us to dive into our testing that much more quickly.
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