Testing Results & Conclusions
For our comparison testing, we utilize data from standardized testing methods collected during prior CPU cooling reviews. We will be pitting the FSP Windale 6 against the Arctic Freezer 33 eSports Edition, the Scythe Grand Kama Cross 3, and the Noctua NH-U14S to correlate how well each cooler performs on our Intel Core i7-5930k test system clocked at 4.2GHz and 1.20V.
For the simple thermal load testing, we see the FSP Windale 6 coming up a bit behind the rest of the pack, and 9° C behind the leader, the Noctua NH-U14S. However, the Windale 6 does provide decent motherboard cooling, as we see close numbers between it and the Arctic Freezer 33 eSports Edition. Here, we are beginning to think that the use of a single 60 CFM fan by the FSP Windale 6 might limit thermal performance, especially in push configuration over the depth of the cooler fins.
While there is something to be said about thermal performance, there is another when it comes to relative noise levels. Here, we see that the FSP Windale 6 has a significantly quieter sound measurement than the other coolers at full fan speeds. At half speeds, it is also registering just barely above both the Noctua NH-U14S and Arctic Freezer 33 eSports Edition and has the lowest average noise levels of all coolers here.
Our Acoustic Efficiency chart brings to light cooling performance of our quartet of air coolers against the noise levels being produced by them during the cooling process. We previously saw that the FSP Windale 6 did not provide the best outright temperatures under load, however, it does very well against its peers when we also compare how quietly it performs during operation as a function of thermal performance. A strong showing here proves a good foundation for things to come.
Our Performance Value comparison allows us to see the bigger picture of how these coolers align once unit cost is evaluated against our previous (Acoustic Efficiency) chart. As of this writing, the FSP Windale 6 has a very budget-friendly price point of $45, cheaper than the Noctua NH-U14S by $30 and only half the cost of the Arctic Freezer 33 eSports Edition at $90. The Scythe Grand Kama Cross 3 also retails at the same unit price of $45, but the FSP Windale 6 provides better overall value from our efficiency and performance comparison charts.
FSP has provided a well-rounded, budget-conscious, and good-looking entry to the CPU-cooler market in the Windale 6. The six heatpipes and large fin array provide a handsome, performance-oriented look atop almost any motherboard due to the no-nonsense design; the one drawback is that blue or white are the only colors of LED fan lighting available. (Ours was blue.) The FSP Windale 6 fan color chosen at purchase only provides one color or the other; the white LED fan is only $40, vs. $45 for the blue LED fan; we aren’t certain why the difference in cost.
Provided that we only test hardware that comes in retail packaging, we would have liked to have seen the FSP Windale 6 ship with a second fan, especially given the low retail price and very quiet operation. This undoubtedly would raise the pricing, but since the Windale 6 already comes with a second set of fan mounts, the added airflow over the depth of the cooling fins would likely aid in the performance of this CPU cooler. We’d like to see a dual-fan option of this cooler offered to leverage this potential.
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