FSP Windale 6 CPU Cooler Review: Value-Minded & LED-Lit

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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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Garrett Carver
CPU Cooling Reviewer

Garrett Carver is a contributor for Tom’s Hardware, primarily covering thermal compound comparisons and CPU cooling reviews; both air and liquid, including multiple variations of each.

  • zodiacfml
    That's interesting! Would love to know the speed of its fan though.
  • SkyBill40
    I don't mind the way the fan(s) is secured to the HS, but I wonder if the holes on the fan shroud are like every other fan or if there's something specific to them? I can't say I'm a fan (pardon the pun) of the fan it comes with and would consider swapping it out for another or two in a P/P configuration if the holes and mounting setup weren't specific.
  • 2Be_or_Not2Be
    20821228 said:
    That's interesting! Would love to know the speed of its fan though.

    FTA: "A single 120x25mm PWM fan rated for 60 CFM at 1800 RPM is also included."
  • 2Be_or_Not2Be
    If this cooler is supposed to be the value model, then save mfg costs on it by skipping the LEDs & pass the savings on to the buyer.
  • BulkZerker
    It's about $10 too much to be considered a value product.
    $25-35 is value territory. Above that and it's entry level enthusiast kit. Just the thoughts of a former broke as hell person
  • Karadjgne
    Wonder how it'd stack up against the seriously popular 'value' models, like a hyper212 X or Cryorig H7 lumi
  • rubix_1011
    It is considered 'value' for the large HSF market segment. Coolers like the Hyper 212 are actually about 50% the overall depth and hence, smaller overall footprint...also, 4-heatpipe vs. 6-heatpipe. This cooler is similar in physical size to the Cryorig H7, but around $20 cheaper.
  • madmatt30
    ^ no not really , the h7 is about the same price.
    It also only measures 145mm heightwise & offers zero ram interference because it's offset.

    Thosw 2 facts make the h7 a far better choice for a lot of buyers.

    Hell, the h5 manages to be only 160mm high (& thats the max height on a LOT of mid tower cases) , squeeze a 140mm fan in & still manages zero ram interference because its offset.

    This cooler neess to be $35 max , literally only non standard thkng about it is the nickel black coating .

    There are dozen of coolers that perform similarly for less money.

    It looks nice , it performs well , but the height & led fan will put many buyers off & its too expensive.
  • rubix_1011
    According to Newegg, the Cryrig H7 Lumi is $59.95, which is what Karadjgne had mentioned above. My mistake on the actual size comparison...it is still a bit smaller.
  • Karadjgne
    Arctic freezer 33 esport vrs hyper212 evo vrs cryorig H5. Considering the lackluster performance of the FSP to the esport, and the further beating of the esport when faced by an Evo, at 165mm and $45, to be dominated by a smaller, $30 Evo is a shame. At the $35 mark is the Cryorig H7, which tops the Evo in everything but price. Seriously, That is the cooler to beat, and good luck with that.

    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master - Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.49 @ SuperBiiz)
    CPU Cooler: CRYORIG - H7 49.0 CFM CPU Cooler ($34.89 @ OutletPC)
    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master - Hyper 212X Dual Fan 82.9 CFM CPU Cooler ($34.99 @ Newegg)
    CPU Cooler: CRYORIG - H7 Quad Lumi 49.0 CFM CPU Cooler ($59.85 @ OutletPC)

    For a breakout cooler, FSP didn't do its homework this time, it's too big, too expensive and doesn't perform. Not going to be on my recommended alternatives list.