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Ice Giant Prosiphon Elite Review: Catch the Biggest Air

It's lost some weight, but is still a mammoth

Ice Giant Prosiphon Elite
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

For our CPU cooling tests, we use the same hardware, overclock and configuration for each test to minimize environment variables in testing. This allows for all results across all coolers tested on the platform to be viable as side-by-side examination for direct compare/contrast.

CPUIntel i9-10850k LGA1200 (Comet Lake), all 10 cores 4.6Ghz @ 1.190v (3.60Ghz stock speed, single-core boost @ 5.2Ghz)
MotherboardMSI Z490 MEG Godlike (bios vers. 7C70v12)
MemoryCorsair Dominator Platinum RGB, 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4-3600
StorageCorsair MP600 m.2 2280 NVMe, 500GB
GraphicsGigabyte GTX 1050Ti
Power Supplybe quiet! Dark Power Pro11 1200w
ChassisCorsair Graphite 760T
MonitoringCrystalFontz CFA-633-TMI-KU, 4x Dallas One Wire WR-DOW-Y17 sensors
Fan ControlCorsair Commander Pro, 100%/50% PWM Speed profiles (liquid cooling pump always @100%, if applicable)
OSWindows 10 Pro 64bit
Networking Disconnected, not used
Thermal CompoundArctic MX-4

Data comparisons are based on data collected from testing performed on our new Intel i9-10850k system, including re-visiting many previously covered products which were originally covered on the prior testing platform, which pivoted around an i7-5930k (4.20ghz @1.20v).

All data reported for this article has been collected on the current Intel Core i9-10850K platform and will be maintained as like-for-like evaluation of ongoing cooling coverage.

Prime95 v29.4b8 (no AVX) is used for two-hour intervals, one managing fans at 50% PWM and the other at 100% PWM, with RPM measurements being taken every 3 seconds and averaged across the duration of each 2-hour capture. Omitting AVX instruction sets allows for accurate, 100% loads at chosen clock speeds, while allowing AVX instructions would provide higher  (albeit unrealistic) synthetic CPU loads and excessive heat production, less indicative of real-world use.

This also allows for a greater range CPU coolers to be tested and compared without the need to configure the system differently for smaller coolers which may not handle the excessive thermal loads being generated during testing, while larger coolers might be better equipped to manage heat output produced by the i9-10850k.

While the test platform is quite capable of a 10-core overclock at 5.0Ghz and 1.265v, we were seeing 360mm AIOs struggle to keep core temperatures in check at lower fan speeds, providing insight that the enthusiast-grade i9’s need excellent cooling if the goal is overclocking.

HWInfo64 is used for real-time core temperature readout, thermal throttling alerts, motherboard power consumption, CPU speed and logging of data, while a CrystalFontz CFA-633-TMI-KU is used to monitor and later average both ambient room (2 probes) and motherboard voltage regulator heatsink (2 probes)

  • Lord Tyrion
    Outperformed on the i9 by the Noctua and barely better on the Threadripper, but twice the price, huge and loud! Not sure why you'd pay the extra over a Noctua or less for a regular water AIO. Strange conclusion imo.
    Reply
  • punkncat
    It's all fun and games until the weight of that ruins traces/lanes around your CPU. Motherboards aren't made for holding weight like that.
    Reply
  • helper800
    Lord Tyrion said:
    Outperformed on the i9 by the Noctua and barely better on the Threadripper, but twice the price, huge and loud! Not sure why you'd pay the extra over a Noctua or less for a regular water AIO. Strange conclusion imo.
    What this does outperform all traditional air coolers on is sustained cooling. There is so much more mass to transfer heat, coupled with a better method of exchanging heat leads to much longer heat soak times which means significantly longer sustained boost frequencies.
    Reply
  • rubix_1011
    The majority of the evaluation is relative to existing solutions. Also, stop to consider that this is a new cooling technology to the performance/desktop PC space in terms of utilization. Similar to heatpipes but with a potentially larger overhead.

    You are correct - it's incredibly difficult to beat the Noctua NH-D15, even though its an older cooler. It shows you how good it is and why EVERYONE is quick to recommend it if you can fit it into a case (and budget). It is also still $100, so again, we're looking at a market segment where someone is already spending large sums of money and 'wants to know what else is out there'. Not everyone wishes to opt for the same cooler just because it's been the benchmark for like....forever. This is also the same reason we have millions of flavors of ice cream, different car models in the same classification and why your local Foot Locker sells Nike, as well as Adidas .

    Also have to consider that opinion is not the same as fact. Perspective is everything, and that all depends on your budget and goals. There is a huge trend in internet searches and inquiry about 'what is the best' (intersect of 'x', for example) when in fact, the question is 'what is the best but for minimal budget', making these types of questions not one of just being 'best' but also of 2-axis of evaluation ('X' against 'Y'). This does not apply to all, nor does it apply to all as a constant in every situation.

    In terms of Threadripper usage - let's take for example our test system of a 2990WX and Gigabyte Aorus X399 Xtreme: The CPU is nearly $1900 alone. The motherboard is nearly $880. These are today's prices - March 31, 2021. High end TR4 system builders spending $2600+ on CPU/MB and would rather not have an AIO have options of only a real solid handful of powerful air-cooling options.

    The IceGiant is large, but in terms of how large it is vs. the NH-D15, the IceGiant is more rectangular while the Noctua is more 'square' overall. Both are still huge.

    And yes - it is heavy. By design it is significantly well-built and to be industrial-esque overall due to the roots of the parent company - one in which they've been applying this tech to large/heavy industrial and commercial machinery for quite some time. The prototype I tested was even larger (link to that is also listed) in the first paragraph. Always remember that there are backplates which distribute stress as well as the possibility that you can opt to have the motherboard horizontal if you'd prefer. No one is 'forcing' anyone to use a traditional/vertical case.

    For noise - having a 360 AIO running fans at 100% can get pretty noisy, I have experienced this a lot in testing coolers over the past 4 years. This is why PWM curving is very important if you want to control noise levels.
    Reply
  • g-unit1111
    Seriously, just buy a 280mm at that point, there's absolutely no need for this thing. It's bested by a tried and true cooler (the D15) and 280mm coolers aren't that much more expensive. Like... what's the point of this thing?
    Reply
  • mdd1963
    Clearly, spreading the stacks out sideways is of little consequence just yet, based on not even meeting D15's cooling capabilities....
    Reply
  • Jake Hall
    Running it on my 5900x and I'm happy with the performance so far, but I also haven't pushed the CPU for extended periods and it's not summertime yet. It really should have copper, instead of an aluminum contact. I got it for $120 and I hope to see more from the company.
    Reply
  • Phaaze88
    Oh yeah, I was waiting to see the review of this thing here - I'd already seen the review over at Kitguru.
    Looks like the same result: This cooler can't really stretch its legs at anything below HEDT.
    Reply
  • deesider
    helper800 said:
    What this does outperform all traditional air coolers on is sustained cooling. There is so much more mass to transfer heat, coupled with a better method of exchanging heat leads to much longer heat soak times which means significantly longer sustained boost frequencies.
    Except that is not what is shown in the results for the i9. The results were from running Prime95 for two hours, during which the Noctua had significantly lower temps. Nothing to suggest that the Ice Giant would get better boost frequencies. That could be possible, but not from these results.

    The Threadripper temps were higher on the Noctua due to saturating the heatpipes. That could be overcome by using thicker heatpipes; then the cooling is effectively limited by the ability of the fans to eliminate the heat. That can be achieved without all the extra weight of the Ice Giant.
    Reply
  • HideOut
    g-unit1111 said:
    Seriously, just buy a 280mm at that point, there's absolutely no need for this thing. It's bested by a tried and true cooler (the D15) and 280mm coolers aren't that much more expensive. Like... what's the point of this thing?

    Most 280's and 360's are cheaper, especially on sale. Im confused as to why the Darkrock pro was on part of the review then disapeared. That thing is $85 at newegg today in fact.
    Reply