Test Settings, Results, And Final Analysis
We continue using our 2015 Reference PC minus its open test bed (and obviously the reference cooler) to test the H220-X in a closed system. The Core i7-5930K is overclocked to a fixed 4.2GHz core frequency at 1.20V core voltage.
Test System Components
Setting the performance baseline are the two largest slim coolers of previous reviews, along with a budget spoiler from DeepCool.
The True Spirit 140 Direct’s cooling at full fans appears mediocre, but spinning the fan down has minimal impact. That’s certain to make things interesting in our cooling-to-noise comparison.
The True Spirit 140 Direct has the lowest fan speed, which again should make the cooling-to-noise ratio interesting.
Paydirt comes in the noise test, where the True Spirit 140 Direct is whisper quiet. Those who noticed that I didn’t mention the ultra-cheap Gammaxx 400 in the cooling test will wish I hadn’t in the noise test, since decibels use a logarithmic scale. Note that while our results were 3db higher than Thermalright’s rated values, having the cooler mounted can increase the amount of noise reflected back toward the meter.
Our acoustic efficiency (cooling-to-noise ratio) chart uses a direct scale, and adding a logarithmic function for the noise portion would have made the worst coolers look even worse. The True Spirit Direct is the clear leader.
A superb cooling-to-noise ratio gives Thermalright’s True Spirit 140 Direct the edge it needs to combat DeepCool’s low price, at least at full fan speed.
Thermalright’s True Spirit 140 Direct produced excellent noise and efficiency marks, but mediocre cooling performance (by big-air standards) might be its biggest accomplishment. After all, the heat pipes of this particular design were only flattened by roughly 25% of their diameter, making contact with only around half of the CPU heat spreader’s surface area. While I can’t recommend it to everyone, its extremely favorable cooling-to-noise ratio combines with an excellent price to put this on our approved list.
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