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Roundup: Six Sub-$40 Performance CPU Coolers Compared

Corsair Air Series A50

Well-known for its quality memory and power supplies, Corsair has also been the purveyor of high-quality cooling devices for several years. The A50 might be its biggest concession to value, with a large surface area that hints at its possible performance potential.

Corsair uses a direct-touch heat pipe design to reduce latent heat, with a finely-sanded finish to maximize surface contact. Only three heat pipes are present, but all of these are slightly oversized compared to typical designs.

A 2000+ RPM 120 mm cooling fan, thermal paste, universal LGA mounting bracket, AMD mounting clip and fan-slowing resistor wire finish out the installation kit.

The I-shaped hold-down bracket is attached to the top of the cooler’s base using screws, reducing the effort needed to hold various components in position while thumb-nuts are installed over the LGA mounting bracket’s adjustable studs.

AMD users will unfortunately find that the clip only installs front-to-back, making this an updraft cooler on most motherboards. The preferred cross flow orientation is limited to Intel motherboards and those few AMD boards that have the mounting bracket turned sideways.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • amk09
    i wished you included a cooler such as the coolermaster hyper 212, that seems to be a highly recommended cooler and it would have been nice to see how it squared up against these ones.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    amk09i wished you included a cooler such as the coolermaster hyper 212, that seems to be a highly recommended cooler and it would have been nice to see how it squared up against these ones.We did:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/lga-1156-heatsink,2535-4.html
    That's why the same system was used for both tests. It's all mentioned in the article, too.
    Reply
  • Twoboxer
    Its incomprehensible that the Hyper 212 was left out of this kind of review. That decision makes this article worthless.
    Reply
  • Wolygon
    "Its incomprehensible that the Hyper 212 was left out of this kind of review. That decision makes this article worthless."


    Read the article before posting please.
    Reply
  • Twoboxer
    Sorry, I read your Opening page, the thermal results page, and the conclusion page. Did I miss how these products compare to the Hyper 212?
    Reply
  • dogman_1234
    ^ Or water cooling. It was a great article but, How about comparing to Hydro cooling and add an AMD system too. Intel is great at generating heat, AMD is better thought!
    Reply
  • duk3
    How did the Zalman CNPS10X Performa get into this review at $35?
    Reply
  • sudeshc
    was waiting for this kind of article for some time now, thanks toms. Loved the article, thinking about to go with Zalman's Cooler.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    duk3How did the Zalman CNPS10X Performa get into this review at $35?It was $35. It went up at Newegg about a week ago, but if you look around enough you might find the launch price elsewhere.
    Reply
  • Just wanted to say thanks for the article. And I think it's extra awesome that you actually respond to the comments/questions (I just read through the other roundup from earlier this year).
    Reply