Many people underestimate the value of a good cooler until it’s already too late and they’ve suffered some kind of a failure or problems. The importance of a high quality and high performance fan is most notable when users begin to try to overclock their systems which cause the system to generate even more heat. In other cases, there are situations in which a stock cooler [especially one on Intel Core processors] just isn’t enough to cool down the processor in a badly thermally designed enclosure.
Once overheating or throttling occurs, there is a certain threshold that most CPUs are capable of withstanding until the processor becomes unstable. As such, the better the cooling the higher most people can OC on air without having to invest in more expensive water cooling or even more expensive chillers. The key here is to remember that there are now water cooling solutions out there that in their lowest price range can dip into high-end air cooler territory, but we’ll leave that for another review.
The Challengers from left to right: ThermalRight, GELID Solutions, Titan, Zalman, Cogage
Today we will be helping to compare five different coolers from various companies, all implementing different designs at a broad array of price ranges that satisfy different consumers. Our goal is to inform our readers of what is the best cooler to buy for overclocking as well as keeping your computer quiet and cool this summer.
First, we’d like to talk a bit about our cooler testing methodology that we used for this roundup. Since
we wanted to focus on both regular users and overclocking we have a broad array of different tests to effectively show the different performance between these coolers during certain tasks. First, we determine the weight of the cooler with the fan attached and then we inspect the base of each cooler to determine if it is a mirror finish or not as well as whether the base is actually perfectly flat. After we inspect these two things we go ahead and determine the overall build quality of the cooler including the mounting mechanism.
Once we’ve looked over all those things we start to try to install the cooler evaluating the ease of installation as well as instructions. This was followed by running a series of six tests which included idle and load testing at stock, +0.1v and +0.2v which should show how each cooler can hold up to a specific heat load and how the cooler can hold up to overclocking. The load testing will be done using a Linpack test which will run continuously for 1 hour.
Once this is done, we will then proceed to run Cinebench 11.5 to simulate CPU based rendering. Following Cinebench we will then run a 32M instance of HyperPi on all 8 threads of the i7 870 that we are running. We’ve wrapped it up with a one hour gaming session of Battlefield: Bad Company 2 which is designed to show how the cooler perform in a gaming environment. All of these tests will be monitored using Realtemp CPU temperature monitoring and will be running in the exact same bench with the exact same cooling environment with only the CPU cooler changing.
The coolers we will be comparing are as follows:
Cogage TRUE Spirit – Provided by UltimatePcCooling.com
GELID Solutions Tranquillo – Provided by GELID Solutions
Thermalright Venomous X – Provided by UltimatePcCooling.com
Titan Fenrir – Provided by UltimatePcCooling.com
Zalman CNPS-10X Extreme – Provided by Zalman
Before we begin the review, we would like to thank UltimatePcCooling for their help in assisting with a few coolers to help make this round up possible. There will be a community announcement coming soon which will include UltimatePcCooling. Watch our site for the announcement closely following this review.
We wanted to give everyone an idea of what they were getting when they purchased each cooler included in this review, so we made sure we covered all of the things that are included in the packaging and accessories of each cooler. In this section we will review each product’s packaging and accessories as well as any missing accessories or additional costs that might be incurred in order to install the cooler.
Cogage True Spirit – This packaging is very minimalist in contrast to the Titan Fenrir; this packaging too is recyclable and does feature awards from various hardware review sites. The difference, though, is that the box is not a clamshell and that it actually opens up to show the shiny heatsink through a window sans the fan. This box is much easier to open but also requires scissors to free the heatsink from the box assembly. This design ensures that the cooler is safe from any sort of shipping damage.
The front of the box is very simple and shows the product name and brand.
The back of the box shows various specifications and awards.
The appealing inside provides additional features as well as a peak into the cooler through a window. We were told time and time again that the Cogage had the nicest packaging.
GELID Solutions Tranquillo – This packaging is fairly minimalist and also recyclable. The packaging is intended to inform you about the coolers features as well as the various dimensions and sockets that it fits. There is no presence of any award mentions or anything like that, but there are graphs displaying performance levels with the fan. The box also informs what accessories are included as well. The box we received was a little battered, but proved that the packaging was actually robust enough to handle a beating. None of the components inside were harmed at all so we were pretty satisfied with the packaging in that sense.
The front of the box is fairly simple showing the product, the company’s website and a few details about the features of the cooler.
The back goes into further detail regarding the included accessories, cooling design, and compatibility with sockets.
The side of the packaging details the included accessories, features, and specifications loading up the box with detailed information.
The other side of the box goes into detailed graphics and lists a few key features.
Thermalright Venomous X – This packaging is even more minimalist than the previous two. The Venomous X comes in a very simple black box that details the item inside and the sockets it fits and what manufacturer it is. They appear to expect the consumer to already know a lot about the cooler and clearly go with a very similar art design to the Cogage, but with less information. The box requires no scissors to open and is also recyclable sans the foam inserts, so it is actually less green than all of the other coolers in that sense. This design is sure to prevent the heavy cooler from any sort of shipping damage.
The top/front of the box showing the brand and the model as well as what the actual product is and what compatibility it has.
More minimalist packaging design, note there was some shipping damage to the box but the cooler inside was untouched.
Titan Fenrir – The Titan Fenrir comes in a large plastic clamshell that features a large picture of the cooler overlaying the actual cooler itself with a series of posted awards that it has received over the months. Each side of the packaging is informational giving the dimensions, features, and included accessories. They even have some informational graphs to demonstrate performance. Since this is a fairly large cooler, the packaging for it is indeed quite large and one can sneak a peek of the cooler itself from the top of the packaging. Overall, the packaging is all recyclable as noted on the packaging, but is still somewhat of a pain as scissors are needed for opening. Aesthetically, it looks much run of the mill and isn’t much of an attention getter on store shelves. Because there are multiple plastic shells inside of this packaging we did not notice any sort of shipping damage that would come as a result of shipping or simply being dropped.
The front of the Titan Fenrir, the packaging shows some damage but the cooler does not.
The back of the packaging shows the specifications and compatibility.
One of the sides shows a slew of information and technical looking graphs.
A view of the cooler from the top of the packaging.
Zalman CNPS 10X Extreme – The 10X Extreme comes in a cardboard/plastic clamshell combination where the outer box protects the cooler itself while still allowing the cooler to show through. In addition to that, this box is very informative about the specifications of the cooler as well as the various features it has. This approach is somewhere in between the Titan Fenrir and Cogage Spirit approaches to packaging. This packaging too is recyclable and prevents the package from shipping damage. Our only complaint is that Zalman did not opt to cover the base of the cooler with any sort of protective plastic so the possibility of getting the base dirty prior to installation is much easier than all of the other coolers that have protective films.
The front of the box shows the product itself through a window[typical of Zalman] and one of the unique features it has.
The side of the box goes into further detail regarding the features of the product providing pictoral examples.
The back of the box goes into further detail regarding the features of the product giving specific details.
The other side of the box continues to go into further details about the product even rehashing some details mentioned before.
Cogage True Spirit – The Cogage comes with all of the expected mounting hardware and manuals as well as the fan and mounting clips with one glaring omission, the lack of any 1156 socket mounting hardware. Granted that there is 775 mounting hardware and that most 1156 motherboards do support 775 mounting holes this is still lacking in our eyes. Because of this fact, some users may have to go out and buy the socket 1156 mounting kit in order for their coolers to be properly affixed to their motherboards. Personally, if I had a socket 1156 motherboard I would expect the cooler company to natively support that socket. They also included a reasonably sized tube of Thermalright paste and a sticker, both of which indicate Thermalright’s style of marketing as the Cogage is technically a Thermalright product. There is also the obligatory fan clips included among the other mounting hardware.
The packaging contains two boxes one with all of the accessories and one with just the cooler as shown above.
Next we opened up the container with all of the accessories to show a manual, a sticker, and all of the necessary mounting hardware.
GELID Solutions Tranquillo – The Tranquillo doesn’t really break away from the other coolers here when it comes to accessories. They include the obligatory mounting hardware, small tube of thermalpaste, fan with clips, and the expected case sticker. Overall, there doesn’t seem to be any sort of a shortage of accessories but there is also nothing extra that stands out among the other coolers.
This is the cooler itself with no fan attached as it comes in the box[in this picture we have the mounting hardware already installed though].
These are all of the included accessories, ranging from the PWM fan and the standard mounting hardware to a small tube of thermalpaste and two fan clips.
Thermalright Venomous X – The accessories for this cooler are also very minimal and similarly only support 775 and 1366. The aforementioned thermalpaste is the same and there is also a similarly made sticker but with Thermalright branding instead. Overall, the accessories seemed very similar to those of the Cogage except for the fact that the Venomous X does not come with a fan. This fact may be a downside for pro for some and a con for others. Most notably, the fact that the Venomous is more expensive and as a result buying a fan will further drive up the cost of the cooler. But at the same time, the customer does have the choice of choosing their own fan rather than going with the fan Thermalright chooses. It’s a bit of an odd decision by Thermalright, but most Thermalright products do not include fans so it just follows their brand strategy even if we might not entirely agree with it.
These are the two things one should expect to encounter when opening up the box for the Venomous X. On the left is the cooler in a foam block and on the right is the box of accessories.
Here we have the same parts but now we can see the bag of accessories containing thermalpaste, mounting hardware, and fan clips.
Here is a picture of all of the included accessories inside of that bag. Note that Thermalright includes 4 fan clips for up to 2 fans installed.
Titan Fenrir – The Fenrir comes with all of the expected accessories including the manual, mounting hardware, thermal paste, and the fan with accompanying clips. There isn’t anything out of the ordinary, although they do include a fan adapter which most CPU coolers don’t have. The thermalpaste included appears to be a very small tube of a proprietary nature.
After opening the packaging, there are a few inner clamshells holding the fan and the cooler as well as the installation manual and mounting hardware and accessories.
The included accessories include the mounting hardware, thermalpaste, fan clips and 4pin to 3pin fan adapter.
Zalman CNPS 10X Extreme – The 10X Extreme comes with a whole slew of mounting hardware brackets that support all sockets and even comes with a few fan adapters as well. Surprisingly enough, Zalman has continued with their tradition of including their best thermalpaste with their CPU coolers in the retail sizes. So not only are you getting a nice cooler, but you’re getting a retail sized tube of good thermalpaste that can be used again and again. There is also a piece of double sided tape if you chose to remove the fan controller from the CPU cooler itself as this CPU cooler has a fan controller with various modes that is technically an accessory but it comes attached to the cooler itself. This idea is an interesting concept to say the least. Also, Zalman has simplified things by already including and installing the CPU fan which means no mounting brackets. This, though, may be a problem for some because they may not want the fan being in the front or something along those lines. So, this cooler does make things easier for most when it comes to the next part of our review but it does remove the flexibility of use for the consumer. There is also the obligatory blue Zalman sticker included as well.
Here is the Zalman cooler inside of the clamshell, note that there is no protective masking for the base.
These are all of the included accessories with the CNPS-10X Extreme, there is a manual, mounting hardware, thermalpaste, and an extension cable and double-sided tape for the fan controller.
INSTALLATION AND BUILD QUALITY
This section will detail the mounting hardware as well as the ease of installation and the results after installation regarding clearance, etc. In addition to that, we will evaluate the build quality of the cooler.
Cogage True Spirit – The True Spirit follows the Thermalright mounting mechanism and heat piping. Much like the Titan Fenrir, it too features 4 heat pipes that run down each side of the cooler meeting in the middle at the base. The difference, though, is that Thermalright has opted not to go for a direct contact method but rather allow the heat pipes to contact the base which will then touch the CPU. The base itself we determined was not a mirror finish and was not perfectly flat. This could be a factor when attempting to make a good contact with a CPU as was the case with the Titan Fenrir. This reason is why many consumers find themselves ‘lapping’ their CPUs and CPU coolers to guarantee a flat surface for perfect contact. Many consumers report improved temperatures after ‘lapping’ their coolers which is simply the process of sanding down the cooler with ever increasing grits of sandpaper until the base is a mirror finish and perfectly flat.
Getting back to the installation, the installation process using the mounting hardware was very simple and easy and required less steps and time than that of the Titan Fenrir. The installation of the cooler onto the mounting hardware was also very easy and accessible as it only required installing one plate and two screws which were both very easily accessible with a screw driver. But we also need to remember that we had to get a separate not included mounting kit for this cooler in order for it to fit the socket 1156 mounting holes. The Cogage True Spirit is also the thinnest of all the coolers we tested and as a result even when installing the fan, we were able to fit RAM into all 4 DIMM slots on our P55 motherboard there was even enough room to install another fan on the back of the cooler without any obstructions. The installation of the fan was even easier than it was with any of the other coolers that we reviewed that didn’t come with affixed fans. This means easy replacement of fans without having to worry about breaking anything or having any trouble at all. In addition to that, with the fan installed this cooler weights a light 1.35 lbs.
This is the cooler straight out of the box, note the protective plastic to keep the base clean.
Here we can see the fact that there are 4 heatpipes and that this cooler supports dual fans easily due to the fact that it is both thin and designed for two fans.
Here we can see the overall quality of the manufacturing and see that the fins are almost flawlessly manufactured.
Taking a razor we can see that the base of the cooler is not perfectly flat.
In addition to not being perfectly flat, the base is also not a mirror finish granted this is not considered to be Thermalright’s high-end offering.
Here is the mounting kit for socket 1156 on Cogage and Thermalright coolers.
This is what the Cogage looks like when installed using the socket 1156 kit.
Here we can clearly see the Cogage True Spirit installed with no problems at all and quite a bit of clearance for the first DIMM slot.
GELID Solutions Tranquillo – The GELID Solutions Tranquillo had one of the simplest mounting mechanisms of all the coolers that we tested and required very little to no time to setup. For the most part, we were very satisfied with the mounting mechanism prior to installing the cooler as it was very easy and quick and even when installing the cooler onto it we still were able to do it very quickly and without any tools. The only complaint that we really had when it came to the Tranquillo was the installation of the fan because when we used the provided clips to install the fan we had to use a flat head screwdriver to get the clips to attack the fan to the cooler. While this does provide quite a bit of tension, it also creates some frustration for users that have not used this method before. Also, since this is an average thickness cooler when we installed the fan we ended up blocking the first DIMM slot once again. Also, much like the Titan and Zalman designs, this cooler only allows for one fan to be installed as opposed to the Thermalrights’ which have an optional 2nd fan placement area on the back which could further improve performance. Even with just one fan installed, the cooler weighed in at 1.4lbs being one of the lighter coolers we tested.
Here is a straight on shot of the cooler, as you can see they’ve decided to add heatsinks to the top of the base in addition to the heatpiped fins.
Here we get a profile of the cooler showing almost perfect fin manufacturing, although with this design we cannot see the heatpipes going all the way to the top. The heatpipes still reach the top of the cooler from the base.
Here we can see that the base is not even close to being a mirror finish, but it is almost perfectly flat.
Here we can see that the base does have some shine to it and we can also see that the fins have a bit of a dimpled pattern to them.
Thermalright Venomous X – While we’d like to go in depth about the mounting and installation of the Venomous X, we can only really say that the installation of the Venomous X was almost identical to that of the Cogage True Spirit with a few slight differences. The biggest difference between the Venomous X and the Cogage is that the Venomous X is a much thicker cooler with more heat pipes.
When it came to the overall quality of the Venomous X, we definitely noticed an uptick in quality and time spent on the cooler. This most notably came in the finish that we saw on the base of the cooler noting that the base was indeed a perfect mirror finish and was perfectly flat across. This attention to detail is what you pay for when you get a more expensive cooler. The time that Thermalright spent on doing this also means that it will save you the time of having to lap the cooler yourself. In addition to the mirror finish base, the Venomous X also has 6 heat pipes as opposed to 4 on the Cogage True Spirit. Also, the Venomous X is visibly thicker weighing in at 2lbs, which means once the [not included, aftermarket] fan is installed there is very little room between the fan and the RAM although Thermalright did a good job making sure they did not block the DIMM slots even with a fan installed.
As a testament to Thermalright’s highend we can see here that the Thermalright Venomous X not only has a perfect mirror finish base, but it also has 6 heatpipes which is more than any other cooler we tested in this review.
In addition to having a perfect mirror finish, the base of the cooler is also perfectly flat which is also very important on a cooler that costs as much as this cooler does.
Here we can see the cooler installed with the fan attached and the DIMM slot is not blocked.
Titan Fenrir – The Titan Fenrir has a partially shiny base with direct contact heat pipes that run through the base of the cooler. This cooler features 4 heat pipes that run down each side of the cooler going through the base of the cooler. This means that there are small grooves between the heat pipes and the base where things can get stuck and we noticed that this was not a very well polished or perfectly even surface. It also weighs 1.5 lbs with the fan included.
When it came to the installation of the Titan Fenrir, we had to say that it was probably the most frustrating of all the coolers we tested. The manual was very helpful, but the amount of components required to install this cooler added to the fact that the process simply took a long time means that we had to rate this cooler mounting mechanism the worst. When it came to mounting the fan, though, we had no problem attaching it quickly although installation the fan does mean blocking the closest DIMM slot on our P55 FTW motherboard. Our recommendation to Titan would be to simplify the installation process in a different way. They do have one universal bracket that fits all different mounting holes which is good, but they need to find a simpler and quicker way of getting the rest of the mounting on. Overall, the cooler itself is very sturdy and could easily handle being abused.
Here you can see the direct contact heatpipe design along with the protective plastic to prevent any kind of dirt accumulating on the surface.
Here you can get an idea of the sheer amount of fins and the overall design of the cooler, you can also notice a few slight imperfections in the fins.
This is a sideview of the cooler showing the full heatpipes running the full height of the cooler.
Here you can get an idea of the mounting mechanism that is used for the Fenrir as well as how the fan clips into the cooler. You can also see that when the fan is installed it clearly blocks the first DIMM slot as we had mentioned earlier.
Zalman CNPS 10X Extreme – The Zalman mounting mechanism was in our opinion not the easiest installation process but more of the middle of the road. There was definitely a fairly quick mounting mechanism installation process but once you had to put the cooler in the fun began. The problem is that because the fan is already installed onto the cooler you have to angle your screw driver in order to catch the screws placed directly under the fan. Admittedly, Zalman has designed the fan to make this process easier but odd angle still makes installation a bit tougher. We didn’t think that the process was too tedious nor the easiest, but it could use some improvement.
When it came to the build quality of the cooler, we certainly expected only the best from a company like Zalman. The cooler has a mirror finish base that is perfectly flat which Zalman had lacked in the past. This cooler is definitely towards the top of their cooler offerings, so we are definitely glad to see that they spend the appropriate time with the finish on the base of the cooler. When we weighed this cooler it weighed in at 2lbs, the same weight as the Thermalright Venomous X. Also, because this cooler is considered their Extreme cooler they have also opted for a 5 heat pipe design one less than that of the Thermalright Venomous X but one more than all the other coolers. They have also included a detachable fan controller that allows the user to set 4 different fan control modes for different usage settings. This is an update to their previous bulky and ugly fan controller with the knob; this is a much cleaner better solution we believe.
Here is the front view of the cooler with the preattached fan.
Here we can see the cooler from the side and see that the there are indeed quite a lot of fins and that the 5 heatpipes go all the way up the cooler and that the manufacturing process is nearly flawless.
Looking at the Zalman cooler we noticed that it also had a mirror finish and was a perfect mirror finish like the Thermalright cooler.
Although there was a perfect mirror finish, the base itself was still not perfectly flat.
Here is a top view of the cooler with the adjustable speed PWM controller that can be detached and placed elsewhere.
From here we can see that the Zalman CNPS-10X Extreme does indeed block the first DIMM slot on our P55 motherboard.
This is the Zalman mounting mechanism, which we found to be a slightly odd installation process on the other side under the fan.
In this part of our review we will detail the performance of each cooler in the series of tests that we ran all of them through. Although we could technically give the CPU a single temperature we decided that it would be not as accurate and represent the proper temperatures of every single core on the Core i7 870 that was ran these tests on. In addition to that, when overclocking the most important temperature is that of the hottest core simply because that will be the first core to fail if it’s the hottest. As such, we are going to report all 4 core temperatures from core 0 to core 3.
In our first test we pegged all of the coolers against each other at idle temperatures at stock voltages. When reviewing the graph we notice that The Thermalright Venomous X has the lowest temperatures of all the coolers bearing in mind that this is also the most expensive cooler as well. After that, we’d say that the GELID Tranquillo follows closely behind with the Zalman CNPS-10X with almost identical temperatures. After those 3 coolers, we see that the Cogage True Spirit and the Titan Fenrir bring up the back. We also must note that the Cogage True Spirit is the most inexpensive cooler that we tested. We highly factor price into the performance aspect of things because in the end the price to performance ratio is what most people care about.
LOAD – STOCK
After letting the system idle for a while we decided to run it on a 1 hour Linpack test in which we loaded the CPU to 100% and got a series of temperatures from all of the various coolers. In a similar fashion our results closely reflected those of our previous tests except for the fact that the Zalman CNPS 10X Extreme for the most part had 1C lower temperatures than the GELID Tranquillo. Also, the Titan Fenrir was slightly cooler than the Cogage. The performance delta is usually most pronounced when doing high intensity testing and this was further illustrated by the 8C difference between our coolest and hottest CPU coolers.
IDLE at +0.1V
In this test, we wanted to simulate a slight voltage increase as the result of a mild overclock which would show how well the cooler is capable of handling higher heat dissipation demands and to cover what performance would be like with an overall hotter CPU. In this test we see that the Venomous X yet again has the lowest temperatures and that the coolers are all following closely behind with the Cogage and Zalman both coming in at about 1-2C hotter and then the GELID Tranquillo following closely behind with the Titan Fenrir at the back.
We decided to go for the max load with the voltage slightly bumped in this case since testing the idle without testing the load makes no sense. In this case, We saw the Venomous X winning yet again when it came to Linpack full load numbers being cooler than CNPS 10X Extreme by 2C which was then closely followed by the Tranquillo and then the True Spirit and then the Titan Fenrir bringing up the back yet again. We feel like we’re beginning to see a trend here…
Since we wanted to illustrate what overclocking temperatures would be like we decided that bumping the voltage again would definitely be a good idea since there are some people who like even more aggressive overclocks on air than most. In the case of the idle temperatures we saw the Venomous X winning again but by a narrower margin than usual being closely followed by the Tranquillo and True Spirit with the CNPS-10X Extreme following closely behind. And then we had the Titan Fenrir which was slowly beginning to drift further away from the pack.
This test was the one that we knew would separate the real CPU coolers from the heatsinks. Any piece of metal can be a heatsink, but only some of those pieces of metal are worth being called CPU coolers. In our tests we found that our overall trend of results stood true once again with the Thermalright Venomous X winning the lowest temperature yet again at 63C under full load then being followed by the Zalman CNPS 10X Extreme at 65C at the hottest core. The majority of the temperatures across all cores tend to have the same performance delta as core 0. Once that happened we saw the GELID Tranquillo once again bringing up the middle with slightly higher temperatures than the Zalman. After the Tranquillo the usual suspects followed afterward with the Cogage True Spirit and the Titan Fenrir bringing up the back.
We decided to run Cinebench simply because we knew that CPU rendering is very taxing on the CPU and it is somewhat of a real world test of the CPU or at least makes it generate enough heat for it to warm up significantly over idle. During this test, we made sure that we went back to stock voltages. Once again, we see a similar trend with the Venomous X leading the pack but this time the Tranquillo takes 2nd place from the CNPS-10X Extreme. After the top 3 coolers come out we once again see the True Spirit followed by the Titan Fenrir bringing up the back yet again.
After running Cinebench we decided to opt for a memory intensive application that would tax the IMC heavily as well as somewhat load the cores. In this result, we had something surprising happen. The GELID Tranquillo actually took the first place slightly nudging out the Venomous X. After that, we saw the usual progression of the CNPS-10X Extreme and the Cogage True Spirit followed by the Titan Fenrir.
In this test we wanted to see what the coolers would perform like in a game that utilized the CPU for physics alongside a normal gaming environment. Once again, we made sure that we were running this at stock voltages to be sure that when gaming occurred we weren’t overclocked. Those kinds of tests may be run in the future. In our testing, we saw that the Venomous X was the leader once again closely followed by the CNPS-10X which was also closely followed by the Tranquillo. After that, the True Spirit and the Fenrir brought up the back with somewhat higher temperatures.
Now, after taking everything into account we decided that the best measure of value would effectively be the overall performance over the cost. As such, we saw that the most expensive cooler was the best performer. The only issue with that is that cooler is also more than double the price of some of the same coolers in the roundup. So when we look at these coolers from a price/performance aspect the Venomous X is not the best cooler out there especially considering that you have to add another $10 to $15 for the price of the fan. After that, we saw the Zalman CNPS-10X Extreme which resulted in effectively bringing up 2nd but at times trading blows with the GELID Tranquillo. The only problem is that the Zalman retails on average for $65 while the GELID Tranquillo sells on average for $37.50. As such, there’s a huge difference in price between the two even though one performs very similarly to the other. After that, we have the Titan Fenrir which was clearly the worst performer but still cost $50 on average. Because of that, the Titan Fenrir is also not a good value. And finally, we have the Cogage True Spirit which is actually the cheapest cooler of the bunch at an average of $35 and still performs fairly well by comparison but we also have to factor in the cost of the extra mounting hardware.
In conclusion, when it comes to ultimate performance regardless of price we can clearly see that the Thermalright Venomous X is the best choice. If you want good performance but at a fairly good value we would have to recommend the GELID Tranquillo as it performs very well relative to the more expensive coolers. When we think about the Cogage True Spirit, we can agree that Thermalright has definitely done a good job with creating a good performing cooler at an affordable price while still maintaining their overall quality and aesthetics. In this review, though, we can clearly see that the GELID Tranquillo just barely wins the best value award over the Cogage True Spirit. If we had to award a best performance award, it would have to go to the Thermalright Venomous X even though we were very glad to see that the Zalman CNPS-10X has definitely put Zalman back into the high performance cooling crowd at a very reasonable price. That is, unless you go to Newegg where for some reason the cooler is going for nearly $90. And if we were to give an innovation award, it would definitely have to go to Zalman for improving their once ugly adjustable setting fan controller that they included with the cooler to help it run cool and quiet in different users’ settings. Zalman has made a lot of changes with their CPU coolers and they’re clearly for the good.
Original Author: Anshel Sag
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