A couple of weeks ago I was looking for a new cooler and my mind was quite firmly set on the NH D14 from Noctua. But sometime in late December there was a bit of news from Thermalright about a new cooler and I thought that I should probably wait for it to come out before making a decision.
Now, Thermalright held the performance crown for a long time with its TRUE series and it was only in the last year or so that it lost the crown to the Megahalems and then to the NH D14 from Noctua. A lot of us were actually waiting for Thermalrights’ answer and I think a lot of us were pretty confused on seeing the new X. It seemed to be almost the same as the existing TRUE series, except for a few differences. Well it now looks like those “few” differences have actually made it the new King of Air cooling.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, lets take a look at the specifications:
* Size: Length 127mm x Width 63mm x Height 160mm
* Weight: 755 g (excluding fan and bracket system)
* Heatpipe: 6 X 6mm sintered heatpipes
* Copper base: C1100 pure nickel plated copper base, with ultra-shine mirrored surface.
* Mounting systems for 1366/1156 and 775 sockets
* New and improved pressure mounting system
* Special bent winglet design, allows hot air to pass the heatsink more rapidly.
* Soldered and Nikel plated heatpipes
* 2 sets of 120 x 25mm fan clips and Chill factor II thermal paste.
* Convex copper base design, to ensure the Highest thermal conducting thermal efficiency between the cpu and the heatsink.
Thermalright seems to have spent the time wisely, taking a lot of the feedback from various forums and working on their existing designs. The new pressure mod system was something a lot of TRUE owners had worked on and so was the flatter and shinier base.
The only thing that they seem to love missing out is the AMD mounting system and I had to order that separately. It works wonderfully well, but it is a put off knowing that Thermalright continues to ignore the AMD community.
I ordered this cooler from Hong Kong and they did take their own time sending it out. It also spent a few days at our customs office, who decided to open it and take a quick peek before I could. The cooler and all the accessories did reach me in one piece, but the box was a bit torn. All in all not too bad on the packaging front as the cooler reached me without a scratch.
On opening the box, we are greeted by the accessories pack, which has a lot of goodies for us.
The accessories consists of the Intel mounting system, the pressure mod system, four rubber vibration dampers, two sets of fan clips and the thermal paste.
After taking this out we see a sticker from Thermalright and a couple of manuals.
I only wish the sticker were smaller, so that it would match with the rest of my collection. I actually love the sticker that Noctua packages along with its coolers. Finally we come to the cooler itself.
The cooler comes well packaged and should reach you without a single scratch or dent. great stuff.
A Closer Look and Mounting the “X”
The “X” is one big cooler as you can see in the specs sheet and please do keep in mind that the height of this cooler is 160mm. A lot of the current mid size cabinets would find it difficult to house this cooler.
The Cooler comes with 6 heatpipes, all of which are nickel plated. The nickel plating on the heatpipes is not very even and it could have been a lot smoother. There are also some welding marks at the top and bottom of the heatpipes, which could also have been better. But one thing that the cooler does have going for it is that it seems to be rather solid in its construction and I for one rather have a better built cooler than a better looking one.
The fins are not very tightly packed and even low CFM fans should do a decent job with this cooler. You will also notice the edges being bent in opposite directions. At first I thought the cooler was bent during shipping, but looking closer I realised that this was part of the design.
The base is slightly convex, which seems to be a design feature made for Intels. Here the finish is superb. The base of this cooler seems to be a lot larger than the one I had on the Baram, and this should help AMD’s a lot more than it will help Intels.
The “X” is a pretty heavy cooler to work with and the AMD mounting system was quite “fiddly” if that’s the word I want. It took a while to get this fixed in, specially since you will have to take the motherboard out of the case to make sure that you do a good job with the mounting. I didn’t use the supplied paste, but instead used the MX2.
Once fixed in, its rock solid and does not move even with some pressure. Moutning the fans took me close to half an hour and the clips seem to be quite a pain to use. I am still trying to figure out the right way to install the fans.
Test Bed and Stock Results
The test bed will consist of:
AMD Phenom II 965 C3 – 3.4 Ghz, 125W
MSI GD70 – 790 FX
OCZ 1333 Mhz CL6
OCZ Modxtreme 700W Modular
Cooler Master Storm Sniper, with a lot of extra fans
2 X Scythe Gentle Typhoons 1850′s.
Now I know a lot of you guys have an issue with using the thermal sensors on an AMD, but the fact of the matter is that the difference in temperatures will remain the same across tests, even if the base temperature is not absolutly right.
I will be pitching the “X” against my trusty Baram and for the first time I will also be taking into account ambient temperatures as I did both the tests on two differnet days. We will be using OCCT’s stress test and each test will be run for 1 hour.
We will start with stock settings at an ambient of 24.5. First up is the Baram.
The Baram manages to get a minimum idle temperature of 28.5 degrees and a maximum load temperature of 43.5 degrees. thats not a bad result at all.
Lets now move on to the “X”. The ambients for this test was 25.2 degrees at the start of the test.
The Venemous X manages a idle of 26.8 degrees and a maximum load temperature of exactly 41 degrees.
The Venemous X manages to beat the Baram by 2.5 degrees on load and if we take ambients into account that number would go up to 3.2 degrees on load stock settings.
Lets now move on to the overclocked results.
Well we started by pushing the voltage up to 1.5125 V and the CPU to 4 Ghz. The we ran OCCT for one hour each. First up was the Baram, with an ambient of 25 degrees.
The Baram idled at around 32.5 degrees and then went up to a maximum load of 55 degrees. Again a great result for anyone who knows these chips. I had to run the test thrice to get this result as temperatures have gone up in the last few days and its not as cold as it was in December.
Lets get on to the Venemous X. Here the ambient was around 25.5 degrees.
I got the Thermalright to give me these results right away on the first shot, idling at an amazing 31 degrees at the end of the test and the maximum load reached was 52.5 degrees.
Taking into consideration the 0.5 degree difference is ambient the Thermalright manages to beat the Baram by 3 degrees on load and about 2 degrees on idle and also managed to get it right on the first attempt.
Taking into account that the Baram managed to beat the H50 by around 2 degrees this is a great result.
This is a great cooler, no two ways about it and i am sure there is a lot of potential in there for hotter chips like the Intels. I have seen a few results with around 5-7 degrees difference between this and the Megahalems on i5′s/i7′s and all I can take away from those reviews is that this cooler seems to really shine with higher heat loads.
For anyone wanting to buy a new cooler, this is the one to get.
For anyone looking to get great temperatures on air from their i7′s and i5′s, this is the cooler to get.
But for AMD users, this may not give you all it has simply because the Phenoms run way cooler. But this does not take away from the fact that this is probably the best performing cooler for any platform, Period!!
* Great overall package
* Pretty well built
* No AMD package
* Few cosmetic issues
* Fiddly mounting system
Where to buy? The Thermalright Venomous X is currently available for $69.99 at Performance-PCs!
I will be testing this with high pressure fans and will post those updates as soon as it is done.