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Gelid Tranquillo CPU Cooler Review

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AkG

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Mid-Speed Fan Performance Results

Mid-Speed Fan Performance Results


2.6GHz


<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Air_Cooling/Tranquillo/26_p12_1300.jpg" border="0" alt="" />​

While not nearly as good as the results we saw at this heat level with other fans, the test results are still decent. We really are starting to get a handle on what the true capabilities of this cooler are and they are actually impressive. As we have said in the past this chart is stacked with only the best of the best, be it best value or best overall and this cooler is only being beaten by products costing more than it.


3.42GHz


<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Air_Cooling/Tranquillo/34_p12_1300.jpg" border="0" alt="" />​

It seems that our earlier supposition of the Gelid Tranquillo’s fin array being optimized for low speed fans was incorrect. The upside to this is that you get very, very good results out of the box….BUT if you need an even lower noise solution you are in for a tough go of it performance wise.


3.8GHz


<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Air_Cooling/Tranquillo/38_p12_1300.jpg" border="0" alt="" />​

About the only thing that saves this cooler from coming in last place (after the stock Intel cooler that is) is the fact that it has mass and efficiency to burn. That imperfectly finished, but solid copper, base with a good fin array is what allows this cooler to easily beat the Cooler Master Hyper 212+. This is no mean feat and while it does get beaten by all the others in the chart there is no shame in being beaten by the best of the best.
 
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AkG

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5,270
Low Speed Fan Performance Results

Low Speed Fan Performance Results

2.6GHz


<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Air_Cooling/Tranquillo/26_p12_900.jpg" border="0" alt="" />​

This cooler simply doesn’t like ultra low speed fans and really needs more speed and static pressure than the Noctua NF-P12 can provide at full speed let alone at 900rpms.


3.42GHz


<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Air_Cooling/Tranquillo/34_p12_900.jpg" border="0" alt="" />​

As we can see, the Gelid Tranquillo may still be in last place, but it is slowly inching its way up.


3.8GHz


<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Air_Cooling/Tranquillo/38_p12_900.jpg" border="0" alt="" />​

Just as we suspected, the fin array may prefer higher speeds and the base may not be perfect….but when the heat is really on, it still does shine. We were not surprised in the least to see it pass this test, but we were surprised to see it pass the Zalman Flex.
 
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AkG

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5,270
Sound Level Testing / Value

Sound Level Testing


While everyone "hears" noise differently there is one easy way to remove all subjectivness and easily compare different fans: use a sound level meter. This way you can easily compare the various fans noise envelopes without us colouring the results and see what fans fit within your personal comfort level. Of course, we will endeavour to try and explain the various results (which are taken at a 30 inch distance) to help you our readers get an even better understanding of how loud a cooler's stock fan is, but even if you discount our personal opinions, the fact remains numbers don't lie. All fans are tested with both voltage regulation / PWM turned off.

<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Air_Cooling/Tranquillo/noise.jpg" border="0" alt="" />​

As we suspected and mused about in the NF-P12-1300 tests, the Gelid Tranquillo’s stock fan is very, VERY quiet. While it is 0.8DBA louder than a Noctua NF-P12-1300 it is also running 200rpms faster.


Value


Hopefully by this point in the review people looking at OC potential or loudness levels will have a fairly good idea of what its Value is. For the “best bang for the buck” crowd we have included a chart below showing how much each 1°C less costs when compared to Intel’s FREE stock cooler. No consideration has been made for noise levels, “looks” or any other extraneous factors; this is just raw performance vs. monetary cost. For any cooler which performs worse than the Intel stock cooler a rating of “FAIL” will be given. For any cooler which has a “Value” of more than $10 per 1°C a rating of “FAIL” will be used in the graph but the chart will list its actual “Value”.

All prices are based on either their MSRP (if no e-tailer prices were available at review time) or the lowest price found in our Price Comparison engine at the time of their initial review for the "Original" chart and are the lowest price found in our Price Comparison engine at the time of this review for the "Updated" chart. If a CPU cooler does not include a fan the price of a Scythe S-Flex 1200RPM has been included ($12).

To make it as easy as possible for you to modify this ratio we have also included the various coolers temperature difference so if you do come across one of them on sale you can easily modify its “Value” rating. We here at HWC are in no way saying this is the definitive answer to “Value”, rather it should be considered another tool to help you make your final decision. After all something is only as “valuable” as what you consider it to be.


Please Note: This chart has be calculated based upon the differences between Intel stock cooler’s average load at its highest OC on a 920 @ 3.42GHz versus various after market coolers average load temperatures (in their stock configuration with MX-2 TIM) also on a 920 @ 3.42GHz.

<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Air_Cooling/Tranquillo/value_chart_org.jpg" border="0" alt="" />
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Air_Cooling/Tranquillo/value_org.jpg" border="0" alt="" />

<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Air_Cooling/Tranquillo/value_chart_up.jpg" border="0" alt="" />

<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Air_Cooling/Tranquillo/value_up.jpg" border="0" alt="" />

Any way you slice it, the Tranquillo is an excellent value and you could get a lot worse bang for your hard earned money. While it may not come in below the magic two dollar mark, it does come with a kick ass fan that allows it to be very adaptable to many situations. To put it another way, if you are looking for a great deal this should be on your short list.
 
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AkG

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Joined
Oct 24, 2007
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5,270
Conclusion

Conclusion


After all the dust settled and we got to know the Tranquillo’s strengths and weakness very well, it’s difficult not to come away impressed. Its unique design really does seem to work by funneling air into and over not only the main fin array but the secondary smaller fins placed over the contact plate. This in itself is only one of the many small things which Gelid’s engineers made to this product which allow it to punch far above its weight and price category. Is it the perfect all-round heatsink? No, it isn’t but it comes pretty darn close especially when you consider we have yet to come across an absolutely perfect combination of performance and price.

When we look back over the installation section in particular, there is no denying that the Tranquillo is a very adaptable product even though it is far from perfect in some respects. One of the major disappointments we came across and continue to stumble upon with even the newest heatsinks is a distinct lack of forethought when it comes to installation onto an AMD-based system. In addition, while we do love the unique and obviously well designed fin array it still has one major weakness: lack of dual fan capability. We understand what Gelid was thinking by making the other side of the fin array point outwards, it unfortunately limits the potential performance of the Tranquillo. It also seems significant time and monetary resources were put into a solid copper base design yet there was a failure to follow through on its finishing.

With all this being said this budget-minded heatsink was still able to give the venerable TRUE Black a real run for its money and that is still one heck of an accomplishment. It should also be mentioned that the Tranquillo ships with a fan that is almost as quiet as a Noctua NF-P12-1300 but seems to push more air.

One of the most important things about the Gelid Tranquillo is the fact that it has an excellent performance to cost ratio. We really can’t fault Gelid for the cost cutting and design quirks that make this cooler what it is since it really did impress us through almost every single test scenario. It may not be the best at all situations, but it was hardly ever the worst even though it barely breaks the $30 mark in some situations. If you are looking for excellent performance but don’t want to shell out the $50 and more some higher-end units retail for, you can’t go wrong with the Tranquillo.


Pros:

- Good performance results on most tests
- Quiet yet kick arse fan included
- Multi-socket Intel mounting abilities
- Unique fin design
- Fluid Dynamic Bearing fan
- Very adaptable to numerous situations and noise levels
- Excellent price to performance ratio
- Copper base design
- Fast AMD installation


Cons:

- Less than perfect finishing on the copper base
- Capable of mounting only a single fan
- AMD installation results in North / South orientation and could interfere with memory slots


<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Air_Cooling/Tranquillo/DGV.gif" border="0" alt="" />


http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/foru...nquillo-cpu-cooler-review-comment-thread.html
 
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