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Thermalright Venomous X CPU Cooler Review

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AkG

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Dual Fan Results / Variable Mounting Pressure Performance

Dual Fan Performance Results


dual_p12.jpg

It really is with dual fan setups that the new and improved fin structure starts to shine. The Venomous X really does not like the Noctua NF-P12-1300 fans and it shows but there is an impressive improvement in temperatures over the True Black. What was a very small difference in single fan modes between the two Thermalright coolers is now large enough to be significant. We just wish it could have posted such improvements in the single fan tests as it does here.


Effectiveness of the Variable Mounting Pressure


40lb.jpg


40lb_2.jpg

When we ran the Scythe S-Flex on the Venomous-X in 40lb configuration, we were what you could charitably call less than impressed with the difference. However, we believed that this may be a case of the fan hiding the differences in efficiency so we decided to run a second set of tests, this time using the moderate speed Noctua NF-P12-1300 (at 1300 rpm). It was here we got a better feel for what 70lbs of pressure does to improve the results and to be honest, they are large enough to be significant but are not large enough to warrant choosing this cooler over other “best of the best” because of it either. It certainly is innovative but we still have to question why anyone using this cooler would want anything less than the highest amount of pressure anyways. It should also be mentioned that ALL of our standard testing was done with the highest pressure possible.
 
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AkG

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Value

Value


The term “Value” is such an amorphous term that it truly has different meanings for different people. For some a CPU cooler is only as good as it over-clocking potential, for others it is how quiet it does its job; for others still it’s how effective it is for its cost. We here at HWC try to provide as many answers as possible for the term “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 the review. If a CPU cooler does not include a fan the price of a Scythe S-Flex 1200RPM has been included ($12).

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.


value_up_chart.jpg

value_up.jpg


There is no getting around the fact that the Thermalright Venomous X is expensive. Flagship models which pack in innovative features such as variable mounting pressure are bound to cost more than most and this was to be expected. As the old saying goes, “time is money” so the ability to easily and readily purchase, install and use this cooler does help make up for its less than stellar value.
 
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AkG

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Conclusion

Conclusion


Taken as a whole we enjoyed working with the Thermalright Venomous-X due to the fact that it offers excellent performance coupled with an almost idiot-proof installation procedure. It may not be a perfect fit for all people and every situation but it is a very, very good choice for many. This newly acquired ability to do a yeoman’s worth of work at nearly every heat level while using an extremely straightforward setup is what we always look for in a CPU heatsink and Thermalright’s new cooler delivered in spades. Unfortunately, while the results were extremely good they were not ground breaking nor even good enough to beat some of the competition.

When it comes to the newly redesigned fin array, we really do respect the upgrades it has received. The variable pressure mount and the corresponding ease of installation is literally leaps and bounds beyond what most of the competition is doing while the overall design of the fin array is simply inspiring. The variable pressure mount it does work well but just like the improved fin array’s face, this amazing refinement is wasted to a large degree on the smaller sized array which the Venomous X has been equipped with. Indeed, this is one heatsink that still stays true to its heritage and prefers high speed fans with high static pressure, but it can even do a great job when equipped with less than stellar fans.

Unfortunately, while the face of the fin array did indeed get a makeover, the number and the size of the fins were reduced. At higher heat loads, this reduction in weight and (more importantly) cooling surface just can’t be negated by all of the engineering advancements made between the original TRUE and the Venomous X. This meant Thermalright’s new flagship struggled to match the performance of the nearly 18 month old Prolimatech Megahalems and never did beat it. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing since the Megahalems is in our option one of the best high-heat coolers on the market and to even come close to matching its performance is one hell of an accomplishment. The only problem is that we know Thermalright was aiming for something more than coming second.

When the Butcher’s Bill is tallied, the Venomous X has the potential for greatness, but it comes up slightly short of our high expectations. We wanted to see a product from Thermalright that could put the screws to Prolimatech’s Megahalems but this new heatsink was unable to do so in the one area that counts to most enthusiasts: temperatures at high clock speeds. Granted, performance is right up there with the best of the best at high heat loads but it fails to reach the top spot. With all this said, if you are like many people here in Canada and are unable to source a Prolimatech or are unwilling to pay the exorbitant price a Noctua D14 commands, the Venomous X may be the next best option.

That’s not to say Thermalright is going home empty handed though. Due to its user friendly installation procedure, size-defying performance and excellent mounting setup, the Venomous X wins our Dam Innovative Award.


Pros:

- Improved back plate based mounting setup
- Great results on most tests
- Dual fan capable design
- Improved design of the fin array “face”
- Variable mounting pressure
- Ease of installation
- Low chances of motherboard & ram compatibility issues
- Stunning base
- Includes mounting hardware for two fans
- Improved cooling performance over a TRUE
- Ability to remount the heatsink without worrying about the backplate falling off


Cons:

- Flagship quality comes at flagship costs
- Reduced cooling mass compared to a TRUE
- While very good, still not best in class performance
- AMD mounting equipment has to be purchased separately


<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Air_Cooling/Venom/di.png" border="0" alt="" />


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