The CPU cooling market is dominated by the big names in the industry such as the Cooler Master’s, Noctua’s and Thermaltake’s. These larger companies have a proven track record and consistently produce top quality cooling solutions. However, there are numerous other minnow companies out there that are producing top notch products without the high price tags demanded by the big names.
Today, we take a look at the X120TF Frozen Orb CPU cooler from CoolAge. I, for one, must admit have only very recently come across this manufacturer so how will this cooler compare is the already very crowded CPU cooling marketplace? Let’s find out…
- Quiet and powerful cooling due to multiple heat pipes and large aluminium fin area
- Proprietary WIND TUNNEL design to minimize airflow resistance
- Support Multiplatform installation tool.
- Includes high-performance thermal compound CA-TC3
|Product Name||Frozen Orb X120 Transform|
|Dimensions (mm)||126(W) x 63(D) x 150(H)|
|Heatsink||Base Material: Copper|
Fin Material: Aluminium Alloy
Quantity: 6 pcs
|Thermal Resistance||0.10 C/W|
Contents & Packaging
The X120TF cooler arrives in a green and black styled box with a large hexagonal cut out in the centre through which the unique fin architecture can be seen. The technology has been named “Wind Tunnel Heat Sink Technology” with the fins moulded to a similar shape as the cut-out; essentially the theory behind this is to improve heat loss and reduce noise levels – the two aspects which every CPU cooler aims to achieve the perfect balance between.
The back is much more informative giving the specifications, safety warnings as well as outlining all the components contained with the package. Of course, the rear wouldn’t be complete without another polar bear CoolAge logo!
The sides explain the Wind Tunnel Heatsink Technology is much greater technical depth as well as displaying the key features.
The accessory list is, as expected, quite long with the cooler compatible with LGA775, LGA1366 and AMD sockets not to mention some more unique added extras:
- LGA775 clip
- LGA1366 clip
- LGA775/1366 bracket bolts
- LGA 775 backplate
- LGA1366 backplate
- AMD clip
- Fan clips
- CA-TC3 Thermal Compound
- CoolAge Polar Bear key ring
- User Manual
Note that the manual is written almost entirely in Korean so it’s not the easiest to understand but some of the diagrams can be of assistance when installing the cooler. The key ring is also a nice touch if a little gimmicky!
The X120TF cooler weighs in at 750g, which is on the heavier side as CPU coolers go, due to both the densely packed aluminium fins and numerous heatpipes utilised in the design. The weight and solidness of the structure is paramount to the sense of quality achieved by CoolAge’s product and really emphasises the high build quality on display.
In terms of size, this cooler is roughly similar to most other high end CPU coolers: the exact dimensions are: 126(W) x 63(D) x 150(H) mm. Running through the heatsink are six nickel-plated copper heatpipes of diameter 6mm and shaped in the standard ‘U’ structure.
The heatpipes have also been cleverly offset so as to ensure that the heat transferred from them is evenly distributed throughout the whole heatsink so as to maximise heat dissipation. They are arranged in three sets of pairs which slope diagonally downwards.
The top aluminium fin is imprinted with dual CoolAge logos and shows off the unique fin design: the flat front end allows a 120mm fan to sit in front of the heatsink with pointed ends and a rounded finish on the adjacent side.
To aid the installation of the 120m fan, the fins are ever-so-slightly indented apart from a couple of millimetres at the end and small grooves at the back for the wire fan clips to fit on to.
Many heatsinks now have the option of dual fan combinations or even triple fans in the case of the ASUS Triton 88. However, with the CoolAge X120TF there is no way of mounting a second fan for additional cooling. In reality this not such a big problem as typically the extra fan only drops the temperatures down by one or two degrees.
Looking a little closer at the fin structure, the “Wind Tunnel Heatsink Technology” is more evident with the small honeycomb tunnels formed by adjoining fins which should, according to CoolAge, not only improve airflow through the structure but also reduce noise outputs.
Technically speaking, the technology works by extending the area of radiation versus that of the heatsink as well as using the intake airflow to quickly remove any heat stored inside the heatsink. Essentially, the fin structure just allows the airflow from the fan to remove the heat faster by using the wind tunnels.
The heatpipes culminate at the base of the cooler; this is again nickel-plated giving an all-silver finish but is actually constructed from copper for its superior heat conductivity properties. Despite, not being a perfect mirror, the base isn’t far off as well as being very smooth and flat in order to create a good contact with the integrated heat spreader on the processor.
The heatsink package does not include a fan and so it comes separately – CoolAge’s SX2-Serise DC Fan in this instance. It’s packaged inside a nice box with a large cut out on the front giving a view of the fan inside.
The specifications and other information can be found on the sides and back: the 120mm fan provides airflow of 80CFM @ 32dB with a standard MTBF of 120,000 hours.
The fan also looks quite attractive with the white fins and black frame with a CoolAge logo in the centre of the impeller. There’s even a fan controller thrown in allowing users to fine tune their noise levels and airflow.
Overall, everything looks good so far so let’s see how it handles in our test setup.
The Test Setup:
|Processor||Intel Core i7 C0 920 @ 2.67GHz|
|Graphics Card||XFX 1GB Radeon 4870|
|Memory||OCZ Gold Triple Channel PC3-10666 @ 1333MHz, 9-9-9-24 @ 1.65v|
|Hard Drive||Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 500GB|
|Power Supply||NOX Apex 700W|
|Enclosure||Cooler Master ATCS-840|
|OS||Windows Vista 64-bit|
The installation process is among the better one that I have come across. The LGA1366 bracket simply screw into the holes either side of the base and then the spring-loaded screws on the brackets screw into the backplate.
There’s no fiddling around and it’s a very quick process albeit having to remove the motherboard unless you have a cut-out in the motherboard tray.
At Verdis Reviews, we test CPU coolers by booting the PC up into Windows Vista and then taking temperatures in both idle and load states.
The temperatures are taking using Core Temp and averaging the four core temperatures. For idle testing, we simply leave the PC for 30 minutes and then come back and take the temperature readings. For load, we run prime95 for 20 minutes before taking temperature readings once more.
Thermal results will be recorded with the i7 920 CPU @ 2.67GHz (stock) and overclocked to 3.6GHz with Vcore and QPI voltages of 1.35V.
Finally, noise is that final factor that is tested; however, at Verdis Reviews, we are not yet at the stage where we can use high tech sound equipment and therefore, noise testing is left to the human ear – not the most scientific but it gives a good impression of how noisy the cooler is.
Ambient temperature was 18 degrees and a number of coolers were used for comparison purposes.
At both settings the CoolAge X120TF is able to perform very well, right up there with many of the coolers from big brands in the industry from Cooler Master and Noctua. From the graphs, you can see that the cooler is placed roughly in the middle but note that many of coolers that perform a little better are very well respected names.
Under overclocked settings, the results do fall back a little at overclocked settings but overall they are impressive indeed especially from a relatively new company.
Of course the fan used in combination with the heatsink predominately determines the noise levels and so for the SX2, I would describe the noise levels as about average as they can be heard but they are not overly obtrusive so that they become a problem.
That said, for silent enthusiasts there are definitely quieter fans out there in order to drop the noise outputs down even further.
Unfortunately no providing information was available at this time.
So there we have it, CoolAge, a company which is still very much on the rise, have been able to produce a very impressive cooler indeed that is able to handle the 135W TDP of the i7 processors pretty well.
In terms of out-in-out performance, the CM V8 is still unmoved at the top of the leader board but the X120TF slots is very nicely next to the Scythe Mugen 2 – a cooler
which has received countless awards and praise. Moreover, the Frozen Orb X120 has a very evident high build quality; indeed the whole design looks professional and well conceived with the hexagonal wind tunnels and six nickel-plated heatpipes.
With a fan not actually included with the heatsink, this allows users to hand pick their own 120mm fan to suit their specific needs with the SX2 a great option if a little noisy at times.
To sum it up, our first viewing of a CoolAge product has been a good one and we expect to see more of the same in the future.
- Very high build quality
- Wind Tunnel Heatsink Technology
- Good performance
- Easy installation mechanism
- SX2 a little noisy
- Performance not quite at the standard of the real high end coolers
Thanks go to CoolAge for providing the CPU Cooler for review.