Cooler Master Hyper TX3 Review

Cooler Master Hyper TX3

Cooler Master’s newest addition to their cooling range coincides brilliantly with the launch of the i5 and LGA1156 hardware. The i5 is the baby brother of the i7 CPUs and has a lower stock TDP of 95W and thus producing less heat. The Cooler Master Hyper TX3 aims to be very affordable and yet still perform well so as to provide sufficient cooling for the i5 range. With a good reputation that has extended into the cooling market, Cooler Master’s Hyper TX3 has high expectations. However, will corners have been cut in order to allow for the price reduction? Let’s take a look…

Cooler Master’s Take on the TX3

“Cooler Master’s Hyper TX series has evolved with requirements of current mainstream CPUs.

The introduction of Hyper TX3 marks another milestone with Cooler Master’s first-ever full compatibility with Intel LGA 1156 socket.

The Hyper TX3 also brings back the “original” direct contact heat-pipe design from Cooler Master.”

Cooler Master Hyper TX3 Features

Cooler Master Hyper TX3 CPU Cooler Review

Cooler Master Hyper TX3 Specifications

Cooler Master Hyper TX3 CPU Cooler Review

Contents & Packaging

The Hyper TX3 has simple plastic packaging which allows the whole cooler to be seen from the outside. A white and purple card outline surrounds the cooler displaying a few logos and the basic features. Cleverly, the accessories which are enclosed inside a purple box at the bottom also contribute to the packaging by showing the compatibility of the cooler.

This minimalist packaging is quite refreshing and done for a simple reason – to keep the costs down in order to make this a value-for-money product.

From the side, the plastic of the Cooler Master Hyper TX3 is actually triangular shaped with a bulge for the cooler to sit in.

Finally, the back is again very minimalist with the entire fin stack visible and a little information on the back of the accessory box.

Inside the casing, there are three parts: the heatsink, fan and accessory box. The purple accessory box contains numerous parts:

  • 2 fold-out manuals
  • 4 wire clips
  • AMD and K8 retention plates
  • LGA 775/1156 Retention plates
  • Screws

It’s nice to see an extra set of wire clips included with the Cooler Master Hyper TX3 so that the user can attach a second fan to the other side of the heatsink if they so wish to act as an exhaust fan.

The Product – Cooler Master Hyper TX3

Looking at the heatsink itself, it is apparent that Cooler Master has gone back to a slightly more conventional design with the TX3; the cooler follows the highly popular tower format design incorporating 43 aluminium fins and 3 copper heatpipes.

The three heatpipes are uniformly spaced in order to dissipate heat to all areas of the fin stack for maximal performance and are all the generic ‘U’ shape so as to form part of the base and then curve up through the main fin stack.

The cooler is much smaller in comparison to some of Cooler Master’s other products, namely the V8 and V10, and so this makes for easier installation as well as greater compatibility. Indeed there is a long list of sockets and CPUs for which the cooler can fit including the new i5/LGA1156 which is the little brother of Intel’s i7 range of processors.

The top fin is home to some more features. First up there is the ability to attach a second fan to the back of the heatsink in order to create an intake and exhaust fan combination. The copper heatpipes, as we have come to expect, are nicely rounded off at the top and left with their natural shiny orange colour.

These are simple things but doing the basics right really does count for a lot with cooling and so it’s good to see Cooler Master doing just this with the Hyper TX3. Of course there is an added bit of style with the large imprinted Cooler Master logo.

The base, as I mentioned before is partially constructed from the copper pipes which have been flattened off to create a HDT (Heatpipe Direct Touch) finish which has become increasingly popular in recent times. The base is not as smooth using this technique as there are small grooves in between the pipes but the benefit is that the heat is transferred straight to the very thermally conductive copper pipes.

A small plastic cover protects the base from any grime or grubby fingerprints – like I said the Cooler Master Hyper TX3 still has all the little touches – simple but effective.

A closer look at the base shows that for there are four holes on each side for compatibility purposes. Also, the AMD locking bar can be mounted of both sides; this is not an option in many higher end coolers.

The fan is a 92mm design – again not very stylish, just a simple black design with a silver Cooler Master sticker in the centre. It can spin at speeds of anything from 800 to 2800 RPM using its 4-pin PWM connector and is capable of airflow of 15.7-54.8 CFM @ 17-35 dBA.

On the back of the fan, in each corner, are rubber pads, the intention of which is to prevent vibrations, produced from the fans motor, from being transferred to the fin stack and thus amplified in the process.

Cooler Master Hyper TX3 Installation

The Test Setup:

ProcessorIntel C2Q Q9450 Quad Core @ 2.66GHz
MotherboardGigabyte S-Series GA-73PVM-S2H
Graphics CardXFX 8600GT
MemoryCorsair XMS2 PC6400 (2x 1GB)
Hard DriveHitachi HDT7250 (250GB)
Power SupplyNOX Apex 700W
OSWindows XP Pro 32bit

Unfortunately, we do not yet have an LGA1156 socket motherboard for testing in this Cooler Master Hyper TX3 review and so we will be using our 775 rig instead.

For this particular socket and due to the relatively light weight cooler (470g), push pin clips are the installation method chosen by Cooler Master.

First job is to screw the clips into the base – each clip has two sets of dual holes with the inner holes for the 775 socket and the outer for the 1156 (i5).

Then, after applying a layer of thermal paste, just press the clips into the holes (it’s best to push in diagonal clips at the same time).

Then, the fan needs to be attached using the wire clips. These are very easy to put on and hold the fan securely to the heatsink.

The push pin clips mean that motherboard removal is not necessary unless you need to remove a backplate from the previous cooler of course.

Testing

Methodology

At Verdis Reviews, we test socket LGA 775 CPU coolers by booting the PC up into Windows XP 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.

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 will be used for comparison purposes.

Results

Cooling

The results as expected are not going to compete with the high end coolers such as the NH-U12P but they do offer some very solid temperatures that should easily be able to deal with the heat produced from the i5 range.

What is impressive though, is that the Hyper TX3 beats the Glacialtech 5610 cooler which is of similar price and design. This shows that all the little touches that Cooler Master has implemented did make a difference and resulted in a 2 degree reduction at load state.

Noise
I was expecting the 92mm fan to be quite noisy due to Cooler Master trying to keep the costs down so I thought that the fan quality might have been lowered too. I was wrong; the noise levels are pretty good and at least on a par with most other CPU coolers and not really audible over the other fans in the rig.

Cost
Now as I have been hinting at throughout the review, the price is much lower than such coolers as the V8, instead at just £12.99 the TX3 is a bargain and without question on of the best value coolers I have come across.

Conclusion

I am really impressed at how Cooler Master were still able to keep a high quality build design and implement lots of little extra touches like the ability to add a second fan and the fact the cooler can fit the new LGA1156 socket.

Of course we are not looking for the best performance ever but the TX3 was able to hold its own and offer stable performance at both idle and load states.

Overall, if you’re looking for a well-performing, solid cooler, with the TX3 you really can’t go wrong and all at just £12.99 – great job Cooler Master.

Pros

  • Great price
  • Easy to install
  • Not too noisy
  • Can add a second fan
  • Compatible with i5 processors

Cons

  • Does not compete with higher end coolers
  • Push pin clips not everyone’s ideal installation choice

90%

Thanks go to Cooler Master for providing the cooler for review.

 

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