Rosewill RCX-ZAIO-92 CPU Cooler Review
By Rafael Otto Coelho
on October 25, 2011
The RCX-ZAIO-92 is an inexpensive CPU cooler from Rosewill, with a tower heatsink, three heatpipes and a 92 mm fan. Let’s test its performance.
The cooler box is simple, in black, as you can see in Figure 1.
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Figure 1: Package
Figure 2 shows the box contents: the cooler, a small bag of thermal compound, manual and the AMD clip. The clips for use with Intel CPUs come preinstalled in the cooler.
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Figure 2: Accessories
Figure 3 shows the Rosewill RCX-ZAIO-92.
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Figure 3: The Rosewill RCX-ZAIO-92
This cooler is discussed in detail in the following pages.
Figure 4 shows the heatsink from the front. The 92 mm fan comes preinstalled on a plastic frame.
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Figure 4: Front view
In Figure 5, you see the side of the cooler, where the three U-shaped 6 mm heatpipes are visible.
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Figure 5: Side view
Figure 6 presents the rear of the cooler. Here you can notice that the U-shaped heatpipes are misaligned.
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Figure 6: Rear view
The top of the cooler is presented in Figure 7. The fins are plain and almost rectangular.
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Figure 7: Top view
Figure 8 reveals the details of the heatpipes and the copper base plate. You can also see the Intel stock-style preinstalled clips.
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Figure 8: Base details
In Figure 9, you can observe the base of the cooler; it is plain and smooth. Here we found an issue: the plastic film that protects the base from scratches and oxidation is glued and, when removed, leaves some glue on the base surface. As we always test the cooler “as is,” i.e., the way an average user should install it, we left the glue remains on the base before mounting the cooler.
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Figure 9: Base
Figure 10 shows the ZAIO heatsink after removing the fan.
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Figure 10: Without the fan
The 92 mm PWM fan, with its plastic frame, is shown in Figure 11.
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Figure 11: Fan
Figure 12 shows the clip for use with AMD processors. As already discussed, this CPU cooler comes with the hardware for installation on Intel CPUs preinstalled.
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Figure 12: AMD clip
For installing on Intel CPUs, the mounting system is the same as the stock cooler. All you have to do is apply thermal compound, put the cooler in place and press the four holders.
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Figure 13: Installed
We tested the cooler with a Core i7-860 CPU (quad-core, 2.8 GHz), which is a socket LGA1156 processor with a 95 W TDP (Thermal Design Power). In order to get higher thermal dissipation, we overclocked it to 3.3 GHz (150 MHz base clock and 22x multiplier), keeping the standard core voltage (Vcore), which was the maximum stable overclock we could make with the stock cooler. Keep in mind that we could have raised the CPU clock more, but to include the stock cooler in our comparison, we needed to use this moderate overclock.
We measured noise and temperature with the CPU idle and under full load. In order to get 100% CPU usage in all threads, we ran Prime 95 25.11 with the "In-place Large FFTs" option. (In this version, the software uses all available threads.)
We compared the tested cooler to the Intel stock cooler with a copper base (included with the CPU), as well as with other coolers. Note that in the past, we tested coolers with a socket LGA775 CPU, and we retested some "old" coolers with this new methodology. This means you can find different values in older reviews than the values you will read in the next page. Every cooler was tested with the thermal compound that accompanies it.
Room temperature measurements were taken with a digital thermometer. The core temperature was read with the SpeedFan program (available from the CPU thermal sensors), using an arithmetic average of the core temperature readings. During the tests, the left panel of the case was open.
Hardware Configuration
Operating System Configuration
Software Used
Error Margin
We adopted a 2 °C error margin, meaning temperature differences below 2 °C are considered irrelevant.
The table below presents the results of our measurements. We repeated the same test on all coolers listed below. Each measurement was taken with the CPU at idle and at full load. In the models with a fan supporting PWM, the motherboard controlled the fan speed according to core load and temperature. On coolers with an integrated fan controller, the fan was set at the minimum speed on the idle test and at full speed on the full load test.
Idle Processor | Processor at Full Load | ||||||
Cooler | Room Temp. | Noise | Speed | Core Temp. | Noise | Speed | Core Temp. |
Intel stock (socket LGA1156) | 14 °C | 44 dBA | 1700 rpm | 46 °C | 54 dBA | 2500 rpm | 90 °C |
Cooler Master Hyper TX3 G1 | 14 °C | 47 dBA | 2050 rpm | 33 °C | 56 dBA | 2900 rpm | 62 °C |
Zalman CNPS10X Extreme | 14 °C | 45 dBA | 1400 rpm | 27 °C | 53 dBA | 1950 rpm | 51 °C |
Thermaltake Silent 1156 | 14 °C | 44 dBA | 1200 rpm | 38 °C | 49 dBA | 1750 rpm | 69 °C |
Noctua NH-D14 | 14 °C | 49 dBA | 1250 rpm | 27 °C | 49 dBA | 1250 rpm | 53 °C |
Zalman CNPS10X Performa | 14 °C | 46 dBA | 1500 rpm | 28 °C | 52 dBA | 1950 rpm | 54 °C |
Prolimatech Megahalems | 14 °C | 40 dBA | 750 rpm | 27 °C | 60 dBA | 2550 rpm | 50 °C |
Thermaltake Frio | 14 °C | 46 dBA | 1450 rpm | 27 °C | 60 dBA | 2500 rpm | 50 °C |
Prolimatech Samuel 17 | 14 °C | 40 dBA | 750 rpm | 40 °C | 60 dBA | 2550 rpm | 63 °C |
Zalman CNPS8000A | 18 °C | 43 dBA | 1400 rpm | 39 °C | 54 dBA | 2500 rpm | 70 °C |
Spire TherMax Eclipse II | 14 °C | 55 dBA | 2200 rpm | 28 °C | 55 dBA | 2200 rpm | 53 °C |
Scythe Ninja3 | 17 °C | 39 dBA | 700 rpm | 32 °C | 55 dBA | 1800 rpm | 57 °C |
Corsair A50 | 18 °C | 52 dBA | 1900 rpm | 33 °C | 52 dBA | 1900 rpm | 60 °C |
Thermaltake Jing | 18 °C | 44 dBA | 850 rpm | 34 °C | 49 dBA | 1300 rpm | 60 °C |
GlacialTech Alaska | 18 °C | 43 dBA | 1150 rpm | 36 °C | 51 dBA | 1600 rpm | 60 °C |
Deepcool Gamer Storm | 18 °C | 43 dBA | 1100 rpm | 35 °C | 48 dBA | 1600 rpm | 62 °C |
Corsair A70 | 26 °C | 56 dBA | 1900 rpm | 40 °C | 56 dBA | 1900 rpm | 65 °C |
Deepcool Ice Blade Pro | 23 °C | 45 dBA | 1200 rpm | 38 °C | 52 dBA | 1500 rpm | 64 °C |
AC Freezer 7 Pro Rev. 2 | 23 °C | 47 dBA | 1750 rpm | 44 °C | 51 dBA | 2100 rpm | 77 °C |
Corsair H70 | 27 °C | 60 dBA | 1900 rpm | 37 °C | 60 dBA | 1900 rpm | 61 °C |
Zalman CNPS9900 Max | 27 °C | 55 dBA | 1600 rpm | 38 °C | 58 dBA | 1750 rpm | 63 °C |
Arctic Cooling Freezer 11 LP | 25 °C | 45 dBA | 1700 rpm | 51 °C | 49 dBA | 1950 rpm | 91 °C |
CoolIT Vantage | 26 °C | 60 dBA | 2500 rpm | 37 °C | 60 dBA | 2500 rpm | 62 °C |
Deepcool Ice Matrix 600 | 25 °C | 46 dBA | 1100 rpm | 41 °C | 53 dBA | 1300 rpm | 69 °C |
Titan Hati | 26 °C | 46 dBA | 1500 rpm | 40 °C | 57 dBA | 2450 rpm | 68 °C |
Arctic Cooling Freezer 13 | 27 °C | 49 dBA | 1950 rpm | 41 °C | 53 dBA | 2300 rpm | 70 °C |
Noctua NH-C14 | 26 °C | 52 dBA | 1300 rpm | 37 °C | 52 dBA | 1300 rpm | 61 °C |
Intel XTS100H | 26 °C | 49 dBA | 1200 rpm | 42 °C | 64 dBA | 2600 rpm | 68 °C |
Zalman CNPS5X SZ | 23 °C | 52 dBA | 2250 rpm | 38 °C | 57 dBA | 2950 rpm | 69 °C |
Thermaltake SlimX3 | 21 °C | 50 dBA | 2700 rpm | 46 °C | 50 dBA | 2750 rpm | 99 °C |
Cooler Master Hyper 101 | 21 °C | 50 dBA | 2600 rpm | 38 °C | 57 dBA | 3300 rpm | 71 °C |
Antec Kühler H_{2}O 620 | 19 °C | 52 dBA | 1400 rpm | 34 °C | 55 dBA | 1400 rpm | 58 °C |
Arctic Cooling Freezer 13 Pro | 20 °C | 46 dBA | 1100 rpm | 36 °C | 49 dBA | 1300 rpm | 62 °C |
GlacialTech Siberia | 22 °C | 49 dBA | 1400 rpm | 34 °C | 49 dBA | 1400 rpm | 61 °C |
Evercool Transformer 3 | 18 °C | 46 dBA | 1800 rpm | 33 °C | 51 dBA | 2250 rpm | 65 °C |
Zalman CNPS11X Extreme | 20 °C | 51 dBA | 1850 rpm | 34 °C | 56 dBA | 2050 rpm | 61 °C |
Thermaltake Frio OCK | 15 °C | 44 dBA | 1000 rpm | 27 °C | 64 dBA | 2200 rpm | 51 °C |
Prolimatech Genesis | 18 °C | 49 dBA | 1050 rpm | 30 °C | 49 dBA | 1050 rpm | 54 °C |
Arctic Cooling Freezer XTREME Rev. 2 | 15 °C | 41 dBA | 1050 rpm | 32 °C | 44 dBA | 1400 rpm | 60 °C |
NZXT HAVIK 140 | 16 °C | 48 dBA | 1250 rpm | 29 °C | 49 dBA | 1250 rpm | 55 °C |
Antec Kühler H_{2}O 920 | 18 °C | 41 dBA | 650 rpm | 29 °C | 64 dBA | 2500 rpm | 49 °C |
Zalman CNP7X LED | 18 °C | 45 dBA | 1950 rpm | 33 °C | 48 dBA | 2150 rpm | 58 °C |
EVGA Superclock | 14 °C | 43 dBA | 1300 rpm | 27 °C | 58 dBA | 2350 rpm | 47 °C |
Evercool Transformer 4 | 15 °C | 46 dBA | 1500 rpm | 26 °C | 53 dBA | 1950 rpm | 52 °C |
Xigmatek Dark Knight | 18 °C | 47 dBA | 1700 rpm | 30 °C | 53 dBA | 2150 rpm | 57 °C |
Xigmatek Aegir | 15 °C | 44 dBA | 1500 rpm | 27 °C | 50 dBA | 1950 rpm | 52 °C |
Cooler Master GeminII S524 | 16 °C | 45 dBA | 1300 rpm | 29 °C | 53 dBA | 1800 rpm | 58 °C |
Enermax ETS-T40-TA | 16 °C | 40 dBA | 1050 rpm | 28 °C | 48 dBA | 1800 rpm | 55 °C |
Corsair H80 | 14 °C | 42 dBA | 2150 rpm | 25 °C | 52 dBA | 2150 rpm | 47 °C |
Akasa Venom Voodoo | 13 °C | 40 dBA | 1000 rpm | 26 °C | 48 dBA | 1500 rpm | 51 °C |
Xigmatek Thor's Hammer | 15 °C | 44 dBA | 1500 rpm | 30 °C | 50 dBA | 2000 rpm | 55 °C |
Cooler Master Hyper 612 PWM | 19 °C | 45 dBA | 1400 rpm | 30 °C | 52 dBA | 1900 rpm | 54 °C |
Xigmatek Loki | 17 °C | 44 dBA | 1850 rpm | 34 °C | 55 dBA | 2750 rpm | 60 °C |
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO | 14 °C | 44 dBA | 1250 rpm | 26 °C | 50 dBA | 1750 rpm | 50 °C |
Xigmatek Gaia | 17 °C | 44 dBA | 1250 rpm | 32 °C | 46 dBA | 1500 rpm | 61 °C |
Rosewill RCX-ZAIO-92 | 21 °C | 48 dBA | 2050 rpm | 37 °C | 54 dBA | 2600 rpm | 68 °C |
In the graph below, at full load you can see how many degrees Celsius hotter the CPU core is than the air outside the case. The lower this difference, the better is the performance of the cooler.
The main specifications for the Rosewill RCX-ZAIO-92 cooler include:
The Rosewill RCX-ZAIO-92 CPU cooler has a reasonably good construction quality, but its performance can be considered good only if you compare it to the CPU stock cooler. It should be a good option for people who want to replace the stock cooler for a more powerful one and are on budget.
The good news is that it is quite inexpensive. Its main competitors in performance among the coolers we already tested, Evercool Transformer 3 and Cooler Master Hyper TX3, are both more than 50% more expensive.
So, if you are looking for an inexpensive and simple cooler to replace the stock cooler in order to have your CPU run a little colder, you can consider buying the Rosewill RCX-ZAIO-92.
Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Rosewill-RCX-ZAIO-92-CPU-Cooler-Review/1412