SilenX EFZ-120HA5 CPU Cooler Review
By Rafael Coelho on April 2, 2012
The SilenX EFZ-120HA5 is a tower-style CPU cooler, with three copper heatpipes and a 120 mm fan. Let’s test it!
It is hard to say what the real brand of this cooler is, since the brand on the face of the box of the cooler (and on the cooler fins) is “PCCOOLER,” but the EFZ-120HA5 is present only at the SilenX website, and does not exist in the PCCOOLER website. There is no explanation as to what the connection is between those two brands.
The cooler comes in a nice box with a transparent window that allows you to see the cooler heatsink, as seen in Figure 1.
Figure 2 shows the contents of the box: heatsink, fans, a syringe of thermal compound, manual, and installation hardware.
Figure 3 displays the SilenX EFZ-120HA5 heatsink.
This cooler is discussed in detail in the following pages.
Figure 4 illustrates the front of the heatsink. Here you can also see a small auxiliary heatsink over the base of the cooler. Also notice that the heatpipes are not in a straight line, but rather are spread out inside the heatsink.
Figure 5 reveals the side of the heatsink. As is the case with many coolers nowadays, the fins are folded at the side, creating a closed surface.
Figure 6 reveals the top of the cooler. You can see that the fins are not smooth, but have small rugosity in order to improve the heat transfer.
Figure 7 reveals the base of the cooler. The three heatpipes directly touch the CPU, and there is a small aluminum gap between them. The base surface is almost mirrored.
Figure 8 shows the 120 mm fan with red blades that come with the SilenX EFZ-120HA5. This fan has a three-pin connector, which means it is not PWM-compatible.
In Figure 9, you see the EFZ-120HA5 with the rubber fan holders.
The first step to install the SilenX EFZ-120HA5 is to screw the holder clip at the base of the cooler, as shown in Figure 10. After that, prepare the backplate, attaching the screws into the holes according to your CPU socket.
This mounting seems to be identical to the system we saw on the 3RSystem iCEAGE Prima Boss II and the Spire TherMax Eclipse II, which make us wonder if all those coolers are manufactured by the same OEM company.
After inserting the backplate on the solder side of the motherboard, put the cooler in place and hold it with four thumbscrews.
Then, install the fan on the heatsink. Figure 13 reveals the cooler installed in our system.
We tested the cooler with a Core i5-2500K CPU (quad-core, 3.3 GHz), which is a socket LGA1155 processor with a 95 W TDP (Thermal Design Power). In order to get higher thermal dissipation, we overclocked it to 4.0 GHz (100 MHz base clock and x40 multiplier), with 1.3 V core voltage (Vcore). This CPU was able to reach 4.8 GHz with its default core voltage, but at this setting, the processor enters thermal throttling when using mainstream coolers, reducing the clock and thus the thermal dissipation. This could interfere with the temperature readings, so we chose to maintain a moderate overclocking.
We measured noise and temperature with the CPU under full load. In order to get 100% CPU usage in all cores, 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 other coolers we already tested. Note that the results cannot be compared to measures taken on a different hardware configuration, so 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 on the next page. Every cooler was tested with the thermal compound that comes with 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 panels of the computer case were closed. The front and rear case fans were spinning at minimum speed in order to simulate the “normal” cooler use on a well-ventilated case. We assume that is the common setup used by a cooling enthusiast or overclocker.
The sound pressure level (SPL) was measured with a digital noise meter, with its sensor placed near the top opening of the case. This measurement is only for comparison purposes, because a precise SPL measurement needs to be made inside an acoustically insulated room with no other noise sources, which is not the case here.
Operating System Configuration
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 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 full speed.
|Cooler||Room Temp.||Noise||Speed||Core Temp.||Temp. Diff.|
|Cooler Master Hyper TX3||18 °C||50 dBA||2850 rpm||69 ºC||51 °C|
|Corsair A70||23 °C||51 dBA||2000 rpm||66 ºC||43 °C|
|Corsair H100||26 °C||62 dBA||2000 rpm||64 ºC||38 °C|
|EVGA Superclock||26 °C||57 dBA||2550 rpm||67 ºC||41 °C|
|NZXT HAVIK 140||20 °C||46 dBA||1250 rpm||65 ºC||45 °C|
|Thermalright True Spirit 120||26 °C||42 dBA||1500 rpm||82 °C||56 °C|
|Zalman CNPS12X||26 °C||43 dBA||1200 rpm||71 °C||45 °C|
|Zalman CNPS9900 Max||20 °C||41 dBA||1700 rpm||62 °C||42 °C|
|Titan Fenrir Siberia Edition||22 °C||50 dBA||2400 rpm||65 °C||43 °C|
|SilenX EFZ-120HA5||18 °C||44 dBA||1500 rpm||70 °C||52 °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 SilenX EFZ-120HA5 CPU cooler include:
The SilenX EFZ-120HA5 is a good cooler, with high quality construction, nice looks, simple installing system, and a beautiful box. It is also very quiet and has an attractive price tag.
However, its performance is barely mediocre. Due to its construction details (direct-touch heatpipes, closed sides, rugged fin surface, etc.), we were expecting better cooling from it.
Being a good, nice-looking, quiet, and affordable CPU cooler, but with no outstanding cooling performance, the SilenX EFZ-120HA5 receives the Hardware Secrets Bronze Award.