Introduction: Budget Cooling Options and the Seidon 120V
Budget Liquid vs Air CPU Cooling
The Seidon 120V is Cooler Master's newest 120mm all-in-one liquid CPU cooler, and its affordable price adds another option to anyone looking for an aftermarket cooler on a budget. But when we start comparing low-cost options it's valid to wonder just how much better a liquid cooler in this price range might perform over air. To find out we'll test the Seidon 120V against a popular budget air solution, and see how these aftermarket coolers compare against the stock solutions from AMD and Intel.
Image courtesy of Cooler Master
Cooling on a Budget
When you’re pricing out a new computer build these days it’s pretty easy to put together a solid group of components for $500 or so, and these will get you going on all the latest games at HD resolution. Sounds awesome! Of course, within that tight budget certain things are going to have to wait, and right up there on the list is probably some better cooling. It’s easy enough to change out a CPU cooler later, but if the stock cooler is doing the job within the thermal specs of the processor is it really needed? Clearly, AMD and Intel are not going to ship a cooler with their product that can’t keep it cool enough under stock workloads, but having better cooling can allow for overclocking as well as extend the life of not only the CPU, but the components around it on your motherboard. Aftermarket coolers are often able to cool more efficiently as well, producing less noise.
The selection of aftermarket coolers available is, well, ridiculous. As easy as it is to get lost looking at, say, every virtually identical stick of DDR3 memory, scrolling through product pages for CPU cooling is on another level entirely. Liquid cooling systems are much easier to navigate, as there are not only fewer of them, but the pricing segmentation allows for easier selection if you’re on a budget. For instance, the Seidon 120V at around $50 was the least expensive AIO option on Amazon when this review was started (actually coming in at 47.99 shipped, though this has been fluctuating quite a bit lately). Finding a suitable budget air cooler was not so easy, and it needed to be at least comparable to the performance of a liquid cooler, while coming in at or below the $50 mark of the 120V. (This might take a while…)
On the air-cooling side of things narrowing the selection to $50 or less doesn’t help much, as there are still (roughly) 50 million to choose from in that price range. There are going to be so many different preferences and opinions on these, so an easier alternative would be to simply follow the consensus pick, e-tail style. This intensive research project involved visiting Amazon and typing “cpu cooler” into the search box. (OK, that was pretty easy!) The plan was to put whatever came up first under $50 in the cart. Turns out the most popular air-cooler is also under $50 (not surprising). This top result was also from Cooler Master, their Hyper 212 EVO which was selling for under $34 shipped. Done.
|Cooler Master Seidon 120V|
|Intel Socket Support||Intel LGA 2011 / 1366 / 1150 / 1155 / 1156 / 775|
|AMD Socket Support||FM2+ / FM2 / FM1 / AM3+ / AM3 / AM2|
|Radiator Dimensions||154 x 119 x 27 mm|
|Fan Dimensions||120 x 120 x 25 mm|
|Fan Speed||600~2400 RPM (PWM) ± 10|
|Fan Airflow||19.17 ~ 86.15 CFM ± 10%|
|Fan Air Pressure||0.31 ~ 4.16 mm H2O ± 10%|
|Bearing Type||Rifle bearing|
|Fan Noise Level||(dB-A) 19 ~ 40 dBA|
Now let's take a look at the kind of liquid cooler you can get for less than $50 these days.
Packaging and Contents
The Seidon 120V from Cooler Master ships in a very modest brown box with some basic info printed on the outside. It resembles a tiny computer case box more than a modern AIO cooler, but it gets the job done.
Inside the components are wrapped in plastic and sit neatly within the usual paper-based tray.
The kit includes everything needed to install the cooler on all recent AMD and Intel processors, along with thermal paste and instructions.
Next we'll take a closer look at the Cooler Master Seidon 120V.
I read something intriguing
I read something intriguing about exposed heat pipe coolers like the 212 EVO when used with Haswell processors. The core of the Haswell is long and narrow and it usually runs horizontal on a motherboard mounted in a tower case. The question is will the exposed pipe cooler have better results with the heat pipes running perpendicular to the core so all the pipes pass over part of the core instead of parallel where the outside pipes miss the core? Any thoughts on this.
Logical answer would be that
Logical answer would be that running the heat pipes perpendicular would result in better cooling performance since the heat would be spread out evenly through all of the pipes.
However, things aren’t all that simple, there are so many variables that it’s impossible to know for sure. You could test it and end up with no difference at all or even an illogical conclusion (for example, having the fans blowing horizontal vs perpendicular could harm/improve cooling).
The reply from AirSKiller
The reply from AirSKiller answered this as well as I could – and it is an interesting question. I’d hope that the thermal material under the cap on my 4770K is good enough to distribute heat evenly on the surface, but I’d never know without some pretty destructive research 🙂
I’ve ran the heat pipes both
I’ve ran the heat pipes both ways…still hot as hell. Yes, I applied the thermal paste correctly, same result 4 out of 4 times.
I hit 70 degrees at 30 percent progress on prime95 with a i5 4590. The oem cooler maxed out at 55 degrees. One time I let the 212 test run all the way through and that thing hit 90 degrees.
Excellent review. I have the
Excellent review. I have the EVO on at least one my rigs, and it continues to be the little train that could based on these amazing results. But this seems to be a very nice AIO for the price, if you want to go that way. Thanks much.
Not bad for $50 I guess, but
Not bad for $50 I guess, but I’d still save my pennies and choose a Coolermaster Hyper 212 Evo. Thing is a beast even on a i7 3930K. Silent and cool.
What is the “life span” of
What is the “life span” of these types of liquid kits? what kind of maintenance is required?
Units like the Seidon 120V
Units like the Seidon 120V have a 1-year warranty – and no maintenance is required during that period. Beyond this I'd have to go based on anecdotal information online…search around but they are pretty reliable. I haven't owned/used any one particular self-contained unit past its warranty period myself, but I haven't ever had an issue with one either. I think the oldest one I ever tested was 2 years old at the time, and had never received any maintenance…It was a Corsair H40 or H50 I think. Worked fine.
To improve the cooler, you
To improve the cooler, you have to add rubber dampers under the 4 screws which are “pressing” it on the CPU. The basic screw aren’t right enough to assure the best contact between the cooling plate and the CPU.
I did that and gained 5°C idle and 15°c when full load with FPU only test in Aida 64 or Prime 95. Now my cooler really squishes the cooling paste between the CPU and itself, filling all the gaps.
The cooler is good hardware (pump, tubes and fan/radiator) but the fixing isn’t so good and you have to perfect it yourself. Then this is absolutely fantastic, specially if you consider the price of it.
hi I am just wondering if u
hi I am just wondering if u could explain /give more details re the dampeners -as had never considered /come across -though it does seems very sensible/logical. Have you a best buy/recommended list for coolers generally at prices ranges 35,50,100 . Thank you – I am a nebie & a golden oldie! Regards, Tony
Thats is absolutely Fake, i
Thats is absolutely Fake, i got an A10-7850K apu running intergrated graphics, with stock Cooler!
On idle IT DOESNT GIVE 29Deg!!!!!!!!! I get around 62deg on idle…
and around 100deg on load with Stock cooler!!!
the seidon 120V was tested to give around 74deg on load and around 50deg on idle!!!
This review is Fake!!!
you need to inform us your
you need to inform us your ambient temp and your PC case. I myself use a Cooler Master Elite 120 Advance mini-ITX case. The CPU is Intel Core i3-2100 on stock cooler. I have 60C on idle and 100C under load. Due to the cramped nature of a mini-ITX case, those temps are expected and I can’t install a cooler taller than 5cm. The Seidon 120V shows respectable temps almost on par with the 212 EVO, which is why I went ahead and bought it. I have yet to install it, but I’m expecting idle temps of ~35C and load temps of around ~75C.
My ambient temp is constantly around 30C (I live in the tropics) with no air conditioning at the moment.
Hey my ambient temps are to
Hey my ambient temps are to low to get a proper reading on my amd FX 8320 as temps do not register properly till around 40C Corsair Carbide Series SPEC-03 Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Case with of course the amd fx 6320 cpu and a Sapphire radeon R9 270 2 gb graphics card.Had the same problems till I discovered Artic silver then I prime 95 on the chip at 51C and never raised any higher ! By the way could not even run prime 95 before the artic silver because of running too hot in a matter of minutes.I am running a Coolermaster seidon 240m on the chip .I am running Coolermaster 120 m on my sapphire radeon R9270 2gb graphics card.the card run at best on high settings and would get hot and bsod around 78C under full load.So I got 120 m Seidon liquid cooler and some Articsilver ceramique 2 compound ! Now i run this card on maximum movies lol whatever freaking settings the game offers. Currently running my card on maximum or ultra high settings with temps never over 41C hope this helps In my opinion the Artic silver changed how I set up and run my builds forever.I would never had bought into the compound making such a difference and liquid cooling a card such as mine ! But I did and it blew me away ths card performs 50% with the right cooler and compound !
Uh….no offense intended but
Uh….no offense intended but my DUH…brother installed this cooler (which I now have I liked his so much) and called me because his ideltemp was over 60. I disassembled the whole thing, and found he hadn’t removed the plastic film on the waterblock base. After removing it, and applying good thermal paste (I personally have always used Arctic Silver) he , and I, are getting 26-27 idle on AMD 8370’s. Is it possible you didn’t remove that film? Even clocked up it NEVER breaks 30 idle. Oh, and the guy who mentioned the rubber grommets….nice find, you were right. AND, included are two sets of scre2s to get a second fan to use a push pull config with the fans, under load it drops the temp about 8 degrees for my rig.
THE A10-7870 IS AT THIS TEMP.
THE A10-7870 IS AT THIS TEMP. CPU TEMP SAID IT WAS 22 ON MINE. ITS A GLITCH IN THE PROGRAM. IT DIDNT GIVE THE CORRECT TEMP FOR ANY OF MY AMD CPUS (FX 6300, 8350, A10). I HAD TO GO THROUGH THE BIOS AND AFTERBURNER TO GET THE RIGHT TEMPS. SO YOU SIR ARE CORRECT. I ACTUALY USED THE SEIDON 120V ON MY A10 WITH IC DIAMOND. IT SUCKED UNTIL I PUT PUSH PULL,THAN IT JUST SUCKED HALF AS BAD. BUT IT STILL COOLED MUCH BETTER THAN THE STOCK COOLER BECAUSE OF MY TINY CASE (IT WAS A HTCP/ MILD GAMING RIG). BUT ACCORDING TO LINUS TECH TIPS FORUM THEY RUN, AND CAN HANDLE HIGHER TEMPS AND MINE WAS FINE WITH NO THERMAL THROTTLEING.
Does the Seidon 120 V CPU
Does the Seidon 120 V CPU cooler supports MOBO FM2-A55M2-DS2 ??
I have this cooler with
I have this cooler with fx8350 and it idles at 15-20°C