Performance and Conclusion
|Processor||Intel Core i5-6600K|
|Motherboard||ASUS MAXIMUS VIII GENE (mATX Intel Z170)|
|Memory||Crucial Ballistix Sport 8 GB 2400 MHz DDR4|
|Graphics Card||XFX AMD Radeon 5450 (Fanless)|
|Storage||OCZ Vertex 460 120GB SSD|
|Power Supply||Corsair TX 650W PSU|
|OS||Windows 8.1 64-bit|
Temperature and Noise Performance
While second from the bottom in this disparate collection of coolers, the C7 puts up a very strong showing against the Intel stock solution, where it 13.5 ºC cooler at load (video encoding using x264), and 16.5 ºC under stress (using Prime95).
I still wouldn't recommend overclocking with a low-profile design like the C7, given the temps I saw under stress loads at stock speeds; but it was nothing like the Intel cooler in this area, where OC is completely out of the question.
The noise levels are a bit misleading, as the C7 had a lower-pitched signature that made it seem quieter than the stock Intel cooler, even though the Intel measured better. Overall, the noise performance was quite good considering the size of the fan, and the fact that it ramped up more aggressively than the stock cooler under load to provide cooler temps.
The C7 offers an easy installation, further aided by CRYORIG's new kit for mounting without the backplate, if needed. It has a nice appearance, and zero memory or other component interference thanks to its small footprint. Best of all, it's far more effective than a stock cooler, without producing much noise. What noise it did generate was also more of a 'hum' than a 'whine', which made it seem far quieter than the (often irritating) Intel air cooler, which has a higher pitch under stress (though actual SPL measurements would lead you to think it was the better performer).
- Good performance
- Low cost
- Quality construction
- Flexible mounting options with washer kit
- None at this price
Bottom line, in a competitive market CRYORIG has produced a solid performer that lives up to its claim of better performance vs. a stock solution. Best of all, it only costs $29.99, making it an attractive low-profile choice. If you happen to buy one manufactured before 2016, contacting the company will get you a free kit for mounting without the backplate, eliminating issues with some mini-ITX motherboards, and making this an even better option.