Just Delivered is a section of PC Perspective where we share some of the goodies that pass through our labs that may or may not see a review, but are pretty cool none the less.
Find the Cryorig H5 Ultimate on Amazon!
I have been slowly rebuilding my wife's desktop PC following a failure of the all-in-one liquid CPU cooler that saw leaking coolant kill the motherboard and power supply (surprisingly the GTX 750 Ti survived despite getting a bunch of coolant on it). I recently replaced the motherboard and PSU (while discovering FM2+ boards are still pretty expensive on eBay) and today got in the last component: a Cryorig H5 Ultimate air cooler. I wouldn't mind replacing the TD03 with another water cooler (it was nice and quiet when it worked), but got a good deal on the air cooler. Anyway, the Cryorig H5 Ultimate is a monster tower style air cooler measuring 168.3 x 143 x 110.9 (HxWxL) with the included fan and weighing 920 grams (2.03 pounds).
I forgot to take an unboxing picture, here is what it comes with though (from Cryorig's website).
The Cryorig H5 Ultimate is rated at 180W TDP and features 38 aluminum fins in an interesting hive / honey comb design that allegedly reduces noise, improves air flow, and strengthens the fin stack. The fins are connected with four 6mm copper heat pipes to the nickel plated C1100 copper baseplate. A 140mm XF140 fan (76 CFM) pushes air through the fin stack spinning anywhere between 700 and 1300 RPM with rated noise levels of 19 to 23 dBA respectively.
There are no LEDs on this monster, but it doesn't need them to look good in my opinion. Fortunately, the fan height is adjustable and you are able to mount the fan on either side of the heatsink which will be important because it can and will interfere with your RAM modules depending on your motherboard and height of RAM heat spreaders! As you will see, I ran into this, but my PC chassis gave just enough clearance that I was able to move the fan up enough to clear the G.Skill RAM (which is on the shorter side). The fan is mounted using two wires and is fairly easy to take off and install.
Cryorig supports both AMD and Intel motherboards (including AM4 with a separate mounting upgrade kit) including FM1, FM2, AM2, and AM3 on the AMD side and LGA 775, 1156, 1150, 1151, and 2011 on the Intel side. The cooler has two mounting kits for AMD and Intel with both requiring you install a backplate.
In my case, I am installing the Cryorig H5 Ultimate on a FM2+ socket motherboard. I had to unscrew the default AMD mounting system and install Cryorig's backplate. There are four screws that screw onto the backplate posts with a slight bit of give which is normal (the backplate will not be tightly screwed to the board, it should be able to move a bit). Then another bracket is screwed onto the backplate screws until hand tight (tighten them using the X method going corner to diagonal corner).
Easy enough so far! However, now here is where I ran into some trouble with the installation. Much like the experience of installing RAM for the first time where you can sometimes feel like you need to use a lot more force than you think you should need to install them, the Cryorig cooler takes quite a bit of force to properly install. Learn from my frustration:
After applying your thermal paste, it's time to install the cooler. You will notice that there are two holes in the top of the cooler and two screw holes in the bracket you installed over the CPU socket. You will line the cooler up so that the spring mounted screws on the cooler are over the holes in the bracket. I found it easiest to put my finger by one of the screws and make sure that screw was lined up, then let down the other side of the cooler so that both screws are lined up. Now, you will need the special screwdriver Cryorig provides in the box. Using one hand push down on the cooler and use the other hand to stick the screwdriver in one of the holes. You will need to keep pressure on the cooler while turning the screw so that it can catch onto the threads in the bracket and start, well, screwing in. Make a few turns so that it is in, but do not fully tighten the screw down. Now, move your hand to the opposite side of the cooler where the other screw hole is and press down. You will need to push this side of the cooler down with quite a bit of force (again, thinking back to the RAM example, don't hulk smash anything, but don’t' be too gentle either). While keeping pressure on this side to hold it towards the socket, start screwing down this side of the cooler. (If you did it right the other side won't pop out, if you didn't screw the first side down enough it might pop out and you'll have to start over heh) Once both sides are partially in, just alternate screwing the screws down until they are hand tight.
Trust me, you might think you are going to break this thing or bend something, but it's just normal SOP. Finally, plug in the XF140 fan into the CPU_fan header and you're good to go!
The Cryorig H5 Ultimate dwarfs my GA-F2A78M-HD2 mATX motherboard leaving just enough room for two memory DIMMs and the graphics card! Heck it still looked huge installed in the old A88X ATX board!
Since installing it I have been playing around a bit with the PC trying to get some temperature readings for you, but am discovering that getting accurate temperature readings from AMD processors (especially older APUs) is not that easy. I am still testing things out and looking into overclocking, but best I can tell the Cryorig cooler is keeping the AMD A8 5600K processor somewhere around 55°C under load using AIDA64 stress testing. At idle the cooler is very quiet and while it does ramp up under load it is barely audible compared to the case exhaust fan! This is not a formal review but so far it has been an interesting cooler assuming you can find it at a good price.
If you are interested in a monster cooler like this, definitely double check your case and RAM clearances though. The install was not too bad the second time around (I first installed it on her old motherboard not knowing if it was dead yet as I did not have another cooler to test), but it is not as easy on this AMD FM2+ socket as their video (and others I found on YouTube) makes it look for the intel platform! With the knowledge that you can and need to use force to press it down to get the screws in it's a fairly quick install, I just wish that information was better spelled out in the instructions as it would have saved me a ton of time the first go around! I don't have formal noise or temp numbers as I am just starting to test it, but so far, I am happy with it.
Update: I was able to try some different software and I think the following is about as accurate as temperature measurements are going to get with AMD without me using a hardware probe or something.
After letting the PC sit in the UEFI/BIOS for a few minutes, the motherboard GUI reports the CPU temperature as 38°C which represents a measurement that is higher than idle in Windows but less than load (Windows idle temps would be less because the BIOS/UEFI runs the processor at full clocks and does not use any sleep / power saving states of the processor). Moving to Windows, there is not a good way to get a °C measurement as tools like HWInfo do not report accurate temperatures (e.g. it reports the CPU Tctl as 6.8°C but from my understanding the tctl number is actually thermal margin that software programs tend to misinterpret. Also, it does report a package temp of 55.8°C and motherboard sensor CPU (socket temp) of 20°C neither of which are helpful though if we assume a 20° offset on the package temp, 35.8°C is at least believable!
The most accurate way to measure temperatures (though you do not get an actual temperature reported because… AMD reasons) is apparently to use AMD Overdrive to monitor the "Thermal Margin" readouts. At idle sitting in Windows the program reported between 70°C and 48°C for the thermal margin which is a number that counts down and not up (it is essentially a measure of thermal headroom after which (past 0) the processor will being throttling down to save itself. From my reading 74°C seems to be the maximum "safe" temperature for this APU, but I am not sure what exact number AMD is using for the thermal margin in the Overdrive application. And then there are so many forum posts conflicting one another about which programs give accurate readings and… oh vey!
Anyway, moving onto load temps where HWInfo is supposed to be more accurate at measuring…
Using AIDA64's stress / stability test to keep the CPU under load, the Overdrive reported Thermal Margin dropped to 44°C while HWInfo gave an odd 26.8°C reading for CPU Tctl and a believable if offset is assumed CPU Package reading of 75.8°C (55.8 minus 20°C offset). Under load the Motherboard socket temp is reported as 40°C so maybe there is an offset there as well and it's really 60 but who knows! (I miss the simplicity of Realtemp haha) I hear things are a bit better with newer chips and especially Ryzen at least!
I guess the TL;DR of this update is that the cooler is working as designed with cool air coming out of the back of the case so it cant be getting too hot and it hasn't melted yet!.I'm going to guess load temps are around 55°C so even saying sixty to be conservative there is a bit of room left for overclocking with this air cooler. If anyone knows some more accurate ways of getting software temperature readings for older AMD chips I'd love to hear them!