When the thermometer outside the window is held at + 30C, the issue of cooling PC components arises by itself. In such situations, it is not always possible to rely on standard CPU coolers, and the idea of replacing the base model with an efficient cooler is becoming increasingly intrusive. With an unlimited budget, it is not a problem to pick up an air defense system or an air supercooler, but even if you are willing to spend about $ 30-35 to buy a new cooler, you can choose interesting options. Today we will get acquainted with the coolers Aardwolf Performa 10X and Aardwolf Performa 11X from the specified price range.
Aardwolf Performa 10X (APF-10XPFM-120LED)
Aardwolf Performa 10X comes in a fairly large cardboard box with a bright design characteristic of Aardwolf products.
It is curious that the regular fan is not initially fixed by the manufacturer. Although nominally Aardwolf Performa 10X is not intended to be used in the passive mode, the owner will need to secure the 120 mm "turntable" with the brackets himself to operate the cooler.
In addition to the cooler, brackets for fan mounting (standard and optional), universal reinforcement plate fasteners, brackets, racks, screws, nuts, locks and pins to install the cooler on various platforms. Also note the presence of the tube with thermal paste (AF-TG2) and the installation manual in Ukrainian, English and Russian.
Aardwolf Performa 10X is a classic version of the cooler of the tower type, outwardly very similar to Zalman CNPS10X Performa +. The radiator block of the cooler consists of 46 aluminum plates with a total dissipation area of about 6834 cm². In order to accelerate the transfer of heat in the structure, five 6 mm heat pipes fixed in a U-shaped manner are used.
Odd counts are taken to remote sections of the radiator cassette, and even ones are closer to the central part. At first glance, it seems that the sets of tubes (3 + 2) are placed in one plane, but the distance from each of the tubes to the central axis is minimal, but different, which means they will all be blown by the fan, though not equally. The additional soldering is not used here, the compact contact with the plates is provided by pressing.
From the features of the radiator plates we note the presence of stamped serifs potentially increasing the blowing area. The manufacturer calls this feature of the profile Multi-Layer Slit (MLS), promising improved airflow distribution.
The Aardwolf Performa 10X does not use the technology of direct contact with the processor cover. A copper plate with a thickness of the order of 1.5-2 mm is provided in the area of the heat sink. Adherents of having such a shoe will surely breathe a sigh of relief. Indeed, in this case, the formation of local overheating zones at the joints of the tubes with the platform is virtually eliminated. The heat will be removed evenly from the entire area.
As for the quality of the surface treatment, here it is not a question of superfinishing, the sole of the heat sink is far from being mirrored. On the base are visible traces of transverse grinding, but with a good contact area, these microroughnesses will smooth out the thermal paste.
A 120 mm fan with blades of translucent plastic is used to blow the radiator block. The fan speed is stated at the level of 1000-1700 rpm, with a noise level of 16-32 dBA and a maximum generated air flow of 60 CFM. The propeller is connected to the board using a 4-pin connector, and the frequency is controlled by modulation (PWM).
The fan is equipped with an additional illumination. On the inner surface of the frame of the body is fixed a tape with fifteen blue LEDs with a sufficiently intense glow.
As we have already noted, the fan is fixed to the radiator with two steel straps. In conjunction with the cooler is not accidentally offered another pair of similar retainers. Aardwolf Performa 10X can be equipped with a second 120 mm fan if necessary. For this, the corresponding grooves are provided on the opposite side of the radiator block.
In general, the cooler turned out to be very massive. The total weight of the Aardwolf Performa 10X together with the fan is 845 g, with a total dimensions of 131 × 96 × 151 mm.
Aardwolf Performa 11X (APF-11XPFM-120LED)
Outwardly, the Aardwolf Performa 11X easily recognizes the model Zalman CNPS11X Performa +, but for the brand under its brand the manufacturer has slightly modified the area of the heat sink and used a more versatile mounting structure. We will return to these peculiarities of the model.
The cooler is delivered in an already recognizable colorful package. The box is a little higher, but already for Aardwolf Performa 10X. The sets of both coolers are identical. This is a detailed instruction in three languages, a complete set of fastening elements and a tube with AF-TG2 thermo paste.
The tower format cooler has a pronounced trapezoidal shape. The radiator unit consists of 53 aluminum plates connected by four 6 mm heat pipes. Visually, the radiator block is only slightly inferior to that of the Performa 10X, but a noticeably smaller dispersion area (4134 vs. 6834 cm2) and a significant difference in the weight of both models (580 vs. 845 g) indicate fundamental design differences.
They did not have to search long. By removing the fan you can consider the hollow form of the V-shaped radiator unit, which camouflage the upper and lower plates. Hence the weight differences between the coolers in question. In fact, we are dealing with two separate plate cassettes.
Heat pipes are located along the sides of the radiator block. Given the shape of the petals used, otherwise conductors in principle could not be placed. Such an arrangement as a whole is very successful in terms of blowing. Although, to work effectively in this case, you need to create a good air pressure. Let's see how this design will show itself in practice.
It is worth noting from the special features of the plate profile that there are already familiar extruded cells, which are much larger here than on the Performa 10X radiator. On the lower aluminum sheet there are air intakes, which theoretically direct a part of the air flow to the radiator of the power elements of the board, of course, if the latter is provided.
The Aardwolf Performa 11X heat sink uses the technology of direct contact of heat pipes with the processor cover Touch Heatpipe, DTH). The absence of an additional joining plate on one side can accelerate the heat transfer, on the other hand, the gaps between the tubes can potentially create zones of uneven heat transfer.
It should be noted that in this case the distance between the pressurized tubes is about 2 mm . At the same time, they are well processed in the base, there are in fact no connecting grooves – one of the disadvantages of the "sole" Zalman CNPS11X Performa +.
A 120 mm fan identical to the one used for the "dozens" is also used for the Aardwolf Performa 11X. The speed of rotation is regulated within 1000-1700 rpm, and the maximum pumped volume of air is 60 CFM. On the inner surface of the fan frame is fixed tape with fifteen LEDs that illuminate the cooler in blue. If necessary, a regular fan can be replaced, but the possibility of adding a second one is not provided here.
|Aardwolf Performa 10X||Aardwolf Performa 11X|
|Intel platform||LGA 2066/2011/1366/1156/1155/1151/1150 / 775|
|AMD platform||Socket FM1 / FM2 / FM2 + / AM2 / AM2 + / AM3 / AM3 + / AM4|
|Radiator dissipation area||6834 cm²||4134 cm²|
|Fan||120 × 120 × 25 mm||120 × 120 × 25 mm|
|Rotational speed||1000-1700 rpm ± 10%||1000-1700 rpm ± 10%|
|Noise level  16-32 dBA||16-32 dBA|
|Productivity||60 CFM||60 CFM|
|Overall dimensions||131 × 96.5 × 151 mm||132 × 94.6 × 15 3.5 mm|
|Weight (without fan)||725 g||460 g|
|Weight (with fan)||845 g||580 g|
Both coolers have an identical mounting system and can be used to cool the processors of almost all current platforms. In the case of Intel, this is LGA775, LGA1366, the entire family of LGA115x and LGA2066 / 2011. For AMD solutions, the entire list of connectors is supported (Socket FM2 / FM2 + / FM2 / AM3 / AM3 / AM2 / AM2 / AM4), except for specific Socket TR4 for Ryzen Threadripper.
During practical tests we used the Socket AM4 platform. In this case, the installation of the cooler is as follows.
Initially, the motherboard will need to remove the plastic holders and the mounting plate. To do this, use a Phillips screwdriver to unscrew the four screws.
Next we prepare the basic fastening structure. In the complete plastic frame, you need to install four metal studs. The plate is universal, because it has several sets of holes for different platforms. Relying on your intuition or looking in the guide, choose the appropriate position of the guides. The studs are fixed with the help of plastic locking caps.
The final design is set for a fee. Guides fall exactly under the mounting holes on the PCB. After that, thread the round studs on the studs. On the racks put on metal brackets, fixed screws with knurled heads. The resulting frame is used directly to fix the cooler.
Remove the protective film from the base of the heat sink and apply thermal paste to the processor. Install the radiator unit and clamp the structure with two screws.
During the installation of the cooler you will need to remove the fan, and if more precisely, then fix it after fixing the cassette with the plates. After that it only remains to connect the fan to the corresponding 4-pin connector on the motherboard. The process of installing a cooler is unlikely to cause any difficulties. The sequence of simple steps is specified in the manual, and in practice the assembly takes less time than its description.
After installing the cooler in the nominal position of the fan, it can minimally block access to one of the slots for memory modules. Here much depends on the layout of a particular model of the motherboard. In the case of the ASUS ROG STRIX X470-F GAMING, the fan extended to the 4th DIMM connector.
We measured the efficiency of the test coolers on the Socket AM4 platform, cooling the new 8-core Ryzen 7 2700 (3, 2 / 4.1 GHz, TDP 65 W). Unfortunately we did not have a regular cooler for this model – AMD Wraith Spire (LED). However, to bring the competitive effect, we compared the capabilities of Aardwolf Performa 10X / 11X with those for AMD Wraith Prism, the cooler supplied with the Ryzen 7 2700X top processor.
Even more data for evaluation the efficiency of older models from Aardwolf will give a direct comparison with the cooler ARCTIC Freezer 33 eSports Edition, which was previously visited by us on testing. And in order to have an idea of the ratio of features to those of the younger Aardwolf models, we also tried to cool the Ryzen 7 2700 with Performa 3X.
For the Aardwolf Performa 10X and Performa 11X coolers we tested, we used two modes . The first assumes a rotation speed of 1000 rpm, which is close to the minimum declared value. In such conditions, identical fans work very quietly. A distinctive sound appears when the speed is increased to 1200-1300 rpm.
The second mode is the maximum 1800 rpm that we were able to get while testing on the ASUS ROG STRIX X470-F GAMING motherboard.
During the cooling of the Ryzen 7 2700, the performance of the Aardwolf Performa 10X and the Performa 11X proved to be very close in both modes. Coolers perfectly cope with the cooling of AMD's 8-core chips. Even at a fan speed of 1000 rpm under a serious load in Linx 0.8.0 AMD Edition, the CPU temperature was kept close to 50C. To get similar results, the same Wraith Prism you need to increase the fan speed to a maximum of 3000 rpm. Interestingly, the Performa 3X in terms of heat dissipation efficiency was in fact not inferior to AMD's top cooler.
The two-fan ARCTIC Freezer 33 eSports Edition predictably showed better results, but for an additional 2-3 degrees it is necessary to pay a double price.
that all participants can cope with the cooling of AMD's 8-core processor without any special difficulties in the regular mode. To complicate the task, we dispersed the Ryzen 7 2700 to 4000 MHz, increasing the supply voltage to 1.39 V. In this case, under a serious load, the total power consumption of the system increased from 125-130 W to 200-205 W.
 With the overclocked processor coolers Wraith Prism and Performa 3X manage to somehow manage only at the maximum speed of rotation of the fans. Obviously, more efficient models are needed to seriously disperse the 8-core chips.
Aardwolf Performa 10X and Performa 11X "kept the processor temperature at minus 75 ° C, that is, a step from the moment when The thermal protection will work and the board will automatically increase the revolutions to the maximum. In order to exclude such cases, it is possible to independently adjust the algorithm of the fan operation, increasing the speed of rotation to 1200-1300 rpm with increasing CPU temperature. If you initially set the peak at 1800 rpm, both coolers were able to keep the temperature of the forced chip at 68C. We will not rashly label the Performa 10X / 11X in the category of air super coolers, but we admit that at a cost of $ 30-35 their capabilities are pleasantly surprised.
The additional 2-4 degrees can manage to win models from ARCTIC, but for this two-fan cooler the manufacturer asks for more $ 70. The difference in price is much more important in cooling efficiency.