Potential owners of top processors often initially plan to purchase an efficient cooler, allocating the necessary budgets. When it comes to chips of the initial or even average levels, many are satisfied with the standard coolers, which not only mediocre cool the CPU, but also noticeably rustle under load. It is in the summer that the situation worsens. In such cases, it would be desirable to improve heat removal with minimum costs and get rid of annoying noise. Let's see if Aardwolf Performa 3X and Performa 5X processor coolers cost about $ 20.
Aardwolf Performa 3X (APF-3X-92)
Aardwolf Performa 3X is offered in a bright, medium-sized cardboard box. A user manual, a plastic frame for fixing the cooler on LGA115x / LGA775 boards, a set of fixing pins and a gram packet with Aardwolf AF-TGM2 thermal pad (4,5 W / m⋅K) are supplied with the cooler.
It's nice to note that in our country Aardwolf coolers are supplied with full localization. The information on the box, as well as the assembly manual, are presented in Ukrainian, English and Russian.
We are dealing with a classic cooler of the entry-level tower type. The overall dimensions are 127 × 75.5 × 131 mm, the weight including the fan is 326 g.
The radiator unit consists of aluminum plates connected together by two 6 mm heat pipes.
The plate profile has an original asymmetrical shape, which resembles the wings of a butterfly, and the general cassette offers an impressive dispersion area of 3426 cm2 for this class.
Direct heat pipe contact with the processor cover is provided to improve heat transfer. The tubes are pressed into the base of the heat sink, and because of the good grinding, there are practically no grooves between the tubes and the base.
A 92 mm fan with a hydrodynamic bearing is used to blow the radiator unit. The blades have additional protrusions on the impeller. On the assurance of the developer, such a constructive nuance allows to increase the airflow, but to a greater extent this is a decorative element.
In terms of absolute figures, the fan can provide up to 36.1 CFM. The declared range of rotation speed is 1000-1600 rpm + -10%. The fan is connected via a 4-pin connector and controlled by the PWM method.
The fan is attached using two steel brackets. If necessary, the regular "propeller" can be replaced with a more efficient model.
Aardwolf Performa 5X (APF-5X-92)
Nominally the highest model of the line actually applies to the same class of coolers as Performa 3X.
It is a compact air cooler of the tower type with a radiator of the original form. If you look closely, it's easy to find a similarity to the popular model CNPS5X Performa, offered under the Zalman brand. Indeed, the constructive difference here is vanishingly small, unlike the cost – a cooler from Aardwolf is almost twice cheaper than the more famous cooler.
The device is offered in a compact box of bright yellow color. The complete set is identical to the one for Performa 3X – a manual, mounting plate for LGA 775 / 115x, plastic lock pins and a bag of thermal paste.
The radiator unit consists of aluminum plates of nontrivial shape. The cassette is threaded with three 6 mm heat pipes. As in the case of the previous model, there is a direct contact of the tubes with the processor to accelerate the transfer of heat to the remote sections of the radiator. The total radiator dissipation area is about 2966 cm².
In the case of Performa 5X, the grooves between the base and the heat pipes are more pronounced. Formed niches must fill the heat conducting paste.
The Aardwolf Performa 5X uses a 92 mm fan with a hydrodynamic bearing equipped with Shark's Fin Blades, which should increase the efficiency of the blowing. In this case, the fan has a design with an original frame and is permanently fixed in the niche of the radiator unit, without assuming a replacement. The model of increased efficiency is used here. The speed of rotation is regulated by means of PWM within the limits of 1300-2600 rpm. The manufacturer promises a noise level of about 18-28 dBA, while at the peak the fan can shake up to 51.6 CFM. Dimensions are almost the same as in the younger model, except that the width is still reduced – 127 × 61 × 134 mm. The total weight including the fan is 330 grams
|Aardwolf Performa 3X||Aardwolf Performa 5X|
|Intel platform||LGA 1156/1155/1151/1150/775|
|AMD platform||Socket FM1 / FM2 / FM2 + / AM2 / AM2 + / AM3 / AM3 + / AM4|
|Radiator dissipation area||3426 cm²||2966 cm²|
|Fan||90 × 90 × 25 mm||90 × 90 × 25 mm|
|Rotational speed||1000-1600 rpm ± 10%||1300-2600 rpm ± 15%|
|Noise level||16-24 dBA ± 10%||The 18- 28 dBA|
|Productivity||36.1 CFM||51.6 CFM|
|Overall dimensions||127 × 77.5 × 131 mm||127 × 61 × 134 mm|
|Weight ( without fan)||206 g||–|
|Weight (with fan)||32 6 g||330 g|
If we compare Performa 5X with Performa 3X in general, we see that the older model has a 15% smaller radiator dissipation area, but the design uses three heat pipes and a more efficient fan. The more interesting it will be to evaluate the capabilities of both models and compare their effectiveness.
As we already noted, both coolers can be used for mass desktop platforms. For AMD solutions, it is Socket FM2 / FM2 + / AM2 / AM2 + / AM3 / AM3 +, as well as the most current Socket AM4. As for Intel, the coolers can be installed on the board with any LGA115x and LGA 775 connectors.
The Performa 3X and Performa 5X mount system is identical. For the AMD platform, the installation of coolers is simplified as much as possible. For this purpose, a standard mounting frame or brackets are used, which are initially available on any board with socket AMX / FMx. All that is required in this case before installing the cooler is to remove the protective film of the heat sink and apply thermal paste (on the processor cover or pad – if desired).
Then, using a Phillips screwdriver, fixing brackets on the cooler. We put the hinges on the plastic ledges of the standard frame and tighten the screws. Everything, the cooler is installed and reliably fixed.
Mounting on Intel platforms will take a little longer. Pre-install the processor. After that it is necessary to fix the additional plastic frame supplied with the cooler.
It is also necessary to select the position of the guides – LGA775 or LGA115x with the help of the bushings-selectors.
Then we drive the complete plastic pegs securely fixing the fixing frame to the stop. Further, the process does not differ from that when installing a cooler on an AMD platform. Remove the protective film, apply thermal grease, loosen the screws, sprinkle the brackets on the plastic projections of the frame and tighten the screws with a cross-head screwdriver.
The fastening structure provides good clamping. Given the relatively small weight of the clerks, there is no concern about the reliability of the fixation.
The coolers are of relatively small size, so after their installation, access to the slots for memory modules remains free.
To evaluate the efficiency of the coolers, we compared temperature readings when the processor is cooled Ryzen 3 1200 (3,1 / 3,4 GHz) with the claimed thermal package of 65 W. This 4-core model comes with the Wraith Stealth, which is not the worst of the standard coolers, which basically copes with the CPU in the normal mode, but if you want to experiment a bit with overclocking, you will need a more efficient model.
As an internal thermal interface in AMD processors easy melting indium solder, which increases the efficiency of any cooling system.
For comparison, we used the temperature values obtained with the base cooler Wraith Stealth, the fan speed of which was fixed in two modes – 1800 rpm and 2650 rpm
The first gauges show that Performa 3X and Performa 5X are at 3-5 degrees more effective than the original AMD cooler running at peak fan speeds at the minimum fan speed
. Note that the fans of both coolers work very quietly at the speed of rotation of the In the future, the noise increases. Aardwolf Performa 5X at 2800 rpm shows very good results for similar dimensions, but at 2800 rpm the cooler will be well audible even from the closed case. This is rather a situational mode for some experiments with CPU overclocking.
To complicate the problem for entry-level coolers, we slightly boosted the test processor. To do this, the rapid mode of auto-acceleration TPU II, available on the motherboard ASUS ROG STRIX X470-F GAMING. In the case of Ryzen 3 1200, the clock speed of the processor increased to 3.6 GHz with the load on all the computational units, and the voltage in this mode was fixed at 1.29 V.
After the overclocking with increasing supply voltage, the requirements for cooling the processor have increased. At the maximum fan speed, Wraith Stealth was already struggling to remove heat even on an open bench. When trying to reduce the rotation speed to 1800 rpm, the CPU temperature under load quickly increased, and at 75C the fan speed automatically increased to 100% – the motherboard was protected against overheating of the processor.
Aardwolf Performa 3X coped with the task noticeably better than a regular cooler. Even at a fan speed of 1000 rpm, the processor's temperature did not exceed 71 ° C. At 1400 rpm it was possible to win back 2-3 degrees. Raising the rotation speed to a maximum of 1,850 rpm, Performa 3X lowered the chip temperature to 67 ° C, although at such speeds the fan performance is already clearly audible.
It's curious that in the conditions of overclocking, the Performa 5X model showed its effectiveness slightly better, confirming the nominal seniority in line. The same 67C could be obtained at 1100 rpm, and at 1800 rpm the processor cooled already up to 64 ° C. At a maximum of 2800 rpm, the temperature of the chip did not exceed 61 degrees, but under such conditions the noise level is excessive. I wanted to quickly reduce the fan speed.
As you can see, the starting "towers" from Aardwolf cope with the amateur dispersal of the 4-nuclear Ryzen. Of course, for enthusiastic experiments on top-end chips, absolutely other solutions are needed, the possibilities of Performa 3X and Performa 5X should also not be overestimated. In their class they are good, but overclocking 6-8-core CPUs will require more efficient coolers.