Titan Fenrir & Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus: Direct Touch Revisited

Cooling
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MP3 SOUND RECORDINGS

These recordings were made with a high resolution, lab quality, digital recording system inside SPCR's own 11 dBA ambient anechoic chamber, then converted to LAME 128kbps encoded MP3s. We've listened long and hard to ensure there is no audible degradation from the original WAV files to these MP3s. They represent a quick snapshot of what we heard during the review.

These recordings are intended to give you an idea of how the product sounds in actual use — one meter is a reasonable typical distance between a computer or computer component and your ear. The recording contains stretches of ambient noise that you can use to judge the relative loudness of the subject. Be aware that very quiet subjects may not be audible — if we couldn't hear it from one meter, chances are we couldn't record it either!

The recording starts with 5~10 second segments of room ambiance, then the fan at various levels. For the most realistic results, set the volume so that the starting ambient level is just barely audible, then don't change the volume setting again.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Titan Fenrir (X'Mas Edition)

The X'Mas edition of the Titan Fenrir looks like a formidable CPU cooler with a morbid red and black paint job, shiny stock fan, and fat direct-touch heatpipes, but its bark is much bigger than its bite. It has a decent sounding fan that undervolts well, but its performance is somewhat lacking compared to the competition. Its biggest problem seems to be a mounting system that doesn't apply enough pressure. The thickness of its fin may also harm cooling efficiency with a low speed fa. The thick heatpipes don't make full contact with the CPU heatspreader, though we're not sure if two halves of a heatpipe are better or worse than one full heatpipe when it comes to thermal conduction. In addition, the fan blows upwards when installed on AMD motherboards, and the package lacks a backplate for LGA1156. Thankfully the Fenrir is not particularly expensive by modern standards, retailing for US$50, though compared to the Hyper 212 Plus, its value is decidedly poor.

Titan Fenrir (X'Mas Edition)
PROS

* Good performance
* Stock fan has above average acoustics
CONS

* Questionable mounting system
* Blows upward on AMD motherboards, no LGA1156 backplate

Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus

The Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus, despite being lighter, thinner, and having smaller heatpipes, is a better overall heatsink than the Fenrir. The mounting system is clever, requiring only one set of hardware for all sockets, and installs on AMD boards in the 'proper' orientation with the fan blowing east-west. We believe the superior mount also gives it an edge in performance, though only in the range of 2~3°C on our test setup. While the stock fan is acoustically poor, the cost of replacing the fan is acceptable when you consider the Hyper 212 Plus can be found for a shade under US$30 at various online shops. It even ships with a second set of fan brackets, something many pricier coolers lack. The Hyper 212 Plus is difficult to beat for value; it's one of the most cost-effective CPU heatsinks we've tested to date.

Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus
PROS

* Good performance
* Versatile, secure mounting system
* Relatively small size
* Hardware for second fan included
* Very low price
CONS

* Stock fan has poor acoustics

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The Titan Fenrir is the first product to be reviewed in direct response to user donations. This is a program which enables SPCR readers to vote and donate funds for reviews of products of specific interest to them. For more details, please see the forum Donate for Reviews.

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Cogage TRUE Spirit & Zalman CNPS10X Quiet CPU Coolers
SPCR's 2010 CPU Heatsink Test Platform [UPDATED: 10 April 2010]
Zalman CNPS10X Flex CPU Cooler
Noctua NH-D14 flagship dual-fan CPU cooler
ZEROtherm Nirvana CPU Cooler

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Discuss this article in the SPCR forums.



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