Prolimatech Genesis CPU Heatsink: Retaking the Crown

Cooling
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Board Cooling Comparison

Prolimatech Genesis vs. Noctua NH-C14
(2 x Noctua NF-P14 fans)
Fan Voltage
SPL@1m
°C Rise
NB*
VRM*
Prolimatech Genesis
12V
30 dBA
24
16
9V
22 dBA
28
20
8V
19 dBA
30
24
7V
16 dBA
31
27
6V
13 dBA
35
28
Noctua NH-C14
12V
29 dBA
11
12
9V
21 dBA
24
14
8V
18 dBA
28
15
7V
15 dBA
30
20
6V
12~13 dBA
38
24
°C Rise: Temperature rise above ambient (21°C) at load.
*NB and VRM temps taken with an IR thermometer from the hottest portion of each heatsink.

The Genesis doesn't do too badly against the top-down cooler Noctua NH-C14, at least at lower fan speeds. Using the same NF-P14 fans, the down-blowing C14 kept a small lead over the Genesis in both VRM and Northbridge cooling, particularly at 8V and below, which is where most SPCR users will set the fan speeds. The Genesis measured a touch louder, despite using identical fans though, likely because of turbulence effects due to fan orientation. (Editor's Note: A single decibel difference is pretty hard to hear, though.)

Dual 14cm Fan Heatsink Comparison Table

CPU °C Rise Comparison (Noctua NF-P14 reference fans)
Heatsink
Fan Voltage / SPL*
8V
7V
6V
18~19 dBA
15~17 dBA
12~14 dBA
Prolimatech Genesis
(Red Vortex 14 LED fans)
 
34 (9V)
37 (7V)
Prolimatech Genesis
36
37
39
Noctua NH-C14
37
39
41
Thermalright Silver Arrow
37
39
41
Noctua NH-D14
38
40
42
*Note: Minor differences in measured SPL arise from the variety of fan orientations of the compared coolers.

Ultimately the Genesis proved to be the best CPU heatsink we've tested, edging out the NH-C14 and the Thermalright Silver Arrow by a couple of degrees. It performed even better with the Prolimatech Red Vortex fans, which outpaced the Noctua NF-P14's by 2~3°C. Incidentally, these fans retail for US$12, significantly less than the NF-P14's which start at about US$20.

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.

The 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.



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