Enermax ETS-T40: Direct-Touch Heatpipe Cooler

Cooling
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Heatsink Comparison Tables

CPU Coolers (ref. 120mm fan): °C Rise Comparison
Heatsink
Fan voltage / SPL @1m*
12V
9V
7V
15~16 dBA
12~13 dBA
11~12 dBA
Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme Rev.C
38
40
43
Thermalright Venomous X
38
41
43
Prolimatech Megahalems
38
41
44
Noctua NH-U12P
39
42
44
Scythe Mugen-2
39
42
45
Cogage TRUE Spirit 1366
40
42
45
Prolimatech Armageddon
40
42
46
Zalman CNPS10X Quiet
40
43
46
Noctua NH-C14
39
42
48
Scythe Yasya
41
43
47
Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme
40
43
48
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus
41
44
48
Thermalright Archon SB-E
42
43
49
Thermalright Ultra-120
42
45
49
Titan Fenrir
43
46
50
Scythe Ninja 3
44
47
49
Enermax ETS-T40
44
46
50
Noctua NH-C12P
43
47
51
Zalman CNPS10X Extreme
43
47
53
Swiftech Polaris 120
46
49
54
Zalman CNPS10X Flex
45
50
54
be quiet! Dark Rock 2
48
50
52
Cooler Master V8
46
50
54
Reeven Kelveros
47
51
55
Scythe Grand Kama Cross
45
52
57
Antec Kühler H20 620
(pump at 7V, almost inaudible)
52
52
53
Arctic Cooling Freezer Xtreme Rev.2
49
52
58
Scythe Kabuto
51
53
60
*Note: there are minor differences in measured SPL due to the variety of fan orientations and mounting methods offered by the compared coolers.

The ETS-T40's middling performance with our reference fan puts it in the company of such heatsinks like the Scythe Ninja 3 and the Titan Fenrir; the latter is another direct-touch heatpipe model with a flawed mounting system that could use increased pressure.

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

Ouyr first glimpse of the Enermax ETS-T40's solid mounting system made us think that this could be the direct-touch heatpipe cooler that finally takes down the venerable Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus, the king of budget heatsinks. But like the Reeven Kelveros, Swiftech Polaris 120, and Titan Fenrir before it, the ETS-T40's mounting hardware doesn't provide good enough contact between its base and the CPU. The end result is middling performance, and it's only capable of that at high stock fan speed or more quietly when armed with a quality fan. The included Enermax Twister fan is a smooth sounding model that surprisingly delivers poor cooling proficiency at less than top speed with the ETS-T40. At comparable noise levels, our reference fan tromped it.

The ETS-T40 is yet another in a long line of flawed direct-touch heatpipe coolers with more bark than bite. High cost would make the ETS-T40 a complete blunder, but thankfully it has a very palatable street price of only US$35. But if you're into quiet cooling, we don't believe it's worth even that much, not if one has to replace the fan to achieve acceptable cooling performance. It could work cool and quiet enough if your CPU runs cooler than our hot i7-1366. The aforementioned Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus can be found for a mere US$25 or less at some e-retailers, however, and unless this model has changed significantly from the sample we tested two years ago, it is tough to match.

Our thanks to Enermax for the ETS-T40 CPU cooler sample.

* * *

SPCR Articles of Related Interest:

be quiet! Dark Rock 2 Tower Heatsink
Thermalright HR-02 Macho Quiet/Fanless Cooler
Cooler Master GeminII M4 Low Profile Heatsink
Reeven Kelveros & Arcziel CPU Coolers
Thermalright Archon SB-E 15cm Fan CPU Cooler
Antec Kühler H20 620 & 920 CPU Water Cooling Units

* * *

Discuss this article in the SPCR forums.



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