Cooler Master Seidon 240M: Dual Fan Liquid CPU Cooler

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.

  • Cooler Master Seidon 240M at 1m
    — pump at 7V, fans at 5V (14 dBA@1m)
    — pump at 7V, fans at 5.5V (17 dBA@1m)
    — pump at 7V, fans at 6V (19 dBA@1m)
    — pump at 7V, fans at 7V (25 dBA@1m)

FINAL THOUGHTS

The Cooler Master Seidon 240M is the best self-contained, CPU water cooling unit we've tested, primarily because it addresses our biggest complaint about such coolers: Pump noise. The previous integrated liquid coolers we've examined from Corsair and Antec suffered from lousy sounding pumps that had a heavy buzz and rattle, even gurgling on occasion, making them unfit for any true silent PC enthusiast. The 240M's pump is fairly innocuous by comparison, and it can be undervolted to muted levels with little impact on cooling performance.

Despite this improvement over other watercoolers, the 240M fails to change our general opinion of such devices. Liquid coolers may be well-suited for performance enthusiasts who push their components to their limits and thus have to pair them with high airflow, high noise coolers, but if you're looking for quiet cooling, traditional heatsinks remain superior. The 240M is an excellent performer when fan speeds are cranked up but once you drop it down to quiet or near-inaudible levels, its efficiency falls off considerably.

We expect a US$100 cooler to be lights-out, but the Seidon is barely competitive with air cooled heatsinks that are half the price. It also takes up fan positions that could otherwise be used for supplemental case fans. In addition, the dual fan nature of the 240M negates one of best assets of water coolers, the ability to fit in smaller cases with restrictive CPU heatsink height requirements — most compact cases lack the necessary twin 120 mm fan mounts to accommodate the 240M.

In our view, this type of cooling would be better applied to GPUs, as high-end models produce considerably more heat than current CPUs, and the space on or around a VGA card for a heavy duty heatsink simply doesn't exist. For CPUs, the only real usefulness of such watercoolers is to cool hot CPUs in small cases without enough room for big air-only coolers. But the big radiator of the Seidon 240M makes it unsuitable for such a purpose.

Our thanks to Cooler Master for the Seidon 240M CPU cooler sample.

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SPCR Articles of Related Interest:

Phanteks PH-TC12DX CPU Cooler
Phanteks PH-TC90LS Mini Cooler
Thermalright TRUE Spirit 120M CPU Heatsink
Zalman CNPS9900DF Dual Fan Flower Heatsink
SilverStone Heligon HE02: Monster Fanless CPU Cooler
Antec Kühler H20 620 & 920 CPU Water Cooling Units

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Discuss this article in the SPCR forums.



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