Thermalright HR-01 Plus: 2nd Gen Killer Tower Cooler

Cooling
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NOISE RECORDINGS IN MP3 FORMAT

The recording begins with the ambient noise of the test room. Please set your playback volume so that the ambient noise is almost inaudible, then don't adjust the volume control again. For best results, save the sound file to your own PC, then listen. All the recordings are done with the same microphone, at exactly the same settings, with the fan at 5V, 7V, 9V and 12V. Each recording starts with 6~10 seconds of ambient of the room, and there are similar stretches of ambient between the different fan speeds to help you compare.

Nexus "Real Silent 120mm fan"

Reference Comparatives

Scythe Zipang with stock DFS132512L 16cm fan (This fan was not recorded at 5V, because it was too close to the ambient.)

Scythe Andy Samurai Master w/stock fan

Xigmatek HDT-D1284 with stock fan

Big Typhoon VX with stock fan

Zalman CNPS8700

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

The Thermalright HR-01 Plus is better suited for ultra-quiet cooling than either the Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme or the Xigmatek HDT-S1283, due to its unmatched performance with extremely limited airflow. Though our test platform is not suitable for passive operation, the excellent low airflow results indicate that the Thermalright HR-01 Plus is probably the best candidate for a completely passive cooler. At higher fan speeds, the three were within an insignificant one degree of each other, making it a virtual three-way tie for the crown.

New visitors to SPCR may wonder about the maximum cooling capability of these various CPU heatsinks; i.e., with a high speed fan that pushes a lot more air. Certainly, with such a fan, the large cooling surface area of the Ultra 120 eXtreme would give it greater advantage over the others. How much advantage is difficult to say, and for SPCR, irrelevant. Why? Such a fan would be too noisy to consider seriously. Furthermore, just about any current CPU can already be cooled very well with any of the heatsinks mentioned here in conjunction with our quiet, reference fan at 12V.

There is no compelling reason for a silent PC enthusiast to choose the Ultra-120 eXtreme over the HR-01 Plus. U120E is slightly more costly, its super low airflow performance is slightly worse, and it is both heavier and bigger. The HDT-S1283 is a stronger competitor due mainly to its light weight and low $35 price. However, if you want the very best low airflow cooler, the HR-01 Plus is unrivaled today. Its delivers top-notch performance with the least amount of airflow.

Thermalright HR-01 Plus
PROS

* Outstanding performance with low to medium airflow
* Unparalleled performance with extremely low airflow
* Secure mounting system
CONS

* Mounts with fan in undesirable orientation on most AMD motherboards

Our thanks to Thermalright for the HR-01 Plus heatsink sample.

* * *

Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme
Scythe Zipang 14cm fan "blow-down" CPU cooler

Cooler Master Hyper Z600 CPU Cooler: A Real Heavyweight
Thermaltake MaxOrb Heatpipe Cooler: Maximum Orbness
Xigmatek HDT-S1283 & SD964 "heatpipe direct-touch" CPU coolers

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