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Cryorig R1 Ultimate & Universal CPU Coolers

Cryorig R1 Ultimate & Universal CPU Coolers

December 2, 2014 by Lawrence Lee

Product
Cryorig R1 Ultimate/Universal

CPU Cooler
Manufacturer
Cryorig
Street Price
US$80

Cryorig is a company you've probably never heard of, one of the many fledgling manufacturers that have sprouted up left and right trying to capture a piece of the PC enthusiast market. The name is an amalgam of "cryo" and "rig" as their goal is to help users achieve cool running PCs. So it's fitting that their initial catalogue is specialized, currently focusing only on CPU coolers. While the brand is new, they have plenty of experience in this field as their team is composed of former employees of big names like Thermalright and Prolimatech. Their pedigree is evident in their flagship product, a massive dual fan heatsink dubbed the R1.

Cryorig R1: Specifications

(from the respective product
web pages located here and here)
Model
Ultimate
Universal
Performance (TDP)
250 W +
240 W +
Dimensions (with fan)
L142.4 mm x W140 mm x H168.3 mm
L128.5 mm x W140 mm x H168.3 mm
Weight (with fan)
1282 g
1181 g
Weight (without fan)
936 g
936 g
Heat pipes
6mm heatpipe x 7 units
6mm heatpipe x 7 units
Front Fin
T = 0.4 mm ; Gap = 2.4 mm
T = 0.4 mm ; Gap = 2.4 mm
Front Fin Pcs
42 PCs
42 PCs
Rear Fin
T = 0.4 mm ; Gap = 1.8 mm
T = 0.4 mm ; Gap = 1.8 mm
Rear Fin PCs
53 PCs
53 PCs
Copper Base
C1100 Pure copper nickel plated
C1100 Pure copper nickel plated
Distance From Center
40 mm
35.5 mm
RAM Height Limit
30 ~ 35 mm (Fan position adjustable)
Limitless
Fan Frame Color
Black
White
Fans
Model
XF140 (Ultimate & Universal)
XT140 (Universal only)
Dimension
L140 mm x W140 mm x H25.4 mm
L140 mm x W140 mm x H13 mm
Weight
156 g
89 g
Rated Speed
700 ~ 1300 RPM ±10 %
700 ~ 1300 RPM ±10 %
Noise Level
19 ~ 23 dBA
20 ~ 24 dBA
Total Noise Level (both fans) 41 dBA 44 dBA
Air Flow
75 CFM
65 CFM
Differences listed in bold.

The Cryorig R1 is huge dual tower heatsink with a seven heatpipe design and a pair of 140 mm fans. It comes in two variants are practically identical, to the point where the weight, fin count, and fin density are exactly the same. Both have an asymmetric shape with the fin-stacks pushed forward for better compatibility, but the Universal is further off center and its back fan is a slim 13 mm thick model to ensure it clears the memory slots completely. The Ultimate, with two matched fans of standard 25 mm thickness offers better performance, but like many such coolers, it hangs over a portion of the DIMM slots.



The R1 Universal on the left, R1 Ultimate on the right.

It seems kind of silly to have two separate products so similar but tall heatspreaders are popular amongst enthusiasts despite the interference issues they cause and their dubious benefits. The Ultimate offers an additional 17 mm of clearance in total, 5 mm from shifting over the heatsink body and another 12 mm due to the thinner fan. Cryorig seems to focus heavily on compatibility, providing precise schematics for each of their heatsinks and even a "compatibility tester" which you can print out at home and fold into an origami replica of the product to place on your motherboard.

The R1 has two more differentiating features. Each tower is actually comprised of two different fin-stacks, a silver and black portion, with the latter being more densely packed. The intake section is loose while the exhaust section is tight, forcing the air passing through it to speed up as it exits. The fans are also mounted in an unusual way. It sports traditional wire fan clips but they attach to plastic housings that snap onto the heatsink. This allows the user to adjust the fans' vertical position easily but it also covers up a good portion of the heat dissipation area.



Packaging.

Considering the size of the coolers, the packaging is rather compact. However, the interior box containing the heatsink is encapsulated in a completely unnecessary and extremely tight fitting sleeve. We wouldn't normally bother commenting on such a minute detail, but it's seriously frustrating to pull off and should go immediately into the recycling bin.



Accessories.



More accessories.

The R1 ships with all the necessary mounting hardware which includes backplates for both Intel and AMD installations, a screwdriver, a tube of thermal compound, a dual fan adapter, and a tube of thermal compound. It also comes with two extra sets of fan clips which doesn't quite make sense as it seems impossible to mount four fans, and an additional set of rubber dampers that aren't designed for non-Cryorig models. The installation guide is packed with a registration card (registering extends the warranty), and a single-use isopropanol pad to help clean the heatsink base and processor.

PHYSICAL DETAILS

The R1 shares a similar construction to other dual tower/fan heatsinks aside from its asymmetrical shape. It has a copper base, 7 x 6 mm thick copper heatpipes, and 42/53 fins aluminum fins, all of which are nickel-plated and soldered together. Each tower is 43 mm thick and the gap in the middle is 27 mm, so there's barely any clearance behind the center fan. It weighs 940 g on its own while each thick/thin stock fan is an additional 160/90 g.



The Cryorig R1 Universal doesn't sit flat due to its heavily uneven weight distribution.



The Ultimate ships with two XF140 fans (pictured left) while the Universal is equipped with one XF140 and one XT140 (pictured right). These 140 mm fans have octagonal frames and rubber dampers around the mounting holes. The tips of the blades are enveloped with a unusual smooth lustrous coating.



A side shot of the Universal. The two heatsinks have an odd dual-layer fin structure. The fins are all of equal thickness, about 0.42 mm, but the black fins are more numerous, creating a denser structure with an average spacing of 1.78 mm vs 2.37 mm on the silver side.



Each fin is soldered to the R1's seven, equally distributed heatpipes. The heatsink alone stands 16.4 cm tall but the fans add an extra 4 mm (if centered).



Like every dual tower we've seen thus far, a plate above the base with large spring-loaded screws mates to the mounting bracket, applying downward pressure to ensure good contact.



While the base surface produces only a dull reflection, the sheen and many fine semicircular marks indicates it has undergone extensive milling. The base is faintly convex while many of its competitors, from the likes of Thermalright and Noctua, have more pronounced curvature.

INSTALLATION

The most critical aspect of installation is firm, maximum contact
between the base and the CPU heatspreader for efficient heat conduction. Ideally
it should also be a simple procedure with the user having to handle as few pieces
of hardware as possible. The R1's mounting system qualifies as outstanding as it uses a similar system to other high-end manufacturers with well-constructed the components and ease of assembly.



The R1 mounting system consists of a backplate secured with screw pillars (which also ensure correct spacing), and thumbnuts to hold a pair of mounting brackets in place.



The Intel backplate has a snug socket adjustment system that keeps the bolts locked in the correct position.



There are holes at the center of the heatsink that guide the screwdriver, so the center fan can stay in place during installation. The bolts have a natural stopping point so they're impossible to strip or over-tighten.



The R1 Universal fully assembled on our LGA1366 test platform.



On our platform, there is 11 mm of clearance between the R1 Universal's thin fan and the first DIMM slot.



The R1 Ultimate extends over the slot by 5 mm, almost completely covering it.



The branching patterns of thermal compound left behind at the edges are a sign of poor contact, but the center's faint residue indicates a snugger union where it counts.

TESTING

Before thermal testing, we took some basic physical measurements of the radiator for comparison.

Approximate Physical Measurements
Weight
940 g (heatsink only)

1180 g (with Universal fans)

1240 g (with Ultimate fans)
Height 164 mm
Fin count 53 / 42
Fin thickness
0.42 mm
Fin spacing
1.78 / 2.37 mm
Vertical Clearance*
44 mm
* measured from motherboard PCB to bottom
fin of heatsink


Large Heatsink Comparison:

Average Fin Thickness & Spacing
Heatsink
Fin Thickness
Fin Spacing
SilverStone Heligon HE02
0.52 mm
3.30 mm
Thermalright HR-01 Plus
0.45 mm
3.15 mm
Thermalright HR-02 Macho
0.34 mm
3.12 mm
Thermalright HR-22
0.53 mm
2.74 mm
Scythe Ninja 3
0.39 mm
2.64 mm
Noctua NH-U12P
0.44 mm
2.63 mm
Noctua NH-C12P
0.47 mm
2.54 mm
LEPA LV12
0.51 mm
2.38 mm
Noctua NH-D14
0.43 mm
2.33 mm
Thermalright Archon SB-E
0.49 mm
2.33 mm
Phanteks PH-TC12DX
0.39 mm
2.30 mm
GELID Tranquillo Rev.2
0.40 mm
2.30 mm
GELID GX-7 Rev.2
0.31 mm
2.25 mm
be quiet! Dark Rock 2
0.38 mm
2.22 mm
Phanteks PH-TC14PE
0.40 mm
2.21 mm
Prolimatech Armageddon
0.51 mm
2.08 mm
Cryorig R1 Ultimate/Universal
0.42 mm
1.78 / 2.37 mm
Zalman CNPS10X Quiet
0.40 mm
2.00 mm
Prolimatech Megahalems
0.50 mm
2.00 mm
Scythe Ashura
0.43 mm
1.97 mm
NZXT Havik 140
0.41 mm
1.91 mm
Scythe Mugen-2
0.31 mm
1.89 mm
SilverStone Tundra TD03 (radiator)
0.43 mm
1.86 mm
SilverStone Argon AR01
0.30 mm
1.85 mm
Thermalright Venomous X
0.53 mm
1.84 mm
Scythe Mugen 4
0.30 mm
1.82 mm
Noctua NH-C14
0.38 mm
1.79 mm
Enermax ETS-T40
0.40 mm
1.79 mm
Noctua NH-D15
0.46 mm
1.79 mm
Scythe Yasya
0.32 mm
1.78 mm
Enermax Liqtech 120X (radiator)
0.46 mm
1.76 mm
be quiet! Shadow Rock Slim
0.42 mm
1.73 mm
SilverStone Argon AR03
0.42 mm
1.72 mm
Noctua NH-U14S
0.42 mm
1.72 mm
Cogage TRUE Spirit 1366
0.40 mm
1.70 mm
Scythe Kotetsu
0.35 mm
1.66 mm
Scythe Grand Kama Cross
0.38 mm
1.66 mm
Zalman CNPS9900 MAX
0.16 mm
1.59 mm
Thermalright Silver Arrow
0.32 mm
1.57 mm
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus
0.43 mm
1.54 mm
Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme Rev.C
0.56 mm
1.52 mm
NZXT Kraken X31/X41 (radiator)
0.15 mm
1.07 mm
NZXT Kraken X61 (radiator)
0.13 mm
1.02 mm

Testing on larger heatsinks like this one is done on our
LGA1366 heatsink testing platform
. A summary of the test system and
procedure follows.

Key Components in LGA1366 Heatsink Test Platform:

  • Intel Core i7-965 Extreme
    Nehalem core, LGA1366, 3.2GHz, 45nm, 130W TDP.
  • Asus
    P6X58D Premium
    ATX motherboard. X58 chipset.
  • Asus
    EAH3450 Silent
    graphics card.
  • Intel
    X25-M
    80GB 2.5" solid-state drive. Chosen for silence.
  • 3GB QiMonda
    DDR3 memory. 3 x 1GB DDR3-1066 in triple channel.
  • Seasonic X-650 SS-650KM
    650W ATX power supply. This PSU is semi-passively cooled. At the power levels
    of our test platform, its fan does not spin.
  • Arctic Silver
    Lumière
    : Special fast-curing thermal interface material, designed
    specifically for test labs.
  • Noctua 140 mm fan (used when possible with heatsinks that fit 140x25mm
    fans)
  • Nexus 120 mm fan (used when possible with heatsinks that fit 120x25mm
    fans)
  • Nexus 92 mm fan (used when possible with heatsinks that fit 92x25mm
    fans)

The systems are silent under the test conditions, except for the CPU cooling
fan(s).

Normally, our reference fans are used whenever possible, the measured details
of which are shown below.

Reference Noctua 140mm fan

Anechoic chamber measurements
Voltage
Speed
12V
1250 RPM
28~29 dBA
9V
990 RPM
21 dBA
8V
880 RPM
18 dBA
7V
770 RPM
15~16 dBA
6V
660 RPM
13 dBA


Reference Nexus 120 mm fan

Anechoic chamber measurements
Voltage
Speed
12V
1080 RPM
16 dBA
9V
880 RPM
13 dBA
7V
720 RPM
12 dBA


Reference Nexus 92 mm fan

Anechoic chamber measurements
Voltage
Speed
12V
1470 RPM
17 dBA
9V
1280 RPM
14 dBA
7V
1010 RPM
12 dBA

Measurement and Analysis Tools

  • Extech 380803 AC power analyzer / data logger for measuring AC system
    power.
  • Custom-built, four-channel variable DC power supply, used to regulate
    the fan speed during the test.
  • PC-based spectrum analyzer:
    SpectraPlus with ACO Pacific mic and M-Audio digital
    audio interfaces.
  • Anechoic chamber
    with ambient level of 11 dBA or lower
  • Various other tools for testing fans, as documented in our
    standard fan testing methodology
    .
  • SpeedFan,
    used to monitor the on-chip thermal sensors. The sensors are not calibrated,
    so results are not universally applicable. The hottest core reading is used.
  • Prime95,
    used to stress the CPU heavily, generating more heat than most real applications.
    All instances are used to ensure full stress.
  • CPU-Z,

    used to monitor the CPU speed to determine when overheating occurs.

  • Thermometers to measure the air temperature around the test platform
    and near the intake of the heatsink fan.

Noise measurements are made with the fans powered from the lab's variable DC
power supply while the rest of the system is off to ensure that system noise
do not skew the measurements.

Load testing was accomplished using Prime95 to stress the processor, and the
graph function in SpeedFan was used to ensure that the load temperature is stable
for at least ten minutes. The temperature recorded is the highest single core
reading. The stock fans were tested at various voltages to represent a good
cross-section of airflow and noise performance.

The ambient conditions during testing were 10~11 dBA and 21~23°C.

STOCK FAN MEASUREMENTS

Specifications: Cryorig R1 Ultimate/Universal (Thick) Stock Fan
Manufacturer Cryorig Power Rating ?
Model Number XF140 Airflow Rating 76 CFM
Bearing Type High Precision Low Noise (Sleeve) Speed Rating 700 ~ 1300 RPM
Frame Size 140 x 140 x 25 mm

(120 mm mounting holes)
Noise Rating 19 ~ 23 dBA
Hub Size 41 mm Header Type 4-pin PWM
Blade Diameter 131 mm Starting Voltage 5.0 ~ 5.5 V
Cable Length 30 cm Weight 150 g
Corner Type Open Retail Availability Yes

Additional notes:

The larger XF140 fan is equipped with smooth, featureless blades that are gently curved but the lack of separation between each blade and the total count (11) is somewhat unusual for a 140 mm variant. It's a 1300 RPM PWM model with a dubious noise rating of 19~23 dBA (if this is correct at one meter's distance, it would be a revolutionary miracle fan). The mounting holes are spaced the same as 120 mm models and are fitted with rubber damping pads with slits to accommodate the tight-fitting fan clips



The stock fan's PWM range according to Fan Xpert2.

According to ASUS' Fan Xpert2 utility, its effective PWM control range bottoms out at just under 700 RPM which is right in line with the specifications.

Specifications: Cryorig R1 Universal (Thin) Stock Fan
Manufacturer Cryorig Power Rating ?
Model Number XT140 Airflow Rating 65 CFM
Bearing Type High Precision Low Noise (Sleeve) Speed Rating 700 ~ 1300 RPM
Frame Size 140 x 140 x 13 mm

(120 mm mounting holes)
Noise Rating 20 ~ 24 dBA
Hub Size 44 mm Header Type 4-pin PWM
Blade Diameter 131 mm Starting Voltage 4.0 ~ 4.5 V
Cable Length 30 cm Weight 90 g
Corner Type Open Retail Availability Yes

Additional notes:

The thinner XT140 has a similar frame structure but the blades are slim, almost finger-like, and more numerous. The hub is also noticeably larger which creates a greater dead spot at the center.



The stock fan's PWM range according to Fan Xpert2.

According to ASUS' Fan Xpert2 utility, it the minimum speed is 730 RPM on PWM control, so it has a similar upper and lower limit as the thicker XF140.

Stock Fan Measurements: Cryorig R1
Voltage
XF140 Speed (XT140 Speed)*
1 x XF140 (single fan)
2 x XF140 (Ultimate)
XF140 + XT140 (Universal)
12V
1390 RPM

(1390 RPM)
35 dBA
38~39 dBA
36 dBA
9V
1120 RPM

(1200 RPM)
27~28 dBA
30 dBA
31 dBA
7V
910 RPM

(1030 RPM)
22 dBA
24 dBA
25~26 dBA
6V
800 RPM

(940 RPM)
19 dBA
20~21 dBA
22~23 dBA
5V
690 RPM

(850 RPM)
14 dBA
16~17 dBA
20 dBA
4.5V
590 RPM

(760 RPM)
12 dBA
14 dBA
17 dBA
*Applicable to R1 Universal only.

Measuring mic positioned 1m at diagonal angle from
the center of the heatsink.

Ambient noise level: 10~11 dBA.

The measurable noise difference between the Ultimate and Universal's fans is quite interesting. The Ultimate's fans are only louder at 12V --- as the voltage is reduced, it actually becomes quieter, beating the Universal at every test level by 1~3 dB. The two fans have a similar nominal speed, but the larger XF140 slows down quicker. Subjectively, we also find that the XT140 sounds worse, so in the end, the Ultimate's matched fans have better acoustics and are capable of achieving a lower overall noise level to boot.

The acoustics of the Ultimate's two XF140 fans are mostly innocuous for 140 mm models. It has a mostly smooth sound with some low frequency hum audible at closer distances. Its profile is mostly broadband with little tonality resulting in a relatively even frequency distribution.

With the Universal's mismatched fans, we can see the difference right away in the frequency analysis. This odd couple produces multiple minor tonal peaks mainly due to the thinner fan. Our XT140 sample has noticeable chuffing at lower speeds (~1000 RPM and below); It sounds like the blades are constantly hitting a soft piece of fabric giving off the impression it's off-kilter or damaged. At higher speeds this effect disappears, but then it emits much more noise.

TEST RESULTS

Test Results: Cryorig R1 Ultimate vs. Universal
Fan Voltage
Ultimate
Universal
Thermal Rise
12V
38~39 dBA
34°C
35°C
36 dBA
9V
30 dBA
36°C
36°C
31 dBA
7V
24 dBA
36°C
38°C
25~26 dBA
6V
20~21 dBA
37°C
38°C
22~23 dBA
5V
16~17 dBA
41°C
39°C
20 dBA
4.5V
14 dBA
42°C
41°C
17 dBA
Measuring mic positioned 1m at diagonal angle from
the center of the heatsink.

Ambient noise level: 10~11 dBA.

While the Universal is handicapped with the thinner fan, it actually didn't make that much difference in our thermal tests. At similar noise levels, the Ultimate has the advantage at almost every level but the results are quite close. It's clear you don't give up much performance for the Universal's superior compatibility.

Test Results: Cryorig R1 Ultimate w/Stock Fans
Fan Voltage
Single Fan
Dual Fan
Thermal Rise
12V
35 dBA
37°C
34°C
38~39 dBA
9V
27~28 dBA
39°C
36°C
30 dBA
7V
22 dBA
40°C
36°C
24 dBA
6V
19 dBA
41°C
37°C
20~21 dBA
5V
14 dBA
45°C
41°C
16~17 dBA
4.5V
12 dBA
49°C
42°C
14 dBA
Cryorig R1 Ultimate w/Ref. 140 mm Fan (NF-P14)
12V
31 dBA
38°C
34°C
34 dBA
9V
24 dBA
39°C
36°C
26 dBA
8V
20 dBA
40°C
36°C
22~23 dBA
7V
17 dBA
43°C
37°C
18~19 dBA
6V
14 dBA
46°C
41°C
15~16 dBA
Measuring mic positioned 1m at diagonal angle from
the center of the heatsink.

Ambient noise level: 10~11 dBA.

With the two heatsinks having differing back fans, it begs the question of whether a second fan is even necessary. For most of its range, the dual fan configuration has a 4°C advantage, a slightly larger difference that what we typically see with single tower heatsinks. However, at the ultra low 4.5V level, the gap widens to 7°C. Even though the second fan produces more noise, the difference in performance is enough to make it the more efficient option. Using our reference Noctua NF-P14 fans in lieu of the stock models yields similar numbers.

HEATSINK COMPARISON TABLES

°C Rise Comparison: CPU Coolers with Dual Fans
22
21
20
19
18
17
16
15
14
13
12
11
NZXT Kraken X61
 
33
34
35
 
37
           
Prolimatech Genesis*

(reference fans)
35
   
36
   
37
   
39
   
Thermalright Silver Arrow
   
35
       
38
40
 
Noctua NH-C14
 
36
   
37
   
39
 
41
 
Thermalright HR-22*

(reference fans)
37
   
38
 
39
       
Noctua NH-D15
 
38
   
39
   
40
   
Thermalright HR-02 Macho*

(reference fans)
36
     
37
   
40
       
Cryorig R1 Ultimate
(reference fans)
     
37
 
41
       
Phanteks PH-TC14PE
 
38
   
39
   
41
     
Cryorig R1 Ultimate
 
37
   
41
 
42
     
Scythe Mugen 4*

(reference fans)
39
     
40
     
42
   
NZXT Havik 140
   
39
   
41
         
Cryorig R1 Universal
   
39
   
41
           
Phanteks PH-TC12DX
 
41
       
44
         
Cooler Master Seidon 240M
     
40
 
43
   
53
     
SilverStone Tundra TD03
   
40
                 
SilverStone Heligon HE02*

(reference fans)
     
44
     
46
       
Enermax Liqtech 120X
 
44
 
45
               
Zalman CNPS9900DF
   
48
   
50
   
53
     
22
21
20
19
18
17
16
15
14
13
12
11
Air-cooled heatsinks in dark green, liquid coolers in dark blue

*Models lacking dual stock fans tested with dual reference Noctua NF-P14 fans.

Compared to previous coolers we've tested with dual fans, the Ultimate and Universal fall somewhere in the middle, performing on par with coolers like the Scythe Mugen 4 and Phanteks PH-TC14PE. It's a decent showing but the margins are slim enough that a ~3°C deficit lands it well short of the leaders.

°C Rise Comparison: CPU Coolers with Single/Dual Stock Fan(s)
22
21
20
19
18
17
16
15
14
13
12
11
NZXT Kraken X61
 
33
34
35
 
37
           
Prolimatech Genesis*

(reference fans)
35
   
36
   
37
   
39
   
Thermalright Silver Arrow
   
35
       
38
40
 
Noctua NH-C14
 
36
   
37
   
39
 
41
 
Scythe Kotetsu
35
         
38
 
41
 
42
 
Thermalright HR-22*

(reference fans)
37
   
38
 
39
       
Noctua NH-D15
 
38
   
39
   
40
   
Thermalright Archon SB-E
   
39
         
40
   
43
Phanteks PH-TC14PE
 
38
   
39
   
41
     
Thermalright HR-02 Macho
38
   
39
     
40
41
 
43
 
Scythe Mugen 4
           
40
   
42
 
45
Noctua NH-U14S
     
38
 
40
   
43
   
Cryorig R1 Ultimate
(reference fans)
     
37
 
41
       
NZXT Kraken X41
   
38
                 
NZXT Havik 140
   
39
   
41
         
be quiet! Shadow Rock Slim
     
40
   
41
 
42
   
Cryorig R1 Ultimate
 
37
   
41
 
42
     
Scythe Yasya
       
40
       
43
   
Cogage TRUE Spirit 1366
         
41
 
43
 
46
 
Cryorig R1 Universal
   
39
   
41
           
Zalman CNPS10X Quiet
   
40
       
42
 
47
 
Scythe Grand Kama Cross
 
40
     
41
   
44
 
49
Scythe Ashura
     
42
     
44
     
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus
       
41
       
44
54
 
Cryorig R1 Ultimate
(single fan)
40
   
41
       
45
 
49
 
Phanteks PH-TC12DX
 
41
       
44
         
Silverstone Argon AR03
41
     
43
         
48
Scythe Ninja 3
       
44
       
46
   
SilverStone Argon AR01
42
     
44
         
50
Titan Fenrir
 
43
   
45
 
47
     
Cooler Master Seidon 240M
     
40
 
43
   
53
     
SilverStone Tundra TD03
   
40
                 
SilverStone Heligon HE02*

(reference fans)
     
44
     
46
       
Antec Kühler H20 620
42
   
44
     
47
     
LEPA LV12
         
45
48
52
 
Zalman CNPS9900 MAX
   
45
     
47
 
49
     
NZXT Kraken X31
 
43
 
44
 
47
         
Enermax Liqtech 120X
 
44
 
45
               
GELID Tranquillo Rev.2
     
48
 
49
   
50
     
be quiet! Dark Rock 2
     
48
     
52
 
55
61
 
Zalman CNPS9900DF
   
48
   
50
   
53
     
GELID GX-7 Rev.2
49
       
51
     
56
   
Core i7-980X Stock Cooler
             
53
   
62
 
Enermax ETS-T40
   
49
         
55
 
64
Core i7-920 Stock Cooler
64
FAIL
22
21
20
19
18
17
16
15
14
13
12
11
Single/Dual fan air-cooled heatsinks in light/dark green.

Single/dual fan liquid coolers in light/dark blue.

*Fanless models tested with dual reference Noctua NF-P14 fans.

When we add single fan heatsinks into the mix, the resulting picture is less flattering. A myriad of smaller coolers, all of which carry lower price-tags than the R1, perform similarly or better, even though R1 is equipped with dual fans.

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 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

At a glance, the Cryorig R1 has all the makings of a high performance heatsink from any of the big name manufacturers. When you look and handle it, it just feels solid and well-polished. It's of a beastly size, the nickel-plating gives it a nice sheen, and the fans are attractive and adorned with rubber dampers and sleeved cables. The mounting system is very secure and idiot-proof, the fan clips fit are snug, and all the accessories are neatly packed. Scrub the name off the box and fans and it could easily pass for a Noctua, Thermalright or Prolimatech.

Unfortunately, for these big models to justify their price, they need to offer top-notch performance. There are quite a few heatsinks much smaller in size and lower in cost that can compete and/or beat the R1 in overall efficiency. There's no one aspect we can point to where it's clearly deficient. We might clip the fans to the heatsink directly rather than using plastic brackets, which add needless complexity and possibly hinder thermal performance.

As for the two different versions, the Ultimate is clearly the superior of the two. Its cooling ability is only slightly better but the sound it produces is more pleasant. The Universal's thin back fan generates noticeable chuffing at lower speeds and the thick/thin fan combination emits extra noise. This isn't a big penalty to pay for improved memory compatibility if you need it, but keep in mind the Universal isn't special in this regard. Like the Ultimate, a plethora of alternatives exist that can fill its role. There are a many thin single towers coolers for which this isn't a problem, and among the bigger models, both the Thermalright HR-22 and HR-02 have asymmetric designs that clear the memory slots as well.

Our thanks to Cryorig
for the R1 Ultimate/Universal CPU cooler samples.

* * *

SPCR Articles of Related Interest:

NZXT Kraken G10 Graphics Adapter
NZXT Kraken X61 28cm Liquid Cooler
Enermax Liqtech 120X AIO Liquid CPU Cooler
LEPA LV12 Direct-Touch Heatsink
Noctua NH-D15: Update to an Icon
Recommended Heatsinks

* * *

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