Review: Great alternative to reference CPU coolers
We recently got the chance to review the Hyper TX3, yet another cooler from CoolerMaster's line of affordable CPU cooling solutions. This cooler is priced somewhere between €15 and €20, but the icing on the cake is the fact that it supports new Intel Core i5 and i3 processors.
Hyper TX3 comes in standard clear plastic packaging, so you can take a closer look at it and see whether it's what you need. Since this is a budget cooling solution, the packaging has been designed accordingly, which is certainly a nice move because paying for packaging when buying coolers has no merits whatsoever.
The packaging features some information on the main characteristics. The front of the "box" lists supported processors whereas the rear is reserved for specs.
The box holds the cooler, the fan, user's manual, mounting mechanisms for AMD (754/939/940/AM2/AM2+ ) and Intel (LGA775 i LGA 1156) sockets, screws, thermal paste and brackets for the two fans.
A closer look
The heatsink is made of aluminum whereas the heatpipe and the base are made of copper. We must admit that compared to the rest of CoolerMaster's offer, our today's sample is pretty small in comparison. Judging by size alone, it's easy to conclude that you can't expect miracles from this cooler, but Hyper TX3 will be a more than good alternative to Intel's reference CPU coolers.
The heatsink measures 90mm x 51mm x 139mm and the fan measures 92mm x 92mm x 25mm.
Hyper TX3 features three heatpipes branching out from the base and going towards the top of the cooler, passing through the aluminum cooling fins.
Hyper TX3 comes with one fan, but it's Tower design and two identical sides on the heatsink allow for mounting two 92mm fans, just in case better performance is what you're after.
Hyper TX3 uses 4-pin PWM fan running at 800-2800 rpm. This means that the fan will dynamically alter the rpm count depending on the needs of the actual rig. Manufacturer's specs say noise levels range from 17 to 35 dBA and the fan life is at 40.000 hours. Maximum rmp unfortunately makes quite a bit of noise, but it's still nowhere near to what Intel's reference cooler does when maxed.
The fan's inner edges rest on the heatsink and are coated in rubber, in order not to introduce noise during operation.
The cooler's base is comprised of an aluminum plate and copper heatpipes, placed in a way to provide direct contact with the CPU.
TX3 supports Intel's LGA775 and LGA 1156 Sockets, as well as AMD's Sockets (Socket 754/939/940/AM2/AM2+). CoolerMaster lists a hefty number of supported CPUs: Core™ i5 / Core™ i3 / Core™2 Extreme / Core™2 Quad / Core™2 Duo / Pentium / Celeron, kao i AMD procesore Phenom™ II X4 / Phenom™ II X3 / Phenom™ II X2 / Phenom™ X4 / Phenom™ X3 / Athlon™ II X4 / Athlon™ II X3 / Athlon™ II X2 / Athlon™ X2 / Athlon™ / Sempron™.
It's well worth noting that this is CoolerMaster's first cooler that's fully compatible with Intel's socket 1156.
The Hyper TX3 weighs in at 470 grams, although it might seem much lighter when carried. CoolerMaster uses a simple push-pin mechanism for Intel's sockets, which is fastened with screws to the aluminum part of the base.
For AMD's sockets, the TX3 uses the standard mechanism.
After securing the mounting mechanism in place and applying thermal paste, we got to mounting. Note that we used Gelid's GC Extreme thermal paste for all of our tests.
Mounting the cooler is pretty simple and straightforward – you mount the heatsink and mount the fan on it. This procedure won't take more than a few minutes and is no more complicated than mounting Intel's reference cooling.
MSI P35 Platinum (Provided by: MSI)
Intel Core 2 Extreme x6800, 2x 2.93GHz (Provided by: Intel)
A-Data Extreme DDR2 800 (2x1GB) (Provided by: A-Data)
EVGA Geforce 260 GTX (Provided by: EVGA)
OCZ GXS 700, 700 W (Provided by: OCZ)
Cooler Master Hyper TX3 (Provided by: Cooler Master)
OCZ Vendeta 2 (Provided by: OCZ)
Intel Stock Cooler (Provided by: Intel)
Cooler Master HAF 922 ( Ustupio Cooler Master)
After mounting the cooler we commenced our testing. In this case, testing pretty much boils down to stressing your processor and pushing the temperature as high as it will go. For that purpose we used Prime95 and introduced a 100% load on the CPU. The temperatures were measured using SpeedFan and CoreTemp.
It's worth noting that we used Intel's Extreme processor in our tests, and these babies require quality cooling if overclocking is the name of the game.
We performed a couple of tests – with the CPU running at reference 2.93GHz and when overclocked to 3.33GHz, as well as with the fan running at 60% and 100%.
The first tests clearly show that Hyper TX3 has an upper hand over Intel's reference cooling, and it managed to score surprisingly well compared to the Vendetta2 cooler.
Now it's time for more extreme testing, and we overclocked the CPU to give this cooler a run for its money.
In overclocking scenarios, the TX3 kept the temperatures within normal limits whereas Intel's reference cooling never managed to pull it off, not even with the fan running at 100%.
Reference or stock coolers, which come with your CPU are almost exclusively designed to keep the temperatures within the safe limits, which are of course CPU-dependent, but nothing more than that. Overclocking usually negatively reflects on the thermals and in such scenarios, reference coolers usually fall short of performing adequately. One solution would be to get a better cooler, but if you're strapped for cash and can't afford high-end cooling, then CoolerMater's TX3 cooling is a great alternative.
Hyper TX3 is priced between €15-20 in the EU and is a great alternative to reference cooling.
CoolerMaster Hyper TX3 did well during our testing and it performed far better than Intel's reference solution. In fact, it managed to do very well compared to the much larger Vendetta2 cooler. We must admit that we were pretty surprised to se a cooler of this size churn out a performance like this, but CoolerMaster tends to do that.
With such low pricing and such good performance, we've nothing left but to recommend this cooler and dub it a "Fudzilla Recommended" piece of equipment.