3-Way Low Profile CPU Cooling Shoot-Out: Reeven, Phanteks, & Noctuaby E. Fylladitakis on January 18, 2017 8:00 AM EST
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The Reeven Steropes RC-1206b
Reeven supplies the Steropes inside a dark cardboard box, with the aesthetic design following the black/gold theme of the brand. The box is small, but it is a lightweight cooler that is very well packed inside the box, so shipping protection is more than sufficient. The bundle accompanying the Steropes is Spartan, comprised only by a black and white leaflet with installation instructions, the necessary mounting hardware and a single dose of thermal compound.
The Steropes is a horizontal cooler that has been designed to offer the best possible performance within a height of only 60 mm, offering maximum compatibility where size is a major consideration. With Reeven strongly advertising its socket AM1 compatibility, the Steropes appears to have been designed so that it could be a performance choice for very compact ITX/mATX systems, not to compete with its more sizable counterparts. Due to its shape and design, the Steropes is wider than the CPU socket area of small motherboards, but the fins are (just barely) high enough to allow for the installation of standard height RAM modules beneath it.
The fin array is relatively dense but the fins are narrow, a fitting choice since the goal of a heatsink is to maximize the surface area for heat dissipation. The fins are thin and flimsy but, for aesthetic purposes more than mechanical cohesion, the designer added a much thicker fin at the beginning of the array with the company logo punched on it. In order to further reduce the size of the cooler, Reeven is using a low profile 120 mm fan as well.
For a little extra performance, the base of the heatsink resembles a small heatsink all by itself. Considering how narrow the cooler is, airflow from the fan will certainly find its way down to the heatsink on the base of the cooler and should assist with thermal dissipation, even if only barely. Five heatpipes exit the small base of the cooler, with the three of them expanding towards both sides of the base, concurrently reaching into the fin array from the side and from the bottom.
A close inspection of the base reveals that only the heatpipes and the plate that makes contact with the processor are made out of nickel-plated copper. The rest of the Steropes, including the small heatsink on its base, is aluminum. The base of the cooler is very well made, finished down to a well-polished surface.
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mm0zct - Thursday, January 19, 2017 - linkCame to the comments to say just this. I've been running my Phenom-II 1055t (95W) in a mini-ITX system with the Shuriken Big for almost 6 years now, very happily and quietly.
edzieba - Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - linkFor a low-profile cooler roundup, it seems odd to include the NH-C14S (at double the Z-height of the other coolers tested) but not the NH-L9i or even the NH-L9x65.
80-wattHamster - Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - linkOne works with the samples one has, presumably.
jabber - Thursday, January 19, 2017 - linkYeah I always love folks that seem to think sites have every cooler, ram module, case, CPU, GPU under the sun to test against each other. If you have an infinite number of monkeys with typewriters...
jtd871 - Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - linkThese may not be tall coolers, but they're not all super low-profile either. I'd be interested in seeing reviews of the Cryorig C7 and Silverstone AR-05.
jtd871 - Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - linkCould you guys please update Bench with all these results?!
Great_Scott - Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - linkIt should happen pretty soon. Hey, Bench was updated with the new Core i3 results and there isn't even a review out yet!
dreamcat4 - Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - linkIts worth noting that while this review doesn't seem to mention the Raijintek Pallas or the CRYORIG C1... shouldn't assume those are unworthy of pretty serious consideration also.
creed3020 - Thursday, January 19, 2017 - linkYeah the review is not apples to apples. In the world of SFF coolers there are the very tiny and larger solutions. The Noctua should be compared to coolers like the ones you mentioned.
b4bblefish - Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - linkI'm really confused why the Noctua L9 or L9x65 wasn't used here since those would have been more relevant to this shootout?
Basically instead of 3 comparable fans it's just 2 low profile ones and a large cooler which really shouldn't be compared to the other 2...