Bringing down the temps in style.
Cooler Master heatsinks have been mighty impressive in the past, and the new X6 CPU cooler promises to be just as good as its predecessors. Designed as a high-end cooling solution for your CPU, the X6 is moderately big, but with a dynamic design through which cooling is much more improved.
So first of all the let’s take a look at the outside design, and what you’ll notice immediately is the angled direction of the heatsink. The fan will be sucking in air diagonal to the bottom of the chassis, which essentially means easier intake of cool air. It’s a bit difficult to explain in words, so just have a look at this picture by Cooler Master that explains the direction of airflow.
Coming back to the design, the other thing of note is the unique honeycomb architecture of the aluminum fins which, according to Cooler Master, provide 20% more surface area compared to flat fin design to increase cooling.
The copper base is polished to a nearly mirror finish, with six 6mm heatpipes coming out from either side, extending into the fins above. The 120mm fan up front with PWM support (600 to 1,900 RPM) ensures that ample airflow through the heatsink.
Installation was a matter of just 4 minutes once I figured out that I had to essentially turn the motherboard upside to screw in the nuts on the backplate from behind. Thankfully the supplied mini spanner made this an easy job, otherwise tightening it would’ve been extremely (read: IKEA level) frustrating.
In any case, once I was up and running it was time to put the engineering effort behind the X6 to test. The following testbed was used:
And now it’s time to see the benchmarks. But before I go ahead, let me just mention that apart from testing the Core i7-2600K at default speeds of 3.4GHz, it was also tested at overclocked speeds of 4.7GHz @ 1.45v which is considerably high voltage generating a fairly higher amount of heat than stock settings. The regular suite of Cinebench R11.5 and 7-Zip (ran four times) and Prime95 (running for 30 minutes) was used.
While idle performance remains the same on both heatsinks, the Cooler Master X6 really flexes its muscles under load, performing exceptionally well under overclocked conditions. Stock speeds show that the X6 has a 10% lead over the Intel XTS 100H, but under load we see almost 18% increase.
Now the fan noise on the X6 was very low, barely audible during idle state, and making a gentle purr when under load when the CPU was overclocked. Temperatures were exceptionally low under such a high overclock; of course, let’s not forget that Sandy Bridge also has some part to play in this with a rather cool architecture at 32nm. Still, the performance of the Cooler Master X6 is undeniable.