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Cooling Efficiency Tests

Take a look:

Nofen CR-100A Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus

First of all I would like to point out that inside the fanless system case a fast CPU like Intel Core i5-2500K cooled with a passive Nofen CR-100A heatsink remains stable enough and the peak temperature of its cores doesn’t exceed 68°C. This is an excellent result, I have to say. By the way, the load created by the AIDA64 stability test is just a little lower than the load created by the famous Linpack, so the results demonstrated by the compact system case without a single fan deserve our genuine respect. If we compare the cooling efficiency of the Nofen CR-100A with that of a Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus at 600 RPM, we will see that the active cooler defeats the passive one with the temperature differences reaching 15 degrees. However, it hardly matters at the maximum temperature of 68°C under Nofen CR-100A, especially since the system is no longer silent with an active cooler inside.

Now let’s see how good Nofen CR-100A is going to be on a hot six-core CPU in the race against Thermalright HR-02. I would like to remind you that we have efficient and pretty quiet fans inside our Antec twelve Hundred system case, so it would hardly be correct to claim that the heatsink worked in a true passive mode. But these fans helped Nofen CR-100A just as much as they helped Thermalright HR-02, so this comparison should be considered fair. Here I also have to add that we set the multiplier of our six-core processor 1 point lower, because Nofen CR-100A couldn’t maintain processor stability at its nominal clock despite the fact that the temperature still was quite far from the throttling limit (looks like the VRM circuits got overheated after all). We didn’t experience the same problem with Thermalright HR-02.

Here are the obtained results:

Nofen CR-100A Thermalright HR-02

66°C on the hottest core under peak load with the thermal envelop 1.3 times higher than the maximum for Nofen CR-100A – isn’t that a brilliant result? According to the official specifications Nofen CR-100A shouldn’t be installed on powerful CPUs like that at all. Moreover, Nofen heatsink fell only 2°C behind the best passive cooler out there – Thermalright HR-02. To be fair I have to say that Thermalright HR-02 allows overclocking six-core processors, while it is an unattainable goal for a cylindrical Nofen CR-100A heatsink.

Conclusion

Fanless Nofen Set A40 system is a very interesting product that has no analogies in the today’s market. When we say “analogues” we mean something presented in the same form – as a set of a system case, fanless PSU and a unique CPU heatsink that have been all set to work seamlessly together. When you evaluate Nofen Set A40, it is important to understand that this is a solution for a specific user group, who care about quiet operation. So, this set will suit the needs of music lovers or may become a good option for a home media center PC, while it will be totally useless for enthusiasts or gamers, who need not only a powerful processor but also a fast graphics card, which may be challenging to fit into a Nofen Set A40 system.

Among the drawbacks of the Nofen Set A40 system we could mention the absence of special spots for conventional HDDs, which could fit into the 5-inch bay equipped with a special silencer box, for instance. Moreover, we consider the MSRP of the Nofen Set A40 system set at $415 to be a little too high, because an inexpensive system case and a good PSU with 400 W capacity will not exceed $60. Another $60 could be the price of the Nofen CR-100A heatsink, plus some extra for different marketing things and profit margin. In the end it could all come down to $199, which is a much more appealing price point for the end users. And if they also included a 5.25-inch silencer, things could have been close to perfect.

Despite pretty high price, Nofen did a great job on designing a truly unique fanless system that is why we are proud to award Nofen Set A40 with our Ultimate Innovation title:

 
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