We don’t often review entry-level CPU coolers. The last such review was published on our site over five months ago and even that product, the Igloo 5710 Plus Silent from GlacialTech, was not truly entry-level as it cost $34. Not all users want to spend over $35-40 for a non-reference cooler, especially as high cooling efficiency is only demanded by the small category of computer enthusiasts and overclockers. So, today we are going to target the larger user category by examining and testing three small and cheap air coolers priced at below $20. These products are manufactured by Cooler Master, Nexus and Scythe.
Cooler Master Hyper TX3 (RR-910-HTX3-GP)
The Hyper TX3 is the third version of the well-known low-end cooler from Cooler Master. The original Hyper TX came out in 2006 and was deservedly praised for its optimal price/performance ratio. In 2008 it was succeeded by the Hyper TX2 which became compatible with multiple platforms but did not bring any other improvements. And finally, in the second half of the last year Cooler Master released the third version Hyper TX and it is indeed much different from the two previous versions. Let’s take a look at it.
This cooler comes in a transparent blister pack with a paper insert inside.
It is accompanied with the following accessories:
The cooler seems to have the same design as before with three 6mm copper heat pipes and press-fitted aluminum fins.
The Hyper TX3 is almost the same size as its predecessors.
The cooler has become lighter by 12 grams and now weighs 470 grams. Its heatsink still consists of 42 aluminum fins which are 0.5 millimeters thick and 1.9 millimeters apart from each other.
The key innovation in the heatsink design is that the Hyper TX employs the direct-touch (or, as Cooler Master terms it, direct contact) technology.
One shortcoming of the implementation of this technology in the Hyper TX3 is immediately obvious: the distance between the heat pipes in the cooler’s base is as long as 6 millimeters! This is going to have a negative effect on the heat transfer between the cooler and the CPU. The aluminum piece transforming into the tiny heatsink cannot make up for that deficiency, so we cannot expect the Hyper TX3 to be a highly efficient product in its class. On the other hand, this is better than the base of the Hyper 101.
Another new feature of the Hyper TX3 compared to its two predecessors is its 92x92x25mm fan Blade Master 92 (R4-BM9S-28PK-R0).
The speed of the fan is PWM-controlled in a range of 800 to 2800 RPM. The airflow varies from 15.7 to 54.8 CFM and the noise from 17 to 35 dBA. The manufacturer claims the improved bearing of this fan will last for 40,000 hours. The max power consumption of the fan is slightly above 3 watts. The fan is secured on the heatsink with two stiff wire brackets. Another pair of such brackets is included into the box so that you could install a second fan to exhaust the air. The impeller and rotor are 84 and 32 millimeters in diameter, respectively. The cable is 305 millimeters long.
It is most simple and easy to install the Hyper TX3 on a CPU. You use standard plastic fasteners for LGA775/1156 mainboards and a retention clip for AMD mainboards. A step-by-step installation guide is available in 18 languages. The Hyper TX3 is not compatible with LGA1366 mainboards.
The Cooler Master Hyper TX3 comes at a recommended price of only $19.9.