Articles: Cooling

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Thermalright IFX-14

Thermalright IFX-14 cooler has been considered the ultimate best CPU cooler. Its LGA1366 compatible model comes in a completely new packaging:

The plastic casing with flames all over it is extremely appealing and beautiful compared with the old boring cardboard boxes. The cooler is accompanied with the corresponding accessories for proper installation onto LGA775 and LGA1366 platform. There are also thermal grease and installation instructions in several languages:

Thermalright IFX-14 is based on four copper nickel-plated heatpipes, each 8mm in diameter. They hold two independent arrays of aluminum heatsink plates:


There are a total of 108 plates. The space between them measures 1.5mm, and each is 0.25mm thick. The calculated effective heatsink surface measures 10, and so far it is one of the best in our today’s test session.

Both IFX-14 models that we have in our lab have a prominent base, just like almost all Thermalright coolers:

At first we had one of the earliest IFX-14 samples that didn’t have retention for LGA1366, that is why we used the retention kit from Prolimatech Megahalems cooler. To ensure secure contact with the processor heat-spreader and prevent the cooler from shifting sideways, we glued a 5-mm thick piece of rubber to the retention plate:

Moreover, the plate itself was taped over to prevent it from sliding during installation and the springs on the screws were replaced with metal and rubber washers:

As a result, we ended up with a very reliable retention with strong hold. If you try to use the default Prolimatech Megahalems retention kit without any modifications of your own, IFX-14 cooler will not be pressed securely against the processor heat-spreader and will shift under its own weight.

The new Thermalright IFX-14 cooler that we received right before completing the tests already has LGA1366 retention of its own. It turned out very similar to what we put together ourselves:


Moreover, the comparative testing of the Thermalright IFX-14 cooling efficiency with two different types of retention (hand-made and original) didn’t reveal any difference in the CPU thermal readings. Nevertheless, we decided to use the original retention kit for our primary test session.

Thermalright IFX-14 cools the CPU 3°C better if its heatpipes are positioned horizontally (we are talking about tower cases here). This is what it looks like:


You can top the cooler with one or two 120x25(38)mm or 140x25(38)mm fans. So, today we are going to test it in all these configurations.

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