Compatibility and Installation Tips
Thermalright Archon is compatible with all contemporary platforms and it installs exactly the same way as Thermalright Venomous X. the installation procedure is described in detail in two manuals: for Intel and for AMD processors.
If you install the cooler onto an LGA1366 mainboard, the memory slot next to the processor socket will never be blocked. Moreover, there will be an additional 10-15 mm gap (depending on the mainboard) between the closest memory slot and the cooler fan:
This is another unique peculiarity of Thermalright Archon: it can be used in systems with tall memory heat-spreaders. I have to remind you that the distance between the contact surface of the cooler base and the lowest heatsink plate is 42.6 mm, which should also cause absolutely no interference issues with the heatsinks over the voltage regulator components. At the same time, however, there may be problems with the side panel of the system case, which may not be able to close (which is our case: the side panel of our Antec Twelve Hundred system case hit against the heatpipe ends of this tall CPU cooler). That is why we had to keep the side panel removed during our test session.
Technical Specifications and Recommended Pricing
Testbed and Methods
Since we couldn’t close the side panel in our system case with Thermalright Archon cooler installed, we performed all tests inside a system case with a removed side panel. Here is our testbed configuration:
- Mainboard: Gigabyte GA-X58-UD9 (Intel X58 Express, LGA 1366, BIOS F5g);
- Processor: Intel Core i7-980X Extreme Edition, 3.33 GHz, 1.225 V, 6 x 256 KB L2, 12 MB L3 (Gulftown, B1);
- Thermal interface: Arctic Cooling MX-2;
- Graphics card: ATI Radeon HD 5770 1 GB GDDR5 128 bit, 850/4800 MHz;
- Memory: DDR3 3 x 2 GB OCZ Platinum Low-Voltage Triple Channel (Spec: 1600MHz / 7-7-7-24 / 1.65 V);
- System drive: RAID-0 of 2 x Kingston V-series SNV425S2128GB SSD (SATA-II, 128 GB, MLC, Toshiba TC58NCF618G3T controller);
- Drive for programs and games: Western Digital VelociRaptor (300GB, SATA-II, 10000 RPM, 16MB cache, NCQ) inside Scythe Quiet Drive 3.5” HDD silencer and cooler;
- Backup drive: Samsung Ecogreen F4 HD204UI (SATA-II, 2 TB, 5400 RPM, 32 MB, NCQ);
- System case: Antec Twelve Hundred (front panel: three Noiseblocker NB-Multiframe S-Series MF12-S2 fans at 900 RPM; back panel: two Noiseblocker NB-BlackSilentPRO PL-1 fans at 900 RPM; top panel: standard 200 mm fan at 400 RPM; side panel removed);
- Control and monitoring panel: Zalman ZM-MFC2;
- Power supply: Xigmatek “No Rules Power” NRP-HC1501 1500 W (with a default 140 mm fan).
When we tested the coolers with fans installed, we overclocked our six-core processor (with its default protuberant heat-spreader) with the multiplier set at 25x and “Load-Line Calibration” enabled to 4.46 GHz. The nominal processor Vcore was increased to 1.45625 V in the mainboard BIOS:
Turbo Boost and Hyper-Threading technologies were disabled during our test session. The memory voltage was at 1.64 V and its frequency was 1.49 GHz (7-7-7-16_1T timings). All other parameters available in the mainboard BIOS and related to CPU or memory overclocking remained unchanged.
All tests were performed under Windows 7 Ultimate x64 operating system. We used the following software during our test session:
- Linpack 64-bit with LinX shell version 0.6.4 – to create maximum CPU load (5 Linpack runs in each cycle with 4750 MB RAM capacity involved);
- Real Temp GT 3.60 – to monitor the processor core temperature;
- CPU-Tweaker 1.5 – to visually monitor temperatures and frequencies using graphics.
So, the complete screenshot during the test session looks as follows:
The CPU was loaded with two consecutive Linpack x64 test runs with the settings as indicated above. The stabilization period for the CPU temperature between the two test cycles was about 8-10 minutes. We took the maximum temperature of the hottest CPU core for the results charts. Moreover, we will also provide a table with the temperature readings for all cores including their average values. The ambient temperature was checked next to the system case with an electronic thermometer with 0.1 °C precision that allows hourly monitoring of the temperature changes over the past 6 hours. The room temperature during our test session varied between the annoying 23.4-23.8 °C.
We are going to compare Thermalright Archon against ThermoLab Baram 2010, which is one of the best coolers with similar design:
This cooler was tested with two Thermalright TR-FDB 120 mm fans, which were installed for air intake and exhaust with the airflow directed towards the back of the system case. All tests were performed in two modes: at 1200 RPM and at maximum rotation speed of 2000 RPM.
As for our today’s hero, Thermalright Archon, we tested it with its default Thermalright TY-140 fan at 600, 800, 1000 and ~1300 RPM. Besides that, we also ran the tests with two such fans in the same speed modes and with two powerful Scythe Slip Stream 140 (SM1425SL12H) fans at the maximum speed of 1690 RPM:
Of course, we couldn’t help including the results of the ultimate winner – Thermalright Silver Arrow cooler tested with two TY-140 fans in two speed modes: in quiet mode at 810 RPM and in maximum speed mode at 1310 RPM. I would also like to add that all fan speeds were set by changing the voltage of our special controller with ±10 RPM precision.