Thermalright IFX-14 CPU Cooler

overviewThis is just what Thermalright did with the IFX-14. The cooler consists of twin towers linked by a set of heat pipes. Now I am not going to give you all the features here in the introduction. But I will tell you the cooler does come with a little surprise. Something that no other cooler comes with. If you want to know what it is then you will have to continue reading.

 

Introduction

Thermalright made the tower design what it is today. The design has rocked the air-cooling world to the point that it is used in one way or another by other cooler manufacturers. Their own tower design Ultra-120 Extreme is currently the top cooler on most sites out there including ours. But what more can you do to a design that looks to be so simple to work with. Well, how about making a cooler with two towers of fins.

This is just what Thermalright did with the IFX-14. The cooler consists of twin towers linked by a set of heat pipes. Now I am not going to give you all the features here in the introduction. But I will tell you the cooler does come with a little surprise. Something that no other cooler comes with. If you want to know what it is then you will have to continue reading.

 

Packaging and contents

Thermalright has not changed their packing way since I have been dealing with them. The same brown box houses all that comes with the IFX-14.

Features

  • Larger surface area than any other heat sinks (140mm x 120mm) with option to install one or even two 140mm fans
  • Designed for better air flow management to work with the heat sink fans* and the air inside your computer case
  • Four large 8mm heat pipes to distribute massive amount of heat fast and efficiently
  • Optional to rotate the heat sink 90 degrees to best fit your system configuration
  • Multi-platform compatible back plate for installation on vast number and type of motherboard. No need for complicated tools to convert
  • Heat pipes soldered to base (nickel plated)and fins for optimum heat transfer
  • Includes a back-side dual heat pipe heat sink (patent pending), which not only additionally cools your CPU but also takes care of the heat coming from the back of the motherboard to extend the life expectancy and stability of your motherboard

Specifications

Heat sink Body
  • Dimension : L146.2 x W124 x H161 mm (heat sink only)
  • Weight : 790g (Heat sink Only)
  • Recommended Fan : All 120mm & 140mm Fan
Back-side Heat sink  
  • Dimension : L134.5 x W163.5 x H112.6 mm (heat sink only)
  • Weight :150g (Heat sink Only)
  • Recommended Fan :All 80mm & 70mm Fan

 

Closer look at IFX-14

If you are a believer of bigger is better than the IFX-14 is for you. Honestly, you need to see this cooler in person to really get an idea of how big it is. To give you some idea of what I am talking about the cooler weights in at 790 grams. Not the heaviest I have had to review but definitely up there in the ranks. All that weight resides in a frame that is just over six inches tall. So not only is weight a small concern but height is as well.

The highest performing coolers of today are built around the heavily used tower design. This technology along with the use of heat pipes has taken your ability to overclock much further than ever before. Thermalright took this and times it by two. Besides the heat pipes the driving force behind tower type coolers are the fins that surround the heat pipes. In the case of the IFX they are aluminum obviously. Unlike other coolers like the Ultra-120 it has some wicked looking fins. The fins has a design that looks like frames or waves. Take your pick.

The tower stands tall via four nickel plated copper heat pipes that start at the top of one tower down towards the base and back up again to end its journey at the top of the opposite tower. the pipes are rather thick if I had to venture I would say 8mm or so.

The base is also made of copper but covered by nickel just like the heat pipes. The IFX-14 has a fairly large basses that is virtually flat. There isn’t too much shine to speak of as it shows evidence of machining due to the presence of lines.

 

Closer look at the IFX-10

For an extra bonus and one helpful aid to cooling is the IFX-10 cooler. This small Z-shaped cooler is attached to the back side of the motherboard to help with the cooling process. The cooler is held in place by the back plate and adhesive tape but we will get more into that in a few. The IFX-10 is made of 25 thin aluminum fins supported by two heat pipes. The heat pipes are covered by a thin plastic guard that keeps from becoming in direct contact with the bottom of the motherboard.

 

Installation

There is a little preparation needed before you can actually begin to attach the cooler to the motherboard. First you will need to prep the IFX-10 for installation. This begins with applying the adhesive tape to both sides of the base. Once the tape is applied it is then held in place by the motherboard back plate. The back plate is attached to the motherboard via metal screws aligned with tiny rubber grommets.

In the case of Intel installation these brackets are attached to the upper side of the motherboard around the CPU socket. The brackets can be placed in a way where the cooler can be mounted vertically or horizontally. We recommend test fittings to make sure room is plentiful in the best configuration for you.

Next comes to the attaching of the cooler itself. For our Intel installation this single bar is placed across the top of the base and is screwed into place. Be careful to make sure the screw in the crossbar remains centered as you begin to screw the cooler down.

Last thing to do is mount whatever fans you decide to use with the cooler. You will have to remember this cooler does not come with any fans whatsoever. The cooler can house fans between the sizes of 120mm and 140mm. And the cooler comes with two pairs of wire clamps for the mounting of two fans. There are many ways to place the fans so you will have to experiment with fan placement.

The final result was impressive to look at.

 

Testing

We put the IFX-14 and IFX-10 up against some stiff competition. First of all how can we not put the cooler up against the great T.R.U.E from Thermalright them self.

Testing Experiment

Gigabyte GA-EX38-DS4

Intel Core2Duo E8400

OCZ DDR3 Platinum PC1800

Microsoft Windows XP Pro

Sapphire Ultimate 3870

Maxtor Diamond 10 100GB

HP DVD740 drive

Ultra ProX 800 power supply

Noctua cooling fan

Results

It looks like the Ultra-120 is still the king around here but the IFX-14 fared really well as it was right there in the midst of things while at idle. But in our test the Ultra-120 edged it when it mattered and that was at load.


Stock settings


At 1.4 Volts @ 4.0GHz

 

Conclusion

The Thermalright IFX-14 is a very impressive cooler visually and performance-wise. I was truly amazed at the size of the cooler from the first moment I saw the box in which it comes in. Basically made from a twin tower design, the IFX-14 is like no other cooler I have seen. Thermalright never seizes to amaze me when it comes to building a first-to-market type of cooler. The IFX-14 besides being made of two twins it is kind of wicked looking as the fins resembles something like flames with their edgy border.

Performance from the IFX-14 is on par with the Ultra-120 from Thermalright as well. At idle we saw little difference in temps from the two. But the Ultra-120 edged it out when it came to the playing of games or running any type of stability test, basically when it came to putting a load on the CPU. But we have to report this was done using two fans in a push pull configuration.

The asking price for the IFX-14 will put it at the top end of this list. At $70, the IFX-14 is probably the most expensive air cooler you will find. But I must also mention this cooler comes in two parts. The IFX-10 side cooler adds to this price point. So, you are getting your money’s worth. But then again you will have to add up to $15 or so for a fan for the cooler as well, two if you want maximum performance. The IFX-14 can add up to $100 after all is said and done.

Regardless of price the IFX-14 performs great and is highly recommended by us.

 

 


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