I have reviewed a couple of the Thermaltake AIO coolers in the past, and they have been superb, however, they also sit close to the top of the market for pricing.
Today I have the UX100 ARGB Lighting CPU Cooler which is completely the other end of the spectrum. Priced at just £13.99 this is one of the cheapest coolers on the market, while still offering motherboard controllable ARGB LEDs all in a low profile format.
This cooler sits at just 66mm high and is 122.3 mm in diameter, making it quite petite by today's standards of coolers. Its small size does have an obvious consequence, its cooling capacity is lower than many high-end models, this is rated at just 65W meaning the highest spec CPU it will be able to handle is the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X.
This is compatible with all modern sockets including:
- Intel LGA 1156/1155/1151/1150/775
- AMD AM4/FM2/FM1/AM3+/AM3/AM2+/AM2
This has two cables, a 3-pin DC fan header, and a 5v ARGB control header. The 120mm fan can run up to 1800 rpm and has a max airflow of 38.82 CFM with a max pressure of 1.48 mm H²O and max sound level of 26.92 dBA.
Featuring 15 high lumen addressable LEDs with 16.8 million colors, UX100 gives you the vivid RGB lighting experience.
The fan blades are built to generate a large volume of air passing through the aluminum heatsink at any angle for the steady air flow and cooling quality.
The hydraulic bearing self-lubricates with a high quality, friction-reducing substance that lowers operation noise and enhance thermal efficiency. The seal cap prevents leakage of the lubricant and extends the lifespan of the unit.
With this being an affordable option, there is no backplate or other additional components that need fitting when installing this to an AMD system. It has two retention hooks that snap into place and you can be done in the space of a couple of minutes. Getting the second hook far enough down to latch on does require a little bit of force, but it is still easier than messing around with screws.
Cooling performance appears to be about the same as the stock cooler. I did not try overclocking with this as it is clearly not designed for it.
Idle temperatures generally sat around 15-degrees above ambient at 36-degrees, while gaming temperatures easily exceeded 60-degrees. Running the Prime 95 over 15 minutes and the temperatures would peak at around 90-degrees.
I am a bit sceptical of the 1800 rpm with a max sound level of 26.92 dBA. Usually that high of an RPM would generate more noise. However, I do find this considerably less noisy than the stock cooler, during gaming and max load the cooler definitely seemed a lot quieter than the stock cooler. The very low airflow could be the cause of this, low noise, many competing products can comfortably product over 60 CFM.
I have slightly mixed feelings about this cooler. I love the look of it, the top-down design means you get to show off the LEDs in their full glory if you are using a case with a window. It is easy to install and the acoustics are better than the stock cooler. At less than £14 it is hard to criticize its performance too much too, and it does a perfectly adequate job.
On the flip side, with its 65W rating, performance isn't that much better than an AMD Wraith. AMD lists their acoustics as 39dbA, so the Thermaltake far outperforms this in terms of noise, it is also much more attractive than the Wraith Stealth Cooler you will get on most of the low to mid-range AMD CPUs. The issue is, if you only have £15 to spend, you may be better off putting it somewhere else, like slightly faster RAM, or one step up in SSD size.
I have neglected to mention the Intel Stock cooler, mainly because I have all AMD products. In this scenario, the Thermaltake is better, as the Intel stock cooler is not amazing for either acoustics, performance or looks.
Overall though, there is almost no competition at this price point. All of the products around this price are flat out ugly, many of which also have relatively low performance. They are all tower coolers too, so if height is an issue that rules them out. In particular, if you look at the low profile solutions on Scan, I think the closes comparison would be the Arctic Freezer Low Profile which works on Intel but not AMD, is ugly and about the same price. The next best would be the Gelid Solutions SlimHero which is over £10 more.
Overall, this would make an excellent cooler for an HTPC of small form factor PC. If you plan to do any overclocking or just want better thermals, you would be better of spending a bit extra and getting a tower cooler such as the UX200 which I will be reviewing next.
Thermaltake UX 100 Air cooler Review
- Price - 90%90%
- Noise - 80%80%
- Performacance - 70%70%
Great for a small form factor PC or HTPC and superior noise levels than a stock cooler. While I can't complain about the performance for the price, you would probably be better off spending a little extra and getting a tower-based cooler
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