How do you make an AMD FX-8350 go from being loud and hot to cool and quiet? Having AMD’s stock cooler that is not the new Wraith redesign, I purchased the Cryorig H7 to find out if it could do the job.
First, I have to admit this is only the second non-stock cooler I have installed, with the first being the Artic Alpine M1 used in my home server. So I haven’t experienced the Hyper 212 or anything from Nactua etc. However with that, I can say that I have been blown away by this aftermarket cooler.
You may wonder why Cryorig was the brand I picked. After all there are so many more forums and articles online that praise Cooler Master’s Hyper 212 making it almost the defacto standard when discussing air cooling. Wouldn’t anyone new start there and then swap out later if they didn’t like it? For me, the answer is ‘No’. However, I have a few very good reasons why I looked outside the ‘standard’ fair.
The main reason I picked this cooler over all others is that it sits at only 145mm tall. This is the lowest tower cooler available that I could find at the time that also uses a 120mm fan. So why does height matter? My old PC case had more than enough head room for a full size Hyper 212 but it also had a 120mm fan mounted on the side of the case that I wanted to keep to help with airflow. The 212 would not work. The H7 would fit just perfectly, allowing me to have exactly what I wanted. This was enough to push me to try this relatively new company in the hardware space and pay a few dollars more than the cheaper 212.
The second reason I picked the H7 is for it’s design. It’s beautiful. Although hidden inside my tower, it’s black/white/silver color scheme(the silver being nickle plated copper to prevent corrosion) and honeycomb fin design makes a statement. It’s modern and minimalist, which if you follow us you know is something I am very much into. For me it’s a much more full bodied and professional look than the similar 212. The unified color was the best part, removing the copper traces making it seem more premium. Even though, once installed, you can’t really see it anyway.
Looks aside though, the design is also to help with airflow and ensure that there are no issues obstructing RAM slots. Tall RAM is not a problem with this as they designed it to fit within standard cooler limits. Although I don’t feel it’s guaranteed to work with every motherboard, it does boast a compatibility to work with most modern AMD and Intel sockets. However, please check their site for their origami tester to ensure it will fit. Yes, that’s right. They let you print out and fold up paper to mimic it’s footprint so you can buy with confidence. How cool is that?!
Although for further product size/build reference, please check out my unboxing video(no voice, 1080p) below and its post here.
How it performs
The most important thing about a CPU cooler isn’t it’s looks or aesthetics. First and foremost it needs to move heat away from the CPU and do it better than the stock option.
Heat Dissipation / Performance
Coming from a stock cooler, this had incredible gains in how cool it keeps my FX-8350. I run at a standard clock(4Ghz), and before the upgrade it was running around 45°C at idle, jumping up to 65+°C while stress testing with Prime95. As I had to recently replace the motherboard, this was tested using the stock AMD heatsink, but Arctic Silver 5 thermal compound.
For the upgrade I decided to use Arctic Silver again, instead of the Cryo-paste that was included. This was to get results that could be compared although I would love to see how effective this thermal paste is. After doing some research online, supposedly at most you see a 1-2°C difference between Arctic Silver and Cryorig’s thermal paste, so I didn’t see a need to add complexity to my tests, when it wasn’t really needed. Thus, AS5 won out.
So, what were the temps after the upgrade? A full 10°C less, with idle now around 35°C and Prime95 maxing out around 60°C.
*Measurements were taken using HWMonitor by CPUID. Results taken from the Motherboard -> Temperatures -> CPU section.
Regardless of if these temperatures are accurate as they were taken through software instead of through physical tools; the fact is there was a 10°C temperature drop once installed. From my understanding, this is expected performance of any of the top air coolers and I am very happy to see a sizable temperature drop. It works as advertised.
Being an air cooler there is bound to be some noise. However, for me this is just as quiet as my low RPM case fans. It really is quiet, and should be given it uses a single 120mm fan, although it does come with an extra bracket if you want to add another. Given that it’s a single fan, to me it makes less noise than my 3 case fans combined, but of course your case fans and other set up will give you a different experience.
Also, I do admit I could find it’s more quiet as I don’t here it rev up as loud as the stock fan did. With that though, the only thing that I hear anymore in my tower other than a gentle whir of air over the fan blades and vents is my graphics card. If only I hadn’t gotten the reference HD 7950 that has a single tiny fan…
Oh well, this thing is as quiet as I can imagine air cooling can be, just means I now need to upgrade my GPU for a silent workstation.
As I mentioned above, this unit gives the impression of quality from it’s design and function. After all, how could quality not follow such attention to detail with attachment for both Intel and AMD boards and ensuring it sits low and doesn’t infringe on the RAM space?
The unit has ‘heft’ to it, but not enough that you would need to worry about it damaging anything. Although being my first heavy duty aftermarket cooler, I was taken back a bit by it’s weight and it being attached. I am sure it’s normal and everything has been fine for the 6 months it’s been in use so far. However, it does still amaze me that the massive thing hangs sideways 24/7 on the motherboard. Just something I had to get used to I guess.
The radiator itself is well put together. Nothing looks cheap, malformed or out of place. The heatpipes off the base are nickle plated to prevent corrosion and blend seamlessly into the main unit(although you can’t seem them without a transparent case once installed). The attaching brackets are well manufactured, with smooth edges and enough thickness to instill confidence. It feels like this unit will last a decade or more(minus the fan). That isn’t to say the fan isn’t high quality. It has a solid plastic frame with beautiful white blades. Each feel sturdy enough to run for years to come. The only reason I mention the fan not lasting as long, is just because it has moving parts. As we all know, moving parts will fail eventually.
This unit can be found online for around $35 USD on sites like Newegg and previously on Amazon(where I purchased it from). Although it seems it’s popularity is rising. At the time of this writing I see it only at this price point on Newegg with Amazon having third party sellers asking $100+, so it must be out of stock from the official Cryorig store front there. Although it is a good cooler, it’s MSRP is $50 USD so don’t look to pay more than that.
Update 2016/08/20 – Cryorig’s Store has restocked the H7. Check out the link below for the product page!
This cooler has certainly impressed me. It’s attention to details, professional polish and well thought out design are everything I could have asked for. Especially at such a reasonable price. If you are running stock I would fully recommend this as wonderful third party air cooler.
What about the cheaper Hyper 212(~$29)? Having not used it or seen one in person I can’t compare on quality or polish. However for the $5-8 difference between the two I would choose the H7 for looks alone. The premium vibe I get makes it worth it. However, I know what works for me won’t work for others. So, do what you feel is best. For me, I can see myself purchasing more Cryorig products in the future when needed as this kit has really impressed me.
Want more information? Check out Cryorig’s official product page here: H7 Tower Cooler