Thermalright is the powerhouse of the performance air cooling market, consistently sitting in the top three for best performing air coolers. With a product line that reaches all corners of the air cooling segment, you can always find a Thermalright product that will take care of your heat issues when stock is just not cutting it. Not only is top-tier performance the mission, but Thermalright maintains a very high level of quality and the products are also pleasing to the eye. Getting ready for the TRUE review, I had to do some background research and to my surprise, Thermalright was founded back in 2002, which I had in my mind they had been around since the late 90’s. So yes, they have built quite the pedigree quickly.
We recently reviewed the Thermalright Ultra Extreme 120 Rev.C and today we have the new flagship cooler, the Venomous-X. The VX as I have been calling it landed on our bench thanks to folks at FrozenCPU, it is because of them that our Air Cooler testing even started. You all know how I can get long winded, so lets cut the intro here and get to show…
At first glance, you notice the attractive box of the Venomous-X (well, ok for me it was), I mention this because as silly as product packaging seems the work that went into the packaging certainly caught my attention. Once you get past the snazzy box and start to unbox the Venomous-X, you will find the VX is not radically different from its predecessor, the TRUE. The Venomous-X has an all copper base covered in nickel plating and the base is polished to a mirror finish, the six 6mm copper heat pipes are also dressed up in nickel plating. Base thickness measures in at 14.85mm, which is just slightly thinner than the base on our TRUE, this could be due to manufacturing tolerance/variance, but may be part of some things to come later in the review. Moving up the heat pipe U to the fin tower, Thermalright crams 47 0.5mm thick aluminum fins, spaced 2mm into an 110mm tall tower. Total dimensions on the fin tower is 110x127x64mm (HxWxD) and the Venomous-X has a total footprint of 158x127x64mm without fans, strap a single 25mm fan on and your depth increases to 89mm, dual fans and you total out at 114mm.
Moving to the rest of the goodies in the box, the Venomous-X comes with mounting for all current Intel sockets, including LGA775, LGA1156 and LGA1366. AMD users will have to purchase an additional bracket and backplate for AM2. AM2+ and AM3 mount support. One of the surprising and well-deserved changes is on the wire fan clips, the fan clips now slide into holes on the top and bottom of the fin tower (photos below for visual detail) and provide a simple mechanism for mounting and dismounting fans. I was very happy to see Thermalright change up the fan clips, this new method was extremely easy to work with through testing and did not mean extra fumbling and struggle during the mounting process. Speaking of the mounting process, there are some changes here too… major changes.
Well, maybe not earth shattering changes, but they certainly made the mounting system easier from a prep and ready to mount standpoint. I can only talk about the LGA1366 mounting but the 775 and 1156 should be similar. The backplate has moveable posts with three set positions for S775, S1156 and S1366. Take the backplate, align the posts to the board holes and secure on the board side the male-female thumbscrew, washer side down obviously. Once you have the backplate secure and thumbscrews tight set the collar (ring thing) on the thumbscrew posts. Now tighten down the collar with the female only thumbscrews. There you go, board side is ready and was a breeze to do. The collar has screw studs for both parallel and perpendicular to socket arm orientation (definite bonus for pre-testing). The mount arm is where something new comes with the Venomous-X mounting system, in the center of the mount arm we have a variable pressure screw. With the mount arm secured and the pressure screw loose, the minimum pressure applied is 40lbs. With the pressure screw full tight, the mount pressure increases to 70lbs. Thermalright does include a wrench for adjustment, I recommend setting the mount pressure before putting your board in the case, there were many explatives shouted in the lab when I had to adjust mount pressure for another test. Also, get the wire fan clips and anti-vibration strips in place before mounting the cooler to board. Setting the pressure screw in the cutout on the cooler base, screw in the mount bar to the threaded posts on the collar. Tighten the mount bar screws until they reach stop… done. Swing the fan clips onto your open corner fans, and finish by plugging your fans in.
The mount system proves to be simple and straightforward, just make sure you set the pressure screw before mounting. Well, see how consistent the mount system is later, simple may be great but if there is mount variance then simple just does not cut it. Looking back to the fin tower specs, we should see the performance curve favor the higher fan speeds and with the pressure screw adding another variable, we have a lot of test data to cover. Before we move on to the test methodology, we have a few photos of the Thermalright Venomous-X for your viewing pleasure.
As with the other air cooler reviews we released recently, a few photos were taken after testing once I realized how bad my first attempts at good shots were. In the photo with all of the accessories and hardware, there are a few items missing such as the sticker, TIM and vibration pads (on the cooler). The base still looks good for taking all the mount abuse through testing. Once you finish eyeing the photos, Test Methodology and Specification are waiting…