The Convex Copper Base
Most people can’t see the imperfections of today’s CPU IHS (IHS is that aluminum cap that covers the top of your CPU). Besides not always being perfectly smooth, many of them aren’t perfectly flat. Most often, the HIS sinks in the middle ever so slightly. The base of a conventional CPU cooler is very flat and sometimes doesn’t make optimal contact with the center of the IHS.
If you have a good engineering eye, you can just see that the base of the Venomous X is ever so slightly raised. This convex shape is just enough to fill in any extra space the CPU might have. This doesn’t mean you can get away with not using Thermalright’s Chill Factor II thermal paste. You’ll need it to fill in those rough spots to achieve optimal thermal transference.
Overall, the Venemous X looks similar to many of the tower coolers already available on the market. But it’s the finish and quality that makes this cooler much more appealing and effective.
About the only thing that could be done to improve performance is adapt that two point Pressure Adjustable plate to a 4 point plate. Perhaps, that would grant another degree or two of cooling potential. It would also be awesome if there were a highly polished, jet black Venomous X. That would be so suh-weet!
Installation Notes and System Setup
Starting with the installation procedure, the manual is very detailed and easy to follow. If this isn’t easy enough, there is an animation playing on Thermalright’s website to demonstrate just how easy the cooler is to install. We’re not saying that a cave man can do it, but anyone who can follow pictures should be able to get it right on the first try.
The adjustable back plate is a really nice one-plate-fits-all piece of techology. A series of thumb screw standoffs and thumb screws are used to hold the back plate and anchoring bracket in place. It goes together pretty quick. The bracketing system is essentially tool-less, with the exception of the wrench used to tighten the final pressure adjustable mounting plate on top of the base. The only issue that one might run across is if you ever lose the special wrench, you’ll lose the ability to remove the heatsink until you come up with another one.
In order to test the Venemous X properly, we put together a system that can produce the heat needed to stress this cooler. Here’s the breakdown…
- Intel Core i7-980X Extreme Edition Hex-Core Processor
- Test Cooler 1: Thermalright Venomous X (as tested)
- Test Cooler 2: Thermalright MUX 120
- Test Cooler 3: Noctua NH-U12P
- Test Cooler 4: Zalman CNPS10X Extreme
- Test Cooler 5: Tuniq 120 Extreme
- GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD5 Motherboard
- Patriot Memory Viper II 2000MHz 6GB DDR3 Memory
Ambient temperatures in the test area were a constant 18C. To produce more uniform test results, we used the same thermal paste across the board. in this case, we chose the industry standard Arctic Silver 5.
We have to give the stock retail cooler that comes with the 980XE a nod for being one of the best solutions we’ve ever seen from a retail box solution. While it isn’t the same size as the Venemous X nor do we expect it to perform the same, we will include the results so that you can see if the Venemous X is the cooler for you.