Enermax ETS-T40-TA CPU Cooler Review

👤by Sahil Mannick Comments 📅29-12-11

Enermax’s first attempt at a mid-range cooler can be seen as a successful one in some ways, one whose flaws could be fixed should they target the high-end market. Technology and innovation was key behind the ETS-T40’s design boasting patented features such as Vortex Generator Flow, Stack Effect Flow, Vacuum Effect Flow, and the ever popular HDT technology to help boost performance. Using fairly intuitive scientific principles, there was no doubt that all these features would contribute towards better performance, and in some ways these highlight Enermax’s outside of the box thinking given that many other cooling manufacturers appear to have simply overlooked these potential features. But then, we start questioning their effectiveness. Could they be that simple idea that suddenly gets everyone thinking; “why didn’t I come up with this before?”, or are they just gimmicky features that only seem to work in theory and not in practice. Upon testing the Enermax with the stock CPU, it becomes apparent that the heatsink actually performs very efficiently despite its other hindering characteristics such as its dimensions, four heat piped design, and single fan. It competes with other coolers that are out of its league such as the Prolimatech Super Mega, Thermaltake Frio and even the Thermalright Silver arrow in some instances. On top of that, the single fan proves to be great at generating airflow without sacrificing noise too much. There’s no denying that it can still be heard at full speed but the noise isn’t as intrusive as some other fans with similar rotational speeds. Dialling the fan down to around 1500RPM provides an excellent balance between noise and performance, even compared to the likes of the Noctua NF-P12s and NF-P14s.

However, like a lot of coolers we have tested recently, the overclocked i7 seems to put the Enermax ETS-T40 under a lot of strain, pushing its cooling potential to the limits. Unfortunately, it fails to live up to its earlier credentials. There are two ways to look at this. On the one hand, it still performs on par with the Cooler Master 212+ but on the other hand, it sports a heftier price tag and Enermax claims “revolutionary cooling performance” which it is unable to deliver. In reality, it’s not all that surprising to see it not performing better. The ETS-T40 requires more efficient thermal transfer and to do so, it needs more heat pipes and a larger surface area. So even if its patented features are beneficial at lower TDPs, the fundamental design can still be improved vastly to handle higher loads.

So where does this leave us? Credit has to be given to Enermax for creating a cooler that can still handle an overclocked i7 920 with a single fan at 1155RPM despite its size. It proves to be a worthy mid-range contender and one that should hopefully place Enermax firmly in the CPU cooling market. My only advise to them would be to price it more accordingly to the Cooler Master 212+ because at £35, more efficient heatsinks such as the long-lasting Thermalright Ultra Extreme can be purchased.

Other positive notes include a robust mounting system that is straight-forward and the inclusion of the brilliant LED T.B.Apollish fan. Not many after-market fans can claim its feature list of LEDs, PWM functionality and good performance.

+Very good performance at stock CPU speed
+Ease of installation
+Bundled fan with PWM functionality and LED
+Relatively quiet
+Support for Intel and AMD sockets
+Memory compatibility
+Interesting innovations and features

-Lacking performance with overclocked CPU
-Loss of efficiency under heavier loads
-Fairly mundane heatsink aesthetics

The Enermax ETS-T40-TA deserves our Creative Award.

Click here for an explanation of our awards at Vortez.net.

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