Thermalright Archon CPU Cooler Review

👤by Sahil Mannick Comments 📅13-04-11

On first impressions, I was left a little underwhelmed by the Archon given the hype surrounding the cooler and Thermalright’s claim that it can outperform the legendary Venomous X. Certainly, its performance both at stock and overclocked speeds lagged behind our top coolers and other Thermalright offerings bar the HR-02. With its single fan, its performance fell short of the Thermaltake Frio but outperformed the original Prolimatech Megahalem so in all it wasn’t a bad performer.

But after analysing the results more closely, the Archon offers more than meets the eye. Testing with different fans demonstrated that 140mm are for more effective on the cooler than 120mm ones, even the high RPM SWiF2-120Ps. Looking at other coolers, the latter fan tends to generate the best results and yet the Archon favoured the slower spinning larger fans. There is no doubt that the reason is due to the vast area of the fin array benefitting most from a fan that can push air through more fins at once. The implication is that the Archon is a brilliant cooler for quiet operation. Although its sheer performance cannot match that of the Venomous X, the Archon has the flexibility of supporting larger fans. While that isn’t enough to match the Venomous X, it ensures much quieter operation. Adding a second TR TY-140 and turning both down to operate at 850RPM provides a good balance between performance and noise and most importantly, it matches the Silver Arrow using the same fans at the same speeds and the Noctua NH-D14 with U.L.N.A. It’s hard to discern whether this was Thermalright’s intent but this is the conclusion I can draw from the Archon’s performance.

Overall, the Archon can be described as a very unique cooler. It might not generate the same raw performance figures as the Silver Arrow, Venomous X or Noctua NH-D14 but it demonstrates that is more than capable as a quiet but effective cooler. At £44, it is priced against the likes of the Thermaltake Frio and the inclusion of the TY TR-140 fan is more than welcomed. I would highly advise getting an additional fan as this shouldn’t break the bank given the price of the Thermalright fan. The Archon is also appealing as a cooler that doesn’t obstruct memory slots although we observed that the fan clip may get in the way of the slot closest to the CPU. This minor niggle is something Thermalright need to fix to claim full compatibility with tall memory modules populating all the slots.

+ Good performance
+ Quiet
+ Very easy to install
+ Attractive finish
+ Bundled fan
+ Support for 120 & 140mm fans
+ Out of the box AMD and Intel support

- Possible compatibility issue with tall memory modules if all slots are populated on X58 motherboards
- Performance falls behind the Venomous X
- Heatsink may be too tall for some cases

The Thermalright Archon deserve a respectable Vortez Silver Award.

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