Cryorig R1 Ultimate CPU Cooler

The CRYORIG R1 Ultimate Founded in 2013, CRYORIG is a relatively new name in the world of high performance computer cooling, but the team has a lot of experience in the field, with many of them having worked previously at companies such as Thermalright, Phanteks, Prolimatech and more.  CRYORIG claims to be made up of PC enthusiasts and the reason for their existence is that the companies founders were unsatisfied with the offerings currently on the performance PC cooling market and thought they could offer better products in scope with both their needs and the needs of enthusiasts around the world. Heatsink and AIO manufacturers seem to have saturated the market fairly well, with a large amount of companies offering solutions ranging from basic to extreme.  CRYORIG themselves recently announced their A40 Ultimate AIO coolers, which offer a unique fan-on-pump design that should improve system thermals compared to other AIO models.  While we anticipate the A40 Ultimate will be a great unit and look forward to reviewing it in 2016, there are still an appreciable amount of users who want to stick with air cooling and today we are going to look at the biggest, baddest, traditional heatsink that CRYORIG offers, the R1 Ulimate. CRYORIG R1 Ultimate Specifications The R1 Ultimate is designed to be used on various CPU sockets, though given it's $89.00 price and overall scope, we expect it to be used with high end CPU's from Intel on the X99, Z97 and Z170 platforms.  Also, given the size of the unit, it's a downright monster to say the least, the CRYORIG R1 Ultimate will be limited to use in full-sized systems, unless really crafty thought is put into the build.  With a TDP of 250W and weighing in at 156 grams, the CRYORIG R1 Ultimate is designed to outperform every other air cooled heatsink on the market, including the Noctua NH-D15 and it can even compete with AIO coolers, something that we will look into during the course of our review.  Before we look at the packaging of the R1 Ultimate and dig in, I want to go over some features listed on the product page for the unit, because there are a lot of features and technology that go into making The R1 Ultimate that would likely go unnoticed by the average person. Cryorig R1 Ultimate, an amazing looking heatsink CRYORIG R1 Ultimate HSF Features Patented DirectCompress Soldering, increases the actual contact surface between the heatpipe and heatsink fins. DirectCompress Soldering has up to 10% more contact surface compared to traditional soldering, and the more contact surface the faster the heat conduction. Optimized Heatpipe Positioning Total CPU Coverage - The R1’s Heatpipe Convex-Align System allows for more heatpipes in a given area, optimized heatpipe placement in the copper base, and improved alignment with your CPU. With the Heatpipe Convex-Align System, each heatpipe functions to their maximum TDP capacity. Accelerated Air Exhaust, The Faster the Cooler - The individual tower stack is separated into two sections, the loose air intake and the high density exhaust section. By the laws of fluid dynamics, the increase in fin count in the exhaust section squeezes airflow and increases exhaust air speed. The increase of airflow speed in our Jet Fin Acceleration System™ allows heated air leave the tower faster. Spreading Out and Making Room - The R1’s Heatpipe Convex-Align System allows for more heatpipes in a given area, optimized heatpipe placement in the copper base, and improved alignment with your CPU. With the Heatpipe Convex-Align System, each heatpipe functions to their maximum TDP capacity. Kill the Noise, Silence is Cold - Acoustics are just as important as performance. That’s why the XF140 140mm fan integrates acoustic optimizations. The XF140 features our High Precision Low Noise (HPLN) Bearing and the detachable Acoustic Vibration Absorbers that give the fan a snugger fit while canceling vibration and noise at the same time. Patent Pending "Multiseg" Quick Mount System - Providing an all in one solution on Intel platforms, CRYORIG’s MultiSeg™ Quick Mount System allows for a securer and firmer installation within minutes. Fast, Easy and Reliable Install Within Minutes CRYORIG products are planned from the ground up to be user friendly and easy to use. Cryorig R1 Ultimate While a lot of the features listed are just marketing points, there is genuine thought and design going into the R1 Ultimate.  For example, the loose air intake and high density exhaust section is a solid design element that makes total sense, as it should allow for optimal airflow through the unit, while lending well to heat dispersion.  Increasing the surface contact between the heatpipes and fins is also very important, as this is how heat is primarily transferred, though some airflow will directly cool the heatpipes themselves. Cryorig XF140 Fan CRYORIG makes note of their XF140 140mm fan in their features and it's for good reason.  This fan has a very solid airflow to noise level ratio, offering 76 CFM of airflow while maintaining a maximum noise level of 23 dBa.  In addition, the XF140 offers very capable 1.44mm/H20 static pressure rating, making it more capable of moving air through the fin dense R1 Ultimate.  These fans should compete well with just about any other fans you're going to find included with a heatsink, as the airflow to noise ratio is just amazing. Now that we've gone a bit over the features of the R1 Ultimate, let's take a look at the packaging and included accessory kit.

Cryorig R1 Ultimate CPU Cooler - Packaging and Accessories

Cryorig R1 Ultimate Box The R1 Ultimate is packaged in a very large, attractive box that has a foil-stamped Cryorig logo, as well as a large image of the R1 Ultimate with the fans installed from a top-down view.  A brief product blurb denotes that "The R1 Ultimate Dual Tower cooler is the apex of air cooling of cooling innovation and design, with two XF140 low noise high performance fans."  The box is very colorful, with a rainbow of color running along a stripe on the bottom side.  Overall, the attractive box will serve well to show off the R1 Ultimate and gives the product a high quality feel right off the bat. Cryorig R1 Ultimate Packaging - Rear The rear of the packaging features graphical renderings of the R1 Ultimate, along with complete specifications for both the R1 Ultimate heatsink and the included XF140 fans.  The information included is complete, with weight and dimensional specifications provided.  A list of compatible sockets is printed on the lower portion of the package rear side, showing the versatility of the R1 Ultimate, with support extending to as far back as LGA 775 and Socket AM2 processors, though as we mentioned, we suspect users of the R1 Ultimate will be pairing it with more current, high end processors, given its price point. Cryorig R1 Ultimate box - right side The right side of the box covers several marketing points and features of the R1 Ultimate.  Cryorig notes that the R1 Ultimate is compact and compatible, which I think is a bit optimistic, though the socket support is certainly there.  A five step installation process with just a five minute installation thanks to the MultiSeg mounting system is noted and we certainly look forward to seeing this mounting system in action.  Lastly, Cryorig touts the acoustic properties of the XF140 fans, which do indeed seem to be very capable fans, on paper. Cryorig R1 Ultimate Box, Left Side The R1 logo is rendered with foil-stamping that looks very nice on the other side of the box, with a wire drawing of the heatsink and fan lightly printed in grey against the black background.  The box for the R1 Ultimate is very nice, with attractive illustrations and quality printing in use throughout. Cryorig R1 Ultimate Box Opened Once we open the box, we see a notation to register your cooler for a three year extended warranty by becoming a Cryorig VIP.  Since the cooler carries a three year warranty by default, registering gives you an effective six years of warranty coverage.  This is a very good warranty for a heatsink and while users may be wondering where a heatsink warranty comes into play, it is actually very important for an expensive product such as the R1 Ultimate to carry a warranty.  Should there be a manufacturing defect that causes the heatpipes to lose effectiveness and Cryorig didn't discover it for some time, it's good to know that down the line you'll be covered.  Also, the XF140 fans are not cheap, so should one fail, it's nice to know that Cryorig will cover its replacement.  Cryorig seems to be a company driven by performance and very computer enthusiast-friendly and in the short time I've seen them on the market, they seem to get praise for having solid customer service. Cryorig R1 Ultimate contents There are two separate cardboard boxes inside of the main packaging for the R1 Ultimate.  The smaller box houses the screws and attachment accessories for the R1 Ultimate, while the larger box contains the R1 Ultimate and XF140 fans. Cryorig R1 Ultimate accessory box The illustrative descriptions of the contents that are printed on the box is a very nice touch.  Cryorig has packaged the R1 Ultimate to ensure that the heatsink is protected from scratches, while also making the install process more organized and smoother for the end user.  The packaging for the R1 Ultimate definitely matches the price of the unit and thus far, we are impressed. R1 Ultimate accessory kit Cryorig includes a very nice set of accessories with the R1 Ultimate, including a screwdriver, alcohol pad, tube of thermal grease, fan splitters and installation guide.  The accessory set comes with everything you will need to install the R1 Ultimate and the thought to include an alcohol pad to ensure the CPU has been properly prepared is a nice touch that we don't see a lot of manufacturers employ, even though the cost of doing so isn't high at all.  There is also a card included that includes a serial number for registration, another nice touch that reflects the premium status and price point of the R1 Ultimate. CryoRig R1 Ultimate Multiseg The MultiSeg mounting mechanism looks really solid and well-built.  Given the size and weight of the R1 Ultimate, solid mounting hardware is an absolute must and Cryorig has done a great job with the MultiSeg kit.  This kit is also compatible with Skylake processors that may be subject to damage due to thinner substrate, an issue we covered here at Legit Reviews just a couple of months ago.  Cryorig, in fact, has a full page dedicated to explaining the problem with Skylake processors, why they are damaged and why their mounting system is not susceptible to the issues other manufacturers faced.  I am very impressed with Cryorig and the amount of documentation and support they have on their website. Now that we've taken a look at the packaging for the Cryorig R1 Ultimate, let's take a look at the unit itself.

Cryorig R1 Ultimate CPU Cooler - A Closer Look

CryoRig R1 Ultimate Side View At first glance, the R1 Ultimate looks similar in design to other dual-tower design coolers, though the entire unit evokes a very high quality feel.  With the fans installed, the unit is truly massive and will fill up the CPU area of a motherboard quite well.  Cryorig includes a compatibility tester on their website that will let you see if the R1 Ultimate is going to fit on your motherboard, which is really thoughtful.  Even though at first glance the R1 Ultimate seems similar to other coolers, there are some definite differences when you look closer. CryoRig R1 Ultimate Top View The two towers on the R1 Ultimate are surrounded by a removable black cover that serves aesthetic purpose in addition to holding the fans via clips.  There are reasonably-priced ($12) replacement tower covers for the R1 Ultimate available from Newegg to better suit your systems color motif, including the ever popular red. Cryorig R1 Ultimate base view Looking at the R1 Ultimate with the tower covers removed, rather than  having the two towers balanced evenly over the base, we can actually see that the towers sit off-base quite a bit, with there being an odd weight distribution of the cooler, though this shouldn't cause any issues or be of concern.  This is done for memory clearance purposes and it definitely helps.  When compared to a cooler like the NH-D15, the Cryorig has clearance for tall memory modules and the cooler itself doesn't actually protrude over the DIMM slots on most boards, only the fan protrudes over these slots.  This gives the Cryorig R1 Ultimate a lot of versatility and a better chance of being compatible with certain motherboards and tall memory modules being used. Cryorig R1 Ultimate with fans removed We notice that the fin arrays are two different colors.  The outer row of black fins are more dense, which should allow for added heat dissipation capability.  The inner rows being less dense will mean there is less resistance to airflow, thus allowing lower noise operation while not sacrificing cooling performance.   Cryorig R1 Ultimate base, nice and flat Once we remove the protective cover, we find the base of the R1 Ultimate is flat and clean, leaving a desirable surface to mate with the CPU.  Though it is far from a mirror-polish surface and that enthusiasts may take to lapping the base on their R1 Ultimate units, we feel the surface is more than adequate and there are no surface variances or pits.  CryoRig has taken a very high-end approach with the R1 Ultimate and the attention to detail across the board with this unit is nothing short of excellent and this extends to the base. Cryorig R1 Ultimate heatpipes flowing from the base The nickel-plated copper heatpipes of the R1 Ultimate flow quite nicely and complement the overall look of the R1 Ultimate.  The heatpipes flow between each tower and down into the base of the unit, where they are closely grouped together in order to provide a nice contact area.  This is a very good design and Cryorig really did well to maximize the use of space here, as the heatpipes cover a large amount of area and contact the fin arrays and base very well, lending themselves well to dissipation, while not being obtrusive. Cryorig R1 base w/multiseg attachmentThe base of the Cryorig R1 Ultimate features a crossbar attachment that is screwed into the center of the base, along with two spring-loaded screws that secure the R1 Ultimate the the MultiSeg mounting hardware.  This mechanism is very solid and the hardware is well-built and seems to be durable.  With two solid screws and solid hardware holding the Cryorig R1 Ultimate in place, end users can rest well knowing their heatsink will stay in place. Cryorig XF140 Fan The XF140 fans included with the R1 Ultimate feature rubber anti-vibration material built into the corners to help assist with noise-reduction.  The cable for the fan has been wrapped in a nice, tightly woven black sleeve, lending well to aesthetics.  The edge of each fan blade has been smoothed to allow for turbulence reduction, a feature that I almost overlooked.  The XF140 features what Cryorig has branded a "High Pressure Low Noise (HPLN)" bearing, which is basically a high quality bearing that should lend to a long lifespan and low noise thanks to an increased magnet count within the mechanism.  The XF140 is rated for a nice 76 CFM at 23 dBA maximum, so two of them should be able to cool off the R1 Ultimate quite well and do so without making a lot of noise. Cryorig R1 Ultimate Side View The R1 Ultimate really has a lot to offer in regards to design quality and aesthetics.  Everything evokes a high quality feel and the premium price point of the heatsink is definitely felt in the materials.  We really like the look and style of the R1 Ultimate and the XF140 fans really complement the R1 Ultimate quite well.  There aren't any negatives to point out about the manufacturing quality, design or style of the CryoRig R1 Ultimate, as it is equal to or better than premium offerings from companies like Noctua and Prolimatech in all of these regards. Next page we'll take a quick look at the Cryorig R1 Ultimate installed on our test bed and look at some Prime 95 temperature results.

Cryorig R1 Ultimate CPU Cooler - Installation

Intel Z97 Test Bench
Intel LGA 1150 Test Platform
Component Brand/Model Live Pricing

Processor

Core i7-4790K

Motherboard

MSI Z97 Gaming 5

Memory

Corsair Vengeance LP DDR3 1600MHz 16GB (2x8GB)

OS Drive

Samsung EVO 850 250GB

Power Supply

Corsair RM750

Operating System

Windows 10 64-Bit
  CryoRig R1 Ultimate Installed on Z97 Motherboard The sheer size of the Cryorig R1 Ultimate becomes apparent once you install it on a motherboard.  The installation process was quite simple, as the backplate simply threads into the motherboard and is then secured with thumbscrews.  Once you've installed the MultiSeg backplate and crossbars, the heatsink can be screwed in.  There are screwdriver guides on each side of the heatsink, so removal of the fans to install isn't necessary.  The whole process takes just a few minutes.  Here, you can see the R1 Ultimate simply dwarf the Z97 Gaming 5 from MSI, taking focus away from every component on the board. CryoRig R1 Ultimate, Ram Clearance The XF140 fan covers the first and second DIMM slots on the Z97 Gaming 5 motherboard.  Thankfully, there is clearance for the Corsair Vengeance LP RAM.  Users that have memory with tall heatspreaders will definitely want to look at the R1 Universal, as it has additional clearance around the DIMM slots.  The PWM fan splitter comes in really handy hear, allowing both fans to run off a single header to ensure RPM matching. Cryorig R1 Ultimate VRM ClearanceWhile the R1 Ultimate was able to clear the VRM heatsink on the Z97 Gaming 5, there are motherboard with large heatsinks that may pose compatibility problems.  We advise checking Cryorig's compatibility chart before purchase if you aren't sure if the R1 Ultimate will fit on your board. Cryorig R1 Ultimate PCI-E clearance Surprisingly, the R1 Ultimate is able to barely clear the PCI-E x1 slot nearest the CPU.  This is excellent, as some large heatsinks are unable to do this.  This slot will likely be used for a wireless card, so the likelihood of backplate interference isn't really an issue.  Boards that have a PCI-E x16 slot nearest the CPU may have interference issues with certain GPU backplates, though this isn't a common issue or problem with the R1 Ultimate from what we've been able to gather. Though the R1 Ultimate is a large heatsink, we feel that Cryorig has done a good job in keeping it compatible with various motherboards.  It doesn't interfere with the memory or PCI-E cards, nor does it have VRM clearance issues.  Overall, we are very pleased with the installation process here and despite the large size of the R1 Ultimate, it was actually quite nimble to work with.  Let's take a look at our performance results.

Cryorig R1 Ultimate CPU Cooler - Prime 95 Temperature Testing Results

Idle results recorded using RealTemp after sitting idle at desktop for 15 minutes.  Load temperatures were recorded after running 30 minutes of Prime 95.  All testing was done outside of the case with an ambient room temperature for 72 degrees.  We used Antec Formula 7 Nano Diamond thermal compound for all testing to ensure results were as accurate and apple-to-apples as possible, as the thermal interface material included varies from manufacturer to manufacturer and will even be changed on the same product between batches, as many heatsink manufacturers choose to not invest a lot in this particular area. Let’s take a look at our temperature testing results under stock and overclocked conditions.  All heatsinks are tested with fans at 100%. stock temperature results The Cryorig R1 Ultimate performs on par with the Corsair H100I GTX with our I7 4790K running at stock speeds and the motherboard set to Auto CPU voltage.  The H100I GTX is considerably audible and definitely noticeable when the fans are running at 100%, whereas the Cryorig R1 Ultimate is barely audible when you are a few feet away.  Given that the performance is right in line with what the H100I GTX provides, we are very impressed, as the H100I GTX offers very good performance and retails for $110, which is $20 more than the current price of the R1 Ultimate.  Let's see how the R1 Ultimate holds up under overclocked conditions. Overclocked Temperatures Once we turn up the voltage and get the CPU set to 1.265V, the lower performance heatsinks begin to fall off and near the TDP of the I7 4790K.  The R1 Ultimate and H100I GTX both keep neck and neck, with the R1 Ultimate topping out at 86 degrees, while the H100I GTX kept the CPU at 85 degrees.  This is a pretty negligible performance difference and I'd consider the cooling performance between the R1 Ultimate and H100I GTX to be identical, though the sound levels of the H100I GTX are noticeably higher. Keep in mind that the load temperatures we recorded under Prime 95 are a worse case scenario, as a system will never really reach the levels of stress put on by Prime 95 under normal usage.  For example, after an hour of playing Rainbow Six Siege at our overclocked settings, we found our CPU topped out at 60 degrees with the Ninja 4 installed and fan running at 100%.  The performance results achieved by the R1 Ultimate are simply amazing, though given the price, paired with the technology touted by Cryorig and sheer size of the unit, we are not totally surprised.  The ability to perform on par with one of the better 240MM AIO units on the market speaks volumes for the Cryorig R1 Ultimate. On the next page we'll wrap this up and give our final words on the Cryorig R1 Ultimate.

Cryorig R1 Ultimate CPU Cooler - Conclusion

Creative R1 Ultimate, full view When I think of Cryorig as a new manufacturer, the thing that stands out most is that they immediately hit the market with not just a quality product, but quite frankly, the best product in its class.  The Cryorig R1 Ultimate is a classy, beautifully designed heatsink that looks better than anything else out there, though that is a subjective opinion and your views may differ.  The design and thought that went into the R1 Ultimate is clear, as the unit has no apparent flaws, beyond its limiting size.  The mounting system is very well designed, easy to use and simple.  When Cryorig touted a five minute installation time with their MultiSeg mounting system, they weren't joking, though our experience was certainly aided by the fact that we install heatsinks on a test bed outside of a case. Cryorig XF140 Fan The PWM-controlled XF140 fans that Cryorig included with the R1 Ultimate are a major plus.  I really like these fans and appreciate their amazing airflow to noise ratio.  When considering the overall cost of the R1 Ultimate, you must consider the two XF140 fans as part of the overall price, as these fans are priced at $17 each at Newegg, which isn't an unfair price in the least given their quality.  These fans really suit the R1 Ultimate well, as they look classy, have high quality anti-vibration corners and most importantly of all, they move a ton of air while not being noisy in the least.  The Cryorig R1 Ultimate is a well-designed, high quality heatsink and that quality extends all the way through to the fans.] R1 Ultimate Installed I wanted to use the R1 Ultimate in my personal system, but it would not work with the Corsair Dominator RAM that I have installed, unfortunately.  Thankfully, the R1 Univeral is essentially the same unit as the R1 Ultimate, but with a small profile XT140 140mm fan that runs about 2db louder and offers 65CFM vs the 76 CFM provided by the XF140.  The R1 Universal offers a lot of appeal, as it will work with high profile memory on a large number of motherboards, whereas the R1 Ultimate has this limitation.  The R1 Ultimate offers slightly better overall performance than the R1 Universal while being offered at the same price point, so the end user is presented with two units and won't be penalized for the selecting the one that suits them best, so kudos to Cryorig on that. Cryorig R1 Ultimate - Complete Retail Package Currently available for $89.00 on Amazon or $89.99 on Newegg, We do think that the Cryorig R1 Ultimate may struggle to find a large user base due to what will be perceived by average consumers as a relatively high price for an air cooler, but for the select group of PC enthusiasts who do invest in the R1 Ultimate, they will be getting amazing, low noise performance that is on par with AIO coolers that cost twenty to thirty dollars more.  Unfortunately, there are air coolers that perform just a few degrees worse than the CryoRig R1 Ultimate that are available for a fraction of the price, as we saw in the results for the Scythe Ninja 4 and Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo, which would be acceptable heatsinks for many users.  The Cryorig R1 Ultimate is not a low cost unit by any means, but we feel the cost is totally in-line given performance and the overall package provided by Cryorig, especially the amazing XF140 fans.  Cryorig has truly done well in the short time they've been on the market, producing some nicely designed products that meet the high standards of PC enthusiasts.   The aesthetic appeal, build quality and low-noise performance of the Cryorig R1 Ultimate are tough to match and for that reason, we are awarding it with our coveted Editors Choice Award. Legit Reviews Editors Choice Award Legit Bottom Line:  A cleverly designed beauty that provides amazing cooling performance while remaining near-silent, the Cryorig R1 Ultimate is one of the best air cooled heatsinks on the market.