Thermalright has released yet another quality high performance cooler. Is it good enough to be the new king of the hill? With our testing I’m going have to say no. In most cases it is close to the Noctua NH-D14, but still ever so slightly behind at the 70lbs mount setting. With the mounting tension decreased down to 40lbs it was noticeably behind. The all new patented multiple support pressure vault bracket system was fairly easy to use and it allows users adding pressure to the bracket system (40~70 lbs.). Not only did this help secure the cooler to the board better, but we clearly had a more efficient mounting that improved cooling performance
Then there will be those who will ask “Why didn’t you lap the CPU and cooler?” Well, the main reason is that we test the coolers as they are sold. Not everyone is going to have the desire to lap a cooler or their CPU and risk ruining either. Also, in this case the Venomous X did not come with fans, but said you have to use at least one in the instructions. So I used what I had a matching pair of, the NF-P12 120mm cooling fans. Results will vary depending on the fan used. Get a pair of Deltas and a set of ear plugs. Yeah the temps will go down, but the neighbors will complain about the noise.
The Venomous X CPU Cooler retails for $63.99 plus shipping at CrazyPC.com. They also offer a variety of fans and can even lap the cooler for you for a small fee. Compared to the cost of the Noctua NH-D14 the Thermalright Venomous X is slightly more expensive if you don’t already have a couple of fans to put on it. A pair of quality and quiet 120mm fans will run you anywhere from $30 to $40 depending on what you buy. That puts you into the $95 to $105 plus shipping range. Even with the price with fans, if you don’t have the space to accommodate the Noctua NH-D14 the Thermalright Venomous X should then be at the top of your short list.
As for which one to buy, well, as close as the two are it boils down to two things: motherboard clearance and hit to the wallet. The big one is clearance. The Venomous X will block less than the NH-D14. With either cooler you’re going to want to make sure of where the cooler sits in relation to the RAM on your board, or save a lot of hassle and just buy the shortest RAM that fits your needs. RAM like the Kingston HyperX T1 that comes in at 60mm in height will not work with either cooler if it covers a slot as there is a 43mm height restriction for both.
The CPU cooling market in 2010 is looking great and so far the Thermalright Venomous X and the Noctua NH-D14 are the two coolers to get if you want to stick with air cooling.
Legit Bottom Line: The Venomous X is a solid performer. If your setup can not accommodate the NH-D14 the Venomous X should be at the top of your short list.