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Phononic HEX 2.0 Thermoelectric CPU Cooler Review

Phononic HEX 2.0 Thermoelectric CPU Cooler Review
Phononic's HEX 2.0 CPU cooler goes under the chopping block today. But it sports one major difference to most; it uses thermoelectric technology.
By: Chad Sebring | CPU Air Coolers in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Jul 8, 2016 5:20 pm
TweakTown Rating: 91%Manufacturer: Phononic

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

 

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Thermoelectric cooling is nothing new, but for some reason, the rarity of this breed of coolers holds a special place in our hearts. The concept of using a TEC plate built into air coolers is something we have seen before this, but with the V3 Voltair and the CoolerMaster V10, we were left wanting more. This is mainly due to their size and specifications, and while condensation is a huge factor in designs such as this, we just felt that temperatures should have been able to be reduced even more, but in the pursuit of safety, the masses of buyers seemingly passed by these coolers. So it seems, we were not the only ones who thought what we did at the time.

 

 

The reason we have you here today is that a company we have just been introduced to, Phononic, has developed their take on what a thermoelectric cooler is capable of in today's market. Seemingly, Phononic is onto something, though. With what we were explained, before accepting this cooler for testing, this cooler is said to keep up with single 120mm radiator based AIOs. Something the previously mentioned coolers were not able to do well. What makes the Phononic design, so appealing is that unlike the other two coolers, their design is not a massive contraption, it is a compact, small case friendly design.

 

The bar seems to be set rather high for Phononic, and that is just from what we can see in their online literature and what we have been told about the HEX 2.0 Thermoelectric cooler we bring you today. Of course, we are going to make sure this cooler lives up to its claims, and see if this 92mm fan cooled dual tower design is capable of all the hype. Going from previous experiences with TEC assisted air cooling, our hopes are not that high, but it is possible that enough time has passed, and technology and design have improved enough to make a cooler such as this a hit to the masses. We are hoping for the latter of course, and as you are about to see, Phononic and their HEX 2.0 Thermoelectric CPU cooler seemingly bend the rules of what we know of TEC assisted air cooling.

 

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The chart provided by Phononic is basic, and tends to leave a lot of information out, however, they do cover the basics that any cooler user will need to know before purchase. On the motherboard end of the connectivity, they address that the fan needs to be connected, and since the fan is encapsulated inside of this cooler, they note that a fan lead is provided to make that connection. There is also a 6-pin GPU power lead required from your PSU to power the onboard TEC and other electronics. Since the HEX 2.0 comes with a dashboard application, Phononic also supplies this cooler with a mini-USB to USB 2.0 cable to be able to control the electronic features contained in this cooler design.

 

The cooler is specified to be 125mm in overall height, it is 112mm wide, and only 95mm deep. This means that it can go in many chassis form factors, not just full-tower and mid-towers. The HEX 2.0 weighs in at 810 grams and is shown to be made of RoHS compliant materials. They do not state that the 40 fins in each of the two towers are made of aluminum, nor do they mention that the top of the cooler is painted black. They do not mention that there are eight, 6mm diameter, heat pipes that wrap under the towers and into the base. Phononic does not mention the fan shroud that encloses the middle of the cooler, nor do they mention the power specifications of the TEC used in the copper base. Oh, and Phononic also dresses up all the copper with black nickel plating, keeping that dark and mysterious appearance to all angles of this cooler.

 

As for the fan that cools this dual tower design, Phononic is using the Sans Ace 92, more specifically, the 9S0912P4F011 model. This is a 25mm thick fan which is powered via 4-pin PWM but to a header inside of the coolers shroud. The Sans Ace is rated to spin at 2650 RPM delivering 33 dB(A) at its max. When the fan is running full power, it should be pushing 44 CFM of airflow, with an astounding 3.1 mmH2O of static pressure.

 

There is a fair bit of sticker shock associated with this design as well, but if this cooler is as good as Phononic says it is, it may be worth every penny. We are told that very soon these coolers will be listed at Newegg exclusively, when they do become available to the masses, and the MSRP has been set to $149.99. That is a very hard pill to swallow without anything to base an opinion off of, but we fully intend to put this cooler through its paces and see if it can keep up with smaller AIO units, as we have been told it does. That being said, we should get right to what the HEX 2.0 has to offer in its design and features before we address this dark shadow called pricing that is hanging over this Phononic cooler right now.

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