If you have been around in the PC game, the name Enermax is one that we all know and have likely used one of their power supplies by now. Enermax is widely known for its "Pro", "Modu" and "Revolution" series' of power supplies; but wait a minute, I don't do power supply reviews! Up to this point of my career with TweakTown, I have yet to see anything from Enermax that pertains to my segments of the market. Not too long ago Enermax expanded from cases, power supplies and other peripherals to catering to coolers as well. Taking it a step further, it seems they had released the ETS-T40 CPU cooler and I completely missed its arrival.
Today is a different day and Enermax got in touch with us and asked if we would like to have a look at their newest arrival to the market. While the previously mentioned ETS-T40 is a tower style cooler, the new arrival is oriented parallel with the motherboard to allow the fan to blow at the motherboard, mosfets, and in the case of AMD, the chipset. Since boards are getting even more compact in the power delivery area, the old methods of adding additional fans to chipset coolers isn't likely. This leaves the door open for coolers such as this. Typically the coolers that blow down at the motherboard tend to run a touch warmer with the CPU temperatures, but at the same time they do offer much better cooling to the surrounding components. I am not going to rush to judgment and say that this Enermax solution is going to perform worse than any other cooler out there, I will let the testing sort that out for us.
Today we are going to be looking at the ETD-T60-VD from Enermax. This is one of a two cooler release. There is an exact cooler marketed as the ETD-T60-TB. The difference between the two coolers is the method of fan mounting to the cooler, and with the ETD-T60-VD we are looking at, it has LED functions in the fan not available in the TB version. So with the knowledge of getting to play with a new lighting system on a cooler and the sheer size of this Enermax, I have good thoughts running through my mind as I embark on both new testing methods and a slightly different layout of this ETD-T60-VD review. If you like what you are reading, please mention it in the comments below. If you liked our older TEC method of testing, please comment as well. With this review I plan to not only give a more realistic look at its performance, but also deliver you every bit of knowledge I can to make your buying decisions that much easier.
Specifications, Availability and Pricing
Specifications, Availability and Pricing
The Enermax ETD-T60 coolers use an arrangement of fifty five fins that surround the six, 6mm diameter heat pipes. These fins are closed off on the sides to help trap air flow. They also have little tabs bent in the fins that help to re-divert air as it passes through each gap between the fins. And lastly, the top of each fin has a saw-tooth pattern that allows the fan to have space and disturb the air flow for better efficiency. What separates the two versions of this cooler is that one uses a fan with metal clips to hold it in, and the fan has no LEDs. The ETD-T60-VD comes with a plastic fan cover, LEDs and a switch to change through the seven lighting settings.
On the more technical end, this ETD-T60 is only 151mm by 131mm in width and depth. The cooler is only 85mm tall, but once the fan is on it, it increases to 115mm in height. I like that the ETD-T60 has 35mm of clearance under the cooler to allow for taller heat sinks and regular height memory without any restrictions. There isn't any mention of LGA2011 mounting yet, but the Enermax will cover all of the latest and most of the older sockets. Aside from the aesthetic appeal of the lighting and the slick looking aluminum fins to go along with the Nickel plating, the Enermax is quite the looker for a cooler that blows down at the motherboard.
Pricing was brought forth by Enermax not too long ago with its release of the ETD-T60-VD and ETD-T6TB. What was listed then was that the VD would sell for 59.90 Euro and the TB for 54.99 Euro. For those reading this from the States, I was able to locate the ETD-T60-VD at only three locations currently, and those locations don't even have an image of the cooler available. As I type this the cooler is so new to the market that even though I was able to find it for pre-order, the $73.18 asking price at Provantage is a bit tough to swallow. For now, I would wait a bit until stock becomes more available and with that pricing should drop to more acceptable limits. In my opinion, even with the trick lighting, I would expect a $60 price point to be an easier pill to swallow when looking at buying the ETD-T60-VD from Enermax.
The ETD-T60-VD comes in a white box with blue accents to stand out on the shelf. On the top of the packaging you get most of the basic information of the TDP and socket support along with a window to look in at the fan and top of the fin structure.
On what I typically consider the front of the box, there is an image of the two versions of this cooler with a box denoting which is inside. In the wide blue stripe there is another window above the included parts list.
Rotating the box to the right, we run into a full blue panel that describes the cooler and its features very basically in thirteen various languages.
On the back you get the full list of features of the ETD-T60 coolers - Enermax listed ten. Near the bottom there are four images showing the air flow and design of the cooler, heat pipe size, brackets, and even an image of the cooler installed in a case.
The opposing smaller side of the box is again blue, but this time Enermax is covering the specifications. I like that Enermax isn't ashamed to list their coolers specifications, and I mean all of them. Measurements, memory clearance, will it fit in the case, and every other spec you can think of is on full display to simplify your buying experience.
As I was opening the top to allow me access to the cooler I noticed the inner flap of cardboard tells you to visit Enermax's support forum for help and answers to any issues that may arise.
Keeping the cooler in perfect shape for me to look at is this well built cardboard compartment system inside the box. These four supports are slid together and make a very secure fit around the cooler. The two smaller side compartments are filled with the manual closest to you, and the hardware in the one furthest away.
The Enermax ETD-T60-VD CPU Cooler
The Enermax ETD-T60-VD CPU Cooler
Since this is how it was presented in the box, I figured I would start here. The -VD version has a plastic surround for the T.B. Vegas Duo fan, and this version as you can tell, is completely loaded with surface mount LEDs all around the seven clear blades. The fan also has good coverage of the bulk of the fins surface area, so it should be able to cool efficiently.
The thick black plastic top sits above fifty-five fins and two tabs lock the plastic to the channel cut out of the fins near the top. The sides are also closed off to enclose more airflow and get that air to the motherboard to cool the surrounding area of the CPU as well.
This end of the ETD-T60-VD has an Enermax logo colored silver on the black fan cover and four of the 6mm heat pipes come from the base and return back into this side of the fins. The aluminum is polished enough to reflect my hands in the image and goes well with the Nickel plating on the copper heat pipes.
Both sides are the same as you can see. There is a total of four tabs to remove the top cover if you want to clean the cooler or swap out the fan. You may notice two groups of wires coming from the fan. One is a 4-pin PWM connector and the other goes to a fan LED switch, both of which I will show in the hardware section.
This end of the ETD-T60 has the last two of the six heat pipes. You can see they come from the base and are bent to fit tightly under the fins and make a quick u-turn and go through the fins. The pipes on this side will also add a bit of support to the offset centre of the base and mounting system, for the fins.
The fan cover allows the T.B. Vegas Duo fan to clip in without the need for screws. You may also notice that there are no rubber pads attached to the fan. Enermax has a solution, just not here, to keep vibration at bay.
With the fan and cover removed, you can see a lot of effort went into the top design of the fins. The rippled edges break up the air and offer a bit of space to the bulk of the fins to allow the fan to build its pressure to push through the cooler. On the four corners, in the shallow groove down both sides Enermax places strips of rubber to keep the fan off the fins.
Flipping the cooler over we can see the heat pipes are sandwiched in between two blocks. The top half in this image is leveled and used as the base to transfer the heat. The bottom half has a grove in it to accept the hardware.
Turning it around, you can see what I mean about how these two pipes actually keep the cooler level as they are supporting the fins that they run under and through.
This is just to show how off centre the base is on this cooler and why there are instructions on how the ETD-T60 should be oriented.
The Nickel plating on the base is done over a flat and level block, but doesn't offer exactly a mirror shine in its refection.
Accessories, Documentation and Fit
Accessories, Documentation and Fit
The hardware shipped with the ETD-T60 coolers is very well thought out and works easily once you wrap your head around what is going on. Along with the thermal grease, you get the longer AMD and Intel halves of the mounting on the left of the universal back plate, and the shorter halves of the AMD and Intel legs on the right of it. Both the AMD and Intel clips lock into a groove on the sides and across the top of the base, and then screw together to secure both pieces to the coolers base.
The rest of the hardware is shown here. There is a socket with a Phillip's drive on the reverse and the four, adjustable legs. The black legs are held into the mounting clips with the four thumbscrews on the right. To mount the AMD and Intel mounting kits to the cooler, you will need two of the four screws and washers at the right. The washers keep the black legs off the motherboard, and the four nuts mount the cooler on the back of the motherboard.
Connected to the fan, there are six total wires. Two of them go to the push button control for the seven function LED lighting control. With that you will also find the 4-pin PWM connector to power the T.B. Vegas Duo fan.
The instructions are pretty basic, but get the idea across of how the cooler is to be mounted. Along with the outside of the packaging, the instructions take up more room with the various language supported on this one piece folded up manual. Even with the limited space, the instructions found in the images are enough to not even need the accompanying text.
If I was confusing you on how to mount the components of the hardware; this image should clear up how the two pieces are screwed together and how the tabs grab onto the side of the coolers base. The AMD and Intel setup is the same for the black legs and mounting thumbscrews.
Mounted as shown in the manual, I do lose access to one channel for memory with tall heat spreaders. I can however run lower profile heatsinks or naked memory sticks under those pipes.
The ETD-T60 is quite large and covers the power delivery coolers well on my GA-Z68X-UD4. Now this is the suggested installation position. If you have standard height memory, you could spin this 180 degrees and attempt to cool the memory with it, but today memory cooling is really overrated.
I like the width of the ETD-T60 coolers, as you can see they are as wide as the memory is. This will allow for both trouble free installations in tight cases, as the cooler doesn't pass the top of the board, and it also will cause no issues with use of the first PCI-E slot.
The universal plate fits well around the Intel mounting and I did mount it to my GA-990FXA-UD7 and I had no issues there either. On both installations, the nuts run out of threads before it warped either board. With the nuts on the back, it makes the compact nature of the cooler a non-issue when it came to securing the ETD-T60-VD.
Test System & Testing Results
Test System & Test Results
Typically in my cooler reviews there is a link back to our TEC and testing methods. Well, the TEC has broken and while I have an Intel system to replicate, I am still waiting on an FX-8150 processor so that I have an AMD equivalent test to represent results for those who purchase those as well. I had a suspicion that I wasn't remembering all that really comes into play with these coolers, and I feel at this point that a real life experience is going to be the best for results and it should show a more realistic look at results you should be able to achieve as well.
For the purpose of this review I will be using the system listed to do all of the testing at this point. Once the AMD CPU is in hand, I will be adding an AMD results chart to the mix as well. For now we will see how a few of the past submissions do in the real world along with the Enermax ETD-T60-VD in the results you are about to see. With all the work we have done with coolers over the past five years or so, I figured a couple of coolers that are on the older charts will sort of give a mark of reference to see where the new results play against our previous findings.
When the results show "stock", this means 3.8GHz on the i7 2600K (as that is how GIGABYTE sets it), and the memory is set to 1600MHz with 6-8-6-24 timings. When the chart shows "4.513GHz OC", the image above is another run with all the same voltages, speeds and timings. Note that when I overclocked the processor, I also raised the RAM speed to bring in some heat from the memory controller to give a more accurate result to those trying to achieve similar overclocks.
Idle temperatures all hover right around thirty degrees due to the PWM feature of the motherboard and fans. What make the difference in the six degrees of separation here is the fan itself and the settings of the low end of the PWM profile. While the ETD-T60 is a bit warmer when idle, the fan profile here is tuned to almost undetectable silence.
Considering I am comparing this cooler against tower style coolers, which should have an advantage, you see the Enermax is able to keep in step. Running IBT for almost two hours brings a level of heat that is the worst case scenario in trying to tame the heat. That being said, the sixty degree result at stock and the seventy-two degrees overclocked is very respectable. Keep in mind I was actually delivering air to the motherboard components as well - the towers do not!
Testing Results - Continued
Test Results - Continued
The sound charts don't change! Keeping the same distance as we had in the box, I measured the cooler from one foot from the cooler during operation. At idle the results speak for themselves. With a 33 dB result here, you are going to hear every other fan in the case before you hear the T.B Vegas fan idling.
Even with the fan set in the BIOS to deliver a full 12V through the fan to keep the playing field level with all other coolers, the Enermax still delivers great results for those who can't stand loud fans in their PC. With a 46 dB rating, this T.B. Vegas fan is one of the better fans I have had the pleasure of using and not having to listen to.
What I liked about the ETD-T60-VD is a list that is pretty long. The unusual mounting hardware made me scratch my head for a second, but once I saw the images in the manual, it all just made sense. All the components for both AMD and Intel work as shown and offer very secure mounting to both boards. Every bit of the installation was simple and due to the larger size of the cooler, I could actually rest the board on the cooler so I could start the nuts behind the board to secure the cooler with the provided socket. When the nuts stop spinning, the cooler is mounted; it's really that simple. I liked the performance of the fan along with its limited noise to the room. I haven't even mentioned the many LED settings of red, blue, or both colors of LEDs active. All of them on, following one blade, following two blades like a propeller, or even flashing. The lighting setup really is the basic lighting kit for a party in your case.
Throughout testing and in use on both my i7 2600K and my 720BE, there isn't one thing that I could find fault with. The arrangement of the cooler in the case shows that the cooler should be installed in a particular manor. In this arrangement, you may block a memory slot for taller heat sinks, but the pipes are bent to allow a normal short heat spreader or bare memory. The off-centered nature of the base in this cooler really allows the ETD-T60 coolers to utilize the excess airflow that typically gets promptly removed from a tower cooler and is used to cool the power delivery heatsinks on the Z68X-UD4 I have, as well as cooling both the phase and chipset cooler on my 990FXA-UD7. With the IR thermometer I noticed a seven degree drop in the chipset on the 990FX, and right around three to four degrees across all of the heatsinks on the power delivery chips. Specifically with my GIGABYTE boards, the Enermax is in a small enough foot print that I could easily get to my 8-pin EPS plug, and get my video cards in and out easily too, because I could access the release tabs which is problematic with most tower coolers.
The performance of the ETD-T60 needs to be shown some respect. Usually when I receive coolers with this basic concept, they tend to lack in performance, mounting, performance and aesthetics. Enermax may not win every one with the seven option lighting scheme, but the look of the cooler is sharp and an attractive addition, the mounting was super simple and the performance is pretty good to boot! So not only does Enermax bring a solution capable of handling today's processors with relative ease, they deliver the full package here, no question. The real issue as I type this is "where are you going to get one?". The best I can say for now is to just hold on tight - pre-orders are starting to show up and once everyone gets stock, the pricing might get closer to a Euro equals US Dollar pricing. If you have to have one now, or at least have to be first to have an ETD-T60, feel free to venture over to Provantage.com and pre-order one for $74. For me I will wait and see where the pricing levels out before I shell out quite that much for this cooling solution.
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