At first I really had high hopes for this cooler, but unless you keep your processor near idle all the time, I don't see a real need to make the jump from a stock cooling solution to the Respire T20. Before I get too deep into that, let's discuss the plus side of things. The cooler is compact and stays inside of the limited CPU area. It does allow room over all of the memory slots and won't cause issues even if the sport the tallest heat spreaders on the market. The T20 is relatively light, its rattle free, and is much quieter than a stock cooling solution. Outside of aesthetic appeal, and some noise reduction, the Respire T20 now runs out of tricks.
Performing at the bottom of the charts with the 2600K at stock clocks isn't all bad - I mean, I was able to keep my CPU under 60 degrees when it was loaded. When the OC was applied, the cooler had to show its hand as the CPU calls its bluff. There is a bright side to this as well though, at least it didn't allow the CPU to throttle and did allow me to complete the 50 passes of the testing. It is a real shame that they don't include an extra set of fan clips, at least then customers would have a slight chance to stay in the 80's with a mild OC such as the one I use for testing. On the flip side of the cooler, I didn't like the look of all the epoxy oozing out of the base, and the top piece looked like something someone cut out in high school shop class, but the hardware was simple to use and install. It also supplied ample pressure when mounting the cross bar that I am sure it was a saturation issue in the fins and not a contact issue that drove the temperatures so high. This is also why I would add some sort of TDP rating to this cooler to let buyers know that this isn't intended to overclock with.
The one good thing about the T20 that may make most of you take my previous words with a grain of salt and buy one of your own anyways; it's the price. At $29.99 you are very limited to any sort of selections that don't look like an HP OEM cooler or something from 1995. I also know most of you have much better fans on hand and may want to try your hands at a dual fan arrangement, and at this price, I say go for it. While it may not be the best cooler out of the box, throw in some ear plugs and grab a pair of Delta fans off the shelf and get that leaf blower doing its thing.
As far as the Respire T20 is concerned, out of the box, I would pass, and hopefully its large brother we will be testing soon, the T40 can do something to save the Respire name, because as of this moment, the Respire Series is breathing with ventilator assistance, this cooler just can't do it anymore on its own.
PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.
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- Page 1 [Introduction]
- Page 2 [Specifications, Availability and Pricing]
- Page 3 [Packaging]
- Page 4 [NZXT Respire T20 CPU Cooler]
- Page 5 [Accessories and Documentation]
- Page 6 [Installation and Finished Product]
- Page 7 [The Test System and Thermal Results]
- Page 8 [Noise Level Results]
- Page 9 [Final Thoughts]
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