The ID Cooling SE-214L series of three coolers seem to deliver what is needed most. We do like the Snow Edition and the fact that every bit of it, excluding the hardware, is white. We like that ID Cooling went with a slightly bigger fan, a 130mm fan in fact, and we also like the LED lighting offered in it. The fins are kept in alignment with tabs on the side, the heat pipes alternate position to aid in heat removal, and we also were digging the shape of the leading and trailing fin edges, all of which should have us singing praises of the performance of such a design. Sadly though, this seems to be one of those designs that are much better on paper than in reality.
We are happy to say that the SE-214L SE is capable of handling our 95W processor, but the reality is, if you have a 150W processor, you will most likely throttle with this cooler. Our stock testing was decent, but adding the overclock and nearing 110 to 115W of power delivered to the cooler was closer to the throttle point than we would have liked to have seen. The noise levels under PWM control are tolerable, and we have no complaints about that, we just wish that the SE214L SE had done a better job all around.
While we are not exact on a price figure, we can only guess that the previously released SE-214X with less to offer at $29.99 is a good starting point. We have no qualms about the fact that this cooler should, and most likely will cost at least $10 more, but the level of performance for the dollar is not as high as we would have liked to have seen. While many of the coolers that beat this SE-214L Snow Edition cooler from ID Cooling, do in fact, cost quite a bit more money in some examples, we find us with a tough choice to make. Do we opt for the SE-214L SE and save money but have little headroom, or do we spend say $50 and get a single tower cooler which offers the same level of sound, but delivers much better performance.
For us, the answer is easy, but if you have to pinch pennies on a build, you want a white cooler, and you do not have a processor over 100W TDP, then, by all means, buy this CPU cooler from ID Cooling. For us, we will simply say we pass on this design.
Product Summary Breakdown
|Overall TweakTown Rating||73%|
The Bottom Line: The SE-214L Snow Edition is nice to look at, the LED fan is a nice addition, and noise is kept at bay. But it's a shame that the performance isn't better, nor do we feel a 150W processor is safe under this tower. Even if this cooler were just $20, we think we would still pass.
PRICING: You can find the product discussed for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link below to see real-time pricing for the best deal:
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- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging]
- Page 3 [ID Cooling SE-214L Snow Edition CPU Cooler]
- Page 4 [Accessories and Documentation]
- Page 5 [Installation and Finished Product]
- Page 6 [Test System Setup, Thermal Tests, and Noise Results]
- Page 7 [Final Thoughts]
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