Thermalright Archon IB-E X2 CPU Cooler Review
Home > Reviews > CPU Cooler Reviews > Silver Award > Thermalright Archon IB-E X2 CPU Cooler Review

Thermalright Archon IB-E X2 CPU Cooler Review

September 18th, 2014 Mike Leave a comment Go to comments

 

For the next in our CPU Cooler line-up, I’ve broken the alphabetical order (not because I’ve forgotten the alphabet, but because it was the nearest CPU cooler in the stock room). Here we have the Thermalright Archon IB-E X2. This is a slightly different cooler to our recently reviewed ones, by the way it does not feature a dual heatsink. Instead the IB-E X2 features a single ‘Slim Tower Heatsink’, this has eight 6mm sintered copper heatpipes and a large surface area. The heatsink is also entirely nickel plated to help prevent oxidisation and as a result is also polished to the point of being mirror-like. Along with the tower, the IB-E X2 also features two Thermalright TY-141 140mm fans, both of which are PWM and rated to move 73.6 CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) of air and a mere 21 DBA (Decibels) of sound.

Sounds pretty promising doesn’t it? We best get it unboxed!

 

thermalright logo ‘Since the establishment of the brand in 2001, Thermalright has been dedicated to engineering professional computer cooling solutions for more than a decade. We have set many standards in the cooling industry which are still widely implemented today, and have been the leading brand that others tend to follow and imitate. Quality and performance are the very goals Thermalright pursues. By improving product details and consumer experiences, we provide products that stand out in both quality and performance to our users.’

 

Thermalright Archon IB-E-X2 - box

 

Unlike our previous CPU coolers reviewed (and even to come!), Thermalright have offered a very simple box design, which if I’m honest is rather refreshing. The box itself is plain brown and all that is featured on it is the model name and the Thermalright website details. That’s it!

I guess they feel their name and reputation alone will shift the Archon IB-E X2! 😉

 

Thermalright Archon IB-E-X2 - unboxing2 Thermalright Archon IB-E-X2 - unboxing

 

Inside the box is just as plain and simple. We have an installation guide, a smaller white box within which is the fitting kit, then within a dense block of heavy duty foam, the two TY141 140mm fans and a large anti-static bag containing the Archon IB0E X2 heatsink.

 

Thermalright Archon IB-E-X2 - contents2 Thermalright Archon IB-E-X2 - contents

 
Box Contents

  • Thermalright Archon IB-E X2 Heatsink
  • 2x Thermalright TY141 140mm fans
  • 8x Anti vibration pads
  • 4x Fan clips
  • Fitting kit
  • 1x Chill Factor III thermal adhesive
  • 1x PWM Y-Cable
  • Installation guide

At the time of writing, the Thermalright Archon IB-E X2 seems to have limited availability through retailers, but is available from Casetac for £56.91 and offers a 2 year warranty .

 

Specifications/Features

courtesy of Thermalright

 

‘Ever since the introduction of the first Archon “Slim Tower Heatsink” back in 2010, Thermalright has never stopped improving on its own design. Incorporating our new proprietary Pressure Vault Bracket System we introduce to the world the all new Archon SB-E X2. Aside from a total overhaul and upgrade of the mounting bracket system, the Archon SB-E X2 will be using two TY-141 high efficient double ball bearing silent fans, giving enthusiasts the perfect mash-up of performance, compatibility and silenceEver since the introduction of the first Archon “Slim Tower Heatsink” back in 2010,
Thermalright has never stopped improving on its own design.’

thermalright fan ‘Incorporating our new proprietary Pressure Vault Bracket System we introduce to the world the all new Archon SB-E X2. Aside from a total overhaul and upgrade of the mounting bracket system, the Archon SB-E X2 will be using two TY-141 high efficient double ball bearing silent fans, giving enthusiasts the perfect mash-up of performance, compatibility and silence!’
‘The Archon SB-E X2 inherits the same award wining heatpipe design from the Archon SB-E. Eight 6mm sintered copper heatpipes along with a massive 170mm x 150mm heatsink footprint allows the pipes to equally disperse heat from the CPU to the heatsink fins, so no bit of airflow is left to waste! Archon SB-E X2’s Slim Tower design is only 53mm across. This allows the Archon SB-E X2 to be fully compatible with RAM of all kinds, so power users are free to fill their RAM slots with high-end overclocked RAM.’ thermalright mount
thermalright fitted ‘Premium performance is only the beginning when it comes to Thermalright products. Silence is equally important, so striking a balance with performance is key. The Archon SB-E X2 comes with two TY-141 140mm silent fans. The TY-141 utilizes Thermalright’s new Silent Torpedo fin design, delivering a massive 73.6 CFM for only 21dBA of silence! The Archon SB-E X2 is Silence and Performance done right, brought to you only by Thermalright!’

 

Heatsink Specifications
Dimension L155 mm x W53.6 mm x H170.2 mm
Weight 750g
Heat pipes Eight 6mm Copper Heatpipes
Fin T = 0.5 mm ; Gap = 1.9 mm
Fin Pcs 39 + 5 = 44 pcs
Copper Base C1100 Pure Copper Mirror Finished base with Nickel Plating
Motherboard to Fin 40.8 + 8 = 48.8 mm
TY-141 FAN Spec
Dimension L152 mm x W140 mm x H26.5 mm
Rated Speed 900~1300RPM±15%
Weight 175g
Noise Level 17~21 dBA
Air Flow 28.3 – 73.6CFM

* Additional details available here

 

First Impressions

 

Ooooh… Shiny… Is the first thing that crossed my mind when seeing the Archon IB-E X2 heatsink for the first time. The next being how solid it is, the heatsink is so well made that you could probably drive an articulated lorry over it without causing any major damage!

 

Thermalright Archon IB-E-X2 - front Thermalright Archon IB-E-X2 - side

 

The Archon IB-E X2 heatsink is L155 mm x W53.6 mm x H170.2 mm and weighs in at 750g which means it fits in the category of ‘slim tower heatsink’ rather nicely. The incredibly high sheen of the polished nickel plating, actually makes the heatsink look much larger in hand that it really is. According to Thermalright, the heatsink features a total of 44 fins in the stack with a 1.9mm gap between each, both of which I’m going to take their word for. 😉
From the front we can see the majority of the eight 6mm heatpipes. These are all sintered to help make the cooler more rigid, strengthen the bond between the fins and heatpipes as well as leave a cleaner surface to allow better airflow and heat dispersion.
If you look at the base, you’ll notice the design is slightly askew. This isn’t a manufacturing fault of course, but intentionally made like this to allow better compatibility and space between the heatsink and motherboard expansion slots.

From the side we can clearly see how narrow the Thermalright Archon IB-E X2 heatsink is. You can even count the fins now if you like? No? Lets press on then!

 

Thermalright Archon IB-E-X2 - top Thermalright Archon IB-E-X2 - bottom

 

Right on top and not a logo in sight. Just some highly polished nickel plating (and a reflection of me…). It does show the attention to detail and quality workmanship from Thermalright, as you look at both ends of the eight heatpipes, they haven’t been simply crimped as many other manufacturers would. Looking to the outside edges there are four tiny holes either side. These are for the fan spring clips, once again, unlike many other CPU manufacturers. Will this make life any easier during installation? We’ll see…

Underneath you can see exactly how much polishing the nickel plated copper base has received, it really is a mirror finish (and yet another reflection of me…). Either side of which you can see how the heatpipes are arranged.

 

Thermalright Archon IB-E-X2 - front fan Thermalright Archon IB-E-X2 - top fan Thermalright Archon IB-E-X2 - side fan

 

Ah… That’s where the Thermalright logos are, on the sides of the 2x TY-141 FAN fans! The fans are both themselves are both 140mm PWM and utilize Thermalrights new ‘Silent Torpedo’ fin design and are rated to move air at a rate of 73.6CFM with only 21dBA of noise. All together it’s not a bad looking CPU cooler at all and looks very industrious. I can’t say I’m a fan of the TY-141 colour, but like just like Noctua, Thermalright have adopted olive/grey and tan as their trademark colours. By only other minor disappointment is the lack of cable braiding on the PWM fan splitter. Is this a deal breaker? Not really, but when the competition offer something a little more aesthetically pleasing, it’s hard not to notice.

 

Thermalright Archon IB-E-X2 - angled

 

So Thermalright have taken a slightly different approach to their latest cooler than that of the recent competition. Will it perform any better or worse? Let’s put it to the test!

 

Hardware Installation

 

  • Test Rig Setup

  • Case Cooler Master HAF XB Power Supply Corsair AX760i
    Motherboard MSI Z87 G45 Gaming CPU Intel Core i5-4670K
    CPU Cooler Thermalright Archon IB-E X2 RAM Kingston HyperX Beast 8GB 2400MHz
    Graphics Card MSI R9 290 GAMING OC Edition SSD Kingston Fury 120GB SSD

     

    Thermalright Archon IB-E-X2 - installed side Thermalright Archon IB-E-X2 - installed angled Thermalright Archon IB-E-X2 - installed front

     

    It would seem that it isn’t just the fan mounts that slightly differ with Thermalrights latest cooler. The mounting system is too! Not in a bad way of course, just different.

    The first order of the day is to sort through the fittings and make sure I’ve just got the LGA1150 fittings (I get easily confused enough as it is! 😉 ). The self adhesive anti vibration pads are then fitted to all four corners and both sides of the Archon IB-E X2 heatsink. The fan spring clips are then fitted (inside mounting holes are for 120mm fans and the outside for the included 140mm). Given the highly polished surfaces of the Archon IB-E X2, it’s well worth fitting the clips from top to bottom as the top will be easily marked. Moving on to the backplate, to which there are three mounting holes per corner (each one for a different socket type). For 1150, the upright bolts are threaded through the central holes, the Mylar film is then placed over the top and four nylon washers screwed down tight over them. The backplate assemble is then lined up with the back of the motherboard mounts, with a screw nut (nylon washer face down) screwed finger tight to each of the screw pillars. Ok, so it isn’t really that different so far, except where most coolers I’ve used in the past have two mounting plates that attach to these pillars, the Archon IB-E X2 has one large one. The mounting plate (or anchoring mount in Thermalrights case) is then screwed to each of the pillars. Thermal adhesive is applied to the i5-4670K (I like the incredibly technical squishy pea method) and ‘squished’ onto the CPU suing the heatsink (make sure the larger part of the heatsink is facing the outside of the motherboard to avoid potential expansion slot issues). The mounting plate is then slid between the heatpipes and screwed down to the anchoring mount. One slight worry I had with this, was the amount of movement on the Archon IB-E X2 once I’d seemingly fitted it correctly, but by tightening the plate down slowly one side at a time, it soon clamps down tight. Leaving just the two TY-141 to be mounted, plugged into the PWM Y-Cable and then onto the motherboard. The fans themselves I found to be a little fiddly, mainly because of the lack of space on a fully loaded motherboard (nothing to do with my sausage fingers at all…).

    Like I said before, it’s no better or worse than other mounting systems, just different. In fact it was rather nice because of that.

    We best get the Test Rig on and take some benchmarks!

     

    Testing Methodology/Setup

     

    For CPU Cooler testing, we here at pcGameware run Prime95 for a 15 minute period. During this period the temperature is monitored with CoreTemp and the cooling performance recorded (the max recorded is the average for all cores). Between each stress test we allow a 15 minute cool-down to allow for more accurate results. To help with fan speed accuracy we use SpeedFan whilst using MSI Command Center to adjust the fan speed. A close eye is also kept on the ambient temperature, with the maximum being recorded for each run, this allows us to calculate the Delta temperature (Core – Ambient = Delta). Each run was performed with the Intel Core i5-4670K CPU at the following frequencies: 3.4GHz (Stock), 4.0GHz (using MSI OC Genie, shown in the picture below) and 4.5GHz (using Intel XTU(Extreme Tuning Utility), also shown in the pictures below), all results have been recorded with CPU-Z.

    * Please note: To ascertain the maximum and minimum noise levels produced by our CPU test coolers. The db is recorded with all case fans unplugged to isolate the sound in question.

     

    MSI Command Center

    Intel-XTU

     

    Hardware Performance

     

    To make our performance tests easier to follow and to get the most accurate recordings, all of the following tests have been carried out with case fans set at 100% and both Thermalright fans also set at 100%.

     

    • Intel Core i5-4670K – 3.4GHz (stock)

     

    Prime95 - 3.4GHz - Thermalright Archon IB-E X2

    Thermalright Archon IB-E X2 – Prime95 – 3.4GHz (fans @ 100%)

    Prime95 - 3.4GHz - Cryorig R1 Ultimate

    Cryorig R1 Ultimate – Prime95 – 3.4GHz (fans @ 100%)

    Prime95 - 3.4GHz - Akasa Venom Medusa

    Akasa Medusa Venom – Prime95 – 3.4GHz (fans @ 100%)

     

    CPU Cooler Fan Speed Ambient Temperature Max CPU Temperature (core average) Delta Temperature Noise Level
    Thermalright Archon IB-E X2 100% 25.00 44.75 20.00 35db
    Cryorig R1 Ultimate 100% 25.00 45.00 20.00 38db
    EKWB EK-Kit 240L 100% 23.00 46.00 23.00 52db
    Akasa Medusa Venom 100% 24.00 46.50 22.50 40db
    Scythe Tatsumi 100% 24.50 49.75 25.25 32db
    Cooler Master Nepton 280L 100% 20.50 54.75 34.25 67db
    Raijintek Themis 100% 19.00 60.75 41.75 47db

     

    Well, for the second time in a week we have a new king of cooling the Intel i5-4670k at its stock speed of 3.4GHz (makes me wonder how many times this’ll happen with the untested coolers!). The Thermalright Archon IB-E X2 just edges out the Cryorig R1 Ultimate by 0.25C with a slightly quieter 35db of noise. Of course we aren’t really interested in the stock cooling performance. So…

    We best take a look at how it performs with a little OC!

     

    • Intel Core i5-4670K – 4.0GHz (OC Genie)

     

    Prime95 - 4.0GHz - Thermalright Archon IB-E X2

    Thermalright Archon IB-E X2 – Prime95 – 4.0GHz (fans @ 100%)

    Prime95 - 4.0GHz - Cryorig R1 Ultimate

    Cryorig R1 Ultimate – Prime95 – 4.0GHz (fans @ 100%)

    Prime95 - 4.0GHz - Akasa Venom Medusa

    Akasa Medusa Venom – Prime95 – 4.0GHz (fans @ 100%)

     

    CPU Cooler Fan Speed Ambient Temperature Max CPU Temperature (core average) Delta Temperature Noise Level
    Cooler Master Nepton 280L 100% 18.00 59.00 41.00 67db
    EKWB EK-Kit L240 100% 23.50 60.00 36.50 52db
    Thermalright Archon IB-E X2 100% 25.50 63.50 38.00 35db
    Cryorig R1 Ultimate 100% 25.50 64.50 39.00 38db
    Akasa Medusa Venom 100% 24.50 66.25 41.75 40db
    Raijintek Themis 100% 19.50 68.00 48.50 47db
    Scythe Tatsumi 100% 24.00 72.75 48.75 32db

     

    Once again the Thermalright Archon IB-E X2 takes a leap forward! The cooler at the automatic OC Genie setting of 4.0GHz the cooler is 1.00C cooler than the R1 Ultimate, but still a little way behind the water coolers.

    Can it cope with a slightly higher overclock?

     

    • Intel Core i5-4670K – 4.5GHz (manual overclock via Intel XTU)

     

    Prime95 - 4.5GHz - Cryorig R1 Ultimate

    Cryorig R1 Ultimate – Prime95 – 4.5GHz (fans @ 100%)

    Prime95 - 4.5GHz - Thermalright Archon IB-E X2

    Thermalright Archon IB-E X2 – Prime95 – 4.5GHz (fans @ 100%)

    Prime95 - 4.5GHz - Akasa Venom Medusa

    Akasa Medusa Venom – Prime95 – 4.5GHz (fans @ 100%)


     

    CPU Cooler Fan Speed Ambient Temperature Max CPU Temperature (core average) Delta Temperature Noise Level
    Cryorig R1 Ultimate 100% 24.50 65.75 41.25 38db
    EKWB EK-Kit L240 100% 24.00 66.50 42.50 52db
    Thermalright Archon IB-E X2 100% 25.00 68.00 43.00 35db
    Cooler Master Nepton 280L 100% 18.00 69.25 51.25 67db
    Akasa Medusa Venom 100% 24.00 70.75 46.75 40db
    Raijintek Themis 100% 20.00 75.00 55.00 47db
    Scythe Tatsumi 100% 24.50 77.25 52.75 32db

     

    Again the Thermalright puts in a stirling performance, but this time not quite enough to take the R1 Ultimates crown, but 68.00C on air is still nothing to be sniffed at in the least. Perhaps just as importantly is how quietly it does so.

    Of course if this is still a little toasty for you it’s worth bearing in mind that while Prime95 is an excellent tool for testing the stability of any CPU overclock, it does this by running your CPU at 100%, in your average Gaming session you’ll most likely not even use half that. 😉

     

    Final Thoughts

     

    The Thermalright Archon IB-E X2 arrived in and incredibly plain brown box, with very little information to give away about the contents inside (none at all actually, just a model name and Thermalright web address). More importantly it gave no idea of the performance that could be expected either!

    The Archon IB-E X2 was well packaged in a dense foam block to help prevent damage, whilst the heatsink itself offers a tremendous build quality and high mirror finish (don’t leave this with the Mrs! 😉 ). With measuremnts of L155 mm x W53.6 mm x H170.2 mm and weight of 750g, the Thermalright Archon IB-E X2 is one of the smallest and lightest CPU coolers on the test bench and as a result has no compatibility issues with RAM or motherboard expansion cards.

    Installing the cooler, whilst slightly different to the rest of the crowd, wasn’t any worse or any better, but for some strange reason felt very relaxing and quite a pleasure to put together (kinda like a stroll in the park I guess, although is that really pleasurable?!?). Admittedly I’m not a so keen on the reverse mounting (spring clips mounted on the heatsink instead of the fans) design, as when you have a heavily populated motherboard, you suddenly find space rather lacking and a little awkward to install the 140mm fans.

    Furthermore the Thermalright Archon IB-E X2 is very nearly silent! With the fans at full speed (1300RPM±15%) they produced just 35db, then at their lowest (900±15%) a miserly 32db. All whilst taking the Air Cooling crown for both our 3.5GHz (stock) and 4.0GHz (OC Genie) Prime95 benchmarks. It really is a lovely cooler.

    Despite only finding it with one retailer, the Archon IB-E X2 is reasonably well priced at £56.91, the quality, performance and sound are up there with the best. Would I buy one? Hmmmmm… That’s a very hard one. The lack of braiding or sleeving on the PWM fan splitter is forgiveable, but for me my Gaming rig is just as much about aesthetics and looking good, as it is about performance. Whilst the Thermalright TY141 140mm fans perform brilliantly, their choice of colour really doesn’t do it for me. Of course if you aren’t as shallow as me and can live with that? It’s pretty damn good! 😉

     

    Verdict

    Please Share, Like & Comment below, we really value your thoughts and opinions…

    Thermalright Archon IB-E-X2 FBCasetac

    Thermalright Archon IB-E X2
    Design/Quality pcGameware awards the Thermalright Archon IB-E X2 CPU Cooler a Silver
    Performance
    Value
    Overall

    Many thanks to Thermalright for providing this sample for review

     


    1. Sam
      December 22nd, 2014 at 23:50 | #1

      Thanks for the review – this has me thinking…..

      should I replace my cnps10extreme, or, not.