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Roundup: 15 affordable coolers
by Marc Prieur
Published on July 11, 2011

Thermaltake Contac 29

The ThermalTake Contac 29 uses three heatpipes like most of the coolers in this comparison. The heatpipes come into direct contact with the processor and it uses a 120mm PWM fan. It comes with a multilingual guide and a tube of thermal paste.
Installation
In spite of the fact that the Contac 29 has a 120mm fan it uses standard Intel clips and brackets screwed onto the cooler. On AMD motherboards a standard system is also used and you don’t even need a screwdriver to fix it on. The fan is mounted using plastic clips.

Optimal orientation allows the use of memory bars with large radiators whatever the memory slot used on our test LGA 1155 motherboard. On AM3 motherboards, one DIMM is under the cooler and therefore only a standard memory bar can be used.
Results

Even at 5V, the C29 isn’t completely silent though it does remain quiet. However it does give excellent thermal performance. At the 4.5 GHz overclocking of the Core i7-2600K you need to run it at 7V and the noise levels are then standard. Though it’s stable outside the casing, the cooler doesn’t keep the CPU sufficiently cool at the 4.8 GHz overclocking.
Assessment
The Contac 29 pleasantly surprised us and is in our top three. While quite compact for a 120mm model, it offers a very good cooling/noise ratio. Its motor is slightly noisier than the Corsair A50 motor but it uses standard brackets and the motherboard doesn’t need to be uninstalled.

Note that the version tested here is soon likely to be replaced by a “BackPanel Edition” with identical performance but using a mounting bracket at the back of the motherboard on Intel platforms.

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