Roundup: 10 high-end CPU coolers
by Marc Prieur
Published on September 28, 2011
The Archon is Thermalright’s high end compact cooler. With six heatpipes, it weighs 900g with a single 140 mm PWM fan. In the bundle there’s a tube of thermal paste, the necessary for mounting a second fan and an installation guide for AMD platforms with another for Intel. They're nicely illustrated.
Installing the Archon on an Intel platform is very simple. First you mount the plate at the back of the motherboard. Then the mounting bracket goes on followed by the heatsink with metal rods fixed on beforehand for attaching the fan and anti-vibration pads to. Everything is then mounted with a retention plate which is fixed onto the back plate. It has a screw in the centre which allows you to regulate the pressure exerted on the CPU. Finally you mount the fan. On AMD platforms you screw the back plate directly onto a retention plate which makes things a little bit more arduous if you’re not carrying out the operation outside the casing.
The Archon is compact and the fan only extends above one DIMM. There is however only a space of 30 mm underneath and if you want to use all the memory slots you’ll have to avoid using overly large radiators.
5V is too low for the TY-140 and it won't start at this speed, though it will turn over if you've already started it at a higher speed. Even though it’s silent, the Archon doesn’t cool the heatsink enough when in load and it’s best to up voltage to 7V, at which it's still very quiet. This model can therefore cool the Core i7-2600K at its base clock or when overclocked to 4.5 GHz, but at 4.8 GHz you’ll need to go up to 9V. Even at 12V noise levels are contained.
The Archon Thermalright offers very decent performance, not far off the Silver Arrow, which has an equivalent fan. The Archon is a good deal smaller however. The only thing is that it's sometimes priced very close to the Silver Arrow, which isn’t really justified and tips the scales in the Silver Arrow’s favour.