Review: Made for best performance
Today we’ll talk about Thermalright Archon CPU cooler, which launched sometime towards the end of 2010. Weighing in at 806g (without the fan and socket mounting parts) and measuring 17cm in height, Archon is a heavyweight CPU cooler with imposing tower looks and, hopefully, extraordinary performance.
The specially designed heatsink should provide improved dissipation. The package comes with Thermalright’s silent TR-TY 14cm fan and since Archon’s heatsink is 53mm wide, you can strap it with another 14cm fan in the so-called push-pull mode.
Archon’s competition in the high-end CPU cooling segment is pretty strong, but while there are many good coolers, not many stand out as being really special. So, let’s move on and see whether Archon has what it takes to stand out of the crowd.
As we’re used to seeing from Thermalright, packaging is a small but sturdy box.
You’ll find the name of the product on one side of the box, and that’s pretty much the only information that says what’s in the box.
Archon is cozily sitting inside protected with polyurethane foam.
Thermalright ships its TR-TY 140 fan (140mm) with Archon cooler as well as fan-clips for two fans and parts for mounting the cooler on AMD and Intel sockets.
Two manuals with plenty of pictures will help you mount Archon in no time.
Archon’s heatsink measures (L)155mm X (W)53mm X (H)170.25mm, which means it’s a high tower-design cooler. Although its dimensions are similar to those of other high end tower coolers, it’s clear that Thermalright did some work on heatsink and heatpipe design.
You can find Thermalright’s listed specs below.
Each of the 50 aluminum fins is made out of one 0,5mm thick sheet of aluminum. By bending them at several points, Thermalright narrowed the heatsink to 155mm, which is compatible with most systems. Such a construction should improve airflow through the heatsink and of course, improve cooling performance.
Thermalright also improved airflow by leaving a hole in the midle of the heatsink, something the company has done on some of its previous coolers (for instance the HR-02 that we tested here).
As you can see, the cooler has six heatpipes but only two were bent in the traditional U form.
Archon uses the so called “Pressure Vault Bracket” for mounting, just like most other Thermalright coolers. This allows for introducing pressure from 40 to 70 pounds.
The copper base comes with mirror-like finish.
Thermalright’s Archon comes with TR-TY 140mm PWM fan with maximum RPM of 1300. The fan can churn out 73CF airflow with maximum noise of 21dBA.
Archon is only 53mm thick so it should not interfere with your memory modules, not even when you strap it with a fan.
Archon supports Intel sockets 775/1155/1156/1366 as well as AMD sockets AM2/AM2+/AM3. Naturally, larger cases will provide maximum compatibility whereas smaller ones will require you to do some math. The following picture can help you with checking whether Archon will fit in your case.
Archon can be used with one or two fans and, as you can see from the picture below, they are mounted to the cooler via metal wires (fan-clips).
The procedure is simple enough – mount the wires on the heatsink first and fasten the fan. The wires are pretty tough and it is advised to mount them before the cooler is on your motherboard.
The manual features plenty of pictures and you won’t have any problems mounting the cooler.
You can mount the Archon vertically or horizontally – Thermalright’s moutning system will take it either way.
There’s just enough room between the cooler ant the rear panel to mount another fan.
Archon’s heatsink is 42,55mm above the CPU, which means that we could have mounted it horizontally without memory getting in the way. Note however that memory modules with tall heatspreaders, such as Corsair Dominator series, will not allow for horizontal placement of Archon.
In short, mounting Archon on EVGA’s FTW 3 went without a hitch. However, you still might want to check out Thermalright’s compatibility list, which can be found here.
For instance, Thermalright warns users that P55 might introduce problems and the company said:
”Archon’s length measures 155mm, so the first step would be confirm the position of your first vga slot on the motherboard, especially ASUS P55 series users, please take note of the following installation instruction.
Normal ATX board would have space for 7 vga slots, but most motherboard manufacturers would only supply six PCI slots, this is because the area of the first slot is often taken by the north bridge, but due to the new P55 design, there will be no north bridge, so the first slot would be used as a primary VGA slot.
Before installing the Archon CPU cooler, you may confirm by looking at the I/O ports, right below the I/O port if there is a close-by first slot, then you will need to have your vga card installed in the second PCI-E slot, to have enough space for Archon, please see below.
If the position of your first PCI-E slot is in the second slot, then you may install the Archon without any problem, please see below
Since Thermalright Archon is 170mm tall, you must have a case at least 190mm wide. In case you have a fan on the side panel, you’ll have to take it off before mounting Archon. Archon fit like a glove in our Corsair Obsidian 800D.
We performed our testing in Corsair Obsidian 800D case with three reference fans running at 900RPM (room temperature about 22°C). Our weapons of choice were EVGA’s X58 FTW3 motherboard and Core i7 930 CPU. The temperatures were measured at reference 2.9GHz as well as after our overclock (we pushed the CPU to 3.6GHz).
For the first test with Archon we used one 14cm fan. We’re talking about Thermalright’s TR-TY 140 fan (900~1300RPM) which ended up being enough for Archon’s excellent performance. The case’s rear panel houses a 14cm fan that pushes the air out, so we’ve got ourselves a neat push-pull setup here.
The 14cm, 900 RPM fan on the case’s rear panel does great to improve cooling and ultimately, adding another fan on the cooler’s tower heatsink made little difference.
We used Prime95 to put a 100% load on all Core i7 930’s cores, so bear in mind that we’re talking about a scenario that will most probably never happen. We measured temperatures on all four cores using AIDA64 (the successor to Everest), and put average values in the tables. We used Gelid’s GC Extreme paste.
High end CPU cooling segment packs plenty of strong competition but Thermalright Archon has proven that its extraordinary performance deserves a place in top spots.
If you’re shopping for a cooler you should note that Archon is 17cm tall. Archon’s standard packaging includes Thermalright’s quality TY-14cm fan. Archon is 55mm thick and if it fits in your case, it probably means that it will take two fans without getting in the way of your equipment.
We were sent a standard Archon package with one TR-TY 14cm fan by pc-cooling.de and it costs about €60. However, if you want two fans you can head over to pc-cooling.de and purchase the same package with two fans for €70, here.