Although the winter season is not the most ideal time for people to go out to get a brand new CPU Cooler either to replace the stock and somewhat weak (and loud) Intel/AMD HSF or upgrade to something better from an aftermarket solution due to low temperatures still new products are released almost on a daily basis and it's our job to test them. Now as most of you know tower (U-type) CPU Coolers have been around for over half a decade but aside minor design and size differences the main concept/base is always the same. However this is quite understandable since their cooling performance levels are already very good and in some cases they are even maxed out which is why many of the leading manufacturers in the market are turning towards compact liquid CPU Coolers. Not everyone however can afford a liquid CPU Cooler and there are always those who can but don't want to spend much so because of that today we decided to test the latest U-type tower design CPU Cooler by Spire, the X2.9883.
SpireX2 redefines the true meaning of performance PC hardware. With our exceptional style coupled with genuine product quality Spire X2 is irrefutably above and beyond the rest. For the last Fourteen years, Spire has been both recognized and respected as the #1 manufacturer of computer thermal solutions from Europe. The quality and reliability of our products has earned us the loyalty of many well known partner distributors throughout the world and we have maintained close business ties with international names in the computer industry. Our dependable products and community resources make it possible for Spire to not only compete, but to deliver quality and powerful PC hardware solutions. Spire products have acquired approvals and recommendations from trusted household names Advanced Micro Devices, Intel, and VIA. We are also recognized by the International Standard Commission for Quality Assurance in 1999 against ISO 9001. Spire X2 strives to surpass the needs of our customers with the satisfaction and our guarantee of reliability, compatibility and consistency in our products. Our mission is to provide the highest endeavor of performance while obtaining high-quality levels in our computing products.
Much like many similar units out in the market the X2.9883 CPU Cooler by Spire is basically a mid-sized, nickel plated tower CPU Cooler with a TDP (Thermal Design Power) of 130W (max=150W), universal CPU Compatibility (Intel/AMD), D.T.H (direct touch heatpipe) base, six 6mm all-copper heatpipes and a 5 year warranty. One of its strong cards however is the bundled 120mm PWM nano precision bearing fan with which the X2.9883 promises top notch cooling performance levels with minimum noise. Certainly we've heard similar claims before by pretty much every single manufacturer out there so the time has come for us to see whether or not the X2.9883 delivers on what it promises.
SPECIFICATIONS AND FEATURES
PACKAGING AND CONTENTS
Spire packs the X2.9883 inside a medium sized box with a product image at the front right beneath the Spire X2 logo.
The contents of the bundle are listed on the left side of the box.
A socket compatibility list can be seen on the right side.
The specifications list is placed at the rear alongside a product picture showcasing the D.T.H base.
After you open the box you will see that the X2.9883 is placed inside a plastic clamshell box while the rest of the bundle is placed inside another cardboard box.
Inside the box you will find the X2.9883 heatsink, 120mm PWM nano precision bearing fan, user's manual, warranty card, thermal paste tube, 4 wire fan mounts, fan extension cable and all the necessary bits and pieces to mount the cooler on Intel 775/1155/1156/1366/2011 and AMD AM2/AM3/FM1 sockets.
As mentioned earlier the heatsink of the X2.9883 is a mid-sized one and measures 160mm in height, 140mm in width and 47mm in depth while weighing a total of 535g.
The heatsink body is made by a total of 46 nickel plated aluminum fins (the large opening in the middle should increase airflow passing through the fins).
All of the heatsinks are bend inwards on both sides to keep air coming from the fan from leaking left and right (thus increasing the units cooling efficiency).
The Spire logo is placed on both the top and bottom fins.
Much like most tower type heatsinks you can mount up to two 120/140mm fans on the X2.9883.
The X2.9883 has a total of six 6mm straight lined all-copper nickel plated heatpipes.
D.T.H technology may not be something new but it should allow for faster heat transfer from the CPU to the heatpipes.
The 7 bladed 120mm PWM nano precision bearing fan can achieve speeds of up to 1500RPM (+-10%) and produce airflow levels of up to 62.53CFM at just 20dBA of noise.
Mounting the fan with the supplied wire fan mounts is extremely easy.
With the 120mm fan mounted the X2.9883 now measures 160mm in height, 140mm in width, 72mm in depth and weighs a total of 673g.
I always take things quite seriously when it comes to work so just like with the previous LGA1366 database we will not be testing each CPU Cooler on its own and with different ambient temperature levels so we can actually have yet another valid CPU Cooler database. Testing a CPU Cooler automatically means that you need to know where it stands against the immediate competition and to accomplish that we have spent both money and time through the years, something that i plan to continue to do so in order to get the most accurate results for the end users who read these lines. Every CPU cooler in this database will be tested with its bundled 140mm/120mm/92mm/80mm fans while working at 100% of their speeds for all the temperature tests. CPU Coolers that do not come bundled with a fan/s are measured using a Noctua fan (size dependent on the model) to test for the temperature tests but due to the lack of a stock fan we will not be measuring their dBA levels. For the dBA test every cooler in the database was measured both while on idle mode or with the fan controller in the minimum setting and while on extreme load or with the fan controller all the way to the highest possible setting. PWM fans do that or their own without our intervention. Every single test takes place in a temperature controlled room of 23 degrees Celsius Ambient Temp with the help of two AC units placed diagonally inside the room. The Arctic Silver 5 thermal paste is used with every CPU Cooler in our latest LGA2011 database (although initially this was not the plan we had to change things to get the most accurate results). Finally it's very important to point out that just because a CPU Cooler is better than another when tested with our test rig CPU, the Intel Core i7-3930k that does not necessarily mean that the same performance differences will apply 100% for other CPU models and in other situations (such as different ambient temps and system configurations).
To successfully record the load temperatures we use the latest OCCT application for around 60 minutes to push the processor to its limits and after that is done and the temperatures are recorded we wait for about 10-20 minutes for the CPU to cool down and record the idle temperatures. This is done to allow time for the thermal conductive material to achieve the optimal performance level. Same procedure is then repeated with the Passmark BurnIn Test as a failsafe just in case the OCCT results are wrong. This procedure takes a lot more time than the usual peltier/thermometer tests but this way not only can we deliver real world results to our readers based on real CPUs but we can also triple check the results using a variety of programs. Last but not least the temperatures were recorded using both the latest versions of AIDA64 and RealTemp while the noise level tests are performed using a high precision ExTech HD600 Decibel Meter placed about 10-15cm above the CPU Cooler. Still although the same testing procedure applies to all units do take into consideration that unlike the official numbers which are measured in special noise isolated labs with just the fans here we also have both the rest of the cooler and the rest of the system (although all system fans are turned off when recording noise levels).
Spire may not be amongst the few manufacturers that aim enthusiasts and overclockers with their products but to date i can only say good things about them since they always try to hit the sweet spot between performance and price without sacrificing quality in the process. So although the X2.9883 can't really keep up with ultra-high end solutions like the Dark Rock Pro 2 or the NH-D14 but it did surprisingly well for a single heatsink/fan solution especially if you take into account the recorded noise levels. Now we are perfectly aware that compared to the 20dBA advertised by Spire the 48.3dBA recorded in our lab may seem like worlds apart but do remember that our measurements take place from just 5-10cm and not the 1m (and sometimes even more) used by most manufacturers.
At the time we finished the review of the X2.9883 we were informed that Spire improved on the current nano precision bearing fan design (1800RPM/22dBA/74.63CFM) and replaced the X2.9883 with the X2.9884 model which currently retails for around USD50 inside the USA and 45Euros inside the EU. Certainly the new nano bearing fan used should improve the performance of the unit (slightly but it should) so if you happen to come across both the X2.9883 and the X2.9884 the choice should be quite obvious (unless the price difference is large). Personally i really liked the entire package not only because of its performance but also because of its looks and price tag which is why we present the X2.9883 CPU Cooler by Spire with our Golden Award.
- Build Quality
- Good Performance
- Overall Size
- Dual Fan Solution (Push & Pull)
- Price (For Some)