CoolerMaster Hyper TX3 Reviewccokeman - September 24, 2009
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The Hyper TX3 is put together using a composite design using aluminum and copper to get rid of the thermal load from the processor. The TX3 is the first cooler from CoolerMaster to offer full socket 1156 compatability as well as bringing back the "direct contact heatpipe" design. At 139mm tall it is not a behemoth and is meant for use as a mainstream replacement even with a load capacity of over 130 watts. As such it uses a PWM fan that runs from 800 to 2800 RPM for silence as well as cooling potential. The top fin of the TX3 features the CoolerMaster Logo with the 3 copper heat pipes coming out on either side of the logo.
The base of the Hyper TX3 is comprised of both copper and aluminum. The copper heatpipes are encased within the block assembly that contains the mounting lugs for the push pin retention brackets. The surface of the TX3 looks like a mile of rutted roads in this view but it is mostly an optical illusion. The implementation of the heatpipe design looks like the pipes were pressed into a slot that was a tad deeper than needed but it still feel smooth when you run your finger over it. The screw holes in the bottom of the base are to mount the retention brackets used to hold the cooler onto the CPU and PCB. The two sets of holes are used to cover both Intel socket 775 and socket 1156 mounting.
Since the Hyper TX3 will be tested on Intels latest socket I will install the brackets in place to mount the cooler on this processor. The mounting brackets have 2 holes in each leg as well as the push pin locking mechanism. The holes correspond to the difference in the spacing of the mounting holes on the motherboard. The holes in the bracket are made so that the bracket cannot slide along the screw and change the mounting hole spacing. This could provide some serious headaches when the time came to install the TX3.
The PWM fan used by CoolerMaster is 92mm in diameter, uses a sleeve bearing and displaces anywhere from 16 to 55 C.F.M. depending on how fast the fan is spinning. The range is from 800 to 2800 RPM. To keep the fan from rattling on the TX3 CoolerMaster has installed rubber blocks on the contact points. Couple this with an 800RPM fan speed and you should not hear this heatsink in your chassis. The fan is held on with a pair of brackets much the same way the fan is held on Noctuas NH-U12P and the Thermalright MUX-120. CoolerMaster does supply a second set of brackets in case you want to move to a push/pull orientation with the addition of another fan.
Installing this heatsink should be no more troublesome than putting in the stock Intel heatsink. The push pin mounting mechanism works the same way. The TX 3 is small enough to make it good addition for a mid tower case. Even in my full tower Tagen Monolith I had more than enough room to get my meat-hooks around the heatsink and push the pins in, with the fan on!
When I pulled the TX 3 off of the board I was surprised to see that while the difference in the height of the copper heatpipes and aluminum base plate felt smooth to the touch, the optical illusion appeared to be the reality of the heatpipe/block relationship. When I install a heatsink I use not quite a pea sized amount of TIM. In every mount I usually have it running over the sides of the heatspreader on the processor. Not in this case as the TIM had to fill the gaps between the block and heatpipes before it spread any further. As you can see in the pictures a good percentage of the heatspreader is not covered in the thermal interface material. Lapping the contact surface could fix this with 30 minutes to an hour of work. But when you get down to it this is meant for the mainstream user and costs a miserly $20.
Let's see what kind of improvement over the Intel solution the TX 3 delivers!