Titan Dragonfly 4 Review

red454 - 2013-11-09 17:19:34 in CPU Cooling
Category: CPU Cooling
Reviewed by: red454   
Reviewed on: December 3, 2013
Price: $TBD

Titan Dragonfly 4 Introduction:

Titan started out in 1989 under the name of Sogic Computer Co., Ltd., and in 1992 the name was changed to Titan Computer Co., Ltd. Over the years it has built an impressive line of accessory coolers, CPU coolers, and fans. There is even an IP55-rated dust and waterproof fan! Titan has released two new coolers: the Dragonfly 3 and the Dragonfly 4. The Dragonfly 3 uses three heat pipes and a 90mm fan, while the Dragonfly 4 uses four heat pipes and a 120mm fan. Today we're reviewing the Dragonfly 4.

The CPU cooler is a critical piece of hardware. It has an important job to do, and while the stock cooler may be adequate for casual use, more rigorous demands generate more heat. And the cooler works hard to transfer that heat away from your CPU from the moment you hit the On button and the fans start spinning. Two characteristics that are common to large, bulky coolers are the weight and sheer size. They are typically heavy enough to really put a load on the motherboard, and the space that they occupy often covers RAM slots and makes access to fan headers and CPU power cables nearly impossible. But the Dragonfly may be able to push these issues to the side with its small size and light weight. We will see if a small cooler can get the job done.

Titan Dragonfly 4 Closer Look:

The box carries a blue and white color scheme, the front shows the front and back of the cooler, and of course there is a namesake dragonfly that has landed on top of the cooler. Below the graphics are some of the product highlights, including the 160W thermal capacity and the socket compatibility. The back side of the box shows the features in eight languages, and also has the specifications at the bottom. The right side of the box shows the features (slim, silent, and power saving) along with some nice pictures and graphics of the cooler. The English translations are a little hard to follow at first, but after you see the pictures, you can understand the intended meaning. The entire left side of the box shows a rather complete list of the socket coverage and further breaks down the sockets into no less than 60 CPU models.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The top of the box has the TITAN logo and Dragonfly 4 text in black, which stands out against the white background. Open the box and the Dragonfly 4 is firmly packed along with the hardware box, but there is no other internal packing around the fan or head sink - no formed foam nest or cardboard buffer. With no internal packing, it looks like it wouldn't take much rough handling or an external impact to damage the cooler, but it has arrived with no problems. After the Dragonfly 4 is pulled out of the box, you can see that there is a small cardboard cradle that fits around the base. This protects it and keeps the base from shifting around in the main box. It easily pops off.

 

 

The accessory bundle includes hardware to mount the Dragonfly 4 into all of the current sockets from AMD and Intel, including socket 2011; the fan mounting brackets; thermal paste; and two extra clips to add a second optional fan. The instruction set is printed on one side, and is mostly graphics, but it is easy to follow.

 

Titan Dragonfly 4 Closer Look:

I measured the Dragonfly 4 at 157mm x 120mm x 48mm in size, and it weighs in at 483g (17oz.). The Dragonfly 4 is thin and light enough not to cause a concern about excessive weight hanging on the motherboard. The 48mm thick dimension (with a single fan) is what makes this cooler ideal for motherboard and RAM access as we see in the installation pictures at the bottom. The Dragonfly 4 uses a single 15mm thick, 120mm PWM fan (13 blades) to provide the airflow through the four heat pipe-equipped tower.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

The Dragonfly 4 is a tower-style heat sink that uses a quartet of 5mm copper heat pipes to carry the thermal load from the contact face of the cooler to the aluminum fin array. One thing I notice is the way the heat pipes are arranged - in a line so that each pipe gets its own supply of air and air only passes a given heat pipe once. Some coolers stagger the pipes so that air passes by a series of pipes and I have to wonder if that has an effect on efficiency.

The outer edges of the fin array have a wave pattern that alternates every six fins. At the base there are holes for AMD and Intel mounting feet, but the unit comes with the Intel feet already installed. There is a second set of wire mounting clip included if you would like to add a second optional fan for a push / pull configuration. There are also little cooling fins formed into the aluminum heat sink base to help dissapate heat. Printed on top is the Titan logo and a blue dragonfly graphic, which add a nice touch.

 

 

 

The Dragonfly 4 uses a direct-contact heat pipe design, which allows the thermal load to take a more direct route to the large fin array. The surface is not smooth, but most direct contact designs usually aren't. Depending on the size of the gaps between the heat pipes and base material, you may need to use more thermal paste than normal when mounting the cooler. There is a protective film that needs to be removed before using the Dragonfly 4.

 

 

To keep the Dragonfly slim, a 15mm thick, 13 blade fan is used. Here you can see the fan and wire mounting clips that are used to secure it to the heat sink. The clips are, of course, designed for a thin (15mm) fan, and fans that size are not very common. So using a more standard 25mm thick fan makes sense, but it won't work with these clips. It would be a good idea to include some clips that would fit a 25mm fan.

The included fan is rated to run between 150±20% and 1500±10% RPM at 12V using 0.2A to consume 2.4W. Rated at between <5~<28.6dBA, the fan is quiet enough even at full speed that you can hardly hear it over your other case fans, while stll providing almost 53 CFM at an air pressure rating of 0.05 Inch H2O. The cable is sleeved for a sleek look and terminates in a 4-pin fan header connector.

 

 

Installing the Dragonfly 4 is straightforward. The base bracket is two-sided, so you can use it for an Intel or AMD installation. There are four bolts that hold the base bracket to the back of the motherboard. After the bolts protrude through the motherboard, you slide a small washer over each bolt, then screw each of the four spacers over the bolts. Now you are ready to attach the heat sink. I found it easier to remove the fan first. The final screws have springs to apply a constant load on the heat sink, then I like to apply the thermal paste for a test fit.

 

 

 

The small size of the Dragonfly 4 makes for a nice installation. You can access all of the motherboard sockets. Even if you add a second fan, you would not be sacrificing motherboard access. There is plenty of room to get to the RAM slots, as most large coolers cover your RAM.

  

Titan Dragonfly 4 Specifications:

P/N
 TTC-NC95TZ(RB)
Compatibility
 Intel LGA 775/1150/1155/1156/1366/2011
AMD AM2/AM2+/AM3/AM3+/FM1/FM2
Heatsink Dimension
 120 x 71.4 x 160 mm
Heatsink Material
 Aluminum Fins
Copper Heatpipes
Heatpipe
 Φ5mm x 4 pcs
Fan Dimension
 120 x 120 x 15 mm
Fan quantity
 1 pcs
Fan Speed
 150±20%~1500±10%RPM
Rated Voltage
 12V
Rated Current
 0.2A
Power Input
 2.4W
Air Flow
 5.30~52.95 CFM
Air Pressure
 0.001~0.05 InchH2O
Noise
 <5~<28.6dBA
Life time/Fan Life time
 60,000 hours
Fan control
 PWM
pin connect
 4 pin
Cooling Power
160W
Mass
483 grams (17oz.)

 

Titan Dragonfly 4 Features:


 

All information Courtesy of Titan @ http://www.titan-cd.com/pdf/1305-04-DM-Dragonfly-NC85-NC95.pdf

Titan Dragonfly 4 Testing:

Testing of the Dragonfly 4 will be accomplished by installing the cooler into the test system case, rather than a test bench. Most systems are built and mounted into a sealed (relatively) chassis, so this method will be used to generate the load and idle results to give a real world view as to what kind of cooling performance one can expect, based on the test system listed below. Of course, your results may vary by several degrees due to case design and ambient air temperature. The CPU load is generated by Prime 95 version 27.9 for a period of two hours, with a cooldown period of one hour after the computer has returned to an idle state. Real Temp 3.70 is used to log the temperatures with the highest and lowest averages across the four cores of the Core i7 4770K test CPU. Ambient temperatures are kept at 24 °C during the testing to minimize the effect of temperature variations. Each cooler is tested with the manufacturer supplied thermal compound as delivered.

Testing Setup:

 

Comparison Coolers:






 

 

 

At idle, the Dragonfly 4 was able to keep my CPU at 29 °C and 35 °C for overclocked idle, which is at the high end of the comparison field. That field contains coolers much larger and costing much more than the Dragonfly 4. Now when you get to the overclocked results, again the Dragonfly 4 is at the high end, with 70 °C at stock speeds and 92 °C when overclocked. What this means to me is that the Dragonfly is well-suited for normal use, but perhaps a little on the weak side for overclocking. Regarding fan noise, I heard none at all from within the chassis.

Titan Dragonfly 4 Conclusion:

The Dragonfly 4 is a small, whisper quiet cooler that doesn't smother your motherboard. Install the Dragonfly 4 and you can still get to the various sockets and connectors on your motherboard, and more importantly, the RAM. You can't usually say that with large, monster coolers. A single, very thin 120mm PWM fan is used to provide the airflow through the heat sink, with an option of adding a second fan. At full speed, you can't hear the fan, and I suspect that adding a second fan wouldn't make it any more noticeable. Some coolers sound like you are on an airport runway when the fans spool up, but not the Dragonfly 4.

Cooling performance was at the high end (higher temperature) of the comparison field. Turn up the heat, and the Dragonfly 4 struggles a bit to keep the temps down. The Dragonfly 4 is not likely targeted at systems that are regularly pushed to the thermal limits, so keeping that in mind, if you don't overclock or tax your CPU with a heavy workload for long periods of time, then the Dragonfly can keep up. Adding a second fan may help a little, but air flow is only part of the equation, and a smaller cooler just doesn't have the surface area that a large cooler has. But for cooling that is much better than stock, the Dragonfly gets the job done quietly, and with an unobstructed design.

Titan has done a nice job with the Dragonfly 4. The fit and finish are top-notch, and the installation is clean and easy. For the average user, it delivers good, quiet cooling performance.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: