Phononic HEX 2.0 Thermoelectric Mid-Sized CPU Cooler Review

Status
Not open for further replies.

Stevemeister

Distinguished
Mar 18, 2006
347
9
18,815
19
A very diplomatically worded conclusion. As a mechanical engineer let me summarize:

1. It's an overly complicated engineering solution looking for a problem
2. It doesn't work as well as air coolers costing half the price
3. Closed loop liquid coolers will perform way better for the same or less $
4. It adds ~40W to your system's overall power consumption

If this was being promoted on Dragon's Den as an investment opportunity I'd take a pass.
 

JakeWearingKhakis

Commendable
Apr 5, 2016
153
0
1,690
2
I think it is pretty damn cool. I'd love to have one, it would make a nice conversation piece.

Stevemeister is right though. An over complicated solution that needs to find a problem. If the price was less than $100, then it would do much better for people who like technology and want to have neat things?
 

mapesdhs

Distinguished
Jan 22, 2007
2,507
0
21,160
111
If one can't fit a large air cooler, then just use an AIO, works very well. The only caveat is that many AIOs use rather loud fans, so I replace them with better models.
 
This cooler looks like a PoS as far as CPU cooling goes, but if you can mod the firmware, you might be able to make a nifty (but expensive) beer cooler. I helped make a TEC cooler using a thermalright 140mm tower and two (different sized) TEC plates to get dT of ~30C. Sure it needed ~20W, but it gave you an ice cold beer in an hour or so.
 

serendipiti

Distinguished
Aug 9, 2010
152
0
18,680
0
Not sure of the intended use of this device. What should add above liquid cooling o big size air coolers ? Shouldn't be a better temperature management: should perform like a temperature wall: no matter how much heat your CPU dissipates because the Peltier should keep temps below that point. I wonder if the tests done only show a linear behaviour before hitting the "wall" and going to insane overclock would show a different behaviour which would justify the expense...
 

Memhorder

Distinguished
Jan 10, 2014
1,208
0
19,660
107
I was expecting better for the price and power consumption geez. It just doesn't make sense cooling the CPU with the cold side of the TEC Then using a large fin array to cool the Hot side anyways for worse performance. All for 2 centimeters
 

bit_user

Judicious
Ambassador
Maybe I don't know what you mean by AIO, but there are a few downdraft coolers that can comfortably handle 130 W. I use a Scythe Big Shuriken 2 Rev B, but replaced the fan with a Noctua 150 mm .

This has the added advantage of providing RAM and VRM cooling, as well.
 

gdmaclew

Distinguished
I too was expecting a better performance from this unique device. I was first introduced to them around 1980 when the first portable drink coolers came out.
I guess the reason why it didn't perform better was for the reason stated in the article...the hot exhaust air is being exhausted inside the enclosure, instead of outside it. If somehow the unit could draw in cool air from outside the case and then exhaust it outside the case, it would work much better, just like a beer cooler.
Still it is an interesting application to a common PC problem.
 

chris maple

Distinguished
Jan 11, 2012
4
0
18,510
0
In all likelihood, this cooler is designed to handle a medium-power CPU. That might allow the die to be cooled to room temperature. Expecting a 40 watt Peltier to cool an i7 running Prime95 is unrealistic.
 

laststop311

Distinguished
Nov 8, 2010
281
0
18,790
2
nh-d15s is still the best cooler if you care about noise. you stick the a15 fan in the middle of the 2 towers run it at a nice low 700 rpm and you have complete silence and a nice cool cpu in the 60's
 

MasterMace

Distinguished
Oct 12, 2010
1,151
0
19,460
68
I thought at first glance of the title it might in fact convert heat into electricity, becoming disappointed when I read what it is supposed to do, and more disappointed when I saw what it actually does.
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Former Staff
It had already "hit the wall", so you're assessment is backwards. Using a processor with less thermal output would have allowed it to modulate power: Instead it was running full force at all settings.

Hardly unique but certainly rare, here's one from 2007:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/vigors-monsoon-ii-tec-cpu-cooler,1565-2.html
And here's one with a slightly different heat sink layout from last year:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/v3-voltair-v3tec120-fc01-tec-cpu-cooler,4165.html

That's 40W of waste energy. I couldn't tell you exactly how much energy it transfers from the cool side to the hot side without more specs.

You could use the same concept to turn heat into electricity, but the CPU would overheat in the process :)


 

SylentVyper

Reputable
Dec 30, 2014
98
0
4,660
5
Judging by the review, I can save >$100 and get a typical 92mm fan cooler that fits the same form factor as this, and put that $100 to make the system better.

What in the heck is the point of this product? Price, Noise, Cooling Ability. At least one of those needs to be better to be relevant, and this fails all 3.
 

bit_user

Judicious
Ambassador
The air inside the case is probably just a couple degrees C warmer than room temp, at most. And the hot air should have been exhausted pretty much straight out of the case, making recirculation pretty much a non-issue.

Also, it's not really a fair complaint, since all the other coolers they compared it with were installed in the same case.

The biggest problem it has is that it needs to get rid of the entire CPU heat + 40 W extra. And they're trying to do that with a smaller heatsink, instead of a bigger one.

I think Peltier devices only make sense in CPU cooling for extreme overclocking with water cooling and big radiator. Even then, I wonder what the gains there'd be over direct-die waterblock cooling.
 

joshyboy82

Distinguished
Nov 8, 2010
739
0
19,160
68


You cannot pass! That out of the way, DD wouldn't have Tom's results, so you'd have to decide on the sales pitch, and read about how you were suckered a month later.
 

zodiacfml

Distinguished
Oct 2, 2008
1,226
26
19,285
0
I knew this won't work at all. See, you only need the TEC if you want to cool something below ambient temperatures at expense of using more power and larger or slower cooling.

In the world of CPU cooling, TEC would probably work if you already have an over sized cooling solution like big water cooling. Yet, I'm not still not sure if it will be able to bring temperatures below ambient especially at load.

THG is so dependent on their advertisers that they can't say bad things about this bluntly. They also chose smaller air coolers so that this product doesn't look too bad to large coolers in the benchmarks. In summary, you are paying more for less and more complication. Simply a waste of time.
 
I agree, hard fail. Kudos for going outside the box and taking it from paper to product but these type of things need to be done in private until they work out the performance rather than face plant in front of everyone.

Compared to say a dark rock tf which has nh-d14 cooling performance and nearly identical sound levels, a tf is literally half the price and only 5-6mm taller. I suppose had they used corsair's ml mag lev fan for it they would have won the 'most overengineered of 2016' award.

The price of this thing is outrageous, someone could afford a decent case wide enough to fit a decent cooler as well as afford the cooler for this kind of cash. Something like an nh-d14 or dark rock tf with a fractal r4/r5 or enthoo pro for the same as the cost of this cooler alone.
 

bit_user

Judicious
Ambassador
I really wonder how much experimentation they did, before deciding to launch this product. You'd think that, before they put in all this effort, they'd have some test bench measurements which convinced them it made sense.

I wonder whether there might be any production issues which resulted in lower-than-expected performance.
 

mapesdhs

Distinguished
Jan 22, 2007
2,507
0
21,160
111


All In One water cooler, a ready made, sealed unit requring no assembly, such as the Corsair H80/H100/H110 and later "i" series designs.

I used a large air cooler similar to the NH-D15 (a big Phanteks), switched to an H80, better temps, less noise (with NDS fans), easier mbd space management (dedicated fan for chipset), and in bigger setups I use the H100 or H110 instead.

Ian.

 
Status
Not open for further replies.

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS