Review Thermalright Peerless Assassin 120 SE Review: Incredible, Affordable Air Cooling Performance

RichardtST

Proper
May 17, 2022
96
86
110
0
Awesome. So it should work pretty well if I remove the fan covering the RAM? Or move it to the other side? Gotta have my pretty RGB RAM and cannot be covering it up! Mounting system looks like a breeze too.
 

Math Geek

Titan
Ambassador
looking at amazon there is a large number of options for this cooler. black, white, with or without argb. the non se version is also there which seems like it just adds a couple extra sockets it can mount to.

https://www.amazon.com/Thermalright-Peerless-Assassin-Aluminium-Technology/dp/B09LGY38L4?th=1


i like the grey of the non se version and it's only a couple bucks more. might just pull the trigger on this for my 5900x to give it some room to breathe. i'm a sucker for a good buy :)
 
Aug 10, 2022
36
26
60
0
Awesome. So it should work pretty well if I remove the fan covering the RAM? Or move it to the other side? Gotta have my pretty RGB RAM and cannot be covering it up! Mounting system looks like a breeze too.
You could try mounting the fan on the opposite end, but I think it would be less effective this way. It should still work well.
 

wifiburger

Honorable
Feb 21, 2016
609
102
11,190
9
nice review!

I have this cooler on my spare/tv system, 1080ti with day1 3900x, fans only go 50% when using 160w or 65c temps

You can reduce some of the noise by having the pull fan on different fan header with 5-10% less PWM vs the push fan.

I wasn't expecting much quality for the fans for the low price but the included fans are crazy good, almost Noctua level for air / low noise.

Prime95, below 85c with 50% speed. Pretty good for air cooler with my hot running day 1 3900x.
 
Last edited:

tennis2

Judicious
Difficult to increase sample size with multiple TH reviewers. Leaves me wondering about comparison to the Deepcool AS500 (or similar single-tower 140mm coolers, Scythe Fuma 2, etc.) Would be nice if testing can be normalized in a way that allows results to be transferred/combined for larger lists.

The Scythe Fuma 2 has some obvious compatibility benefits: Offset fins, and a 15mm front fan. Seems like some sort of shroud for the center fan of the PA120SE would've been a welcome inclusion to make removal of the front fan a viable alternative in the case of RAM clearance issues. Duct tape at $36 I suppose.

Can't deny that value though. For $36...no brainer. Hopefully price doesn't shoot through the roof as more people learn about this product.
 
Last edited:

Exploding PSU

Reputable
Jul 17, 2018
403
108
4,870
3
looking at amazon there is a large number of options for this cooler. black, white, with or without argb. the non se version is also there which seems like it just adds a couple extra sockets it can mount to.

https://www.amazon.com/Thermalright-Peerless-Assassin-Aluminium-Technology/dp/B09LGY38L4?th=1


i like the grey of the non se version and it's only a couple bucks more. might just pull the trigger on this for my 5900x to give it some room to breathe. i'm a sucker for a good buy :)
Same here, I watched a few reviews about this cooler sometimes ago and I'm looking to pick one up in white. It's rare to see a good air cooler in white.
 

philhay

Distinguished
Sep 19, 2014
4
0
18,510
0
The review here mentions AM5 compatibility but the manufacturer's page doesn't and I don't see it mentioned on a few seller's sites. Originally I'd read that AM5 compatibility is a given for an AM4 cooler. But more recently I've also read it might not be that simple, particularly for an AM4 cooler that has it's own backplate. Anybody shed any light? Thanks
 

Math Geek

Titan
Ambassador
in the very limited couple days we've had with am5, i've not seen anything to say otherwise. everything i have seen says am4 coolers are compatible.

but i'd give it a couple weeks for info to come in before jumping in myself. let others be the guinea pigs and find out if something does not work :)

i never jump head first into a new platform anyway. there is ALWAYS bugs to work out no matter who is making it. let the first couple months go by for BIOS updates, new featurs, fixes and so on rather than being the one who has to suffer all the issues
 
Reactions: helper800
in the very limited couple days we've had with am5, i've not seen anything to say otherwise. everything i have seen says am4 coolers are compatible.

but i'd give it a couple weeks for info to come in before jumping in myself. let others be the guinea pigs and find out if something does not work :)

i never jump head first into a new platform anyway. there is ALWAYS bugs to work out no matter who is making it. let the first couple months go by for BIOS updates, new featurs, fixes and so on rather than being the one who has to suffer all the issues
I bought the 3900x on day one and had some "interesting" BIOS related issues for about 6 weeks and apparently the 3000 series had a much better launch than the 2000 and 1000 series Ryzen chips. I would not say buying day one new platform CPUs is a bad idea but new adopters should be ready for some "interesting" BIOS, performance, or other unforeseen compatibility issues.
 
Wow what a pleasant surprise! Looks like a much more expensive air cooler and clearly performs like it. If this were around for my build last year, I'd have seriously considered it to save $65 (USD) over my NH-D15S chromax.Black. My only concern would be the longevity and quality of it, especially in an overclock build. I do trust the quality of Noctua being on my second one and the piece of mind not even having to worry about what my full core overclocked CPU is doing during gaming.
 
Wow what a pleasant surprise! Looks like a much more expensive air cooler and clearly performs like it. If this were around for my build last year, I'd have seriously considered it to save $65 (USD) over my NH-D15S chromax.Black. My only concern would be the longevity and quality of it, especially in an overclock build. I do trust the quality of Noctua being on my second one and the piece of mind not even having to worry about what my full core overclocked CPU is doing during gaming.
Coolers, because they are made of copper and aluminum, don't exactly break down over time. If you get one without defects it will last longer than you will live if you keep if from physically damaging external forces. In the case of the fans, all fans eventually break down their bearings and lock up. You can just replace them with known working ones in that case.
 

2Be_or_Not2Be

Distinguished
Aug 23, 2013
1,052
104
19,840
115
The review here mentions AM5 compatibility but the manufacturer's page doesn't and I don't see it mentioned on a few seller's sites. Originally I'd read that AM5 compatibility is a given for an AM4 cooler. But more recently I've also read it might not be that simple, particularly for an AM4 cooler that has it's own backplate. Anybody shed any light? Thanks
Yeah, from what I've seen, any AM4 cooler that doesn't require it's own custom backplate will be compatible with AM5. It's only those with their own custom backplates that may be questionable if they adapt to the standard AM5 backplate.
 
Sep 29, 2022
1
0
10
0
Awesome. So it should work pretty well if I remove the fan covering the RAM? Or move it to the other side? Gotta have my pretty RGB RAM and cannot be covering it up! Mounting system looks like a breeze too.
You will see maybe 1-2c difference in Temps with the front fan off and it's a tad quieter. Been running my all white pa120 this way for about 4 months on my 5600x with pbo/co. I don't have rgb ram but my all white ram sticks on the black mb look better that... Fan.
 
Jun 18, 2022
4
0
10
0
It seems a glaring omission in a review of tower air coolers not to include the Noctua NH-D15 in the lineup. I mean, its basically been the gold standard for both performance and noise since it was launched… anyone considering this cooler is bound to care about only one spec: “But how does it compare to the noctua?”

Or am I just showing my old…
 

Math Geek

Titan
Ambassador
it does make sense to want it compared to everything. slowly but surely it's getting there.

the main take away i have from this is that even if it is only 90% of the noctua cooler, the price makes it still the best bang for the buck out there. i'd also like to see the dark rock 4 in the chart, but i already bought one of these based on the bang for the buck it offers.
 
Last edited:

Phaaze88

Titan
Ambassador
Nice performance!

I hope their support improves in the US - it's lacking.
Nan's Gaming Gear looks to have flown the coop,
Amazon handles the shipping, but the seller info is in Chinese,
Newegg's got 'em sold and shipped from Chinese 3rd party sellers.
 

magbarn

Commendable
Dec 9, 2020
84
47
1,570
1
It may cool as well as a Noctua, but the stock fans are junk. Both of mine are clicking now after just 6 months while a 3 year NH-D15 in my other rig is still quiet as a mouse. Emailed tech support a week ago and still no response.
 

Math Geek

Titan
Ambassador
finally got around to installing this thing and it will most def not clear your ram. don't care what kind you have. mine is rather basic ram with no heatsink or anything special, so they are about as low as you can get. the fan hits them and needs to be raised up about 1/4 inch or so. tall ram will need the fan raised higher obviously. my guess would be a strong but smaller fan replacing it could be a solution. but no way will the fan clear tall ram unless you raise the fan a good bit.

just thought i'd share my experience, but i can say my 5900x has never been happier. i can stress it to about 200w (pretty much max what my mobo can provide) and it stays around 77 degrees. the cooler it replaced let it get to about 170w and it pegged the temp at 90+ and throttled in about 5 secs. lol
 
Last edited:
Reactions: helper800
Oct 10, 2022
3
3
15
0
Would of been nice to see this compared to the original PA120. Anyone seen such comparisons? Thermalright's website is just about useless in terms of describing the significant differences other than height. Digging into the fans, the SE supposedly spin 50 rpm faster.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY