With more and more people tending to build HTPCs for their entertainment needs; some even for gaming on their HDTVs, a quiet and compact sized cooler is in more demand than ever.
Today I’ll be looking at the Thermalright, a company with a long history of some very high profile coolers for over a decade, and their latest AXP-100 low profile CPU cooler. Designed from the ground up to be used in HTPCs and ITX sized motherboards, the AXP-100 stands just 5.8cm tall including the fan.
From a design perspective the aluminum heatsink looks very nice, and the shiny 6mm heatpipes from the CPU contact into the main fins is not only a very practical design, but also much needed due to the small height. Measuring 12 by 10cm the main heatsink covers a sufficient amount of area for easy heat dissipation.
As good as it looks, however, assembling the Termalright AXP-100 is a daunting task; for new comers this will be somewhat of a nightmare as the instructions are cumbersome and the number of parts to bolt on it a lot. All in all, it took me about 14 minutes to assemble the AXP-100 onto our testbed below.
Once everything was up and running, I decided to take out the system for a spin, starting with Prime95 being run for 2 hours, followed by multiple instances of 3DMark and PCMark and some games of Team Fortress 2. All temperatures were monitored using Core Temp 1.0 RC5.
All said and done, the Thermalright AXP-100 did an excellent job of maintaining a respectable level of temperature on the A10-5800K APU which has a rated TDP of 100W. Obviously most processors suitable for HTPCs will have a far lower TDP than our testbed, but I wanted to see how far the AXP-100 can be pushed if it were to be used in a budget gaming rig, and it performed admirably.
For $68 you will be hard pressed to find a cooler this small and that can keep things this cool and quiet. So if you’re in the market for an HTPC or a budget gaming rig with quiet operations, definitely consider the Thermalright AXP-100.