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Hands-On: Cryorig A40 Ultimate and C7 CPU Coolers

Cryorig’s new goodies arrived at the Unlocked office and I couldn’t wait to get them out of the box for a little hands-on time. If you’re not familiar with Cryorig, they’re a boutique firm out of Europe that does one thing and one thing only: cool CPUs. No cases, no cables, no flashing LEDs, they’re all about dropping processor temps. Of course, when the All In One liquid cooling trend hit, their monster heatsink coolers were suddenly second class citizens to the big water players on the market.

What’s a cooling company to do? Go all-in on liquid, naturally. The products I received for review are the Cryorig A40 Ultimate AIO liquid cooler and the C7 slim CPU cooler.

LIQUID LINEUP

The A40 Ultimate sits between the Cryorig A40 regular and A80 models, all made with the same Cryorig methodologies. What makes this model “Ultimate”? An extra 11mm radiator thickness. Both the A40 and A40 Ultimate are 120mm x 272mm models with double 120mm fans. The reg A40 is 27.5mm thick while the Ultimate ups the thickness to, you guessed it, 38.5mm. The A80, meanwhile, is a 140mm x 311mm x 27.5mm model.

ASETEK 5TH GEN PUMPAGE

Here, Cryorig has partnered with Asetek, supplier and patent holder of many of the pumps used on the market. Cryorig isn’t shy about their affiliation, in fact, they boast about their Asetek 5th-gen stats, claiming their complete setup puts them ahead of the popular players in the AIO cooler space.

Asetek powers coolers by Corsair, NZXT , EVGA, Intel, Thermaltake and more. It’s good to own the patents, right?

FANS FTW

So the big difference about the Cryorig series is, as you can tell, that mini fan crouched on the top of the pump. What’s up with that?

Well, Cryorig, coming from the world of traditional fan coolers, noticed there was one big problem with these new AIO cooler solutions — lack of air movement over the motherboard and its toasty parts. A traditional fan solution will blow air across the mobo, creating a wonderful breeze that keeps your bridges, RAM sticks and other bits nice and airy.

Enter the A40. Instead of leaving the mobo to burn up, Cryorig provides a second fan perched on the cooler to blast air across your fancy parts.

The mini 70mm fan runs up to 3000rpm. They call this itty bitty windmaker the “HLC Airflow Fan”. The fan plugs into the top of the CPU block and cooler using a four pin PWM plug. This allows the mini fan to throttle speeds depending on the CPU temps.

You’ll notice the mini fan has double tabs on the bottom. That allows multiple configurations. The main configuration is to blast air down on the heatsink and surrounding components. One can also turn it around and use to to vent air away from the mobo.

QUAD AIR INLET FANS

In addition to the mini fan, the 120mm fans are a Cryorig special, featuring four cutouts around the edge of the fan. The inlets are said to allow more air into the fan systems and through the radiator itself.

The Cryorig fans are also PWM controlled, like all fans should be, so you get throttling depending on temps, not insane jet engine noise all the time.

OVERALL

I can’t wait to get the Cryorig A40 Ultimate installed in a system to see how it performs. My guess is the A40 will work wonders on my test bench setup where stagnant air accumulates due to lack of case fans. If you have a case with fans-a-blasting the air over your mobo, the proposition of a tiny fan perched like a gargoyle won’t be as appealing.

Then again, the Asetek 5th gen pump and Cryorig’s rep for doing CPU cooling right makes this an exciting product regardless of CPU fan setup. Also, let’s talk price: $115 on Newegg. $115 puts it in the mix for premier fans, not as expensive as some, but not as cheap as others. This is a 240mm fan running 38.5mm thick, so Cryorig’s attention to fan speeds and noise management is where this fan is going to shine over competing products.

CRYORIG C7 ITX CPU FAN

Far less sexy but worthy of your attention is the Cryorig C7 Small Form Factor cooler. The C7 is a direct competitor to that stock fan that comes in the Intel CPU box. I’m in the market for mini coolers to take residence in my low profile mini ITX builds. Skyscraper CPU fans won’t cut it so, naturally, Cyrorig is in the running and I wanted to see what this guy is all about.

At $29, the Cryorig C7 is said to be 25% cooler than the stock heatsink. So where the stock model is at 87c, the Cryorig C7 hits 65c. Pretty legit. It’s also said to be 20% quieter, which is a big plus in my book — keeping the dB low is really important, especially for a mini desktop performance PC.

The Intel model is old school machined heatsink without heatpipes drawing the temps away. The C7 is a solid copper block with quad copper heatpipes running into the stack of fins.

One of Cryorig’s 92mm Quad Air Inlet fans is camped out on top blowing air into the system. The PWN fan adjusts speeds depending on your CPU temp from 600-2500rpm and up to 30dB.

Additionally, the Cryorig also has built-in sound vibration absorbers to help lower the sound and keep your case from becoming a rattle machine.

Overall, the cooler is only 47mm tall and small enough to fit in the same footprint as the stock Intel model. Basically, there’s no excuse not to replace your Intel CPU fan with a Cryorig C7 or other micro model. The Cryorig C7 is a pretty compelling unit with serious attention to temps and quietude and I’m looking forward to seeing how it performs in a super slim HTPC doing VR duty in the living room.