|Category||Model||HEXUS Review||Reviewed Price||Warranty||Product Page|
|Air||be quiet! Dark Rock TF 2||August 2021||£80||3 Years||bequiet.com|
|be quiet! Shadow Rock Slim 2||July 2021||£44||3 Years||bequiet.com|
|Noctua NH-U12A||May 2019||£90||6 Years||noctua.at|
|Noctua NH-U12S redux||May 2021||£44||6 Years||noctua.at|
|Liquid||Arctic Liquid Freezer II 420||May 2021||£110||6 Years||arctic.de|
|be quiet! Silent Loop 2 280mm||April 2021||£130||3 Years||bequiet.com|
|Corsair iCue H115i Elite Capellix||September 2020||£160||5 Years||corsair.com|
|Corsair iCue H170i Elite Capellix||June 2021||£200||5 Years||corsair.com|
|G.Skill Enki 280 AIO||April 2021||£130||5 Years||gskill.com|
HEXUS 2021 Test Platform
|Processor||AMD Ryzen 9 5950X||amd.com|
|Motherboard||Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Formula||asus.com|
|Graphics Card||Sapphire Nitro+ RX 5700 XT 8G GDDR6 SE||sapphiretech.com|
|Memory||G.Skill Trident Z Neo DDR4-3200 (2x16GB)||gskill.com|
|Storage||2TB Corsair MP600||corsair.com|
|Power Supply||be quiet! Straight Power 11 Platinum 1,000W||bequiet.com|
|Network Card||Asus XG-C100C 10GBase-T PCIe Adapter||asus.com|
|Chassis||Fractal Design Define 7 Clear Tempered Glass||fractal-design.com|
|Monitor||Philips Momentum 436M6VBPAB||philips.co.uk|
|Keyboard||Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Low Profile Rapidfire||corsair.com|
|Mouse||Corsair Ironclaw RGB||corsair.com|
|Operating System||Microsoft Windows 10 Pro||microsoft.com|
Our trusty test platform has been given an interim upgrade for 2021, with the faithful Ryzen 9 3950X having been swapped out in favour of the newer, more impressive Ryzen 9 5950X. As before, the 16-core, 32-thread processor is joined by 32GB of dual-channel G.Skill Trident Z Neo DDR4 memory set to run at 3,200 using the built-in profile.
A Fractal Design Define 7 chassis is configured with its three stock Dynamic X2 140mm fans connected to the integrated hub and attached to a single motherboard header. Coolers are tested using default out-the-box settings, and to intensify the challenge while minimising noise, all fan headers are set to the 'Silent' profile within the Asus BIOS.
When testing liquid coolers, the pump is connected to the motherboard's dedicated AIO header, and the radiator is installed in the roof of the chassis with fans configured to push air up through the radiator and out of the enclosure. Fractal Design's vented top panel is used with liquid coolers, and the sound-dampened solid panel is in place when testing traditional air coolers.
Actual CPU temperature is recorded during an extended run of Cinebench R23 and we also graph the delta temperature (CPU temperature minus ambient temperature). Last but not least, to give you an idea of cooler acoustics, we use a PCE-318 decibel meter to measure overall system noise in both idle and load states.