Evercool HPQ-12025 Venti CPU Cooler Review

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If you’ve been involved with performance computing for any length of time, chances are the Evercool brand is not new to you. If it has to do with cooling a computer component, odds are that Evercool has a product for it. Since their beginning days some 20 years ago, Evercool has evolved from being an OEM supplier to branding their own product lines. Recently, Evercool has made a push to offer enthusiast level CPU coolers at affordable prices, and today’s review sample is an example of this effort. I’m sure you’re aware the CPU cooler market is saturated with viable low cost options, so let’s take the Evercool Venti for a ride and see how it fares!

Specifications and Features

Here are the specifications associated with the Evercool Venti, as provided by their website.

Evercool Venti CPU Cooler Specifications
Model Number HFQ-12025
Overall Dimension : 125 x 68 x 160 mm
DC Fan Size : 120 x 20 x 25 mm
Bearing Type : Patent EL Bearing Fan Life Expectancy at 25℃
Life Time : 60,000 hr
Fan Speed : 800 ± 25% RPM~2200 ± 10% RPM
Air Flow : < 35.05~75.13 CFM
Noise Level : < 22~38.1 dBA
Rated Voltage : 12 V.DC
Weight : 588 g

Below are the features, which again are shamelessly pilfered from the Evercool website.

  • PWM fan to adjust the power of the fan efficiently, enable HPQ-12025 to obtain both cooling performance and quietness.
  • Dual fan installed option provides increase the speed of heat conduction. (addition prices for dual fan purchase.)
  • H.D.T. (Heat-pipe direct touch) technology,efficiently diminish thermal resistance,enhancing heat conductivity.
  • 4 x 6mm copper heat pipes soldered tightly with fin,to ensure fastest Thermal conductivity.
  • Up to 200W.
  • HPQ-12025 designed with all metal clips provides a secure attachment on motherboard for Intel socket LGA775, 1366, 1156, 1155, 2011/ AMD AM2, AM2+, AM3, FM1.

I like how Evercool correctly advertises the heatpipe design as being a quantity of four. I’ve seen other manufacturers list similar designs as being eight, simply because a single heatpipe bends up each side of the fin stack. I also like the fact you can add a second fan for a push/pull setup, and the required clips are included in the kit. More often than not, heatpipes that make direct contact with the CPU make for a better performing cooler. The Venti implements this design and calls it H.D.T. (Heatpipe Direct Touch).

Evercool lists several of the main features in pictorial style as well. We’ll explore these in greater detail as the review progresses, but a little appetite wetting never hurt anything!

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As far as fitment goes, the Evercool Venti will mount on any current, and some not so current, platforms. Not mentioned in the compatibility list is the new AMD Socket FM2, but rest assured it will fit that too.

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Packaging And Accessories

The box has identical graphics applied to the front and back. These include a nice picture of the cooler itself and icons that describe many of the features. The box sides are dedicated to features, specifications, and compatibility. The box top has more icons describing the platforms the Venti will work with and some additional branding.

Box Front or Back? You Choose!

Box Front or Back? You Choose!

Box Side

Box Side

Box Side 2

Box Side Two

Box Top

Box Top

Once the box top is opened, we can see the Venti CPU cooler housed in dual plastic casings. Just below the heatsink is the box of accessories.

Box Top Opened

Box Top Opened

Everything Out of the Box

Everything Out of the Box

Heatsink - Fan - User Manual

Heatsink – Fan – User Manual

The accessories include a 120×25 mm fan, along with all the hardware needed to install the unit on any current platform. The fan is made by Evercool. It has an RPM rating of 800 ~ 2500 and a dBA rating of 22~38.1. Those numbers should equate to a fairly quiet noise level, even at full speed. The 0.32A power draw equates to 3.84 watts, which is well below what a motherboard fan header can handle. The cooler’s backplate is a universal design allowing it to be used on all applications – Intel or AMD. The last item included in the accessories is a small tube of TIM, which has the Evercool branding on it.

120 mm Fan

120 mm Fan

Accessory Bundle

Accessory Bundle

Universal Backplate

Universal Backplate

Closer Look

For protection, the base of the cooler has a plastic film applied to it and the appropriate warning to remove it before installation. The base of the Venti is made of aluminum and features fins built on to the top side, which help dissipate heat. More expensive CPU coolers will usually have a nickel plated copper base, but we’ll see how well the copper heatpipes work with the aluminum base in this application. The copper heatpipes make direct contact with the CPU, so that should help matters substantially. Each of the four heatpipes are “U” shaped and make their way down one side of the fin stack, through the base plate, and up the other side. At this point, they are terminated at the very top of the fin stack. Some of you may be interested to know there are 46 aluminum plates making up the fin stack.

There is a pretty descent polish job on the base plate area, especially on the heatpipes . There are a few visible machine marks, but overall, I’d call it a good finish.

Polished Base Plate/Heatpipes

Polished Base Plate/Heatpipes

Warning!

Warning!

Fins at Top of Base Blate

Fins at Top of Base Plate

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Heatpipes Side View

Heatpipes Through Aluminum Base

Heatpipes Through Aluminum Base

Heatpipes Terminated

Heatpipes Terminated

46 Plate Fin Stack

46 Plate Fin Stack

Installation

There are three pictures below showing the hardware needed for the different platforms the Venti can be installed on. The only difference between AMD and Intel sockets (other than socket 2011) are the mounting brackets that get installed to the cooler’s base plate. Socket 2011 installations still use the Intel brackets, but require less hardware because the backplate is not needed.

775/1155/1156/1366 Required Hardware

Socket 2011 Required Hardware

775/1155/1156/1366 Hardware

775/1155/1156/1366 Required Hardware

AMD Required Hardware

AMD Required Hardware

I’ll be doing the final installation on the ASUS Maximus V Formula, so that means a socket 1155 install. The instructions tell you to begin by sliding four hex head screws through the backplate. That’s all fine and dandy, except there is no way to secure the screws to the backplate. So, as soon as you pick up the backplate with the four screws, they naturally just fall out. I quickly learned the instructions were written for a being from another planet, more specifically a being with four hands. Because I was born on planet Earth, I am limited to the two hands most of us are born with – we’ll just have to make that work. In defense of Evercool, the instructions do give you a clear idea of what parts are needed and where everything goes.

The best way to begin installation is to turn the motherboard upside down and align the backplate with the mounting holes. Each leg of the backplate is slotted to conform with the different Intel hole spacing. Once you have the backplate correctly aligned, then drop the hex head screws through the backplate. The legs on the backplate have grooves to keep the hex head from spinning as you tighten things up from the other side of the motherboard. You should have something that looks like the below picture at this point.

Backplate With Hex Head Screws

Backplate With Hex Head Screws

The next order of business is to get to the motherboard’s top side and install the four insulating washers and nuts. You can’t just turn the board right side up because… you guessed it, the screws will just fall out again. So, you have a couple of options to combat this problem. You could either put some tape over the hex heads, or do as I did and just raise the board on its side. Raising the board on its side is the preferred method because it allows you to use a finger to keep pressure on the hex head. This will keep the hex head in the groove and stop it from spinning as you tighten down the nuts from the top side. Once you get this part completed, it’ll look like the two pictures below.

Top Side Nuts installed

Top Side Nuts installed

Nut With Insulating Washer Below

Nut With Insulating Washer Below

Ok, now we’re getting somewhere! Next, we need to install the appropriate brackets to the heatsink’s base plate. All you have to do is attach the brackets with the four provided screws. Once that is completed, the heatsink is prepared for installation.

Heatsink - Brackets - Mounting Screws

Heatsink – Brackets – Mounting Screws

Brackets Installed

Brackets Installed

At this point, we can install our favorite TIM on the CPU and set the heatsink in place. The four spring-loaded heatsink mounting screws are used to secure the unit. It’s recommended to tighten the screws in an “X” pattern until the screws bottom out. Once those are installed, all that’s left is to install the fan using the included clips. Below are some pictures of the finished install. Something worth noting is how thin the fin stack is, which keeps it clear of the memory slots even when the fan is installed. Hopefully, the thin fin stack won’t hurt performance – we’ll find out next!

Installed - Fan Side

Installed – Fan Side

Spring Loaded Screws Installed

Spring Loaded Screws Installed

Spring Loaded Screws - Alternate View

Spring Loaded Screws – Alternate View

Heatsink Installed

Heatsink Installed

Installed With Fan - Angle View

Installed With Fan – Angle View

Testing

System Components

Comparison Coolers

Testing Methodology

I tested the above units a few different ways. Each cooler was tested with the CPU at idle and 100% load. These test were performed with the motherboard at its stock settings, except for adjusting the memory speed and timings to meet manufacturers’ specifications. Then, the tests were run again with the CPU voltage set to 1.3 V and overclocked to 4.5 GHz. Additionally, I set LLC to 50%, which resulted in exactly 1.3 V at full load, or at least that’s what the monitoring software was reading.

The above settings were run twice. Once with the motherboard handling the fan speed through it’s PWM function and again with the fans running at 100% constantly.

All testing was done in a room at 74 °F and I chose Arctic Silver Ceramique2 as the thermal interface material. Each comparison cooler was used with the fan that came packaged with it. For the load testing, LinX stress test was run for 10 passes and the average temperature of all cores were recorded. For the idle results, I let the system sit idle for 30 minutes and again recorded the average temperature reading from all cores.

The results while the CPU was set to its default values show the Evercool Venti vastly outperforming the Intel stock cooler. With the motherboard’s PWM feature controlling the fan speed, we can see that the Venti performed right on par with all the coolers in the comparison and actually bested all, but the Zalman. The Zalman was slightly better, but not by very much. Keep in mind the Zalman cooler costs almost three times as much as the Evercool Venti. In fact, other than the stock Intel cooler, the Venti is the least expensive of the bunch.

When we set the fan speed to 100% with the CPU still at its stock settings, we again find the Venti right at the top with the other coolers. All and all, a great showing for the Venti in a non overclocked environment.

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With the CPU overclock in place, we found that the fan speed should be set to 100% in order to keep the core temperatures below 90 °C. Even with the PWM function controlling the fan, it still wasn’t that far behind the more expensive coolers in the comparison. The Venti did average 91 °C however, putting it just over what many consider the maximum safe temperature of 90 °C.

Once the fan speed was set to 100%, we found the Venti able to cope with the overclock much better. Average recorded temperature here was 87 °C under load, which made it much more competitive with the other coolers in the graph.

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Before we move to the conclusion, a few side notes are in order. The above graphs depicting the overclocked results show “N/A” for the Intel stock cooler. The poor thing couldn’t come close to dealing with the added CPU voltage, and temperatures quickly rose above the safe threshold… and beyond. I stopped the testing immediately to keep from damaging the CPU.

As far as fan noise goes, the Venti is a pretty darn quiet performer. With the motherboard’s PWM function controlling the fans, you’ll be hard pressed to hear any fan noise at all. When the fan is set to 100% you begin to hear a bit of noise, but nothing I would call loud or annoying. The type of noise is mostly an air rushing sound and an extremely light humming sound.

The last item I want to mention is the performance increase with a push/pull fan setup. I grabbed a couple of Thermaltake 2000 RPM 120 mm fans and hooked them up to the Venti. In the overclocked environment with the fan speed set to 100%, I saw a 2 °C drop in the core temperature versus a single fan. That’s a pretty good improvement and puts it well within the thermal limit we like to see. Keep in mind, if you have to buy additional fans, then the cost versus performance ratio takes a hit. If you happen to have a couple nice 120 mm fans laying around, then no harm, no foul I suppose.

Conclusion

The Evercool Venti surprised me with how well it performed, especially when the thinness of the fin stack coupled with a base plate made of aluminum are considered. Then, to top it off, it comes in at a very affordable $29.99. All of the other comparison coolers we used for testing, save for the stock Intel cooler, range from $50.00 to $89.00. That makes the price/performance ratio pretty darn good!

As I mentioned earlier in the review, heatpipes that make direct contact with the CPU normally provide for a better performing unit versus those that do not have this feature. I think the Evercool Venti is another example of this, and it was a great design choice on their part. I really like the thin fin stack design too as it won’t block any of the DIMM slots… tall memory modules, in any DIMM slot are welcome!

While the instructions for installing the Venti could use some improvement, luckily it’s a very easy design that most people can probably figure out on their own anyway. However, I would like to see Evercool design something to hold the hex head screws in place while working with the backplate. That would make installation much easier.

The Evercool Venti allows for a decent amount of overclocking, and is certainly priced right. If you’re looking for a CPU cooler that is a huge improvement from OEM stock coolers, allows for a good amount of overclocking, and is budget friendly, the Evercool Venti is definitely worth consideration.

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Click the stamp for an explanation of what this means.

-Dino DeCesari (Lvcoyote)

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