NZXT Respire T20 & T40 CPU Coolers Review

The test rig consists of the following parts:

Processor: Intel Core i5 2500K
Motherboard: ASUS P8P67 EVO
Video Card: SPARKLE Calibre Series X480 GeForce GTX 480
Memory: Corsair Vengence 8 GB @ 1600mhz
Power Supply: High Power Astro PT 700w
Storage: 250 GB SATA II Drive
Cooling: NZXT Respire T20/T40
Case: Antec 900

Testing was done using Intel Burn Test (IBT) with the AVX instruction set. The reason to use this instead of Prime95 with this setup is that it pushes an i5 2500K a whole lot harder giving us a better sense of load temps. All of the testing was done at the high memory setting for a single pass. While this in no way would qualify the chip as stable when overclocking, it gives us a realistic idea of what temps it will be hitting.

First though I did some testing with the stock Intel cooler, at the stock motherboard settings, in the test rig with results as follows:

Ambient temps: 18.89C/66F
Idle temps: 27.25C/81.05F core average
IBT temps: 69.25C/156.65F core average

With a baseline of performance established it’s time to see what these siblings will do.

T20 Stock settings
Ambient temps:20C/68F
Idle temps:29.5C/85.1F
IBT temps:53.75C//128.25F

NZXT Respire T20 & T40 CPU Coolers NZXT Respire T20 & T40 CPU Coolers

T40 Stock settings
Ambient temps:20.5C/69F
Idle temps:29.25C/84.65F
IBT temps:56.25C/133.25F

NZXT Respire T20 & T40 CPU Coolers NZXT Respire T20 & T40 CPU Coolers

Looking at stock settings what you can expect is about the same idle temps as the stock Intel cooler. However when you kick things up, perhaps while gaming, you are going to see temperatures that are much lower. A good start for NZXT’s value line of coolers.

Let’s face it though you aren’t looking to buy an aftermarket cooler to run stock settings. You want to put at least a slight overclock on to try to perhaps get those extra few frames per second in you favorite games.

I stepped both of these coolers up through an overclocking session. Here is what I found:

Ambient temps:20C/68F
Max overclock:4.5ghz/1.384v vCore
IBT temps:78.75C/173.75F core average (High temps of 83C on one core and 81C on another)

NZXT Respire T20 & T40 CPU Coolers

Ambient temps:20.5C/69F
Max overclock:4.6ghz/1.384v vCore
IBT temps:77C/170.6F average (High temp of 81C on one core)

NZXT Respire T20 & T40 CPU Coolers

These results are pretty much what I expected. Low to mid level cooling, equals a mid level overclock. These may not be the best overclocks we’ve tested, but they are very decent and will certainly give your system that extra little punch.

The one thing I did not expect was to see the T20 so close to the T40. I thought for sure the T40 would be farther out ahead. 4.6ghz was simply all the T40 would do at safe temps. At 4.7 it required a bit more voltage and was at 86C on a core before I ended that run of IBT.

I would expect to see better temps if a second fan were added and as usual a better thermal paste.

As a side note I would also like to say that neither one of these was very loud at all without even using the resistor to quiet them. Of course they weren’t really spinning all that fast either as they top out at around 1900rpm.