Thermaltake NiC C4 CPU Cooler 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: OCZ Vertex 2 120 GB Running Windows 8 64bit
Cooling: Thermaltake NiC C4
Case: Nanoxia Deep Silence 1

Testing was done using Intel Burn Test (IBT) with the AVX instruction set. The reason I use this instead of Prime95 with this setup is that it pushes our i5 2500K a whole lot harder, giving us a better sense of load temps. Most of the testing was done at the high memory setting for a single pass. While admittedly 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.

Here are the stock cooler results:

Ambient temps: 22.22C/71.99F
Idle temps: 31.25C/88.25F core average
IBT temps: 78.5C/173.3F core average

With the C4 chugging away, fans set to an inaudible level here are the results:

Ambient temps: 22.22C/72F
Idle temps: 36C/96.8F core average
IBT temps: 54.75C/130.55F core average

Thermaltake NiC C4 CPU Cooler Thermaltake NiC C4 CPU Cooler

*Please note that a bug in Hardware Monitor caused it to change the max readings for all the system fans to impossible numbers after a minute of IBT running. However since the Thermaltake fans are under manual control and not PWM they don’t fluctuate much and we don’t need the max reading.

With noticeably lower than stock loads temps, we went ahead and started overclocking the CPU to see what kind of performance we can achieve with this little air cooler. We tested at both the low nearly inaudible fan setting and again at max fan settings.

Low Fan Speed
Ambient temps: 22.22C/72F
Max overclock: 4.7 ghz/1.4V vCore
IBT temps: 78.5C/173.3F core average with one core hitting 82C

Max Fan Speed
Ambient temps: 22.22C/72F
Max overclock: 4.7 ghz/1.4V vCore
IBT temps: 75.75C/167.9F core average with one core hitting 80C

Overall it looks like Thermaltake knew what they were doing with this cooler. A 4.7ghz overclock on air is more than acceptable. The temperatures the CPU is hitting at those speeds are acceptable as well. During heavy gaming and normal use I would expect this to go no higher than the low 70’s at most.

Fortunately for the C4 it performs well even at low fan speeds. The result of cranking the speed up to max had me making notes like “tornado siren” and “freight train”. However when on low, it truly is quiet as a breeze.

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