Best CPU Cooler – AM3 Review

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Thermalright Venomous X

The Venomous X just supports Intel LGA775/1156/1366 processors out of the box, which means if you’re using AM2/AM2+/AM3 processors, you’ll need to buy the mounting kit separately. The packaging looks great and classy. It seems Thermalright has done away with the old idea of their plain cardboard boxes here.

This cooler is the replacement for the widely praised, loved and respected TRUE. Once the enthusiast weapon of choice when air cooling. When the Megahalems was born and stole the cooling crown from Thermalright, they needed something new.

The cooler features special bent wings on the edges of the cooler. Thermalright believe that this system can allow hot air to pass more rapidly than the TRUE once did. As mentioned, the Venomous X features 6 nickel plated heatpipes for ultimate heat dispersion.

What’s great about the mounting kit is it’s very solid and looks polished. They included a pressure mounting system which is placed over the base to mount, and a pressure level knob from 40-70lbs can be exerted onto the CPU for better heat transfer. As this reviewer can’t mount the Intel bracket, I can’t comment on its effectiveness, but fitting it all together away from the cooler, it’s a very solid piece of hardware. No need to swap around kits moving to different platforms and losing parts as the Intel kit supports all 3 of the latest sockets. All you have to do is move the sliders of the backplate in place and tighten the thumb screws in for that particular socket, then apply the pressure you want. A nice design. Well done Thermalright.

Those of you familiar with the TRUE will know all too well the issues it had. One of which was not having a flat base. Whether or not this was intentional on the part of Thermalright, we shall never know for sure as they insist on not having their cooler’s base lapped even if convex (lapping is the process of sanding down the cooler’s base for a smooth flat base for better contact with the CPU, thus better heat dispersion).

Most TRUE owners unluckily bought one with a poor, uneven base and had to lap it so it was flat to get better performance. Unfortunately, doing so meant that pressure was lost since you are effectively making the cooler’s contact with the CPU less effective as the mounting kit supplied would only go so far. In order to improve contact, many would use a copper washer to slip on top of the TRUE’s base but under the mounting bracket to gain the pressure back (and then some). Perhaps Thermalright has finally learned their lesson and came up with a system to combat this. Props to them.

As you can see, Thermalright has done a stunning job on the base of this cooler. We’ve never seen such a stock manufactured shiny base like this before. We can also confirm that this time the base is flatter than the TRUE.

This pressure mounting system is not compatible with the AM2/AM3 kit unfortunately. That said, mounting the cooler using the AM3 kit was 100% rock stable and wasn’t going to budge, even with 3mm free left to spare on the screws from the backplate. What’s great for AMD users is the problem of mounting a cooler in the wrong direction goes away here as the cooler can be mounted in both horizontal & vertical orientations with the (not included) AMD retention bracket.

Installing, however, was another story. Put your Tesco screwdriver kit aside as you won’t need them for this job. Thermalright supply a spanner which you will need. It’s a fiddly job but once it’s in place, it is not going anywhere. It took a good 10-15 minutes to install onto the motherboard. It was quite a pain to install even after a few attempts getting used to it. If you have shaky hands, god help you!

Also included is a tube of Chill Factor 2 TIM, 4 fan clips for a push/pull configuration of fans, 4 vibration dampers and a spanner for the Intel mounting (that you will need) . We can confirm that the fan clips support 120x38mm fans too.

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