Thermalright Venomous-X The Empire Strikes Back
VENOMOUS-X –TRUE Rev D?
There is an uncanny resemblance between the Venomous-X and Ultra eXtreme. There are, though subtle difference between the two. They are designed to make the Venomous-X a meaner, sleeker and light weight, with sacrificing performance. The venomous-x is shorter (5 mm), barely smaller (1mm) and lighter (755 grams instead of 790 grams) as compared to its predecessor. The cooler still has 6 heat pipes which are 6 mm in diameter. (For a list of differences please refer to the table at the end of the section)
The Cooling Tower –Sleeker
The cooling tower is designed pretty much like that of a TRUE, though there are some differences as compared to the latest incarnation of the latter (rev C).
The plates in venomous-x are spaced about 1.9 mm apart. (As compared to 2.0 mm for rev C) and there is one less plate to boot (47 vs 48).
Despite the lack of one plate and the smaller dimension of the cooler, the cooling area is almost the same as that of rev C. This is because the plates are almost rectangular, while rev C. had its plates curved inward at the center (i.e. concave outwards). The total cooling area is about 3525 cm2. The smaller gap helps improve air pressure, while the change in shape allows for a smaller design with a similar heat dissipation surface as the rev C.
The plates are also constructed differently. The cooling plate’s edge design has been changed. From a concave (outward) flat surfaced plate design to a serrated design. This has been seen before in Noctua’s NH-D14, but here the serrations are wider and quantitatively less. These are designed to help reduce resistance to air flow.
The plates still have the same bent design in a profile view. This helps direct airflow towards some of the voltage regulatory circuit.
What is missing from the cooling tower (that was present in TRUE rev C) is a central perforation (cut out) at the bottom which ran through the length of the cooler
The Heat Pipes
The cooler sports 6 Nickel plated copper heat pipes of 6mm diameter –exactly like the previous TRUE models. However they do have a different orientation within the heat sink. They are arranged in two straight rows, rather than an oval (see picture above). This is done (presumably) to improve airflow and heat dissipation. The heat pipes are soldered to the plates as well as the heat sink base. The solders are all clean and there isn’t any excess solder on any of the joints.
The Heat Sink Base –Shiny!
A definite departure from all prior thermalright cooler design is the presence of a mirror shine base. Testing in the past has revealed that the shiny or matte finish of the base has minimal if any impact on cooling performance. Nonetheless the presence of a shiny base is something that did take me by surprise simply because Thermalright has never done anything like this before!
The center of the base has a forward convexity –standard Thermalright design characteristic. According to their engineers this is the best way to ensure the highest thermal conducting thermal efficiency between the CPU and the heat sink. I suppose with the inclusion of a variable pressure knob, the convexity can eventually be flattened somewhat, so there might be some logic to this design.
As always the construction of the cooler is top notch. The heat pipes are soldered to the plates in the cooling tower. The solder points are not apparent, the base (surprise, surprise) has a mirror shine. The cooler’s uncanny resemblance to the rev. C is a testament to the engineers at Thermalright. They are confident enough to model their latest cooler so close to its predecessor, showing how well designed it was. Thermalright had the (almost) perfect single tower design with the TRUE. What they have done is taken a winning design, modified to make it “sleeker” (read: smaller and light weight) and more aerodynamic (better airflow) and thermally advantageous (read more heat dissipation). Where other companies have drastically altered their design in order to improve cooling (e.g. Noctua moving to a two tower design) and dethrone Thermalright, they (Thermalright) have decided to improve upon their single tower design, rather than work on a two tower cooler (ala IFX-4) first. I say first as it is rumored that Thermalright might be working on a new dual tower design.
The inclusion of a variable pressure knob is a new feature. What remains to be seen is its utility in actual cooling. This will become clear after testing.
Apart from the lack of fans (and perhaps a mounting system for AMD platform) in the box, I really can’t fault the package. Everything is built to (high) Thermalright standards.
Here is a table showing how the Venomous-X differs from TRUE Rev C.