So let’s find out if the RGB on the Antec A400 RGB CPU cooler cools your CPU any better than a polar bear sitting in the Thar desert having some desserts.
So this CPU cooler was recently sent to me by Antec but my review on it will be totally honest(of course).
Quickly checking the box contents you get two different brackets for the many different intel sockets. Many screws and 2 metal clamps which are already clamped between the fan and the heatsink.
The force here seems strong so if you suffer from a balanced design aesthetic OCD, then all the best ignoring this.
And you’d also find a covid vaccine in the box. No, wait. That’s just an add-on Antec Golden Grease with professional formula in it. And there’s also a 2 page, to-the-point manual which has nice and clear diagrams on it.
There is 1 extra piece for these extensions in case you break or lose one. But remember, you only get 1 chance here. Twice.
With the cooler, there’s a 120mm RGB fan with a 4 pin PWM connector. So your fan speed can be adjusted as per the CPU demands or you can adjust those sexy curves in the BIOS too. The heatsink appears to be quite compact in size so it will easily fit most of the ATX cases.
The heatsink has 4 copper heat pipes that will directly touch the surface of the CPU. So no, no-touching rules here. The fan speed varies from 600 to 1800 RPM with a 77CFM airflow force. The surface of the plate is completely flat so the cooler won’t wobble during earthquakes.
I like the overall design of the cooler as there are not any sort of tacky or flashy elements over it.
The black top cover design has a decent finish over it and as the fan is black, it will not be an eyesore too.
The RGB element is also not overdone mainly because of the pricing of this cooler which is about 2300 Indian rupees or 37 US dollars. So by the pricing, you can judge this cooler is largely targeted towards a more budget-centric consumer who might like the idea of having some RGB over their CPU coolers.
If you own an Intel CPU the installation process is going to be a little longer as compared to installing this on an AMD compatible motherboard.
On an AMD motherboard, the cooler will just simply clip to the stock AMD mount which comes with most of the AMD-supported motherboards.
But if you are not building a new system and upgrading from an old cooler to a new one on an Intel platform, you might need to remove the whole motherboard if your case doesn’t have a gap cut on the back of the motherboard tray.
But nevertheless, it’s just a little extra work as a lot of you might generally favor one-time hard work over always stressing about higher temperatures of the CPU.
Because the RGB is not adjustable you are stuck with this decent-looking rotatable RGB effect. Which in my opinion looks really pleasing. It’s definitely subtle and not RGB overkill which might entice a lot of consumers. The blacktop cover also behaves stealthy and kinda hides behind the RGB ring.
Now I am going to compare the performance of this cooler against my Noctua U14S and of course, there will be a huge disparity in performance between the 2 as the Noctua currently costs thrice the amount than this Antec cooler here in India at least. But it will generally give a good idea regarding how this budget cooler performs.
Here are my system specs and I did all the tests in a completely closed case. I am pretty sure not many would want to pair their Ryzen 3900X with a cooler like this so I did 2 different tests considering the CPU is clearly a monstrous heat-generating monster.
At first, I ran the test at 3800 MHz at 1.1volts and the results were quite satisfactory obviously considering how much the Antec A400 costs. The full load delta temps stayed around 38.9 degrees celsius and the idles were quite decent compared to the pricey Noctua in comparison here.
The second test was at 4100 MHz at 1.31 volts and the spike in temperature was around 20-degree celsius from both the coolers.
But because the Antec A400 was never meant to cool a massive power-eating processor such as the Ryzen 3900X which can touch even 165 watts at full load, its peak temperature in comparison to Noctua was easily 5 degrees more. But to be honest, at this point I was quite surprised with the performance of the A400.
During a gameplay test of Division 2, the peak temperatures of the CPU stayed around 80 degrees celsius around an ambient temperature of 31 degrees C. But in most of the scenarios of the game, the temperature stayed around 70 degrees celsius making the cooler very effective during the gameplay.
The fan’s performance at full load is quite silent and doesn’t disturb my deaf ears at all with a fan rotating over my head as summers are very near now. (you can listen to the noise samples at different RPM in the video above at 5:00)
So as a surprise I felt the cooler actually performed par my expectations here especially considering its price. And if you own any of Ryzen 5 series or Intel i5 series processors, then this cooler is no brainer for its price point. And I am pretty sure the cooler might even surprise you with its performance on a Ryzen 7 or Intel i7 processor too with TDP ranging around up to 105 watts in a good ventilated case. It just performs great for its size and looks quite good too inside the case. Hmmm, nothing to nitpick here really.
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