SVG Tech AOC 120ST CPU cooler review
SVG tech is india's first company that produces enthusiast level CPU water cooling kits. Today we have their AOC 120ST air cooler, which is their entry level air cooler. Though it comes at an entry level price point, it surely performs well (as we will see later). Here are some the specifications and some pros and cons in brief:Features and Specifications:
- Aluminium fins with nickel coating
- 7 Copper heat pipes
- Dotted Fins for more efficient heat transfer
- Can accommodate up to 2 120mm fans
- Supports Intel LGA 775, 1155, 1156, 1366 and AMD AM2, AM3, FM1
- Looks Great
- Good performance
- Good bundled Fan
- Easy Fan installation
The Package and contents:
- Slightly tricky installation (suggestions provided later)
I was impressed with the amount of mounting accessories the cooler came with. They were of good quality and it was nice to see some spares were included. The fan had a braided cable, which was a nice touch. You do get some small amount of thermal paste along with the cooler, should last you around 4 times.
The box itself is kinda small and the packaging is tight. I would like to suggest that SVG tech use a slightly larger box with some padding around the cooler. Looks and Design:
The cooler on its own looks fantastic. The nickel plating gives it a nice dark shade (its not completely black). The fins have the dots which are there to make it more efficient in heat dissipation. The cooler has 7
heat pipes, 5 are on the bottom side of the base in direct contact with the CPU, 2 are soldered on top of the base with a nice little heat sink over it. Not sure if it adds any functionality, but it does look good.
As you can see from the above image, the base of the heat sink is very flat. In most coolers with direct contact heat pipes, there are gaps in the base where the thermal paste collects, here there is no such issue and the base is perfectly smooth. Great job SVG tech Installation:
For a first timer, the installation can be slightly tricky. Since its an entry level cooler, its mostly these guys who will end up buying it. So here I will talk in brief how you can do the installation process.Step 1:
First find out what socket you use. I have an Intel based system using an LGA 775 socket, so the installation process I talk about will be similar for all Intel configurations, but different for AMD configurations. Both instructions have been clearly provided in the included manual, so spend a few minutes to read it.
Get the black plate, there is plastic on one side of this plate, do not remove
it, as it is used for insulation from the back of the board. This side of the plate should face the bottom of the board.
Now get the 4 screws, put them through the right holes according to the socket type.Note:
Nothing was specified for LGA 1155/1156, so you might have to do some trial n error.
Now just put the nut in and tighten it. Place the washers, again, these provide insulation and are a precautionary measure.Step 2:
Now is the actual mounting of the cooler. It is next to impossible to install the cooler with the motherboard inside the cabinet, its doable, just very hard as you would need to reach into tight corners.
So ideally, take the motherboard out, place the back plate in place by sliding the screws into the holes in the motherboard. Now place the cooler (without any fans) onto the CPU. Dont forget to apply thermal paste on the CPU. Now use the thumb screws with the springs and tighten the cooler in place.
Place the rubber holders into the fans (this is explained well in the manual). The flat side will slide into the groves made in the cooler.
I found it easier to fix the cooler and then mount the fan, you can try it the other way if you wish. I had a hard time accessing the screws that way.The air flow direction is mentioned on the side of the fan (arrow markings).
Now just 'bolt' your motherboard back on and boot up your system.Performance and Testing:
I used my system with a pretty hot chip - the 130W QX9650. I ran it at 2 speeds, one stock speed and other overclocked to 4.00GHz. I used Real Temp to find temperature readings as I did not have a temperature diode available. Both the tests were under 100% load for 10min. The average temperature in this duration was taken to be the final reading.System setup:
Core 2 Extreme QX9650
Gigabyte G31 MS2L
4GB DDR2 800Mhz Corsair XMS2
500GB Seagate HDD
Corsair VX550 PSU
I tested it against my old cooler, the Tuniq Tower 120, which is a pretty abled cooler in its own right. You can find its specifications here:Tuniq Tower 120, the best CPU cooler with great cooling performance
So here are the results, please note that the tests were done under 100% load.
As you can see above, the AOC 120ST outclasses the Tuniq Tower 120. Mind you, the tuniq tower is a pretty respectable cooler and was a giant leap from my Cooler master TX3 which in turn was a giant leap from the stock cooler!
The fan that comes with the cooler is a 2100rpm fan, which I though was very quiet for that speed, cant hear it at all. Only 1 fan was used with both the coolers.
I really think the AOC 120ST can compete with other more premium cooler such as the TRUE 120. Its a very good cooler for not only newbie overclockers who just want to try out their hand at it or budget overclockers. If you own a Sandy bridge CPU, something like the 2600k, you have no issues in getting the chip up to around 4.5GHz (may vary with the CPU itself, but they are known to remain rather cool).Conclusion:
I think its a great cooler for all those who want to start off overclocking and want to get good results without breaking the bank. The AOC 120ST is a very value for money cooler at just Rs2500 shipped
from SVG Tech
.I can easily give it a 9/10
rating because the performance and value it gives is simply unmatched.If you want to buy it, you can either go to their site or PM member and owner of SVG Tech, nikolain