Thermalright Archon SB-E Cooler Review (Part 3)

5/20/2013 6:21:06 PM


Cooling efficiency

You can see the testing results of the cooling efficiency in the diagram and table below:

Table comparing the results

Table comparing the results

Chart comparing the results

Chart comparing the results

First, we check the coolers out with their default fan. The truth is, Archon SB-E is not able to show us anything special. At maximum speed of the 150 mm fan, it's just 1oC ahead of the original Archon with TY-140 140mm fan  At 800 RPM, Archon SB-E is 3oC more effective than the Archon at a same pace. But then, if the speed increases from 800 to 1,000 RPM, the Archon SB-E is 3oC worse. After the test, we can tell you that the original Archon is superior to the SB-E version in terms of noisiness.

The overall best air cooler Phanteks PH-TC14PE is far more efficient than either Archon even at the minimum speed of its two 140mm fans.

Equipped with two TY-150 fans, both Archon models are nearly identical in terms of performance. SB-E version seems a little better, about 1oC at any speed. Unfortunately when the technological developers had reduced the number of heatsink fins in the Archon SB-E and thus reduced the total heat dissipation area, which is a very important factor at very high loads. We guess that the Archon SB-E would be definitely better when compared with its predecessor and might even compete with the Phanteks PH-TC14PE if it had the same surface area.

You can compare its performance with products we tested previously in the following diagram. Each cooler is tested in its default configuration with the CPU overclocked to 4,375 MHz at a voltage of 1,385 volts.

Chart comparing the results

Chart comparing the results

As you can see, Thermalright Archon SB-E is in the leading group, but it is still not better than the original Archon.

When we tried to overclock the CPU when cooling it with Thermalright Archon SB-E in the following configuration (with a 150mm fan), we found that the CPU is able to work at 4,500 MHz and at a voltage of 1,435 volts. The CPU's highest temperature is 81oC. That's good, but it's not an outstanding result. Especially the original Archon also had an equally good result as the new version in terms of maximum CPU clock rate.

Chart comparing the results

Chart comparing the results

Sound efficiency

We measure the noise level of the two tested coolers with full fan speed. And here is the result:

Notwithstanding the lower speed, the Thermalright TY-150 is louder than the older TY-140 fan. The difference is very high. While the TY-140 remained stable up to 1,170 RPM, the TY-150 became slow down in the rate of 870-880 RPM. To achieve quietness, the TY-140 has to operate at 1,020 RPM and the TY-150, at 730 RPM. It turned out that the original Archon is better than the SB-E version in performance at the same noise level.

So, we do not think the 150 mm fan installed in the new version is a good solution. On the other hand, we can note that neither Archon is quieter than the Phanteks with its two 140mm fans.


Unfortunately, Thermalright Archon SB-E does not make us surprised at the performance as well as low noise level as the original did in the old days. We guess there is a reason for this.

Firstly, the total surface of the Archon SB-E heatsink is 10% smaller than the original Archons’, this certainly affects its performance because this parameter is particularly important for the coolers that have to work with very hot CPUs. Any superior cooler has a heatsink with a total surface of no less than 10,000 cm2 whereas the Archon SB-E is only about 8,000 cm2.

Secondly, its installation is less reliable. The plate bends when you tighten the screws, so the pressure will be lower than the original. Archon SB-E seems to have a curved base (not just convex, but highly uneven), this must have been a negative factor leading to its unimpressive performance.

Thirdly, while the fins of the Archon SB-E heatsink are spaced out at larger distance, the TY-150 fan at 1,100 RPM (or 1,010 RPM according to our monitoring tools) is not a good alternative for the TY-140 fan in terms of sound and performance. As a result, the new version of Archon is only 1oC better than the original version but inferior to the latter in noise.

We guess this is because the Archon SB-E will quickly be replaced by Archon SB-E X2 version which is equipped with two TY-141 fan and features improved fasteners from the Archon (referred to as Pressure Vault Bracket System). We will test it in the lab soon, so do not change the attitude of lime!

Thermalright Archon SB-E technical specs

·         Dimensions (LxWxH), mm: 175x155x79.5 (170x150x26.5)

·         Weight, g: 940 (760- for the sink heat only)

·         Materials and design: nickel-plated tower heatsink is assembled from aluminum foil, placed in eight copper heatpipes 6 mm in diameter, the tubes pass through the heatsink base

·         Number of thermal fins: 44

·         Thermal fin thickness, mm: 0.5

·         Distance between thermal fin, mm: 2.3

·         Calculated area of heat dissipation, cm2 ~8,000

·         Type and module of fan: Thermalright TY-150

·         Fan's rotation speed, RPM: 500-1100 (±10%)

·         Airflow cooling, CFM: 38-84

·         Noise level, dBA: 19-23

·         Fan bearings: Enhanced Hyper-Flow Bearing (EHFB)

·         Nominated/boot voltage, A: 12

·         Fan's current, A: 0.2

·         Energy consumption of fan, W: 2.4

·         Compatible CPU sockets: LGA 775/1155/1156/1366/2011,Socket  939/AM2(+)/AM3(+)/FM1

·         Other information: Can accompany a 2nd fan, Thermalright The Chill Factor III thermal paste.

·         Price: $79


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