Manufacturer: Enermax UK Price (as reviewed):£34.08 inc. VAT US Price (as reviewed):$49.99 ex. Tax
Traditionally known for its power supplies, Enermax has begun to turn some attention to the CPU cooler market. Though the ETS-T40 won't win any awards for catchy names, its £35 price tag gears it towards those looking for cooling that's a little cheaper and less beefy than what we'veseen recently. It's the same price as the huge Zalman CNPS14X we saw a few months back, but somewhat smaller. Size isn't always everything though, as the Arctic Freezer i30 has been keen to point out.
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The ETS-T40 actually comes in three flavours, the TA version which we have, as well as the TB and VD versions, with the key difference between them being the type and colour of the fan that is supplied. All three feature the same aluminium stack of fins that is just 70mm wide. This is joined to the baseplate via four copper heat pipes, although the TA edition is nickel coated, giving its metal a nice shine and a consistent look.
Out of the box, the ETS-T40-TA comes equipped with a single T.B.Apollish 120mm PWM-controlled fan for cooling the heatsink, which has a black frame and blue LEDs lighting up the blades. These blades are also detachable, ensuring they can be cleaned easily. A second pair of fan clips and rubber vibration pads are provided for users to add a second 120mm fan of their choosing in a push-pull set up.
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Despite the fairly standard heatsink design, one thing struck us as a little out of the ordinary, namely the baseplate. It uses what Enermax terms Heat Pipe Direct Touch, which is exactly as it sounds. Rather than a traditional smooth baseplate, the four heat pipes themselves are flattened out and make direct contact with the CPU. A patented technology this may be, but the resultant small grooves between the heat pipes had us concerned about the efficiency of the contact between the CPU and the cooler. That said, the dense fin stack will give the ETS-T40 plenty of surface area through which to disperse heat.
Rather than making us want to stamp on it, the ETS-T40 is actually very easy to install, which makes a nice change for an air cooler. Standoffs and their washers screw into the universal backplate (or straight into the motherboard for LGA2011 users), and it's these standoffs that the two mounting plates are tightened to with thumb screws. The design ensures you're not having to fiddle with multiple bits of metal and line everything up at once, which is always nice.
Click to enlarge - the pressure plate (right) holds the cooler firmly in place
After applying some of the provided thermal paste, the cooler is placed onto the CPU, and fastened into place with the use of a pressure plate, as we saw with the Thermalright Macho Rev.A. The pressure plate is attached to the mounting plates with two bolts, which fortunately feature screw heads for easy tightening. The whole task is straightforward and simple, and can be done with the motherboard still inside your case, although it is admittedly easier on a horizontal surface.