Manufacturer: Cooler Master
UK price (as reviewed): MSRP £19.99 (inc VAT) US price (as reviewed): MSRP TBC
The Hyper TX3i is one of two new Cooler Master CPU coolers officially launching in the UK today, the second being the bigger and likely more popular Hyper 212X. We were planning to review both at once but a fault with our 212X sample means today will be dedicated to the TX3i, with a review of the other to follow soon.
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The Hyper TX3i is the follow up to the TX3 EVO. For end users, the main difference is that the TX3i is an Intel only cooler and is now fitted with a dedicated Intel mounting bracket out of the box. Physically, there aren't many other differences between the two though Cooler Master claims to have refined its manufacturing processes for performance purposes. However, we suspect that the TX3i's purpose is not to improve on the TX3 EVO but to offer it in a more user-friendly package for people running LGA115x Intel chips at or close to stock speeds who just want a simple upgrade to the stock cooler without any of the fiddly mounting associated with multi-socket coolers. That description is going to apply to swathes of people building systems (including system integrators), so while the TX3i is unlikely to excite your average enthusiast it's a launch that makes sense.
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Back to the TX3i itself and we're looking at a small and basic cooler comprising a single tower and 92mm fan. Standing at 136mm tall, it's not truly low profile but will be well suited to a certain selection of micro-ATX and mini-ITX cases that can't support full-size tower coolers. It uses three direct contact 6mm copper heat pipes that feed the aluminium fin stack above. The relative lack of metal is of course what helps to keep costs down so low, but also means the cooler would be unsuitable for cooling Intel's most powerful CPUs on the LGA2011 and LGA2011-v3 sockets. That said, you shouldn't rule out overclocking on LGA115x parts, as the latest architectures are efficient enough to safely allow at least some overclocking with virtually any cooler that's not the stock one.
The seven blade fan is a PWM one and the 4-pin connector sits at the end of a cable with see-through braid, which matches the translucent blades. The fan comes pre-attached to the fin tower via an excellent clip-on bracket, which has rubber padding too to limit vibration based noise. Cooler Master even supplies an extra fan bracket (along with the necessary screws and rubber padding) so you can add a second fan.
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Even with its fan the TX3i weighs less than 400g in total so has no need for a backplate. Instead, it's fitted with four Intel mounting arms ready for LGA115x sockets. These can be moved to support LGA775 or LGA1366 processors using eight screws in total. This would be pretty fiddly but equally, the vast majority of customers will be mounting straight to LGA115x. Just like the Intel stock cooler, each arm has a plastic push pin, and these lock directly into the four socket holes. These pins are not overly strong but for a single mount or even a few they will be fine. Assuming you haven't forgotten to apply some thermal paste (a small tube is supplied) and hook up the fan, it's job done. You won't need to remove the fan, there's no memory conflict and the process takes less than a minute – you couldn't ask for a simpler installation.
Compatibility Intel: LGA775, LGA1366, LGA115x
Size (with fans) (mm) 90 x 79 x 136 (W x D x H)
Fan size (mm) 92 x 92 x 25 (W x D x H)
Fan(s) 1 x 92mm PWM, 800 ~ 2,200 RPM
Stated Noise 17-30 dB(A)
Extras Extra fan bracket, anti-vibration fan bracket mounts