Pros: First RGB CPU air cooler
Cons: Ram compatability
Lepa is fairly a new global hardware manufacturer and was founded by enthusiastic IT engineers. Lepa strives for performance, stability, and reliable high-tech solutions. They make some pretty interesting products that offer customization and personalization. With the rise of everything RGB, why not make a CPU cooler with RGB lighting effects. There have been a lot of AIO water cooling parts already with RGB but not a CPU heatsink designed cooler. Today, I will be looking at the NEOllusion RGB CPU cooler. Let's see if this cooler proves to have the performance desired for a CPU heatsink and what RGB brings to the table. Hopefully, the RGB will help this product stand out in an already crowded market of CPU cooling needs.
The specifications are as follows:
Intel® LGA 775/1150/1151/1155/1156/1366/2011/2011-3
Heat Sink Dimension
126(L) x 40(W) x 161.7(H) mm
645g (w / fan)
4 x Ø6 mm
Copper Heat Pipes/Aluminum Fins
120 x 120 x 25 mm
600 ~ 1800 RPM
400 ~ 1000 RPM (w/ fan adaptor )
Fan Air Flow
29.33 ~ 75.41 CFM ; 49.83 ~ 128.12 m3/h
16.76 ~ 46.09 CFM ; 28.47 ~ 78.31 m3/h (w / fan adaptor )
Fan Air Pressure
0.36 ~ 2.41 mm-H2O
0.13 ~ 0.90 mm-H2O (w/ fan adaptor )
Fan Rated Voltage
Fan Noise Level
17 ~ 33 dBA
14 ~ 19 dBA (w/ fan adaptor )
4 pin PWM
1 x LED remote control; 1 x fan speed reduction adaptor; 1 x molex adaptor
Why Choose the NEOllusion ?
The NEOllusion is the first CPU heatsink air cooler to offer RGB lighting built in. This adds a whole new dynamic to aesthetics for system builders. Typically AIO water cooling isn't that much better than air coolers but costs a lot more. AIO typically would come with better features like software control and RGB lighting, but the NEOllusion aims to fill a gap in the market. Being an air cooler the price is much more affordable and with PWM control brings decent air cooling. You can have the best of both worlds with RGB lighting and decent performance for a price.
The product packaging is marketed towards showing off the RGB lighting. The cooler offers multiple mounting options for popular socket types for both Intel and AMD. Opening up the box showed some cool marketing designs like the giant cat artwork under the lid.
The kit is very basic and comes with everything you need to get started. Being basic isn't a bad thing, this makes installing and setting up this cooler a cinch.
The accessories included are:
- NEOllusion CPU cooler and PWM fan
- Voltage step-down adapter for lower noise and RPM
- Mounting hardware and Thermal paste for popular socket types
- Instruction manual
- RGB remote
One of the best things about the NEOllusion is the included RGB remote. It comes ready to use and offers excellent RGB lighting effects. The remote allows you to choose between static colors or a few built in profiles and lighting effects. The back offers magnets for easy storage. You can mount the remote to the side of your case. What's nice about the remote is there is no APP or software required for easy control of the RGB. This makes the NEOllusion very easy to use.
Design & Setup
The NEOllusion is very easy to install and I will be going over the process. The cooler comes equipped with high-quality RGB LEDs using nano diffusant covers. This helps create impeccable RGB lighting effects.
The best features of the NEOllusion:
- NEOllusion generates stunning RGB lighting effects
- User-friendly remote control for easy lighting adjustment
- 200W+ TDP cooling capacity
- Compact side flow air cooler for superb RAM compatibility
- VGF (Vortex Generator Flow) increases air convection in-between the fins
- HDT (Heat-pipe Direct Touch) improves thermal conductivity
- 4 x Ø6mm high-performance heat pipes improve heat conductivity
- Dual convex blades fan boosts downforce air pressure and creates high-volume airflow
To set up the cooler you first need to find the appropriate mounting accessories for your hardware. I will be installing this using socket 115x for an Intel CPU.
So following the instructions, the first thing is to mount the backplate. You need to find the screws that push through the backplate to the front of the motherboard. The instructions also ask you to install the spacers needed for the mounting bracket.
Once you have the spacers correctly in place you can install the Intel mounting bracket. There are 3 different holes to pay attention to, so follow the instructions. The middle holds lines up properly for 115x and is the correct position for me. Once you have it aligned properly you need to take out your retention screws and screw down the brackets to the backplate screws. For even pressure, I go from corner to corner screwed down until its tight enough. Don't over tighten the screws because you could damage your motherboard. Tighten them just enough that there is no wiggling of the brackets.
It's almost time to install the CPU cooler! First, we must take off the fan attached to it. The one clip fan bracket makes removing and installing the fan extremely easy. The included fan is a Lepa APA 1225m12. This fan offers great technologies for keeping your CPU nice and cool. The fan uses a dual convex blade design. This ensures the aerodynamics use downforce air pressure to create high volume airflow. The include fan header is 4pin and is PWM controlled. This will offer the best performance and noise levels depending on the options in your BIOS. You typically can set fan curves or use variable fan speed based on the temperature of your CPU.
It's time to install the cooler but before we do that we need to apply the thermal paste for proper heat transfer. The NEOllusion comes with TIM (Thermal Interface Material) and suggests to apply a layer of it. At this point, I am going to deviate from the instructions a bit and only apply a small peas sized amount to the center of the CPU. I found this application method to be the best in my experience. I won't get into a battle here but there are arguments to have on how to apply TIM to your CPU. You can read more about it here.
Before you mount the cooler be sure to remove the plastic label from the mounting surface. This cooler uses HDT (Heat-pipe Direct Touch) technology which ensures rapid thermal conduction to eliminate hot spots from the CPU. Also, the heat pipes are designed using VGF (Vortex Generation Flow) which increases air convection around each heat pipe. This allows the air to spread out offering better cooling performance instead of passing heat straight through.
It's now time to install the heatsink on top of your CPU. Lightly set the heatsink on top of your CPU and TIM you applied. Be sure you're following the instructions on what direction because you need to use the retention bar to lock down the heatsink to the mounting brackets. The heatsink used here offers SNTC (Super Nano Thermal Conductive) and acts as a coating to protect the heatsink from oxidation. This improves heat transfer and life expectancy of the cooler.
I want to talk about the superb ram compatibility for a moment. I found this to be the worst misconception possible. Luckily I am using a test bench and have a little flexibility with mounting. In a typical case, you would want the fan on the front of the heatsink so it blows out to your rear exhaust fan for optimal airflow. I was forced to mount in the other direction because with the fan installed in the proper direction left me unable to populate my first dim slot. I have a 4x4 memory kit. I was unable to populate the 4 slots with the fan installed to the right allowing air to blow towards the back. I was left with either installing only two sticks or just installing the fan on the other side. This wouldn't work in a typical case setup, but because I was on a test bench I could get away with it because of its all open air.
I found there to be a definite issue with RAM compatibility. It's possible with a low profile kit this wouldn't be an issue, but I don't have a low profile kit to test. The RAM I had is a little larger than standard ram due to its light bar on top. From what I can see even without that it would still pose a problem.
Now that everything is installed correctly the last thing to do is plug in the 4-pin fan header to the appropriate CPU fan header on your motherboard. This can vary so please check your motherboard manual. There are also and extra cable here to power the RGB lighting. This is a 3-pin cable and I have CPU_1 and CPU_2 on my motherboard and plugged each on into those headers.
To test the performance of the NEOllusion I will be testing cooling and noise. I will be running Aida64 Extreme for load performance, and for idle just sitting on my desktop with no application load. The load performance will consist of max RPM of fans, and idle represent lowest RPM setting for fans. I will also compare this Cooler to the be quiet! Pure Rock which should offer similar performance. Please, know that testing can vary from setup to setup and so don't expect the same results. Even similar hardware ran here could show variable differences.
My test bench is as follows:
- ViewSonic XG2703-GS Monitor
- Motherboard- EVGA Z170 Classified K
- CPU: Intel Core I7 6700K
- Network Card- Netgear AC 1200 USB
- Cooler- Lepa NEOllusion RGB CPU cooler
- Memory- Avexiir DDR4 3000 MHz
- Video Card: Nvidia GTX 1060
- Storage- Toshiba OCZ VX500GB SSD (Boot)
- Power Supply- Thermaltake PRO RGB 850W
- OS: Windows 10 x64 Pro
- Headphones- Creative H7
The CPU was overclocked to 4.6 GHZ for benchmark purposes, and my memory was set to its XMP profile.
The NEOllusion here is a clear winner when you look at the temperatures from overclocking. Idle isn't too critical as there is nothing major happening and most of the time I find idle temps to be about the same, especially on my setup. I try and keep a constant ambient temperature of at least 68°F, this is about 20°C. I typically get about 23 to 24 °C on idle from most of my coolers. At 100 Percent load, and fan speeds (rpm) at max you can see the temp differences above. I added the stock CPU speed labeled as the reference clock. This is the non-overclocked temp at 100% load. I wasn't able to go above 4.6 due to voltage limitations. The increase required would be too hot for my comfort level. While gaming and not stress testing I would average about 55°C I wasn't able to go above 4.6 due to voltage limitations. The increase required would be too hot for my comfort level.
I'm lucky enough that my 6700K doesn't require a lot of voltage to get to 4.6 and that is what helps me keep my temps down. If I had a less than par chip this air cooler wouldn't be able to handle 4.6Ghz and would have temps probably in the high 70s.
For noise testing, I used a high gain microphone. I want to explain a few things about noise testing.
First: Testing noise levels can be difficult. First, don't expect the same levels even with similar hardware. There are too many differences and variables that go into sound testing. You have to account for background noise and other sounds in the environment.
Second: I am one reviewer, and am not a professional sound studio. I am not testing these items in perfect conditions. I do not have an anechoic sound chamber in my test studio.
The noise levels recorded were on average the level of a normal conversation. The NEOllusion did have a quieter profile compared to the Pure Rock but both do a good job considering the overclock and 100% RPM speed. It's hard also to get a lower dB level as the noise from other fans, my environment, and other factors contribute to the lowest level recorded. I can say at idle the fan is barely audible, and on high is definitely not that loud on the NEOllusion. The Pure Rock is louder at 100% but that too isn't horrible. Be quiet also prides themselves on whisper quiet operation so this is an awesome to see the NEOllusion keep a quiet profile compared to be quiet!.
At 100 % load, the NEOllusion is audible and you can tell the fan is running at 100 % but it isn't distracting while gaming and it doesn't sound like a jet engine is taking off.
I found the RGB lighting to be superior to what you would expect. I believe the high-quality RGB LEDs in the NEOllusion is some the best RGB lighting I have seen. It stays vivid and doesn't seem to ever fade. You will find it difficult though if your entire system is RGB to try and sync it with other products while using the cycle feature. If you use a static color like I do then it shouldn't be difficult at all.
There are a few cons with this cooler especially when it comes to RAM compatibility. I also found that unless you are pointing right at the RGB sensor with the remote it doesn't always register.
Being the first air cooler with RGB I find this product extremely helpful in filling in a niche in the market. Air coolers are still widely adopted and popular due to price and performance. I found the NEOllusion to perform extremely well for a budget price. Given the performance metrics and the RGB lighting, this cooler is fantastic for modders and system builders looking to color coordinate their systems. The RGB lighting is excellent and offers a wide variety of choices to match your system and peripherals. I highly recommend this cooler and you can buy the NEOllusion right now on Amazon for $65.00.(Lepa NEOllusion RGB Lighting Air CPU Cooler Cooling LPANL12 Black)