[OCN Labs] Phononic Hex 2.0 by Duality92

A Review On: Phononic HEX 2.0 Thermoelectric CPU Cooler, Black

Phononic HEX 2.0 Thermoelectric CPU Cooler, Black

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Duality92
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Pros: Performance, installation, ++

Cons: Compatibility




The Phononic Hex 2.0, where shoud I start...

I got this CPU cooler from Phononic for review. Usually I just water cool my builds and call it a day, but this cooler changed my view on water cooling, its performance is actually that good. I don't want to wait further in the review to tell you this. Below is my chart for temperature results on my 6600K, which did 4.7 GHz @ 1.488v under load. This chip is delidded with MX-4 and reseal.

Installation of this CPU is the easiest I've dealt with, period, which is the first thing I appreciated of this CPU cooler and was once the reason I hesitated to go with air cooling in the past.

The price is what everything is talking about of this CPU cooler. With an MSRP of $149.99 it's a good investement for a CPU cooler, but I honestly think the product you get is worth this much.

My normal procedure for reviews is to take the product out and test it quickly before to get a first impression, before reboxing and taking picture, it enables me to know what points to focus on, but this cooler is so good, I never put it in box again. I put it in a build for testing, then I just used it on a few builds and will be using it in my next build too.

The single thing I dislike about this cooler is motherboard compatibility. Let's take for example my ASUS Rampage IV Formula below, this was the single only configuration possible and it blocks the first PCIE slot. 90 degree on either side made the heatpipes and fins touch the RAM too much for my liking and a 180 degree rotation would've made the flow opposite to the cases air flow because this CPU cooler needs a specific direction on air flow. These challenges are also present on ITX motherboards.

I would've also like that the heatsink had a bracket on each side available for extra 92mm fans.

The quality of the packaging, the quality of every piece of the product, the performance, the features and software are also excellent and easy to use. My only negative is the compatibility, but this is usually the case with ALL air coolers. Also no coolers can do every single configuration so I can't remove too many points for this.


Spec shet : https://phononic.com/downloads/HEX_2-0_specifications-en.pdf

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When we take a look at the 4.7 GHz results, we can see that versus my custom water loop using an AlphaCool XP³ Light Nickel paired with AlphaCool ST30 280 and 240 radiators was only 5 degrees cooler with the "Insane Mode". That's quite a feat for a CPU cooler this size.

Looking at power draw, it does draw 22 watts more at that same load from the wall compared to the water cooled setup.

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Here's the link to my build log that will be using the cooler - http://www.overclock.net/t/1625743/build-log-duality92s-rgb-adventure-i7-7700k-matx-rgb-duh-also-heres-an-octopus/0_20

9 Comments:

From other reviews I've seen of this cooler, it really doesn't hold up in terms of price to performance. There are air coolers less than half the price that are quieter and perform better. Add to that the increased power consumption and heat output, which can be an issue in many sff cases, and that's only place where I see this cooler making sense.

Its interesting because of its performance for its size, but aside from that its all drawbacks. I can imagine a few situations where this cooler might make some sense, some...
Power consumption, imo, is no longer a problem with most sff builds.

As far as performance goes, we can't change anything, but for the quality of the product you get, I'd like to get another that competes with this. The mounting mechanism is the best I've used to date, but a long shot. (I haven't used too many air coolers, so this is from my experience only).

I'd easily still recommend it if you want a premium feeling CPU cooler and you have a height limitation that this fills.
I keep mine on "extreme" mode all the time, ignoring their warnings about condensation . I haven't seen anything above 55C @ 4.5 GHZ. It is pretty quiet as well. I'd say that it is a 4/5.
ignoring their warnings about condensation... sounds dangerous. count me out
BigSteak, I meant CPU, totally my bad.
ohhh lol. FX-8350. I think its just a little bit above stock for voltage, and the clock is 4.4 (not the 4.5 in my comment).
" ignoring their warnings about condensation"
A little water never hurt anyone and the price of a replacement CPU and mainboard is nothing: go for it!