IDCooling. Not normally a brand that pops out at you for computer cooling parts right? Well, IDCooling is based out of Hong Kong, China. Yeah I know, but really since they are located in China, allows them to be more price competitive in the PC cooling market because the manufacturing is done locally.
Hey what’s up OCN! I am bluedevil. Today we venture back to air cooling. Last time we looked at be quiet’s Shadow Rock 3, which performed decently apart from having to downgrade my OC on my 8700K. Well IDCooling sent over the SE-224-XT, in both the Basic and ARGB flavors. However there is more than meets the eye when it comes to these two.
Starting off with overall design, the two XTs have a few aesthetic differences. The major key difference is one has an ARGB 120mm fan while the other has a more subdued 120mm fan with gray accents. The towers have a few differences, the normal XT is more traditional, with what seems to be unfinished heatsink pipes coming from the top of the cooler. The SE-224-XT’s 120mm ARGB fan looks to be hub lit, meaning it will have a great lighting on the fan blades. Secondly the black nickel finish on this XT is just gorgeous.
Construction of both models is made from the same components. Aluminum for the fin array, copper for the 4 6mm heatpipes with direct touch surface contact to the CPU IHS. Pretty standard stuff. Weight of the ARGB model is noted at 830 grams with the fan installed, while the standard model has about 20 grams shaved off for a total of 810 grams. The ARGB version, while being slightly more expensive than the standard XT model, is gimped to a slight degree in terms of fan airflow, which is 56.5 CFM, all the while the Basic XT model has a blustery 76.16 CFM, noise is rated to be relative to each. The price we pay for RGB hey?In terms of mounting plate, both coolers use the same system, which IMO was just as easy as any be quiet! or Noctua solution.
- Intel i7 8700K (delidded and liquid metal)
- 16GB HyperX Fury RGB DDR4-3733
- Samsung 970 EVO Plus 500GB NVME M.2
- EVGA Nvidia RTX 2060 Super SC Ultra w/Zero RPM mode
- EVGA P2 750w PSU w/ECO fan mode turned on
Tests will be done at:
- Idle frequency, stock vcore
- Overclocked @ 5ghz with 1.25vore, unless temperatures cause instability then 4.7 ghz.
- Tests performed on an open air test bench for standardized testing.
- Testing environment is thermally controlled at 18C (65F).
- Burn in time of at least 20 minutes, Aida64 Extreme System Stability Test, Stress GPU unchecked.
Starting off with thermals in the right direction, the SE-224-XT-ARGB was up first. The ARGB XT had my 8700K running at an average temp of 28C at stock frequency at idle. At load, which ran for about an hour and half, CPU package temps leveled out at 69C, but peaked a maximum of 79C. Noise at idle was sitting at or around 41 dBa. Moving to testing the 8700K overclocked to 5ghz with 1.25vcore, I encountered the very same issue I did with the beQuiet! Shadow Rock 3. Backing down the overclock down to 4.7 ghz, idle temps rose to 33C, while the maximum temp loaded shot up to 88C with an average of 73C. Noise at 100% fan speed got up to 57 dBa.
Idle CPU at stock clocks and vcore on SE-224-XT-ARGB
Load CPU at stock clocks and vcore on SE-224-XT-ARGB
Idle CPU at stock clocks and vcore on SE-224-XT-Basic
Load CPU at stock clocks and vcore on SE-224-XT-Basic
Idle CPU at 4.7ghz OC on CPU w/1.25v on SE-224-XT-ARGB
Load CPU at 4.7ghz OC on CPU w/1.25v on SE-224-XT-ARGB
Idle CPU at 4.7ghz OC on CPU w/1.25v on SE-224-XT-Basic
Load CPU at 4.7ghz OC on CPU w/1.25v on SE-224-XT-Basic
Next up is the Basic version of the SE-224-XT. Running at idle stock clocks and vcore, the Basic had the 8700K running cool at 29C. Load, temps seemed to be under control at 74C. At 4.7ghz, the Basic held its own at idle at 33C average and the same 41dBa for noise as it’s ARGB brother. Fully loaded up, the Basic actually did better than it’s ARGB brother with a maximum temp of 84C. Noise at 100% fan speed was around 52dBA.
For kicks, IDCooling sent over another 120mm black/grey fan to match the one that came with the Basic version. I should also mention that, both the Basic and ARGB versions come with fan brackets to support an additional 120mm fan. So I strapped that one on not expecting too much in terms of idle temps, but load temps with the fans blasted to 100%, resulted in only a 1C drop and a rise of 3 dBA in noise. Hardly worth it.
May not live up to the 180w TDP
May not live up to the 180w TDP
So in the end, I do personally think these CPU coolers are worth the money that IDCooling is asking. Priced at $27 for the SE-224-XT Basic and $30 for the SE-224-XT-ARGB model, there really isn’t a big price gap to say no to RGB unless it’s not your thing. So depending on the use case, the SE-224-XT line of coolers from IDCooling does a pretty good job at keeping CPU temps in check, while still being visually stimulating. But do these coolers from IDCooling answer my initial question? No, they are not all the same, however they don’t have to cost an arm and a leg to get decent cooling for your CPU.