Although Enermax’s product range focuses on expensive liquid cooling systems and not the most affordable air coolers, they also have one quite budget model called ETS-N31-02. At least now the market value of this product in all popular stores has decreased by almost half, which makes it very interesting for potential buyers. And for our part, it was interesting for us to check it in action. You can read about what happened as a result in this review.
Packing and scope of delivery
The cooler comes in a regular cardboard box with monochrome printing on the board. On the positive side, we note the abundance of technical information on the packaging, which provides comprehensive data about the dimensions and characteristics of the product.
The scope of delivery is modest enough. It includes the minimum set of parts required for installation:
- plastic mounting frame for Intel LGA 775/115x/1366 sockets;
- installation instructions;
- a bag of thermal paste;
- four transparent plastic inserts;
- four black plastic studs.
The appearance of the Enermax ETS-N31-02 is quite standard. This is an ordinary low tower cooler with three heat pipes and a 92mm fan. There is no nickel plating, painting or RGB lighting here, which is good.
Of the features, it is worth noting that the body of the radiator is shifted back and this is done in order to prevent the fan from falling into the plane of the RAM slots. The propeller itself is held by the ribs not with brackets, but with a plastic frame with two latches on each side. If both latches are slightly pressed to the side, the entire structure can be removed very easily.
Separate frames are attached to the propeller from the reverse side with screws, on the heads of which rubber gaskets are glued on top. The seven blades of the fan impeller are made of translucent plastic and have a standard configuration. The rotation speed is regulated by PWM in the range from 800 to 2000 rpm. The bearing is declared as «Twister bearing». At one time, this was an advanced technology from Enermax using a ball, a self-lubricating bushing and an axial magnet. Unfortunately, by ear, it differs little from a conventional sleeve, especially if you remember the presence of a buzz in the entire speed range. At 800-1000 rpm, the fan is relatively silent, at 1500-2000 rpm it is very clearly audible, even if this sound does not cause much irritation. Electrical characteristics and markings are visible on the sticker. The length of the four-pin power cable is 400 mm.
The radiator is made simply and elegantly. Three 6mm copper heatpipes are arranged in a U-shape when viewed from the front and form a triangle in cross section. The total height of the cooler with or without a fan does not exceed 125 mm, thanks to which it fits comfortably even in the narrowest cases. The corners of the ribs have shaped beveled cuts, but they look more like a decorative element than an aerodynamic improvement.
The number of ribs is 42 pieces, the gap between them is 1.8 mm. The total heat dissipation area is approximately 3800 cm².
On the sides, the central part of the plates is bent by 90 degrees, which forms the side walls in the radiator. The benefit is double — the air is not lost along the way and blows through all the ribs completely, and the plates themselves retain their geometry and do not stick to each other at the edges. In addition, this view clearly shows how exactly the radiator body is displaced relative to the central axis of symmetry. The thickness of ETS-N31-02 in the profile is 50 mm.
When viewed from above, the plates show the company logo and two small baffles located behind each of the heat pipes. Judging by their arrow-shaped shape, the radiator is designed for blowing in only one “correct” direction. No traces of solder were found between the tubes and plates.
Above the heat pipes, at the bottom of the cooler, there is an aluminum pressure plate with small ribs on top. It is equipped with a mounting frame made of steel, which by default is suitable for mounting on standard motherboard mounts with current processor sockets from AMD. The brackets on the sides are different sizes. One of them is short, and the second has a longer hat to make it easier to press the cooler during installation.
The tubes are simply pressed into the base, possibly glued on the reverse side. But the mounting frame is held on to the clamping bracket in an adult way, with the help of four screws.
The sole of the cooler is made according to the principle of direct contact of heat pipes located with a gap of 1.5 mm relative to each other. During a cursory examination, I didn’t have any special complaints about the evenness of the base; I can find out this issue in more detail by examining the print of the thermal paste after testing.
Let’s move on to installing and testing the cooler.