ENERMAX ETS-T50 AXE Review

Sometimes, it’s the little things that separate good hardware from great hardware. Astute power users know this is the case with a variety of component types. Take CPU air coolers, for example. If you don’t have time to dig into a particular product’s details, you can easily fall into the trap of believing that bigger is better—more metal plus faster fans equals higher performance. That can be true enough in a general sense, but it ignores all the innovations manufacturers can bake into a cooler to make it even more efficient. ENERMAX has been busy baking, and the ETS-T50 AXE is its latest cooler to come out of the oven.

As an air cooler, the ETS-T50 AXE naturally places a premium on maximizing airflow, so it should come as no surprise that its heatsink is designed to do just that.

A tandem of technologies assist on this front. The first is ENERMAX’s patented Pressure Differential Flow (yes, “PDF”). Starting at the fan, the ETS-T50-AXE uses differential wind pressure to funnel air through a cone-shaped “tunnel” within the heatsink. According to ENERMAX, PDF increases airflow through the heatsink by up to 15%. Another patented technology, Air Guide, actually looks like a placeholder of sorts for power users who want to add a second fan to the cooler down the road, but the plastic piece that clips to the back of the cooler helps direct air toward the rear panel case fan, which is usually slightly higher than the CPU cooler fan(s). Together, PDF and Air Guide should help keep air surging through the ETS-T50-AXE.

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Elsewhere, ENERMAX also shows how much thought it puts into its coolers. The heatpipes are arranged asymmetrically, which keeps the ETS-T50-AXE from intruding on the air space, if you will, above a motherboard’s DIMM slots. Indeed, we had just enough room to install the ETS-T50 AXE on our GIGABYTE GA-Z170X-Ultra Gaming without running into clearance issues. Not having to worry about the height of our memory modules is a definite perk. The ETS-T50 AXE also uses ENERMAX’s Dust Free Rotation technology, which blasts the fan at full speed during the first 10 seconds of operation in order to dislodge any dust that’s accumulated while your system is powered down; afterward, the fan returns to PWM operation. This is more of a quality-of-life improvement, truth be told, but it’s just one mote way ENERMAX has carefully considered how to add value to a CPU cooler. Established ENERMAX technologies such as VEF (Vacuum Effect) and VGF (Vortex Generator Flow) are present, as well.

To test the ETS-T50 AXE, we installed it in a system with an Intel Core ¡7-6700K CPU, 32GB of Corsair Vengeance DDR4-3200, and a GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1080 Xtreme Gaming. At idle, the average temperature across the 6700K’s four cores was 24.6 degrees Celsius. When we taxed ENERMAX’s cooler with several rounds of POV-Ray 3.7, it delivered an average temp of 57.9 C, and 10 minutes of punishment at the hands of Prime95 produced an average temperature of 67 C.

Add the ETS-T50 AXE’s VEGAS LED fan to the mix, and you have a rock-solid air cooler that won’t rock your budget. When you’re ready to replace your CPU cooler, give it a serious look.

Specs: Materials: Copper (heatpipes), aluminum (fins); Fan: 120mm PWM (800 to 1,800); Dimensions: 6.3 x 4.4 x 5.5 inches (HxWxD); Socket compatibility: Intel LGA 775/115X/1366/2011 (3), AMD AM2/AM2+/AM3/AM3+, FM1 /FM2/FM2+

Test system specs: Processor: Intel Core i7-6700K; Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z170X-Ultra Gaming; GPU: GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1080 Xtreme Gaming; Memory: Corsair Vengeance LED 32GB DDR4-3200MHz; Storage: 240GB Intel SSD 730 Series; OS: Windows 10 Enterprise

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