What’s the point of having a decent desktop computer rig without any aesthetic value? Yes, looks are almost as important these days for most enthusiasts. I mean, who doesn’t love sparkly and shiny things? This is half the reason I opted to upgrade my entry level (yet perfectly fine) Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo CPU Cooler. The other half was because during code compilations, my CPU was spiking around 60-65 degrees celsius in temperature. In comes the Cryorig R1 Ultimate dual tower CPU cooler. And with a name that includes “Ultimate”, you bet your dollar that she’s gonna be mind blowing – both in look and performance!
Disclaimer: This review focuses more on aesthetic value, and less so on performance. While there was a definite drop in degrees when compared to the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo, I did not do full scientific measurements and testing. These measured guides can be found on the usual popular benchmark reviews and comparison websites. I’ll link a few at the end of this article.
So just some brief background on my current rig. Being a software developer by day, I only had modest requirements when it came to running video games. This includes a i7 4790K processor, on a Gigabyte Gaming 5 motherboard, with a Gigabyte WindForce GTX 960. For me, a GTX980 was a bit overkill for my heavy coding and YouTubing yet light gaming needs. Bear in mind that this PC build was completed before Nvidia launched their GeForce 10 series, which included the bang for your buck GTX 1070. All of this was beautifully encased by the renowned Phanteks Enthoo Pro full tower case.
While not a bad cooler, the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo was the initial choice for me. It performed pretty decently, although I did see some occasional temperature spikes (especially during Android Studio gradle builds). It also looked pretty boring with a lot of empty space around it in the fully windowed side panel of the Enthoo Pro. I would always suggest a Hyper 212 Evo to any person who is looking to cut cost, and would like to upgrade from the stock cooler that comes packaged with your CPU.
After spending weeks reading reviews, forums and Reddit posts, I decided on two things. One, water cooling wasn’t my cup of tea. Two, I wanted something with great performance as the Noctua NH-D15 that will match the black and white color scheme I was going for. The main problem I had with water cooling is that you had to go way up in price to find something that is dead silent which can out-perform the NH-D15. When I came across the very underrated Cryorig R1 Ultimate, I knew I found exactly what I was looking for.
The Cryorig R1 Ultimate is huge. And it weighs a lot. About 2 pounds to be exact. Here is a picture of it next to a 500ml bottle of water.
And here is a picture of me holding it.
I was a bit worried about the stress impact of such a heavy CPU cooler on my motherboard. After scouring through articles and forums, it seems that heavy CPU coolers are designed in such a way to support itself without putting much stress on the motherboard. This is due to the well designed backplate that you secure at the back of the motherboard prior installation of the heatsink.
Installation was a breeze. The included instructions was clear and the included screwdriver tool was easy to use. After installing the backplate, heatsink and then clipping the gracefully designed fans into place, it was all set.
Here’s some pictures of the completed look.
It really does fit in well with the color scheme of the other components and the case. The black and grey futuristic industrial look makes the build a pleasure to look at. The size is also more appropriate in proportions for the full tower Enthoo Pro as compared to the smaller Hyper 212 Evo.
The Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO had my CPU idling at an average of 34 degrees celsius. After upgrading to the Cryorig R1 Ultimate, the average idle temperature dropped to 29 degrees celsius. I also noticed much less temperature spikes for any CPU heavy tasks. It was also noticeably quieter than the Hyper 212 Evo. Having not done any scientific testing myself, here are some good articles and benchmarks: