Finally, overclocked sound performance. The Phononic HEX 2.0 sits in the middle of the chart with overclocked sound performance, again a good achievement for a smaller size of cooler. At load stress levels the cooler does increase in volume as you would expect, and it’s one of the noisier fans. This is compared to larger fans however, with smaller fans always the nosier option, this was an expected performance.
Is this a good performance? Yes, it is, and compared to larger coolers the HEX 2.0 holds its own for a compact cooler. It’s not the best performing on the charts, but it’s also not the worst. Comparing it against full size flagship coolers on a 4.4Ghz i7-5820K is a little unfair, but it stands up well for its size. We are going to run through a lot of Z170 CPU tests shortly and updating our charts for the Z170 chipset. Be sure to watch out for the HEX 2.0 performance and how it compares to its rivals.
So what did we think of the Phononic HEX 2.0 Thermoelectric CPU cooler? We think it’s an amazing product, well put together and has some seriously cool technology. More than that, it performs really well in the tests, not the best by far but certainly not the worst, but there’s a catch. Indeed, this is a great little compact cooler, and all the technology is very impressive. The CPU cooler itself is a good looking unit and Phononic are a genuine company with a desire to get TEC technology into the mainstream in an applicable way, but it’s got some challenges with two main areas, air cooler maturity and cost.
We’ve been testing and reviewing CPU coolers for a long time, and companies have been researching, designing and manufacturing CPU coolers for an even longer time. Phononic are going up against this market place with a pricey cutting edge product.
We are caught between a rock and hard place; We love this sort of technology but need to be objective about the HEX 2.0. It’s a good cooler and it performs well, it’s a little pricey but you get a lot of interesting technology built in, and it’s one of the most consumer ready TEC coolers we have ever seen. If you have a compact set up and you want cutting edge cooling technology, there isn’t a better choice. If you are looking for a straight replacement for your Noctua NH-D15 on your X99 build, then it’s probably not. Either way, the Phononic HEX 2.0 Thermoelectric CPU cooler is the best implementation of a TEC we have ever seen, and if you are building a small form factor system, this needs consideration.