Cooler Master Seidon 120M CPU Cooler Review
Sean Gibson / Jan 21st, 2013 No Comments
The Cooler Master Seidon 120M is a compact, no upkeep watercooling kit aimed to bring the benefits of this method of CPU cooling to a budget conscious, mainstream consumer. The unit is aimed to fit almost all mid and large sized PC cases, compatible with all Intel and AMD platforms. Cooler Master has designed the Seidon 120M to be easy to install, even for the newbie or less sophisticated PC user, and is factory sealed and tested to last with a two year “zero maintenance” guarantee. Included with the radiator and CPU component is a 120mm fan with a wide RPM range so that the Seidon 120M can operate extremely quietly or to full capacity to offer powerful cooling to CPUs.
Included in the Box
If you haven’t checked it out already, be sure to watch our Cooler Master Seidon 120M unboxing video. Inside the the box is the core unit of the CPU cooler, attached to the main radiator. The unit is sealed and pre-filled with the zero-maintenance cooling liquid. Also included is the 120mm fan plus all the screws, brackets and other pieces to cleanly install the unit into just about any case and motherboard. Also included is a small tube of handy Cooler Master thermal paste, plus an instruction booklet in many different languages.
Installation of the Seidon 120M should take about 20-30 minutes tops for a seasoned veteran of CPU cooler upgrades. For those that are less experienced, taking a little bit longer to exercise patience is definitely recommended; but the installation time shouldn’t take longer that 45 minutes tops. A note of interest is that the Seidon 120M is compatible with the Intel LGA 2011 / 1366 / 1156 / 1155 / 775 sockets as well as AMD Socket FM1 / AM3+ / AM3 / AM2. The first recommended step is to actually take the time and read the directions, as there are many different brackets included to handle the array of potential CPU socket types that the Seidon 120M can be installed into. Once a user properly sets all the pieces into place, the unit should start up without a problem. Having installed similar products before, the Cooler Master Seidon 120M was just as easy as any other to install and included all the necessary pieces to easily install it in a full tower case and a P77 motherboard with an Intel 3770K i7 processor.
Performance – Standard Setup
While we didn’t formally measure the sound levels emitted from the unit at idle and full throttle speeds, it can be said that the noise level from the Seidon 120M is extremely impressive for being so quiet. One of the major advantages of purchasing a watercooling kit such as this one is that there’s a lot less noise because no fan sits on the CPU itself. Air is taken where a case fan normally sits, reducing the amount of total fan noise in the computer.
Moving to specific cooling, the Seidon 120M produced extremely impressive results. Using Prime95 to throttle the system, plus the ASUS overclocking utility, our aim was to see just how the Seidon 120M would do during both idle and overclocked (with 100% throttle) situations.
Starting with idle, the Seidon 120M produced temperatures that frankly, weren’t anything too special, sitting in and around 30-33 Celsius. The great aspect of running at idle is the intelligence of most modern motherboards with the case fans, meaning the unit was practically emitting zero sound at this level.
Moving forward, Prime95 was initiated to do a 100% load on the CPU for a full six minutes. Tests run for 10-15 minutes at 100% load yielded results of minimal difference. At the 100% load during this time frame, the Seidon 120M had the Intel i7 3770K running in and around 68-72 degrees Celsius, a more than acceptable value, albeit slightly warm. Looking back at other products similar to this watercooling unit, it matched results seen before in this set up – not overclocked, running at 100% load on all four cores.
Performance – Overclocked Setup
The first question we wanted to ask was how far we could take the Intel i7 3770K and the answer came back as “pretty darn far” with the Seidon 120M. While overclocking with both the BIOS and the ASUS software tool (which adjusts the BIOS and got results to the same place that were attained by self-adjusting the BIOS directly), the CPU was overclocked to a stable 4.429GHz and testing both using Prime95 with a 100% load for separate six and fifteen minute sessions, plus a “gamer test” by running The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim at this rating. The CPU at this breakneck speed never failed, with both the load test and the practical real-world gamer test passing with flying colors.
The most impressive aspect of the performance behind the Cooler Master Seidon 120M watercooling solution is that the temperature performance during overclocking and the 100% load test stayed pretty much the same as the previous time a 100% load was thrust upon it, sticking in and around the 70-74 degrees Celsius range. The Cooler Master marketing webpage states that they got this processor up to 4.6GHz and temperatures were in and around 74C, which seems reasonable given the results found for this review.
A quick look at Amazon and other e-tailers show that the Cooler Master Seidon 120M runs in and around $65-$70, representing a lower cost to purchase than similar offerings from competitors Antec ($99), Corsair ($77), and Thermaltake ($99). Given the performance of the unit as compared to its place in the marketplace to similar zero-maintenance watercooling solutions, the Cooler Master Seidon 120M is a clear-cut winner against the rest.
The Cooler Master Seidon 120M, when rated for performance, ease of installation as well as dollar value, is probably the single best zero-maintenance watercooling kit a consumer can buy. The price is fantastic considering the very impressive results reported within the review during our tests, plus ones similarly found on other review sites. Cooler Master has a very solid reputation around e-tailers and consumers who like to tweak and improve their system; with the Seidon 120M proving once again that this vendor brings the goods and for that, we award it with an Editor’s Choice Award.
tags: cooler master , cpu cooler , overclock , review , seidon 120m , watercooling