As is the case with most CPU coolers, XE1226 arrived in a colored carton box, slightly taller but slimmer than the usual CPU tower cooler packaging. The box had a black and white accent, and on the front the actual cooler was displayed in its typical configuration and a large red stamp clearly saying “Extreme efficiency”.
|Fortis 2 XE 1226 Side||Fortis 2 XE 1226 Back|
On the sides there was a clearer visual interpretation of how the heatpipes are assembled and of course the most essential part of a CPU cooler – technical specifications and pictures of the included accessories. Overall, the packaging design is simple, yet convenient and informative at the same time. I was getting eager to see the product inside… After I opened the compact box, these were all the goodies inside:
As humble as the contents look I was surprised by the size of the cooler, covered by transparent plastic material used for protection. It kept the cooler in perfect condition during transportation. The small white box contained all the included parts, necessary for installation of the cooler to each of the supported sockets.
SilentiumPC Fortis 2 XE1226 ADDITIONAL ACCESSORIES
Starting with the small white box I saw many included parts and they were barely fitting in there, but everything was neatly placed inside, with the smaller parts carefully wrapped in separate nylon bags. I did not see any labels on the bags for each of the manufacturers, but nevertheless you should be able to recognize which bolt goes where, as there is very minimal chance of mistake. And SilentiumPC made sure to provide the best possible installation manual for its users.
The standard package features:
- Thermal compound Pactum PT-1
- 2 x bolts for securing the tension plate (with springs)
- 4 x bolts for backplate attachment
- 4 x rubber washers
- 4 x hard plastic washers
- 4 x bolts with springs for both AMD and Intel
- 1 x metal bracket with both AMD and Intel support
- 2 x AMD metal plates
- 2 x Intel metal plates
- 4 x metal brackets for installing up to two fans
- 1 x tension plate
- 1 x 120mm PWM fan – DF12025
All I can say is that the packaging is rich enough and looks solidly built. The parts are made from metal (except the plastic washers) and should provide excellent installation and fitment. I would have liked some rubber mounts for the fan, because as far as I can see there is no rubber on the fan, on the brackets themselves or on the heatsink and I hope there is no noise from vibrations later on in the test segment of this article. Let’s put the additional accessories aside for a while and examine the cooler in a more detailed manner.
SilentiumPC Fortis 2 XE1226 HEAT SINK STRUCTURE
Fortis 2 XE1226 follows the trend in which most of the air coolers are consisted of three major parts – heat sink module, cooling fan and easy installation mounting kit from SilentiumPC. As the article goes I am going to describe all of the parts in detail in order to “dissect” the cooler and see what it has to offer as performance values and more. First thing to be reviewed in detail is the heat sink – a major component of each CPU cooler. XE1226 features an aluminium and copper module, with dimensions of 130x95x155mm and weight 0.880 kg. (both measurements are with an installed fan).
The aluminium module consists of two separate blocks of fins, both of them having medium density and the copper part stretches from the contact plate all the way up to the last fin and even slightly further. On the top the last fin is painted in black powder paint, adding to the visual effect that the cooler provides and making a beautiful contrast with the end of each copper heat pipe.
XE1226 features a technology which I will desribe below:
XE technology means that the heat sink is structured in such a way that the heat goes from the pure copper contact base plate directly to all six ∅6mm U-shaped heat pipes and then is transferred to the aluminium fin stack, which is cooled by the cooling fan, included in the package. XE basically allows for a more efficient way of transferring heat from one place to another, resulting in better overall performance.
Fortis 2 XE1226’s heat sink is a single tower design, despite the complete separation in the middle of the tower. The U-shaped heat pipes are connected with precision to the base plate and the overall visual experience that the tower gives is very good.
|Fortis 2 XE1226||Fortis 2 XE1226 Black finish|
The pure cooper contact plate/base is made with high precision and is as flat as it gets. Reflections on it are almost mirror-like, giving me the impression that the contact with the CPU’s IHS will be superb and there would be no degrading performance due to a curved base. Indeed, a job well done by SilentiumPC regarding the heatsink.
Enough said for the heatsink, now let’s move on to the black fan that you might have noticed already.
SilentiumPC Fortis 2 XE1226 COOLING FAN
Inside the contents of the XE1226’s box I found the cooling fan, that is responsible for the airflow that needs to be delivered through the heatsink’s aluminium fins. The cooling fan features a black frame made from hard plastic with physical dimensions of 120 x 120 x 25mm. The fan color suits the black fin at the top of the heatsink and gives an aggressive look on the cooler when installed on a motherboard. Good idea for SilentiuimPC to stay on the black scheme and not going for a more “gentle” color. Cooling needs to be taken seriously, there’s no room for mistakes.
The propeller of the fan is also black, including all of the seven blades that are widely spread and with not such an aggressive angle. The blades are more on the thinner side, rather than being high pressure oriented. In the center, where the motor is located, there is a subtle logo of SilentiumPC – the black “S” with white and yellow surroundings.
DF12025 is the actual model name of the fan and is able to provide 65.00 CFM of airflow level when running on maximum revolutions. And by mentioning RPM’s – the fan is made to operate from 500 up to 1500 revolutions per minute, controlled via a 4-pin PWM fan connector. The power cable is short, fully black and surely made to be connected to the PWM fan slot available near the CPU socket and is also flat, which gives another point for visual performance.
As far as the noises generated by this included fan, SilentiumPC has provided information on the official website that DF12025 stays reasonably silent at 22 dBA. This result is for the fan itself, be sure that the numbers will be different due to the fact that noise will be amplified by the fin stack and the air turbulence. This fan uses Hydraulic bearing type and its MTBF is 50 000 hours so the fan should last quite a long time before going completely dead.
In the package you receive two kits of fan mounting brackets so if you decide to go with a second 120mm fan in a push/pull configuration it would be just a matter of attaching the second fan to the heat sink via the included metal clips.
Now that I have covered the structure of this cooler and the cooling fan itself, I believe it is time to move on to the actual installation of the cooler to the motherboard and performing the stress testing afterwards. Fortis 2 XE 1226 comes with included mounting mechanism which is compatible with both Intel and AMD sockets or more specifically:
- AMD: AM2(+), AMD AM3 (+), FM1, FM2
- Intel: LGA 775, LGA 1366, LGA 2011, LGA 1150, 1155, 1156
Next thing to do is to pick up the right parts for the installation and proceed further with them. In a typical fashion the parts were placed in nylon bags, however I would have liked to see the bags labelled to ease the recognition. No big deal of course, but it would be a nice touch to see a bit more attention given to the mounting mechanism in future models from the company.
Of course, before trying to install the cooler it would be a good idea to take a look at the user guide included in the package. It is made with photos to ease the process and help you, so take a look at it, it is worth the time.
|Fortis 2 XE 1226 AMD guide
||Fortis 2 XE 1226 Intel guide
Both Intel and AMD guides are very informative and even a very inexperienced user will be able to understand the process of installing the cooler to the motherboard without any hassle.
In order to install the cooler we need the two fan brackets, 4 rubber washers, 4 plastic washers, 4 metal spacers, 4 nuts, 4 long screws for attaching the back plate, 2 metal plates, 1 tension plate, 2 bolts with springs for attaching the tension plate and of course the back plate itself.
|Fortis 2 XE 1226 back plate||Fortis 2 XE 1226 back plate installed
This is the back plate with the four long screws before being secured to the motherboard itself. There are several openings depending on the socket model used and the screws have small bumps with which they are secured firmly to the holes.
|Fortis 2 XE 1226 rubber and plastic washers||Fortis 2 XE 1226 washers installed
After installing the washers next step was to secure the metal plates for the Intel socket, followed by the actual installation of the cooler.
|Fortis 2 XE 1226 metal spacers
||Fortis 2 XE 1226 metal plates
The metal spacers and plates just need to be placed correctly and then secured via the nuts, make sure that you don’t put too much pressure on the nuts as you may damage the socket or the motherboard.
|Fortis 2 XE 1226 rubber and plastic washers||Fortis 2 XE 1226 washers installed
What I want to say about the mounting mechanism is that it is a bit tricky to get everything aligned properly the first time. You may need to be patient as you can find yourself with shortage of hands to operate with. I would like to see the process of installing the CPU cooler a bit optimized and simplified.
|Fortis 2 XE 1226 tension bracket
||Fortis 2 XE 1226 installed
Apply some thermal paste and then secure the cooler by tightening the tension plate via the two long bolts with springs. You don’t need to worry about them as they stop once tightened enough. Last step of the process is to secure the fan to the heat sink and then proceed with the testing part of this article.
|Fortis 2 XE 1226 fan and brackets
||Fortis 2 XE 1226
Basically the fan provides enough clearance if you have RAM modules with small heat spreaders, however in this case I had to remove one of them to install the fan. The clips are strong and a bit on the tight side, but they do secure the fan into place firmly. Some rubber anti-vibration pads might have been a nice touch to the overall contact between the fan and heat sink.
The RAM module indeed is touching the fan and is slightly bent even on the second DIMM slot, but as I mentioned this will not be case if RAM modules are with low profile.
And let’s proceed with the last steps of this article…
SILENTIUMPC FORTIS 2 XE 1226 TESTS
Now that the cooler is mounted on the motherboard, I believe it is time to install it back to the case and proceed with the testing methodology.
- CPU: Intel i5-4670K
- At standard frequency 3.4 MHz (Voltage set to Auto when not OC-ing)
- At low overclock frequency of 3.9 MHz (at 1.24V)
- At medium overclock frequency of 4.3 MHz (at 1.25V)
- Motherboard: AsRock Fatal1ty Killer Z87
- Video card: MSI AMD R9 280X GAMING 3G
- Memory: A-Data XPG 8 GB Dual channel, 1600 MHz
- Solid State Drive: Intel 530 Series, 120 GB
- Hard drive: Western Digital 640 GB Black Series
- Case: Antec Nineteen Hundred
- Power supply: Corsair RM750 W, Fully Modular
- Thermal paste: Noctua NT-H1
For the test I will be using the supplied 120mm fan and will test the cooler at maximum RPM.
The tests were conducted in a closed system with:
- Three Antec 120mm fans, installed as intake, rotating at ~1200 RPM
- Two Antec 120mm fans, installed on the HDD cage inside the case, rotating at ~1200 RPM
- One Antec 120mm fan, installed as exhaust at the rear of the case, rotating at ~1200 RPM
Room temperature of about 20-21 degrees.
And here I want to describe my testing method.
I will install SilentiumPC Fortis 2 XE 1226 and do stress tests using Prime95 AVX software with constant load on the cooler for 14:30 minutes with custom settings of minimum FFT size (in K of 128), max FFT size (in K of 128) and Run FFTs in place at standard frequency of 3.4 GHz (Voltage set to Auto when not OC-ing), at low overclock frequency of 3.9 GHz (at 1.24V) and at medium overclock frequency of 4.3 GHz (at 1.25V) using the supplied fans installed on the radiator.
And this is what the CPU cooler looks like when installed inside the case and ready for testing.
It definitely hides all the pieces around the socket and it fits nicely with the black interior.
Now is the time to share the results with you.
First test was performed with the stock speed that the CPU is working at, then there are the results from the 3.9 and 4.3 GHz stress testing.
|Fortis 2 XE 1226 @ 3.9 GHz
||Fortis 2 XE 1226 @ 4.3 GHz
All of the results have been summarized in the following charts. First chart is with the temperatures in degrees Celsius.
And the fan rotational speed during the tests.
I believe the time for conclusions has arrived.
SilentiumPC Fortis 2 XE 1226 CONCLUSIONS
1. SilentiumPC Fortis 2 XE 1226 performance:
What I really liked about the cooler is the solid performance which it brings to the table. In terms of the packaging I can always want more, because the things that bother me are the hard plastic packaging, the hard metal fan brackets and the not so fine fins on the heat sink. If you are not careful you might cut yourself on some of them. The mounting mechanism is absolutely solid, but it is not the simplest of things on the market, it definitely needs a bit of an upgrade.
Once installed the cooler does a really nice job keeping the CPU cool at respectable temperatures even at a high overclock for this i5 – 4670K unit. Under 80 degrees Celsius is not recommended for 24/7 operation but there is no way that you may achieve such temperatures by gaming or intensive encoding and etc. At stock speed the cooler and the six heat pipes are able to provide ample cooling and even at 1500 RPM the noise is not that irritating, basically you can only hear the air traveling through the fins at high speed.
I would recommend the cooler to be used at medium OC speeds, where it keeps the 4670K at around 70-ish degrees. You may even lower the speed of the fan to 800 RPM where it is dead silent and still provided around 30-33 degrees Celsius at Idle speeds.
The cooler needs some slight optimizations and I indeed hope for future revisions to be released as it is a solid performer for that price point.
2. SilentiumPC Fortis 2 XE 1226 appearance:
Fortis 2 XE 1226 is indeed a nice cooler to look at as there is a nice contrast between the pure copper heat pipes, the black fan and the aluminum fins. The last fin is painted in black, there is also a slight brushed metal look to it which it just pure satisfaction to the eye. The visual experience is even better when the cooler sits installed in a case as mostly the top fin and the black fan are visible. Ends of the copper pipes do look like gold elements when seen from a distance, that is if you have a windowed side panel to admire the lovely view.
According to my review, I think that SilentiumPC Fortis 2 XE 1226 deserves the following reward:
Official price (MSRP) for SilentiumPC Fortis 2 XE 1226: 29.90 Euro
Official warranty: unknown
I thank SilentiumPC for the test sample.