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[nextpage title=”Introduction”]

We tested Tuniq Propeller 120 CPU cooler, which has a two-piece horizontal heatsink, four heatpipes and a 120 mm fan. Check it out!

Propeller box is actually made by two boxes, one external printed in thin card paper and a black internal thicker one. The plastic handle helps carrying the box.

Tuniq Propeller 120Figure 1: Box.

Just like it happens with Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme, Propeller 120 accessories come organized in a foam-filled box with matching holes. User manual is printed in high-quality paper. Tuniq shows that their products are top-shelf starting with the packaging.

Tuniq Propeller 120Figure 2: Box contents.

In Figure 3 you can have a general view of the heatsink. The fan does not come preinstalled.

Tuniq Propeller 120Figure 3: Heatsink.

In the next pages we will see this cooler in detail.[nextpage title=”Tuniq Propeller 120″]

In Figure 4, you can see the front side of the heatsink. On top of the base there is a small auxiliary heatsink. The main heatsink is horizontal and keeps a good distance to the base.

Tuniq Propeller 120Figure 4: Front view.

In Figure 5, you can see the heatsink from the side. According to the manufacturer, the "V" shape is inspired on the mighty aircraft carriers. Here you can see the four 8-mm heatpipes. Since there are two independent heatsinks, each tip of each heatpipe is connected to one heatsink. The fins are not plain, but with some rugosity in order to achieve better heat transfer.

Tuniq Propeller 120Figure 5: Side view.

From the top you can better see the disposition of the heatpipes.

Tuniq Propeller 120Figure 6: Top view.

[nextpage title=”Tuniq Propeller 120 (Cont’d)”]

On the bease of Tuniq Propeller 120 you can notice that the heatpipes touch the CPU directly. The base surface is very smooth, as you can see in Figure 7.

Tuniq Propeller 120Figure 7: Base.

In Figure 8, you can see the 120 mm fan that comes with the cooler. This fan has blue LEDs that glow when it is turned on. The connector is a three-pin type, so with no PWM speed control.

Tuniq Propeller 120Figure 8: Fan.

This cooler comes with a fan controller that must be installed in one of the case rear slots. It could be nicer if the manufacturers start to include front-mounted fan controllers (using a disk drive bay), instead of rear ones.

Tuniq Propeller 120 Figure 9: Fan controller.

[nextpage title=”Installation”]

To install Propeller 120 you must use a backplate, shown in Figure 10. First of all, you need to insert the screws on the backplate holes that match your CPU socket. This backplate does not support socket LGA1156, but the manufacturer sells a compatible one.

Tuniq Propeller 120Figure 10: Installation hardware.

It is curious that the holding system from Propeller 120 is identical to the one we found on iCEAGE Prima Boss II and Spire TherMax Eclipse.

Tuniq Propeller 120Figure 11: Backplate with screws installed.

In Figure 12, you can see the cooler installed on our motherboard, with the fan already in place.

Tuniq Propeller 120Figure 12: Installed on motherboard.

In Figure 13, you can see Propeller 120 installed inside our case.

Tuniq Propeller 120Figure 13: Installed inside our case.

[nextpage title=”How We Tested”]

We are adopting the following methodology for our CPU cooler reviews.

First, we chose the CPU with the highest TDP (Thermal Design Power) we had available, a Core 2 Extreme QX6850, which has a 130 W TDP. The choice for a CPU with a high TDP is obvious. To measure the efficiency of the tested cooler, we need a processor that gets very hot. This CPU works by default at 3.0 GHz, but we overclocked it to 3.33 GHz, in order to heat it as much as possible.

We took noise and temperature measurements with the CPU idle and under full load. In order to achieve 100% CPU load on the four proces
sing cores we ran Prime95 with the "In-place Large FFTs" option, and three instances of the StressCPU program, all at the same time.

We also compared the reviewed cooler to the Intel stock cooler (with copper base), which comes with the processor we used, and also with some other coolers we have tested using the same methodology.

Temperature measurements were taken with a digital thermometer, with the sensor touching the base of the cooler, and also with the core temperature reading (given by the CPU thermal sensor) from the from the SpeedFan program, using an arithmetic average of the four core temperature readings.

The sound pressure level (SPL) was measured with a digital noise meter, with its sensor placed 4" (10 cm) from the fan. We turned off the video board cooler so it wouldn’t interfere with the results, but this measurement is only for comparative purposes, because a precise SPL measurement needs to be made inside an acoustically insulated room with no other noise sources, which is not the case here.

Hardware Configuration

  • Processor: Core 2 Extreme QX6850
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte EP45-UD3L
  • Memory: 4 GB G.Skill F2-6400CL5S-2GBNY (DDR2-800/PC2-6400 with 5-5-5-15 timings), configured at 800 MHz
  • Hard drive: 1 TB Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 (ST31000528AS, SATA-300, 7200 rpm, 32 MB buffer)
  • Video card: PNY Verto Geforce 9600 GT
  • Video resolution: 1680×1050
  • Video monitor: Samsung Syncmaster 2232BW Plus
  • Power supply required: Seventeam ST-550P-AM
  • Case: 3RSystem K100

Software Configuration

  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

Software Used

Error Margin

We adopted a 2 °C error margin, i.e., temperature differences below 2 °C are considered irrelevant.

[nextpage title=”Our Tests”]

On the tables below you can see our results. We ran the same tests with the coolers shown on below tables. Each test ran with the CPU idle and the with the CPU fully loaded. On BigTyp 14Pro, TMG IA1, NH-U12P and ISGC-300 the tests were done with the fan at full speed and at minimum speed. The other coolers were connected directly to the motherboard and it controls the fan speed based on CPU load level and temperature on PWM models. ISGC-400, iCEAGE Prima Boss, Megahalems Rev. B, Thermaltake SpinQ VT, Zalman CNPS10X Flex, Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme and Tuniq Propeller 120 were tested at minimum speed on idle test and at maximum speed on full load test.

< td align="center">1200 rpm

CPU Idle

Cooler Room Temp. Noise Fan Speed Base Temp. Core Temp.
Intel stock 14 °C 44 dBA 1000 rpm 31 °C 42 °C
BigTyp 14Pro (min) 17 °C 47 dBA 880 rpm 29 °C 36 °C
BigTyp 14Pro (max) 17 °C 59 dBA 1500 rpm 26 °C 34 °C
Akasa Nero 18 °C 41 dBA 500 rpm 26 °C 35 °C
Cooler Master V10 14 °C 44 dBA 1200 rpm 21 °C 26 °C
TMG IA1 (max) 16 °C 47 dBA 1500 rpm 22 °C 30 °C
TMG IA1 (min) 16 °C 57 dBA 2250 rpm 21 °C 30 °C
Zalman CNPS10X Extreme 16 °C 44 dBA 1200 rpm 21 °C 29 °C
Thermaltake ISGC-100 18 °C 44 dBA 1450 rpm 35 °C 49 °C
Noctua NH-U12P (low) 15 °C 42 dBA 1000 rpm 20 °C 30 °C
Noctua NH-U12P 15 °C 46 dBA 1400 rpm 20 °C 28 °C
Noctua NH-C12P 17 °C 46 dBA 1400 rpm 23 °C 28 °C
Thermaltake ISGC-200 21 °C 43 dBA 1100 rpm 31 °C 35 °C
Schythe Kabuto 22 °C 42 dBA 800 rpm 29 °C 34 °C
Arctic Cooling Alpine 11 Pro 20 °C 43
dBA
1500 rpm 32 °C 39 °C
ISGC-300 (min) 18 °C 42 dBA 800 rpm 26 °C 30 °C
ISGC-300 (max) 18 °C 46 dBA 1400 rpm 24 °C 26 °C
SilverStone NT06-E 21 °C 66 dBA 2600 rpm 30 °C 41 °C
Zalman CNPS9700 NT 22 °C 48 dBA 1700 rpm 28 °C 35 °C
Scythe Mugen-2 17 °C 41 dBA 700 rpm 25 °C 30 °C
ISGC-400 (min) 17 °C 44 dBA 850 rpm 24 °C 30 °C
Cooler Master Vortex 752 20 °C 48 dBA 1700 rpm 32 °C 44 °C
iCEAGE Prima Boss (min) 22 °C 42 dBA 1000 rpm 29 °C 36 °C
Evercool Buffalo 17 °C 51 dBA 1850 rpm 22 °C 29 °C
Scythe Big Shuriken 20 °C 42 dBA 900 rpm 31 °C 39 °C
Cooler Master Hyper TX3 21 °C 44 dBA 1700 rpm 30 °C 39 °C
Titan Skalli 20 °C 43 dBA 1200 rpm 27 °C 34 °C
Prolimatech Megahalems Rev. B 21 °C 40 dBA 800 rpm 28 °C 32 °C
Zalman CNPS9900 NT 23 °C 45 dBA 900 rpm 30 °C 34 °C
Cooler Master Hyper N620 21 °C 44 dBA 1200 rpm 28 °C 34 °C
Nexus LOW-7000 R2 23 °C 46 dBA 1400 rpm 33 °C 42 °C
Evercool HPK-10025EA 20 °C 54 dBA 1900 rpm 27 °C 34 °C
Evercool HPH-9525EA 23 °C 50 dBA 1900 rpm 38 °C 49 °C
iCEAGE Prima Boss II 23 °C 42 dBA 1000 rpm 29 °C 35 °C
Thermaltake SpinQ VT 24 °C 45 dBA 950 rpm 32 °C 39 °C
Titan Fenrir 21 °C 42 dBA 950 rpm 29 °C 35 °C
Zalman CNPS 10 Flex 23 °C 40 dBA 800 rpm 32 °C 39 °C
Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme 24 °C 43 dBA 1100 rpm 30 °C 37 °C
Gelid Tranquillo 22 °C 41 dBA 850 rpm 29 °C 36 °C
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 20 °C 45 dBA 27 °C 35 °C
Spire TherMax Eclipse 20 °C 58 dBA 2300 rpm 25 °C 34 °C
Tuniq Propeller 120 20 °C 43 dBA 1050 rpm 24 °C 33 °C

CPU Fully Loaded

Cooler Room Temp. Noise Fan Speed Base Temp. Core Temp.
Intel stock 14 °C 48 dBA 1740 rpm 42 °C 100 °C
BigTyp 14Pro (min) 17 °C 47 dBA 880 rpm 43 °C 77 °C
BigTyp 14Pro (max) 17 °C 59 dBA 1500 rpm 35 °C 70 °C
Akasa Nero 18 °C 48 dBA 1500 rpm 34 °C 68 °C
Cooler Master V10 14 °C 54 dBA 1900 rpm 24 °C 52 °C
TMG IA1 (max) 16 °C 47 dBA 1500 rpm 27 °C 63 °C
TMG IA1 (min) 16 °C 57 dBA 2250 rpm 25 °C 60 °C
Zalman CNPS10X Extreme 16 °C 51 dBA 1900 rpm 24 °C 50 °C
Thermaltake ISG-100 18 °C 50 dBA 1800 rpm 58 °C 93 °C
Noctua NH-U12P (low) 15 °C 42 dBA 1000 rpm 28 °C 59 °C
Noctua NH-U12P 15 °C 46 dBA 1400 rpm 25 °C 54 °C
Noctua NH-C12P 17 °C 46 dBA 1400 rpm 37 °C 76 °C
Thermaltake ISGC-200 21 °C 48 dBA 1900 rpm 42 °C 68 °C
Scythe Kabuto 22 °C 47 dBA 1200 rpm 38 °C 63 °C
Arctic Cooling Alpine 11 Pro 20 °C 51 dBA 2300 rpm 49 °C 85 °C
ISGC-300 (min) 18 °C 42 dBA 800 rpm 36 °C 64 °C
ISGC-300 (max) 18 °C 46 dBA 1400 rpm 31 °C 56 °C
SilverStone NT06-E 21 °C 66 dBA 2600 rpm 39 °C 96 °C
Zalman CNPS9700 NT 22 °C 56 dBA 2600 rpm 34 °C 63 °C
Scythe Mugen-2 17 °C 46 dBA 1300 rpm 28 °C 54 °C
ISGC-400 (max) 17 °C 47 dBA 1400 rpm 36 °C 69 °C
Cooler Master Vortex 752 20 °C 55 dBA 2300 rpm 48 °C 92 °C
iCEAGE Prima Boss (max) 22 °C 53 dBA 2000 rpm 35 °C 59 °C
Evercool Buffalo 17 °C 51 dBA 1850 rpm 32 °C 67 °C
Scythe Big Shuriken 20 °C 50 dBA 1500 rpm 51 °C 85 °C
Cooler Master Hyper TX3 21 °C 53 dBA 2700 rpm 39 °C 66 °C
Titan Skalli 20 °C 47 dBA 1550 rpm 37 °C 69 °C
Prolimatech Megahalems Rev. B 21 °C 61 dBA 2600 rpm 30 °C 51 °C
Zalman CNPS9900 NT 23 °C 56 dBA 2000 rpm 34 °C 54 °C
Cooler Master Hyper N620 21 °C 50 dBA 1650 rpm 32 °C 56 °C
Nexus LOW-7000 R2 23 °C 53 dBA 1900 rpm 45 °C 74 °C
Evercool HPK-10025EA 20 °C 54 dBA 1900 rpm 39 °C 69 °C
Evercool HPH-9525EA 23 °C 50 dBA 1900 rpm 58 °C 100 °C
iCEAGE Prima Boss II 23 °C 56 dBA 2100 rpm 32 °C 56 °C
Thermaltake SpinQ VT 24 °C 52 dBA 1500 rpm 40 °C 68 °C
Titan Fenrir 21 °C 50 dBA 1600 rpm 33 °C 58 °C
Zalman CNPS 10 Flex 23 °C 61 dBA 2600 rpm 33 °C 59 °C
Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme 24 °C 56 dBA 1900 rpm 35 °C 60 °C
Gelid Tranquillo 22 °C 46 dBA 1450 rpm 31 °C 60 °C
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 20 °C 52 dBA 1900 rpm 32 °C 64 °C
Spire TherMax Eclipse 20 °C 58 dBA 2300 rpm 29 °C 73 °C
Tuniq Propeller 120 20 °C 55 dBA 1900 rpm 36 °C 68 °C

The next graph shows how many degrees Celsius the CPU core was hotter than room temperature during our idle tests.

 Tuniq Propeller 120

The next graph gives you an idea on how many degrees Celsius the CPU core was hotter than room temperature during our full load tests.

 Tuniq Propeller 120

[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]

Tuniq Propeller 120 main features are:

  • Application: Socket LGA775, 1366, AM3, AM2+, AM2, 939, 940 and 754 processors.
  • Fins: Aluminum.
  • Base: Aluminum, with heatpipes in direct contact with the CPU.
  • Heat-pipes: Four copper heat-pipes.
  • Fans: 120 mm.
  • Nominal fan speed: 2,000 rpm.
  • Fan air flow: 90.65 cfm.
  • Maximum power consumption: 1.92 W.
  • Nominal noise level: 20 dBA.
  • Weight: 1.36 lbs (590 g).
  • More information: https://www.tuniq.com.tw
  • Average price in the US*: USD 60.00.

* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.

[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]

According to tests we have done, coolers with horizontal heatsinks have a lower performance compared to the best "tower" coolers. Tuniq Propeller 120 was no exception.

Even though it has an excellent construction quality, it achieved an average performance, comparable to cheaper tower-design CPU coolers. Note, however, that it performed better than most coolers with similar design, like Nexus LOW-7000 R2, Thermaltake ISGC-400, SilverStone NT06-E and Noctua NH-C12P.

Its looks are very cool with the blue-glowing fan and its noise level is very low, virtually inaudible when in low speed.

Being an expensive cooler with average performance, we cannot give it an award seal. But if you are looking for a cooler with a horizontal heatsink with high-quality construction, nice looks, low noise level and capable of cooling a medium- or low-TDP CPU and price is not an issue for you, you can buy Tuniq Propeller 120 with no fear.