From the very bad pun on the home page you've probably already worked out that the enigmatically named Enermax ETS-T40 sports one of Enermax's excellent Apollish fans. Nothing quite like getting a tick in the "Positives" box right at the get go. The model reviewed here is more accurately referred to as the ETS-T40 TA model and forms part of a range of 3 fans in the ETS-T40 range, each having subtle differences. In brief the differences are as follows. The TB model has copper heat-pipes and is fitted with a TB silence PWM fan. The TA (reviewed here) has Nickel plated copper heat-pipes and has a PWM TB Apollish fan. The VD model goes back to the copper heat-pipes and comes with the full fat PWM TB Vegas fan. The ETS-T40 is no monster so we're not expecting a record breaking set of temps from it, but lets see just how well it can hold it's own.
The ETS-T40 is purported by Enermax to include several patented design technologies all aimed at improving airflow and thus cooling characteristics. As these technologies are best explained by Enermax themselves the following has been taken from the Enermax site
Vortex Generator Flow (VGF) - patented
Vortex generators are applied in aviation industry. They make sure that the air stream is lead as close as possible along the airplane’s wings. During the CPU cooler development, the Enermax engineers recognized the potential of this technology to optimize the air stream inside the heat sink: Small spoilers on the fins, the so-called Vortex generators, conduct the air close along the heat pipes. Much more fresh air can be transferred to the back of the heat pipes.
Stack Effect Flow (SEF) - patented
The Stack Effect is a natural, physical phenomenon: Warm air is rising up because of its lower density and leaves a low pressure behind that in turn pulls cool air. Four openings in the middle of the heat sink make use of this effect. They interrupt the air stream so that the warm air gains space to escape. The heat dissipation can be accelerated.
Vacuum Effect Flow
Also the third innovation makes use of a physical effect. The best example to explain this effect is a moving car: It pushes air aside as it goes down the road and leaves a low pressure. Air from the sides will be sucked in to compensate the difference in pressure. According to that, the CPU cooler sides are not fully closed, so that cool air can be sucked into the heat sink.
Key features of all three models
Intel® LGA 775/1155/1156/1366
Overall Dimensions (mm)
L 139 x W 93 x H 160
Heat Sink Dimensions (mm)
L 139 x W 70 x H 160
Number / Thickness of Heat Pipes
4 x Ø 6mm
Thermal Resistance (°C/W)
Weight (without fan)
Copper Heat Pipes / Aluminium Fins
Nickel-plated Heat Sink
Dow Corning® TC-5121
Fan Dimensions (mm)
120 x 120 x 25
Twister Bearing Technology (patented)
Fan Speed (RPM)
800 – 1,800
Air Flow (m3/h)
63.83 – 147.30
56.51 – 129.09
56.51 – 129.09
Air Flow (CFM)
37.57 – 86.70
33.26 – 75.98
33.26 – 75.98
Static Pressure (mm-H2O)
0.72 – 2.41
0.97 – 2.28
0.97 – 2.28
Noise Level (dB(A))
Rated Voltage (V)
Patented circular LED light
Patented circular LED light with
The Cooler comes securely packaged in a cardboard box and although there's no window through which to see the goodies inside the box the simple blue and white exterior shows us an image of the product as well as as detailing tech spec and key features.
Opening the box we find the cooler snugly nestled in a supportive cardboard framework, with instructions and accessories stored in their own separate compartment off to the side. At this point it's also worth picking up on the point that that Enermax have factory fitted the fan to the cooler, saving you at least one step in the installation process.
Once extracted from the box we get a better view of the Cooler itself. It's a medium sized cooler, being only 70mm deep (excluding the fan). Build quality and finish appear to be very high, the Nickel plating is near perfect and the there's no evidence of bent fins.
The ETS-T40 uses a direct contact heat-pipe approach to thermal transfer, utilising 4x 6mm copper pipes. These pipes in turn feed up through Aluminium fins to complete the thermal transfer cycle.
As detailed in the Tech Spec the ETS-T40 can be installed on to Intel's 775/1155/1156 and 1366, as well as AMD/AM2/AM2+ and AM3. The fitting method is essentially the same regardless of the nature of the processor underneath with full multi language instructions and accessories provided.
You've probably noticed by now that this is a rather small page. That can mean only one thing, that that I've not filled lines and lines of text going off on one about how much of a pain the bum the cooler is to fit. And believe me, if it was, I would. So often is a great cooler ruined by being a royal pain in the bum to fit.
I'm pleased to say that the method of installation is a rather simple 2 stage affair. The first step being to mount the universal back-plate to the rear of the motherboard, securing to it two brackets with rods protruding away from the Motherboard at 90 degrees. Applying a blob of the supplied Dow Corning TC-5121 TIM you then place the base plate on top of the Processor and secure in place with the cross bar, locking down with two hex bolts. Enermax also supply a small spanner in the kit to help tighten the bolts up. Start to finish, including reading the instructions (yes I know what I've said in previous reviews about reading instructions) it took 11 minutes, and I was by no means racing. If a cooler can be described as such, this was almost a joy to fit.
To provide continuity the test set up is as always
Gigabyte UD3R V2
Intel i7 950 @ 4GHz 1.25v
Mushkin Radioactive 2000MHz
Corsair Carbide 500R
For the first test we set our i7-950 overclocked to 200x20 @ 1.25v for a clock speed of 4.0GHz. We allow the system to idle for 10 minutes and then run Prime95 'maximum heat maximum stress' setting for a further 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes we note the temperatures of all cores and the ambient temperature of the room. An average of all cores is taken, then the ambient temperature is removed from this figure and this gives us the delta temperature. Delta is the temperature difference above ambient which is a truer reflection of the heat-sink performance rather than mere maximum figures. Testing in an Igloo or the Sahara would give vastly different maximum temperatures, yet the Delta could be the same.
The second test follows all steps from above but with a 200x21 @ 1.35v for 4.2GHz overclock, the extra voltage in this test allows us to see if the heat-sink can cope when extreme loads and overclocks are applied. Regretfully although at idle the cooler was able to stay at a reasonable delta T of 20.5 degrees, after only 5 minutes of Prime load testing the indicated temperatures exceeded the 90 degrees limit above which a cooler is considered to fail the test.
When categorising the performance of a cooler I tend to refer to what I call the "Holy Trinity" Namely Looks, Performance and Noise. The perfect cooler has yet to be made so until such time as the what I will call "The Arrival" we are left with assessing coolers according to the Holy Trinity.
From an aesthetics point of view the ETS-T40 is elegant in the classical sense. You could say "well isn't it just another shiny heat-sink", and to some extent you'd be right, but it's the details that lift this cooler just above the average. The quality of the Nickel plating is high and the overall feeling is one of quality. The ETS-T40 feels sturdily made, the finish is blemish free, the heat-sink fins are straight with nice machine cut edges, all inter-fin spaces are equal, the fins don't shift around when you press on them, I could go on, but I think you get the idea here. And of course, as mentioned at the very start of the review the appearance of the cooler is further lifted by the inclusion of the Apollish fan. The unit included is the Blue bladed blue LED fan which having 12 LEDs gives a pleasant blue glow to the fan and the inside of your case.
From a performance perspective the cooler doesn't perform as well as many of the of the others on the list, and lets be honest with ourselves, with a cooler of this size (70mm deep remember) we weren't expecting it to have graph topping levels of cooling. It holds it's own quite nicely at 4.0 GHz which after all is by modern standards is one of the toastiest chips around, so if it can keep that cool at at 4.0GHz odds are it will handle a higher clock on some of the more modern and cooler running units. The accessory pack does include a set of clips to mount an additional Fan to the opposite side of the cooler, and it's probably that this would reduce the temps somewhat although I doubt to the point where it would pass the 4.2 GHz test.
Noise wise the cooler is quiet, with a manufacturers rating of between 16 and 26 dBA. The ETS-T40 was tested at 12v with the fan at it's full speed of 1800rpm the fan was outputting it's maximum 26dBA and I have to say that although it was audible it was indeed very quiet. I mentioned earlier in the review that Enermax factory mount the fan for you. So what I hear you say, well part of the factory mounting is the inclusion of rubber dampers between the cooler body and the fan, the idea of these being to reduce the transmission of vibrations from the fan through to the body of the cooler. The effect of this is a total absence of any of the "chime" that can sometimes be heard when the speed of the fan installed matched the resonant frequency of the Aluminium fins on the cooler.
So we've talked about the Holy Trinity, however if want to get the full flavour of a cooler we must also include in the equation ease of installation. This is where this cooler really picks up points. So often a wonderful cooler is spoiled by having a fitting mechanism that makes you want to hurl it out of the window. The BeQuiet Dark rock Pro for example is practically a 2 man affair if you want to do it without taking the motherboard out, and even then it requires great dexterity and the liberal use of"naughty" words. No such issues here I'm pleased to say. I hesitate to say so but this cooler is a joy to fit. Why a joy? well if every time you come to test a cooler you feel a sense of deep seated fear and foreboding when you read the instructions it really is quite a wonderful moment come across one where there's no pain and anguish involved. Add into this the fact that you aren't going to have to worry about it interfering with high profile RAM and I think you get a bit of an idea of where I'm coming from.
Pricing information for the TA model is looking at being £34.99 when it finally floods the retailers which ofr its performance is very well priced but does not come in as our cheapest good performing cooler. There are better performers out there of course, but few that cost as little as this.
So what have we got then...Well it's a nice looking cooler from the "Classical" school of cooler design. No plastic cowlings or matte black finish, just good old fashioned Nickel plated quality. It's quiet and performs OK, able to hold a mid level overclock. It's a joy to fit and won't give you any RAM compatibility issues. So although not a top performer in the numerical sense I feel it's a quality product and for that reason I'm bestowing a Silver award.
Thanks to Enermax for the T40 on review today, you can discuss your thoughts in our forums.