With a delta T of 41°C in our LGA1155 test the Black Edition's performance is decent but not outstanding, although pleasingly it was whisper quiet throughout the test. Though it's able to match the £50 Cooler Master Seidon 120M liquid cooler here, other cheaper air coolers with similar size and noise profiles are able to match or outpace it here.
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The noise increase when the Black Edition was faced with cooling our LGA2011 rig was immediately apparent, with the fans likely running at full throttle to cope. Still, it certainly wasn't intrusively loud like some air coolers, and for any air cooler to cope with this test system is an achievement in itself. Its delta T here of 58°C is a very respectable result, especially given its relatively low noise output and the fact that the only two air coolers on record that have trumped it are both more expensive.
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For users of the popular LGA1155 socket, the Black Edition is just another large, quiet and capable heatsink. If you strapped it to your CPU, we have no doubt you'd be able to maintain healthy temperatures and low noise levels with a significant overclock applied. The problem that the Black Edition faces is that there are a multitude of cheaper air coolers that perform just as well (if not marginally better) that are also easier to install, and so the fiddly Black Edition misses out on a recommendation.
Overclocking LGA2011 CPUs typically requires much beefier and more expensive cooling, as our performance chart attests to, which makes the £50 price tag much less of an issue, although the £30 Arctic Freezer i30 is almost as good (but somewhat noisier). In fact, while you won't see the temperatures that you would with a closed loop liquid cooler, the Black Edition actually strikes a very good balance between price, performance and noise in LGA2011 systems, and the lack of a backplate means it's easier to install on this socket too.
Intel LGA155 Score
Intel LGA2011 Score