Cooling New ID-Cooling IS-55 CPU Cooler Testing & Comparison to Thermalright AXP120-X67 & Noctua L12 GE Coolers

Mark13

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Sep 5, 2020
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I obtained the new small low profile IS-55 CPU cooler from ID-Cooling and have tested its cooling performance and compared it against two larger low profile coolers – the Thermalright AXP120-X67 and the Noctua L12 Ghost Edition.

The cooler is tiny – even smaller than I thought it would be from the description. It easily mounts from the top in a similar manner to both Thermalright and Noctua using the standard AMD backplate. I have the black finished version with my first(!) RGB fan. The cooler is nicely finished with five heatpipes with a denser fin stack than either of the other two coolers. You definitely need to use low profile ram such as Corsair LPX. ID-Cooling includes a Noctua style screwdriver and screws for mounting a 25mm fan to the cooler.

The IS-55 and the AXP120-X67 both have only one set of mounting bars – the IS-55 uses longer mounting bars, the AXP120-X67 shorter mounting bars, so that the two coolers have their fin stacks rotated 90 degrees from each other. With only a single pair of mounting bars these two coolers can only be rotated 180 degrees – if they fit in both orientations. With my Aorus X570 ITX motherboard, the IS-55 would only clear the rear IO cover when facing away from the GPU. The Noctua L12 GE has two sets of mounting bars allowing the cooler to be rotated in 90 degree increments. I would like to see the inclusion two sets of mounting bars for AMD CPU motherboards as standard for all coolers.

The IS-55 has one real trick – due to its low height of 55mm, a 25mm fan can be used instead of the included 15mm fan and still be no taller than the Thermalright AXP120-X67 or the Scythe Big Shuriken 3 cooler.

The IS-55 and Thermalright AXP120-X67 were tested with their included 15mm fans, the Noctua A12x25 and Noctua A12x15 fans. The Noctua L12 GE was tested with the Noctua A12x25 and A12x15 fans. All fans were run at 100% PWM.

The DB meter was 30cm from front center of the chassis facing directly towards the front of the chassis, and 19cm high from the desk top. Sound DBA measurements were taken when the motherboard chipset fan was not running.

Cooler performance and fan noise noted:
The IS-55 fan is the quietest of all the tested fans – impressive. With the A12x25 fan installed on the IS-55, the cooling performance improved with only a slight increase in noise. Excellent performance for such a small cooler.
Thermalright seems to emphasize cooling performance over noise. The included 15mm fan is a bit louder, but performed at the same cooling level as the 25mm Noctua fan when installed on the AXP120-X67.
The Noctua A12x25 fan provided improved cooling performance on both the IS-55 and L12 GE coolers.
The Noctua A12x15 fan was quiet but provided only a very slight cooling improvement over the included fan on the IS-55 and worse performance on the AXP120-X67 cooler.
The larger the cooler the lower the temperature – no surprise.

MakerBeam Open Test Bench – Proof of Concept PC Case
Aorus X570 ITX MB; Ryzen 7 4750G with integrated graphics; 32 GB Corsair LPX 3200 RAM;
Evga 3060Ti XC Graphics Card – installed but disconnected
Noctua NT-H1 Thermal Paste
CPU-Z Stress Test & Unigine Valley Ultra Settings for 10 minutes
Room Temp 21C;


CPUID HWMonitor & Tech Power Up GPU-Z Readings:

CPU Cooler​
ID Cooling IS-55​
ID Cooling IS-55​
ID Cooling IS-55​
TR AXP120-X67​
TR AXP120-X67​
TR AXP120-X67​
Noctua L12 GE​
Noctua L12 GE​
CPU Cooler Fan​
Incl 15mm fan​
Noctua A12x25​
Noctua A12x15​
Incl 15mm fan​
Noctua A12x25​
Noctua A12x15​
Noctua A12x25​
Noctua A12x15​
TZ 10 Temp Sensor Max​
16.8​
16.8​
16.8​
16.8​
16.8​
16.8​
16.8​
16.8​
System 1 Max​
49​
45​
48​
44​
45​
48​
44​
46​
CPU Max​
83​
77​
82​
75​
76​
78​
74​
76​
PCIEX16 Max​
21​
21​
21​
21​
21​
21​
21​
21​
VRM Max​
48​
43​
48​
48​
46​
49​
46​
49​
CPU Fan Max RPM​
1885​
2045​
1700​
1928​
2070​
1704​
2039​
1748​
Chipset Fan Max RPM​
3609​
0​
0​
0​
0​
0​
0​
0​
CPU Pkg Max Temp​
83.8​
77.9​
82.5​
75.9​
76.3​
78​
74​
76.8​
CPU Pkg Max Wattage​
85.74​
86.49​
86.43​
86.89​
88.37​
87.29​
86.8​
86.54​
NVMe Top 980 Pro Temp​
53​
48​
51​
47​
48​
51​
45​
49​
APU Max Temp​
65​
60​
64​
58​
57​
59​
55​
59​
SoC Max Temp​
67​
62​
66​
59​
60​
62​
58​
61​
DBA Sound Level​
40.2​
42.9​
40.5​
45.7​
43.6​
40.6​
43.4​
40.2​
 

Neathdrawls

Cable-Tie Ninja
Jul 28, 2021
217
351
Interesting results and great tests. Just installed a IS-55 for myself too, it's performance isn't exactly the best. The Thermalright AXP120 is indeed a good cooler.

The AXP120 can only be mounted in certain directions for AM4 (either heatpipes facing to either the IO or the RAM) , but if you have Thermalright's other mounting system handle bars (for their single tower CPU Coolers), you would be able to mount the AXP120 with the heatpipes facing up or down.

I believe it should be the same logic for the ID Cooling IS-55 as well, just that you will require the mounting bars the ID Cooling use for their Dual Tower Coolers.
 
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Mark13

Cable-Tie Ninja
Original poster
Sep 5, 2020
147
178
Interesting results and great tests. Just installed a IS-55 for myself too, it's performance isn't exactly the best. The Thermalright AXP120 is indeed a good cooler.

The AXP120 can only be mounted in certain directions for AM4 (either heatpipes facing to either the IO or the RAM) , but if you have Thermalright's other mounting system handle bars (for their single tower CPU Coolers), you would be able to mount the AXP120 with the heatpipes facing up or down.

I believe it should be the same logic for the ID Cooling IS-55 as well, just that you will require the mounting bars the ID Cooling use for their Dual Tower Coolers.
Thank you for the tip about the Thermalright coolers.
 

Thehack

Spatial Philosopher
Creator
Mar 6, 2016
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@Mark13 Did you buy the cooler yourself? If you need an ID Cooling model, let me know.

ID-Cooling have been working on improving their poducts as of late. You can see them aggressively pricing their models, the IS-55 now has the compression spring mounting mechanism, and all coolers now come with backplates.

I am in direct contact with them, so let me know if there's any feedback you like to bring up. A couple more coolers are in the works for us, but I can't disclose it yet.
 

Neathdrawls

Cable-Tie Ninja
Jul 28, 2021
217
351
@Mark13 Did you buy the cooler yourself? If you need an ID Cooling model, let me know.

ID-Cooling have been working on improving their poducts as of late. You can see them aggressively pricing their models, the IS-55 now has the compression spring mounting mechanism, and all coolers now come with backplates.

I am in direct contact with them, so let me know if there's any feedback you like to bring up. A couple more coolers are in the works for us, but I can't disclose it yet.
Good to hear! ID-Cooling does have very well priced products, and often times have revisions that suit us ITX/SFF builders.

If I may, their IS-55 for AM4/5 mounting, they only provide one type of mounting bars that allow users to only mount the cooler in two orientation (unlike their Intel mount, where the cooler is able to be rotated in 90 degrees).

If they are able to have a bracket provided that allows AM4/5 to do so, it would be good.
 

Legion

Airflow Optimizer
Nov 22, 2017
331
351
Good to hear! ID-Cooling does have very well priced products, and often times have revisions that suit us ITX/SFF builders.

If I may, their IS-55 for AM4/5 mounting, they only provide one type of mounting bars that allow users to only mount the cooler in two orientation (unlike their Intel mount, where the cooler is able to be rotated in 90 degrees).

If they are able to have a bracket provided that allows AM4/5 to do so, it would be good.

I'm all for that, the problem being they'll have to supply 2 sets of bars for 4 orientations with AM4 / 5.
Unlike Intel with the square hole pattern already giving you those 4 possible orientations.
These Asian OEM's all work on small margins they are not Noctua, and as such asking them to increase costs further is unlikely to have a favourable result ;)
They also do not see things the way enthusiasts do with the desire for 4 orientations, the masses out there have no idea it might even have a benefit. They buy a cooler, fit it and that's it. They aren't interested in trying different fans on it and wishing they could mount it in different ways :)

By all means though, if you don't ask, you don't get as the saying goes.
 

Mark13

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Sep 5, 2020
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I'm all for that, the problem being they'll have to supply 2 sets of bars for 4 orientations with AM4 / 5.
Unlike Intel with the square hole pattern already giving you those 4 possible orientations.
These Asian OEM's all work on small margins they are not Noctua, and as such asking them to increase costs further is unlikely to have a favourable result ;)
They also do not see things the way enthusiasts do with the desire for 4 orientations, the masses out there have no idea it might even have a benefit. They buy a cooler, fit it and that's it. They aren't interested in trying different fans on it and wishing they could mount it in different ways :)

By all means though, if you don't ask, you don't get as the saying goes.
Possibly someone else could offer aftermarket (at additional cost) alternate length mounting bars for ID cooling or Thermalright coolers.
 

Thehack

Spatial Philosopher
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Mar 6, 2016
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I'm all for that, the problem being they'll have to supply 2 sets of bars for 4 orientations with AM4 / 5.
Unlike Intel with the square hole pattern already giving you those 4 possible orientations.
These Asian OEM's all work on small margins they are not Noctua, and as such asking them to increase costs further is unlikely to have a favourable result ;)
They also do not see things the way enthusiasts do with the desire for 4 orientations, the masses out there have no idea it might even have a benefit. They buy a cooler, fit it and that's it. They aren't interested in trying different fans on it and wishing they could mount it in different ways :)

By all means though, if you don't ask, you don't get as the saying goes.

this is very true. The SFF coolers they sell is very close to at cost. But they are investing in building brand name by catering to a under served audience and they hope that it translate well to their mainstream products.

It took me about a year to convince them to allow 90 degrees brackets but as they say, squeaky wheels get the grease. They also made one of the best 135mm mini dual tower cooler after some convincing.

CPU coolers are a hyper competitive market. They have been very receptive of feedback and they’re building a full portfolio for us SFF nerds.
 
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Legion

Airflow Optimizer
Nov 22, 2017
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this is very true. The SFF coolers they sell is very close to at cost. But they are investing in building brand name by catering to a under served audience and they hope that it translate well to their mainstream products.

It took me about a year to convince them to allow 90 degrees brackets but as they say, squeaky wheels get the grease. They also made one of the best 135mm mini dual tower cooler after some convincing.

CPU coolers are a hyper competitive market. They have been very receptive of feedback and they’re building a full portfolio for us SFF nerds.
Kudo's for even trying buddy, we appreciate it :)
I'm a huge fan (pun intended) of Id-cooling coolers. In the UK I have to buy from Aliexpress (No UK distributor with ongoing Brexit issues).
I have 3-4 here in my shameful SFF cooler collection ;)
Same with Thermalright products and they are also in my top 3 of coolers for SFF (they could also use an extra set of bars for AMD)

Once I've imported one it's pretty much above Noctua cost, but I don't care about that. I like a cooler for every whimsical build I want to do and it's Id-cooling or Thermalright for for a lot of those.

I'm also in the small niche that would like and doesn't care about paying more for an extra set of bars for more options.
 
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Thehack

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Hello. How about the IS-55 vs Black Ridge with 9x15 vs with 12x15 vs 2x12x15?
No point in 2 fans. These coolers aren’t big enough.

should be around the same. The ID cooling will have more compatibility and a better mounting mechanism. The 92mm fan on bottom isn’t comparable since then they are no longer same height class.

ID cooling is the OEM for black ridge i think.
 
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Legion

Airflow Optimizer
Nov 22, 2017
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I wonder if that would work on the AXP 120-X67 and the SI-100?
While the description doesn't list those coolers I do get the feeling this kit was made long before those coolers ever saw the light of day and they do have thick bases.
4 mounting options right there if it does work, even if you can just reuse the long bars supplied in the kit.
Should also work on AM5 as no backplate needed
 
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Mark13

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I wonder if that would work on the AXP 120-X67 and the SI-100?
While the description doesn't list those coolers I do get the feeling this kit was made long before those coolers ever saw the light of day and they do have thick bases.
4 mounting options right there if it does work, even if you can just reuse the long bars supplied in the kit.
Should also work on AM5 as no backplate needed
Just ordered. Will try out the alternative bars on the AXP 120-X67 when it arrives.
 
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Mark13

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Received the Thermalright AMD AM4 cooler mounting kit today. Forget it. It will not work on the new coolers such as the AXP-X67 or the Silver Soul 135. The angle of the mounting bars is different so the mounting bar posts are not the same distance from the center of the CPU - and just as bad - the threading on the posts is not the same as the threads on the newer coolers mounting screws.