Founded in Taiwan in 2001, Thermalright has surpassed the past dozens of It has established itself as a cooling competitor in the years. The company’s current line-up includes air and liquid coolers, fans, thermal pastes, and various accessories.
After posting my previous review of AK500 from DeepCool, some readers asked me to test Thermalright’s Peerless Assassin 120 SE. I contacted Thermalright and they sent me a sample for testing. Dual tower radiators and he features two his 120mm fans, but outweighs Intel’s his 12900K best cpu cooler list? The short answer is yes, but we need to test it to find out how good it is.
Thermalright Peerless Assassin 120 SE Specifications
|Thermalright Peerless Assassin 120SE
|Manufacturer’s suggested retail price
|Rated noise level
|Up to 25.6dBA
|C1100 nickel plated copper
Packing and inclusions
The Peerless Assassin 120 SE arrives in a medium brown cardboard box with cardboard and molded foam for protection.
- dual tower heatsink
- 2x TL-C12C 120mm fan
- Mounts for latest Intel & AMD platforms
- Medium tube of thermal paste
- fan splitter
- Installation guide
Installation of cooler
Installing Peerless Assassin was not difficult. First, fix the backplate to the motherboard. Then attach the standoffs and secure the mounting bracket with the included screws. After applying thermal paste, place the cooler on the bracket and secure it with the captive screws. Finally, attach the fan to the tower using the clips provided.
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New test configuration
|Thermalright Peerless Assassin 120SE
|Comparison Coolers Tested
|BeQuiet Pure Loop 2 FX, 360mm AIO
|Cooler Master Master Liquid PL360 Flux, 360mm AIO
|Cooler Master Master Liquid PL240 Flux, 240mm AIO
|Cougar Forza 85, air cooler
|Cougar Poseidon GT 360, 360m AIO
|Corsair iCUE H100i Elite, 240mm AIO
|DeepCool AK500, air cooler
|DeepCool LS520, 240mm AIO
|DeepCool LS320, 120mm AIO
|MSI z690A-Pro DDR4
|keep quiet!silent base 802 window
|Deep Cool PQ1000M
What is the difference from other coolers?
- Budget-friendly price of 36 USD
Finding a single tower air cooler at $40 is not unheard of, but most dual tower air coolers are priced high at $60 or more.
I don’t usually comment on the cooler’s packaging in this section of the review. And it’s not just the packaging.
Air coolers are more than just heat sinks. Included fans have a big impact on cooling, noise levels, and performance. Thermalright’s Peerless Assassin 120 SE includes a pair of TL-C12C 120mm fans. No RGB or lighting whatsoever, but this cooler is all about performance at a low price point.
|fan rotation speed
|Up to 66.17 CFM
|Max 1.53mm H2O
|Up to 25.6 dB(A)
We test Thermalright’s Peerless Assassin 120 SE with Intel’s Core i9-12900K. Due to the increased heat density of the Intel 7 manufacturing process, as well as changes to core and component layouts, Alder Lake CPUs are more difficult to cool than their predecessors in the most heat-intensive workloads.
This is because coolers that used to keep older generation products like the i9-10900K cool and cool keep Intel’s i9-12900K below Tj max (the maximum temperature before the CPU starts throttling). This means that you may have a hard time Many coolers, especially air cooled ones, were unable to keep the i9-12900K below TJ max when the power cap was lifted for workloads like Cinebench and OCCT.
Keep in mind that there are many factors besides the CPU cooler that affect cooling performance. Your system’s motherboard can particularly affect this, as there are boards on the market with CPU sockets that do not conform to Intel’s specifications, which can cause warping and poor contact with the CPU. The case you use also affects the cooling effect.
With Alder Lake’s cooling demands in mind, we evaluate CPU coolers in three different tiers.
Tier 1: These coolers are able to keep the i9-12900K below TJ max at most loads without enforcing power limits. I believe only the best liquid coolers meet this criteria.
Tier 2: These coolers can apply a CPU power limit of 200W to keep the i9-12900K below the TJ max threshold. I would expect most liquid coolers and the best air coolers to meet this standard.
Tier 3: These coolers are able to keep the i9-12900K below TJ max with a CPU power limit of 140W applied.
To test the limits of a cooler’s ability to dissipate heat, we run two major stress tests. cine bench When OCCT, for 10 minutes each. This may be a short amount of time, but it’s enough to push most coolers (air and liquid) to their limits.
The stress tests at Cinebench were run with MSI’s Z690 A Pro DDR4 motherboard and Be Quiet’s Silent Base 802 computer case with no power cap and forced 200W CPU power cap. Only the most capable coolers can pass his Cinebench test if the power cap is lifted.
Do not test OCCT without power capping. Because when I try this, the power consumption of the CPU package exceeds 270W, instantly throttling even the best of his AIO coolers. Instead, we test at 200W to give the cooler a chance of passing. I’ve also included 140W to get the data to match the cooling of a CPU like Intel’s i5-12600K. 95w results are also included to provide closer data for low TDP CPUs such as AMD’s Ryzen 5600X and Intel’s i5-12400.