Take it for what it is and you'll love it
Bought this cooler at a brick-and-mortar store as part of a pentium g3258 overclock project. It kept temps down nicely in check on that dual-core wonder, with stress test temps around 70-72c even when i had it cranking at 4.4ghz with 1.36v across the core. If you're looking at a low-power, low-heat chip like a pentium, an i3, even an amd apu if you don't overclock it, this is a pretty decent little cooler.I dropped an i7 into the exact same computer in place of the pentium, and while i wait for my beefier cooler to arrive, i decided to run the i7 with this on it at stock speeds and voltage for a few days, just to see what would happen.It wasn't great, but it wasn't a disaster. Furmark's cpu burner temps at stock speed and auto voltage (never exceeding 1.231 per hw monitor) skyrocketed to 80c within a matter of minutes. On less demanding stress tests, like cinebench, they started at 71c on the first run and peaked around 78c by the third. Real-life load temps weren't so bad, peaking around a respectable 65c during hour-long runs of cs:go, skyrim, kerbal space program and ava. But, i mean, this cooler wasn't designed to be placed on top of a 4790k at all, let alone one being subjected to stress/stability testing. If you're going to overclock an i7 or a 75-core amd toaster oven with this cooler on top of it, you might as well be pouring gasoline on your cpu and setting it next to the fireplace.There are a few huge pluses for this cooler. One, it's dirt cheap. Two, it's pretty good at what it's designed for: keeping low-power chips nice and cool. And, added bonus, if you set a custom fan curve for it, it's pretty quiet. The anodized aluminum heatsink looks great, and if you're doing a red-themed interior, it'll match well. And, of course, size. At 123mm tall, it fits easily into cases that couldn't even dream of having a 212 evo, pure rock or h7 in them.That said, there are downsides--a couple big ones and a few minor quibbles. The biggest issue i have with this cooler is its installation process. There's nothing really complicated about it. In fact, silenx has made it easy as pie to get the mounting bracket in place and latch the cpu onto one side...But that other side...Wow. Press down hard. Does it feel like you're about to crush your cpu and snap your motherboard in half yet? If not, you aren't pressing hard enough to get the other side to latch. Removing the heatsink is also a pain and, again, feels like you're one minor slip away from punching a hole through your motherboard, but removal of the mounting bracket couldn't be easier.The second big issue i have with this cooler is the fan. For one, it's a three-prong fan, so no pwm. You either use a fan controller or you're stuck at 60% second is that i just don't trust the quality of the fan. It rattles around in there a bit when cranked up to 100%. It's not that big of a deal, though. 92mm fans aren't exactly hard to come by, and silenx has machined the heatsink in such a way that you can mount another fan on the other side to shave off a few extra degrees.That minor quibble i was talking about? Only two heat pipes. I feel like a third one could have been added and would improve performance, but then this wouldn't be a $16 cooler, would it?Take this for what it is and you'll be pleased. It can handle a pretty hefty overclock on a low-power chip like a pentium, and should be all the cooling you'd ever need for an apu or i3 running at stock temperatures in a neat case. No one's going to mistake its performance with that of a corsair aio, or even really with the performance of the aforementioned 212 evo, pure rock or h7, but you're not buying this chip because you're going to overclock a 900-core amd forest fire. You're buying it because you want something solid and cheap for your low-power or low-profile rig that's going to kick the stock cooler's butt while being quieter and looking better. For $16, you can do a whole lot worse.