LEPA LV12 CPU Air Cooler for Intel and AMD Processors

LEPA is moving into CPU air cooling and we have its first cooler for review today, the LV12. LEPA claims that its new louvered fin designed gives it an advantage and surely we will test that. It also claims that the it supplies "Silence with High Performance." Let's see if LEPA can give us our money's worth.

Introduction

LEPA may be a name many of you might not be familiar with. The LEPA brand has generally been associated with computer power supplies, but it has been a couple of years since we reviewed a LEPA PSU, but the last two have been extremely good units. As you might know from our recent Lucky Draw, LEPA is now doing a lot more than just PSUs. LEPA is branching out into not only cooling products but also cases, case fans, and peripherals.

The LV12 CPU Air Cooler is LEPA’s first foray in the cooling market and it would appear LEPA has done its homework, although we are surprised that LEPA did not go with a 140mm fan rather than the 120mm size. The LV12 however checks many of the boxes you’d expect from a modern high-end cooler. Some of the features include a direct-touch heatpipe design, a PWM fan, and a dense array of aluminum fins just to name a few. Let's see how the LV12 CPU cooler holds up in what is already a densely populated market space.

Article Image

System Setup

Today's review takes place on our fourth generation [H]ard platform. The test bed consists of the ASUS Z87-Deluxe motherboard, eight gigabytes of Corsair 1600 MHz DDR3 RAM and the Intel Core i7-4770K.

Article Image

Test Methods

CPU

The biggest change you will notice is the removal of hardware testing. In recent years, Intel has shifted their methods of testing to software based and so we find it acceptable to do the same.

GPU

Once again we have an integrated GPU in our processor which alleviates the need for a discrete one. With the removal of a discrete GPU comes the advantage of not having an additional variable to account for.

The iGPU will not create any anomalies in our testing as long as we practice consistent testing methods.

Case

Corsair was kind enough to provide us with their Carbide series chassis. It provides excellent airflow and interior space and is a good reflection on current case design.

Thermal Paste

Noctua's NT-H1 thermal paste was selected as the paste of choice for a few key reasons. The thermal paste has been shown to provide excellent thermal conductivity allowing the heat sinks to better do their job. There is no observed curing time. That is, performance does not get any better over time. Any curing time could have introduced variables into the equation causing at best dubious results and at worst unreliable ones.

Temperatures

Ambient temperature will be kept at 25C for the duration of the tests and measured with a MicroTemp EXP non-contact infrared thermometer and cross referenced with the Sperry Digital 4 Point thermometer. Any variance greater then 0.2C will halt the testing until temperatures return within spec for fifteen minutes.

Idle

Idle temperatures will be recorded after a twenty minute period of inactivity. Any fluctuation during the last sixty seconds will reset the timer for an additional five minutes.

Load

Load temperatures will be recorded after a twenty minute period of 100% load. To obtain this load we will be using AIDA64 Extreme Edition v3.00.2500. This places an even greater load on the CPU than before and includes some benefits. Because the load is so extreme we see the temperature vary wildly from 72C to 86C in some instances. To get an accurate reading we will utilize AIDA64’s ability to average the temperature over time. Given twenty minutes at 100% load we arrive at a temperature that accurately represents our heatsink’s performance.

Sound

Sound levels will be measured with a Reliability Direct AR824 sound meter from a distance of four feet away. With everything turned off and the room completely silent the meter registered a sound level of 38dB(A). This is a very quiet room where a simple pin drop could be heard. All sound measurements are recorded in the very late evening to further reduce any ambient noise.