FSP Windale 6 CPU Air Cooler Review

FSP is a very new brand when it comes to CPU air coolers and is entering a market that is highly competitive and seeded with others that have been designing air coolers for quite some time. Its Windale 6 cooler features six direct contact heatpipes, a 120mm fan, and what FSP says is an "optimized fin design." But does it cool?

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Conclusions

FSP has created what looks to be a very capable cooler on paper. Our testing though, shows a very different story. The performance itself isn’t bad although it’s nothing exciting either. This is to be expected since we are dealing with a 120mm fan configuration. Still, it’s all the little details from installing the tower to mounting the fan. It just seems there was little thought given to the practicality of everything. Even so, the cooler does perform fairly well and remains quiet while doing so. The real deal breaker comes in the form of RAM placement. If your system has the DIMM slots placed similar to our than you have a tough choice to make. You’ll need to figure out if you can slide the fan up high enough to fit the RAM underneath it. This is not an ideal situation and frankly, since we’re dealing with a 120mm tower and fan, it shouldn’t be an issue at all.

Price/Performance

The charts below show the cost you will pay for each degree in temperature reduction the heat sink gives you over the stock cooler. The two areas that influence this chart are cost of the heat sink and its performance. An expensive cooler that gives you superior performance will be rated as average since its cost hurts its rating. Inversely, a poor performing heat sink that costs next to nothing will be rated as average since its performance will hurt its ratings. We ideally look for low cost and high performance. All prices were gathered by doing a very quick search of the web for each cooler and listing it here sans S/H and tax (these can vary widely from region to region). We use MSRP pricing for those not yet found in stock.

As an example, if a cooler outperforms the stock cooler by 10C and costs USD $5.00 it would be listed in our chart as $.50. You would pay fifty cents for each degree of better performance over the box cooler.

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To arrive at a single number difference, we took the value of all four cores from our overclocked tests, averaged these and then compare these for analysis.

The Bottom Line

When we factor in the price for the FSP Windale 6 the picture softens a bit and it becomes easier to tolerate its shortcomings. Though, none of that matters if you can’t use the RAM you bought for your PC so there’s that. In the end, it seems FSP has played a balancing act with the Windale 6. It is my opinion that FSP have gone a bit too far though and the compromises that must be made are simply to great given the market of coolers that exist, although it does have an easy price point at $45.

We don’t think the Windale 6 is a bad cooler but we do think FSP has some work to do and we would love to see a v2 of this cooler that addresses the problems we have explained.

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