Introduction

Reeven has made an entry into the RGB segment with their Kiran RGB fans. REEVEN was established with a simple concept in mind: creating “Perfect user experience” in the computer market. It all started at a small office in Taiwan back in 2009, with a group of experienced and passionate engineers. Today, REEVEN is one of the most well-known suppliers of high performing computer components, holding numerous top-grade reviews and ratings. REEVEN stays true to founders’ ideas of creating and designing products with Profession, Quality, and Value, and always being open to ideas and suggestions from the customers.

Today, I am taking a look at the company’s low profile cooler, Brontes RC-1001b. With a compact size and the height of only 59mm, BRONTES is tailored to fit most ITX and SFF systems on the market. Its high-quality build, slim shape and compact size not only guarantee universal compatibility but also provide users with silent operation, without any compromises or downgrades to its cooling efficiency. It features a 100mm fan with a slim profile in the Reeven’s traditional black and yellow color scheme. I put this cooler to test the Intel’s hot-headed chip i7 7700k.

Item: Brontes RC-1001b

Manufacturer: Reeven

Price: $36.99 at the time of the review

Brontes Specifications

Model No RC-1001b
Socket Compatibility INTEL: LGA 775 / 1150 / 1151 / 1155 / 1156 / 1366

AMD: AM1 / AM2 / AM2+ / AM3 / AM3+ / FM1 / FM2 / FM2+

Overall Dimension (W)105 x (H)59 x (D)114mm
Fan Dimension 100 x 100 x 12mm
Heatpipe 4 x 6mm
Fan Speed 650 ~ 2200 RPM0R
Air Flow 11.81 ~ 30.39 CFM
Static Pressure 0.008 ~  0.058 inchH2O
Noise Level 10.5 ~ 31.67 dBA
Weight with fan 325g
Warranty 2 years

 

Packaging and Contents

The cooler comes in a yellow colored cardboard box. I personally like this color scheme more than on the other air coolers from the Reeven. The top side of the box has the picture of the cooler on the main right section. The Reeven brand name is printed on the top left side. AM1 ready is printed right under the brand name. In a very small font across the en-circled AMI Ready tag is a text mentioning that the cooler is only compatible with the low profile RAM. The cooler’s model name and no are printed on the bottom left side. Socket compatibility info is printed on the bottom side.

The front side of the box has SFF printed in yellow color with a black background which indicates the recommended build type for this cooler. It is suggested to be used in small form factor or ITX builds. The cooler’s model no and the name is printed in the middle section on the left side. Cooler’s summed up feature is printed on the bottom. The Reeven brand name is printed on the top right side. The cooler’s picture depicting its height is printed on the right side.

The left side of the packing box has the diagrams of the cooler showing its dimensions. The UPC and the EAN info labels are printed on the bottom left side.

The right side of the packing box has the necessary cautions printed in two languages. The warranty info label is printed on the top right side.

The backside of the box has the cooler’s specifications printed in tabular format in 7 different languages. The cooler is made in Taiwan. The cooler’s model name and no are printed on the top side. The Reeven contact info is printed on the top right side.

Opening the box would reveal the contents. The cooler is tucked inside nicely. The fan is preinstalled on the top side of the cooler. There is another box with the accessories in it.

Accessories

The accessories box is done in black and yellow which really gives it a cool look. The cooler diagram is printed on the top side. The cooler’s model name and no are printed on the top left side. The sides of the box are printed in black color.

The left and the right sides have the Reeven brand name printed on them whereas the other sides have the Installation Pack printed. The backside of the box has the diagrams of the contents and their quantity.

Accessories include:

  • 2x Intel Clips
  • 2x AMD Clips
  • 2x AM1 Clips
  • 5x Screws
  • 4x Silicon Washers
  • 4x Screws for the Cooler
  • 1x Thermal Grease 

Closer look

Air cooling has been at the heart of the PC cooling for quite some time though we have seen quite a fierce competition from CLCs in this segment but that has not undermined the air cooling market. Air cooling is still considered safe as compared to the leakage risk which could potentially destroy the components.

The Reeven Brontes RC-1001b is a compact, low profile CPU Cooler which is suitable for the SFF/ITX builds. This is written on the footprint of the cooler. It has a height of just 59mm if that tells you the idea of its size. It has 4 heat pipes and a 100mm slim profile fan. 1001b indicates that there are likely two versions of this cooler though I don’t have more info on this aspect but my guess is this version is compatible with the AMD AM1 socket whereas the other version is not. Let’s take a closer look at the cooler.

Looking at the top side of the heatsink, the dimensions of the heatsink only are 19mm X 100mm X 98mm (H X D X W). There are 46 aluminum fins stacked together to form a heatsink. The gap between any two fins is wider for maximum airflow. We can see 4 heat pipes going through the finstack. In addition, 4 more long screws can be seen on the top side of the heatsink.

Looking at the front side of the heatsink, we can see the Reeven brand name in the middle. 4 heat pipes are coming out of the heatsink and terminated under the top fin plate. The Reeven is quite innovative in this perspective for better aesthetics. One can see the four heads of the long screws that hold the top fin with the rest of the sink. They are implemented in such a manner that they also conduct heat for maximum dissipation. The heatsink is implemented in a curve design from the top side. However, we don’t see this pattern on the bottom side.

Let’s take a look at the sides of the cooler. The left and right side of the cooler are symmetric. It is designed in an angular manner so that the metal fan clips are secured on the raised sides.

Looking at the backside of the heatsink, we can see the 4 heat pipes going inside the heatsink in a convex manner. The distance between the two heat pipes on the left side is same. Similarly, the distance between the two heat pipes on the right side is same. There is more distance between the two middle pipes. Notice the two angled cuts outs right in the center of the fin. It follows the symmetry from the fins cut out on the bottom block. There are also two small holes on the bottom on the middle section. These are the terminating ends of the two pipes connecting the bottom block with the main heatsink.

Let’s take a look at the backside of the heatsink where the Reeven has done some tricks to make this product a better design as compared the competition. The fins design on the backside has an inset on the middle. The area right under the base has raised surface. Two less thickened pipes are coming out of the block and going all the way to the end of this raised surface. This has helped the Reeven to add rigidity and support between the top heatsink and the block. Place the cooler on the plane surface and it will not bend forward.

The cooler features 4 heatpipes each of 6mm thickness. They are finished in nickel plating. Hopefully, they are made of copper but I am not sure. The cooler has likely a copper base in nickel plating measuring 36mm X 49mm. The base comes covered with the transparent safety sticker asking the user to peel it off before installing.

There is a block on the top of the copper base with the additional fins for heat dissipation. On the center we have a thicker fin while rest of the fins fall in an angular manner opposite to each other. We can see the 4 heat pipes are implemented right on the top of the base.

Reeven has provided a 100mm fan with the cooler. The fan is a slim profile with just 12mm of the thickness.  The fan has 13 blades in the yellow color. There is a Reeven sticker on the center of the fan. The sticker is in a black background with the text in the yellow color. The frame of the fan is squarish and it is in the black color. Taking a close look at the corners of the frame, we can see that there are two mounting holes. One is for the 100mm while the other is for the 92mm. The fan comes pre-installed on the heatsink using the two metal fan clips.

The fan comes with the sleeve bearings. Part no is RM1012S22B-P. The fan draws 0.24Amp with DC 12V. The maximum RPM of the fan is 2200. The maximum noise level is 31.67dBA with the air flow of 30.39 CFM. The maximum static pressure is 0.058inchH2O. This is a PWM fan with the 4-pin connector. The power cable is sleeved and is approximately 312mm in the length.

The backside of the fan has a spiral structure with 6 arms connecting the motor hub with the frame of the fan. The Reeven was thoughtful in placing the wires of the power cable by expanding one arm in the width and routing the wires on that widened arm. There are no air flow and blade spin direction arrow indicators on the main frame. 

Installation

The Intel’s LGA-1151 socket was used to test the cooler. Please, note that I don’t have mini-ITX size motherboard which would have been an ideal choice as this cooler is recommended for the SFF/ITX builds.

First, we need to prepare the two mounting bars for the corresponding socket. The mounting bars come prepped for the Intel LGA 115x socket so I did not have to do anything special for that. There are the two clips which are attached with the bars. These clips have holes on them for difference socket, the middle one being for the LGA 115x. Using the four small size screws, mount the bars on the cooler’s block such that the edges face opposite to each other.

Peel off the safety sticker from the base of the cooler. Apply the thermal paste. Decide upon the orientation of the cooler and place it on the top of the CPU IHS so that the holes on the mounting bars align with the pre-drilled holes on the motherboard around the CPU socket. Use the four long screws with pre-mounted silicon washers and insert them from the backside of the motherboard. They should make contact with the holes on the mounting bar. Screw them in going diagonally so that block can be fitted properly. Connect the power cable of the fan on the CPU fan header or any other fan header of your desire. This would complete the installation.

 

Compatibility and Clearance

Now comes the critical section equally as important as the thermal performance itself. There are three important areas to always check for whenever buying an air cooler. These are Clearance for the chassis, Clearance from the first PCIe slot and the Clearance for the DIMMs. When it comes to the low-profile coolers, we need to test for different orientations with respect to the motherboard’s IO side, VRM side and of course the DIMM clearance.

Clearance with Chassis

The Reeven Brontes RC-1001b has the dimension of (W)105 x (H)59 x (D)114mm with the fan. It is suitable for the SFF/ITX chassis in the market.

Clearance with first PCIe Lane

As the cooler was tested on the regular ATX size motherboard, I did not see any incompatibility.

Clearance with Motherboard and RAM

I tested the cooler by trying to install in 4 orientations. You would need to be careful if the IO cover is raised as it could hinder the installation of the cooler in the 90 degree orientation. Same goes for the RAM. The cooler’s heatpipes can cover the first DIMM slot in that orientation.

Mounting the cooler other than the 90 degree orientation has zero incompatibility for any height RAM. Ideally, you would want to use low profile RAM with the low profile coolers.

Test Bench

The following test bench was used to test the cooler:

  • Intel i7 7700k [Thanks to the PCFanatics]
  • Asus Z170-P [Thanks to the PCFanatics]
  • Corsair 2x8GB Vengeance Red LED @ 2666MHz
  • HyperX 120GB SSD
  • Thermaltake TP DPS RGB 750W PSU

Asus Realbench 2.44 and the RealTemp 3.70 are used for the stress test and the temperature monitoring. The Noctua NT-H1 thermal paste is used to test all the coolers on my test benches. This helps ensure the standardization and to reduce the effect of any bundled thermal paste that could benefit the performance.

Methodology

First, the cooler is tested on the stock clocks i.e 4.2GHz at manual 1.16V Vcore. The average of the core temps is calculated to provide the temps at idle and under the load. The ambient temps are subtracted from these temperature readings to give the delta temps. My graphs report the delta temps. This helps in an uncontrolled environment to mitigate the temperature variation.

Next, the CPU is overclocked to 4.7GHz using manual 1.22V VCore. Three runs of the stress test program are carried out. The average of each run is separately taken and the highest reading of the three tests is used. Ambient temperatures are subtracted from the selected average temperature reading and delta temperature is reported on the graph.

Without further a due, let’s take a look at the results.

Results

On the stock clocks i.e 4.2GHz [fixed], the maximum temperature on the Reeven Brontes RC-1001b was 49.5C. The Silverstone AR06 did a maximum of 50C. Both the coolers were neck-to-neck under stock testing. The temperatures on the other two coolers were better but their footprints are not slim as compared to this compact cooler with just 59mm height. So, the true comparison will be with the equivalent compact cooler from the SilverStone aka AR06.

CPU was overclocked to 4.7GHz. The Reeven Brontes RC-1001b did a maximum of 63.6C whereas the SilverStone AR06 was doing 65.05C. Not a bad performance for a compact, low-profile cooler. I would not blame the coolers if the temperatures look to be on the higher side as the chip I have got seems to have poor thermals on it. Even the coolers like the Noctua NH-D15 and the Reeven Naia 240 have struggled on this chip.

The maximum sound level recorded was 33dBA at the full fan speed. Sound level is still good.

 

Conclusion

The Reeven Brontes RC-1001b is a compact, low-profile CPU Cooler designed to be used in SFF/ITX builds preferably.  It has dimensions of (W)105 x (H)59 x (D)114mm with the fan. It has 4 heat pipes each of 6mm thickness making a linear contact with the fin stacks. The base and the heat pipes are finished in nickel plating. The heatsink has 46 aluminum fins on it. Despite being compact and a low profile cooler, I put the cooler to the challenge and tested it with overclocking the 7700k to validate the results.

The fins are wider. The bottom side has raised surface area below the base/block which is interconnected with the main heatsink with two less thickened pipes for further strength. The block also has the heatsink on it for maximum heat dissipation. Reeven has provided a 100mm slim profiled fan with just 12mm thickness. The fan has a maximum airflow of 30.39 CFM, a noise level of 31.67 dBA and 0.24A. This fan has the sleeve bearings. The Reeven has bundled a plethora of accessories with the cooler. The user manual is well written and very helpful for the users’ understanding of the installation process. This cooler comes with 2 years warranty.

Being a compact, low-profile this cooler is targeted for the SFF/IX builds. It has a height of just 59mm with a fan. It does not support push/pull configuration. For 90 degree mounting, raised IO cover on the motherboard will hinder the installation. Similarly, this orientation will block the first DIMM slot. Other than that, I have no other observation to report.

I am classifying the low-profile coolers in the two major categories on my test bench. One is the Non-Compact coolers while the second is compact series. The Reeven Brontes RC-1001b and the SilverStone AR06 fall under the compact series of the coolers while the Noctua NH-L12S and the SilverStone NT06-Pro come under the Non-Compact series. User must bear in mind the underlying factors and category while interpreting the results on the graphs.

Value and Performance

The price of the Reeven Brontes RC-1001b at the time of this review is $36.99. With this price and bundled package one is getting nice cooling solution to cool their chips.

Four low profile coolers were tested with the same configuration. The Noctua NH-L12S has emerged as a winner of all four though one must realize that the two of the coolers namely the SilverStone AR06 and the Reeven Brontes have a compact size and slimmer fans. All the coolers were put to cool the hot-headed i7 7700k chip. My chip has poor thermals on it out of the box so I would not be blaming the coolers entirely if the temperature is high as even the Noctua NH-D15 and the Reeven Naia 240 have struggled to keep the temperatures in check. Right in the category of the Compact, Low Profile CPU Coolers the Reeven Brontes RC-1001b has won our Recommended Award.