We tested the Thermax Ecllipse II against Intel's stock LGA1366 cooler and one of our current favourites, the Gelid Tranquillo. We tested all three coolers in the same chassis environment, on the same CPU while idling, then at full load.

As you can see, the Spire Thermax cools just as well as the Tranquillo at idle, and rather more effectively when the CPU is really getting its rocks off. The Intel cooler doesn't really get a look-in, and while 92 degrees Celcius at load is within the operating norms of the Core i7 (Intel quotes 100 degrees maximum), we'd feel much happier about the longevity of our chip by running it 28 degrees cooler.

Unlike many CPU coolers, it's also an absolute doddle to fit. The mounting-plate for the rear of the motherboard tacks on with tiny sticky tabs, and the cooler itself bolts to the plate with sprung thumbscrews. There's no complex arrangement of different parts for different sockets; it's an elegantly universal design.

Moreover, the fans snap onto the body of the cooler using little rubber doodads that keep the fans about half a centimetre away from the body of the cooler, reducing the transmission of shakes to the body of the cooler and ultimately the chassis itself. This keeps the overall noise down to a level where it isn't considerably louder with the optional second fan attached.

Great cooling performance, acceptable noise levels, and a breeze to fit? £30 isn't going to break the bank either. Excellent.

We liked

Unpacking some CPU coolers can be a trial. Loads of over-fiddly metal bars for different socket setups and a bag of screws the size of your head points to an unnecessary level of setup-ennui. Not so with the Thermax Eclipse II: it's a piece of cake to fit, and it just works. It also looks good, and is perfectly affordable.

We disliked

They put it in the wrong box. Big deal!

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