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Asus is one of the most respected companies by computer enthusiasts. Everyone knows them more as a powerhouse in the motherboard industry but they do dabble in wide range of hardware, including CPU coolers, like the Lion Square that we will be examining today. At first glance it does seem like Asus is trying pack a little bit of flare in a package that can hopefully keep up with top tier air coolers on the market. Asus is apparently trying to present an eye-catching product for enthusiasts that are looking for something beyond the typical bland. If they can do that and still sufficiently chill our CPU then many enthusiasts could be impressed. Let's test this thing out and see if you will be impressed.
|Cooler Master Gemini II|
|Thermaltake Big Typhoon|
|Thermalright True Black 120|
|Thermalright Ultra 120|
|Asus Lion Square|
|ZEROtherm Zen FZ120|
|Gigabyte Rocket 3D II|
|ZEROtherm Nirvana NV120|
|Scythe Katana 2|
|Asus Triton 77|
|Stock Intel Cooler|
|GlacialTech Igloo 5610 Series|
Some people seem overly concerned with weight, thinking that it may cause undue stress on the motherboard. The fact is that with the proper mounting brackets and careful installation it is highly unlikely to do any damage or force a bend in your motherboard. While the Lion Square is slightly on the high end, weight-wise, it is in good company with some top notch air coolers. But weight is a minor factor in detemining the overall performance of a cooler.
Asus gives you the minimum you need to install this cooler on your Intel LGA775 or AMD Athlon 64 / Phenom CPUs. You get the brackets and an install manual which is just a large unfolding sheet of paper. Asus decided to keep it simple and we actually appreciate this considering some recent bracket installations with many components.
The Asus Lion Square has fins wrapping all the way around the fan that is installed in the middle (we'll take a peak at it in a bit). Having a lot of fin area definitely helps with the cooling process but considering that 2 of the 4 sides will be getting the majority of the air flow, the side fin area may not help as much as we would like.
Leave it to Asus to also appeal to enthusiasts artistic side, including a unique design on the top of the cooler. While showing off the cooler through a case with side window, this is the most visible part of the cooler. It all comes down to personal preference.
We see a grainy machine finished base on the Lion Square with virtually no reflection. We usually like to see a little bit of a reflection so we can tell the surface is fairly smooth. More important than smoothness is a flat surface and fortunately for the Lion Square we found no sign of warpage. One thing that might not be as easily noticable in the picture is that the base appears smaller than most cooler bases. We have yet to know if this will actually affect cooling performance. And yes, the pipes and base are made of copper, but Asus included a nickel plating to help avoid any corrosion type issues that could arise in the long run.
From this view we can see the fan that is inserted into the center of the Lion Square. Asus decided to take advantage of both the intake and exhaust airflow with the Lion Square. This is one plus for the Lion Square. We are surprised that many other cooler companies don't do the same. The 4 U-shaped heatpipes effectively provide the heat transfer of 8 simple heatpipes.
For the LGA775 installation the first step was just screwing the two cooler-side brackets onto the HSF near the base. Two screws each and we didn't even break a sweat.
Asus created a nice design to help us during installation so we could use regular philips screwdrivers. Thanks to the groove in the fins, accessing the the screws during installation was also easy. Asus also included a single piece plastic bracket for the back side of the motherboard. It was easy to hold into place while finalizing the cooler installation.
Today's HardwareLogic Test Bench consists of the following components.
Stock Settings: 3.0GHz, 1.30 CPU Core Volts, 1.20 CPU FSB Volts, 1..50 SPP Volts
Overclock (OC) Settings: 3.6GHz, 1.40 CPU Core Volts, 1.30 CPU FSB Volts, 1.60 SPP Volts
|Stock Idle||Stock Load||OC Idle||OC Load|
|Asus Lion Square||9.6||22.0||11.3||29.9|
|Zalman Reserator XT (liquid cooling)||5.9||15.7||8.0||22.5|
|ZEROtherm Zen FZ120||6.8||18.4||9.2||23.0|
|Thermalright True Black 120 (1 fan)||6.8||21.0||9.1||29.4|
|Scythe Katana 2||11.1||26.9||13.9||35.4|
|Intel Stock Cooler||12.7||33.1||16.0||49.1|
The Asus Lion Square did secure a spot among top coolers on our test bench. While not the best air cooler, it did perform reasonably well. It by far surpassed the Intel stock cooler and while at full load it ran away from the single mid-range cooler on the list (Katana 2). The remaining coolers are regarded as being some of the elite coolers in the industry and the Lion Square OC results were very close to that of the highly regarded True Black-120 (with a single fan installed). Overall, considering the smaller-than-average base area, the Lion Square performed very respectably.
|Warranty & Support|
First and foremost the Asus Lion Square performed very well. It clearly earned a spot on the list of high end coolers. The sound was not too loud and the fan must have been pushing enough air to get the respectable load temperatures that we got. Asus included a design that some enthusiasts will find appealing. For low light situations, the non-blinding blue LED will give some nice additional light. Also the top of the HSF has a unique lion design with some flame molded into the plastic on the edging. Asus also included an impressively easy installation process. It seems that many manufacturers have went a bit overboard and complicated the process but we appreciate that Asus decided to "keep-it-simple-stupid."
As with many Asus products, you have to pay more to get the high quality product. Our biggest concern with the Lion Square is the price, but if you look around enough for some rebates you can get it for a reasonable price. While Asus does offer higher quality products, users that are looking for an HSF only for the purposes of keeping the CPU cool, there are better performers out there for a lower price. Another thing that Asus may want to consider is slightly increasing the surface area of the base. The Lion Sqaure did do a great job cooling, but the possibility of getting even better results with a slightly larger base would be worth a shot.
For enthusiasts that like the overall look of the cooler and LED, the cost may be more than justifiable. Those that decide to go with the Lion Square will not be dissappointed with the cooling results as Asus has delivered another top tier product.
Other Reviews of Note
It's always nice to have more than one opinion on a component before you spend your hard earned money. For one, we may see something others missed, or vice versa. As with all reviews published at HardwareLogic, we'll not only give you our recommendation, but also point out reviews from some other great sites around the web.