Reviewed: ID-COOLING’s $30 SE-224-XT Basic, can it handle a i9-10900k?!

Parts used for this review

CoolerID-COOLING SE-224-XT Basic
Additional FanScythe Kaze Flex 140mm 1200RPM (sent by Scythe)
CPUIntel i9 10900K @ 4.8ghz (sent by Intel)
MotherboardASRock b560 Steel Legend (sent by ASRock)
Computer CaseBeQuiet! Silent Base 802 Window (sent by be quiet!)

I usually focus on midrange or high end coolers, but recently I’ve had requests from readers to cover lower-end coolers. Today we’ll be looking at ID-COOLING’s SE-224-XT Basic, an entry level cooler which retails for $29.99 USD. This cooler is officially rated for 180w, but can it really handle that much heat?

Before we dive into benchmarks let’s take a look at the cooler and it’s packaging.

The SE-224-XT comes in a small box, with foam packaging for protection.

Included with the package are the user manual, thermal paste, mounting parts for AMD & Intel based systems, fan brackets for 2x fans, 1x 120mm fan, and the heatsink.

Cooler Specifications

CoolerID-COOLING SE-224-XT Basic
Heatsink Dimensions120×73×154mm
Net Weight810g
Heatpipes4×Ф6mm
Fin MaterialAluminum
Base materialCopper
Fan Compatibility120×120
Rated TDP (Official)180W
Warranty2 years
Price (MSRP)$29.99

Fan Specifications

There’s more to a cooler than just it’s heat sink. The fans included have a huge impact on cooling performance and noise levels.

Fan
Size120x120x25mm
Max Fan Speed1800±10%RPM
Air Flow76.16CFM
Static Pressure2.16mmH2O
Rated Overall Noise15.2-32.5dB(A)
Bearing TypeHydraulic Bearing
Rated Voltage12 V

Installation

The installation of ID COOLING’s SE-224-XT was simple and straightforward. Attach the back plate, add the standoffs, attach and then secure the mounting rods, and finally install the heatsink and fan.

Testing Methodology

With the other coolers I have tested, I used Noctua’s NT-H1 thermal paste for all cooler testing to eliminate any variances that could be caused by using different pastes. However, I felt that most users looking at a $30 USD cooler were not likely to have extra thermal paste – so for the testing of ID-COOLING’s SE-224-XT Basic I used the ID-TG25 thermal paste included with the packaging. For the most demanding loads, such as Prime95, I also tested the SE-224-XT Basic with an added Scythe Kaze Flex 2 140mm 1200 RPM fan to see how much better it would cool.

For Cinebench and AIDA64, I ran each test for 10 minutes – but removed the first 2 minutes of temperature data to account for the warm up period (testing for longer periods did not produce significant differences). For games, I used a scripted benchmark and averaged the results of 3x runs. I tested each cooler with no power limits, as they were each capable of handling the heat.

No Power Limits Testing

AIDA64’s CPU & FPU test is fairly demanding – and the SE-224-XT ran a bit toasty at 89c (over 25c ambient). Adding Scythe’s Kaze Flex fan to the ID-COOLING cooler barely helped at all, only improving performance by 1c.

Cinebench r23 also ran quite toasty, but the SE-224-XT was still within acceptable temperatures running at 88c (at 26c ambient). ID-COOLING’s cooler performed well considering it’s price, beating a competitor 50% more expensive by 3c.

Prime95 Small FFTs was the only load where the SE-224-XT Basic couldn’t handle the heat well, but in this load it was consuming an average of 245w and while throttling due to hitting TJMax it still maintained 4.66ghz – and really that’s pretty good considering that it’s dealing with 65w more TDP than it was actually designed to handle.


Adding a second fan is mostly pointless as it produced results which were only marginally better, increasing clockspeeds by 20mhz.


In gaming ID-COOLING’s SE-224-XT Basic performed well. In the most demanding load tested here, Far Cry V, it topped out at a maximum temperature of 73c.

Acoustics

I purchased a Decibel Meter to more accurately report acoustic information, but I found it difficult to take consistent measurements with it – so instead of using the Decibel Meter, I’ve taken audio recordings of the fans during stress tests and analyzed them with Orban Loudness Meter. ID-COOLING’s SE-224-XT wasn’t what I would consider a “quiet” cooler – but keep in mind this testing is done at 100% fan speed.

Conclusion

I was originally hesitant to test entry level coolers because I didn’t think any of them would actually be able to handle a i9-10900k in power hungry loads, but the ID-COOLING SE-224-XT Basic proved me wrong. In fact, in the most power hungry of loads it outperformed BeQuiet’s new Shadow Rock Slim 2 – which is 50% more expensive.

While this isn’t a cooler you’d want to use for overclocking an i9-11900k, and would be best paired with something easier to tame like a Ryzen 5600x, it can definitely handle any desktop CPU at stock speeds. It is rated for, and can actually handle 180w comfortably – which was quite surprising given it’s $30 MSRP. For it’s combination of good performance and low price, I’m giving the SE-224-XT Basic our Gold Award.

ID-COOLING SE-224-XT Basic

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