Thermalright is an established player in the cooling market, with unique products like its all copper SP94 CPU Cooler in the past and more recently the LGA1700 Contact frame which prevents and corrects bending on Intel Alder Lake & Raptor Lake based systems. Many enthusiasts praise their Peerless Assassin air coolers, which provide some of the best air cooling performance on the market while running whisper silent!
Today we’ll be looking at another dual tower air cooler from Thermalright, the Frost Spirit 135.
Introducing Thermalright’s Frost Spirit 135, a dual tower air CPU cooler
The Silver Soul 135 is available (as of this writing) for $30-$35 on Amazon, placing it firmly in budget territory. It’s not often you see a dual-tower air cooler for less than $40.
6 Copper Heatpipes
1x 120mm TL-D12 PRO
There’s more to a cooler than just it’s heat sink, the fans paired with a cooler have a huge impact both total cooling potential and noise levels. Thermalright includes a single 120mm TL-D12 PRO fan. This fan doesn’t appear to be available individually, but as far as I can tell it’s specifications match Thermalright’s TL-C12 PRO-G fan precisely – I believe the only difference is the color.
120 x 120 x 15 mm
Up to 82 CFM
Up to 2.1 mm H20
Rated Noise Level
Extra fan clips
Thermalright recognizes that some enthusiasts may desire stronger cooling performance, and as such includes a pair of fan clips for those who might want to install an additional fan.
Packaging and included contents
The Silver Soul 135 is protected by molded foam and plastic coverings for the protection of the cooler and fans, the mounting hardware and other accessories are safeguarded in a small cardbox box.
Included with the package are
1x Dual Tower Cooler
1x 135mm Fan
Mounting for modern Intel & AMD platforms
Thermal paste tube
Extra fan clips
Thermalright’s installation on AM4 & AM5 is fairly simple. Intel LGA 1700 installation follows virtually the same procedure.
AMD: Remove the default AM5 retention socket
Intel : Secure the backplate against the motherboard
Step 2. Place the rubber standoffs against the motherboard
Step 3. Place the mounting bars against the rubber standoffs, and secure them with the appropriate screws (normal screws for AMD, thumbscrews for Intel)
Step 4. Place the cooler against the mounting bars, and use a screwdriver to secure it.
Step 5. Attach the fan using the included fan clips, and then connect the PWM header to your motherboard.
Over the past few months I’ve been exploring different levels of cooling with AMD’s Ryzen 7 7700X CPU. When I tested EKWB’s AIO Elite 280, it surprised me by able to keeping the CPU under TJmax in intensive workloads – I had been under the impression that it was “impossible” to keep Ryzen 7000 CPUs under TJMax in intense workloads. On the opposite end, I tested BeQuiet’s Pure Rock LP SFF cooler – which was only able to cool 66W.
In the past I’ve mentioned how my past testing of coolers had focused on Intel CPUs because they were the most challenging to cool and also consumed the most power. When Alder Lake was released, I noticed that the thermal difficulty of cooling the 12900K was more difficult compared to prior generation products – only a few coolers were able to keep it under TJMax.
Intel’s i9-13900K and AMD’s Ryzen 7 7700X CPUs can be even more difficult to cool in heat intensive workloads – and this trend is likely to continue with future generations of CPUs. As CPUs continue to shrink in size, thermal density rises, increasing the difficulty of cooling. Indeed, it is no longer worrying to run a desktop CPU at it’s peak temperature – it is to be expected in intense workloads without power restrictions or undervolting.
I have been interested to see how different levels of cooling performance effect both AMD and Intel platforms for some time. Thanks to our partner ASRock this is now possible – they sent a sample of their B650E Taichi for testing purposes. I will be taking a closer look at this motherboard in the future – but in the meantime check out reviews of this pristine motherboard on Funkykit & Tom’s Hardware.
For thermal results, I’ve tested the AMD CPU in three configurations
At the default power limits
Noise normalized to 36.4 dBA for silent operation
With a 95W PPT enforced
With a 75W PPT enforced.
Intel “Raptor Lake” i7-13700K
MSI Z690 A PRO DDR4
BeQuiet! Silent Base 802 System fans set to LOW
Cooler Master Master Liquid 360L Core Cooler Master Master Liquid 240L Core Cougar Forza 135 Jiushark JF200S Scythe Kotetsu Mark Three Thermalright Silver Soul 135 Thermalright Peerless Assassin
The following is tested while running Cinebench R23
Noise levels without power limits
Maximum cooling performance
Noise Normalized Cooling Performance at 38.2 dBA
CPU Temperatures and noise levels at 175W
CPU Temperatures and noise levels at 125W
Maximum Noise Levels
With a total system noise level of 45.6 dBA, the acoustics aren’t quite loud – but they’re not quiet either. I’d consider this a moderate noise level, one most folks should have no problems with.
Some of y’all might notice that the graph starts at 35 instead of zero – this is because my sound meter cannot measure noise levels lower than 35 dBA. Since that is the noise floor of this meter’s recording capabilities, 35 dBA is the “zero” for our testing purposes. For those concerned that this might distort results – there’s no worry. If anything, the graphs above will minimize the differences in noise levels because dBA measurements are logarithmic.
For a more detailed explanation of how decibel levels correspond to perceived noise levels, please check out the video below from BeQuiet! which makes it easy to visualize and understand the true impact of of increasing dBA levels.
Maximum Cooling Performance
At the default power limits, the most intensive loads can be difficult to cool and result in the CPU running at TJMax. As such, we’ll be looking at the total watts cooled in this scenario.
With an average CPU power consumption of 121W cooled, Thermalright’s Silver Soul 135 performs similarly to BeQuiet’s Shadow Rock Three and is just a few watts shy of DeepCool’s AG500.
Noise Normalized Results
The results when normalized for silence were interesting, as the results for most air coolers were similar. With an average of 112W cooled, it technically outperformed Iceberg Thermal’s IceSleet X7 Dual by a single watt.
However, I’d consider this “on par” and within “margin of error”. Of the air coolers I’ve tested, only two perform “much” better here, one being Thermalright’s own Peerless Assassin and the other being Cooler Master’s newly released Hyper 622 Halo.
95W Power Limit
Imposing even a minor power consumption limit on AMD’s Ryzen 7700X reduces cooling difficulty dramatically resulting in the ability to easily to cool the CPU under TJMax (95c), as such in these situations the total noise levels are more important. It’s also important to test in these TDP restricted situations, because most “real life” workloads will not push the CPU to it’s limits.
At 55C over ambient, the results here are squarely middle of the road in comparison to the other coolers I’ve tested for today’s review. When tied to the default fan curve of my ASRock B650E Taichi, the Silver Soul 135’s measurement of 44.7 is nearly as “loud” as it is when run at full speed.
75W Power Limit
Lowering the power limit to 75W reduces cooling difficulty considerably, with the Silver Soul 135 maintaining an average of 46C over ambient temperature. But this measurement isn’t really important, as any standard cooler should be able to pass this test with ease.
Noise levels are MUCH more important here, and Thermalright’s Silver Soul 135 does well here with a total noise level of 38.9 dBA. This is a very low noise level which is easily overpowered by any normal noises of daily life.
It’s important to remember that if you prefer fully silent operation, the noise normalized results shown earlier demonstrate that you won’t lose any performance in these power limited scenarios if you set fan speeds to run silently.
Intel i7-13700K Results
Maximum Cooling Performance
I’ve recently started testing coolers with Intel’s i7-13700K, but I have less comparison data available here because I haven’t had as much time to test coolers with it yet. With an average of 210W cooled, Thermalright’s Frost Spirit performs just a hair better than Scythe’s Kotetsu Mark Three.
Maximum Noise Levels
The maximum noise levels recorded here are the same as shown with the earlier Ryzen results, at 45.6 dBA it’s not loud in any sense of the word. It’s moderate, but won’t bother most users.
Noise Normalized Results
While maximum performance testing is nice, a lot of folks prefer to test coolers with noise levels equalized. This can result in some performance loss in the most power intensive workloads like rendering. Now the result here with the Silver Soul 135 is technically at the bottom of the list here, but one has to consider that all of the coolers it’s being tested against are much more expensive – Cougar’s Forza 85 is a $90 USD air cooler!
175W Thermal & Acoustic Results
Most loads that common users run won’t use more than 200W, so this is a better analogue for a worst case scenario of what folks might actually see in day to day usage.
At 64C over ambient, the Frost Spirit’s results are the worst I’ve seen amongst the limited testing against the six comparison coolers here – but at 45.6 dBA, it doesn’t run loudly.
All results shown on Boring Text Reviews are tested in an environment at 23C ambient temperature.
125W Thermal & Acoustic Results
When restricted to 125W, thermal performance really isn’t a concern – though I’ve included that information in the graph below. Really, any cooler should be able to handle this load – even Intel’s stock cooler!
Really, thermal performance isn’t a concern at this lower power limit – noise levels are more important. All of the coolers tested achieved good acoustic levels here, Thermalright’s Silver Soul 135 maintained 41.4 dBA which is a very low noise level.
Thermalright’s Silver Soul 135 is one of the few dual tower air coolers available at a budget price point of $30-$35. It pairs best with a CPU like AMD’s Ryzen 7 7700X or Intel’s i5-13600K, but it can handle hotter CPUs well too.
Liked it? Take a second to support Albert Thomas on Patreon!