Needed a blowdown cooler as I've got quite a thick layer of soundproofing on the inside of the case (yes - enough to hit a tower cooler
) and I found a used Pallas going cheap on eBay. Cheaper than a new instance of any other cooler I was considering, at least - Noctua NH-L9i or x65 being the top contenders.
It's well packed and presented with a reasonable set of instructions (which you need - don't just bloke straight in there and guess). The bottom is very, very smoothly finished - mirror, practically - and the heatsink itself is rather well made. The fan is an odd one: 13 mm thick, 140 mm diameter but on a 120 mm fitment. There are a few replacements out there with this arrangement - I checked in case I didn't like the supplied fan
It really reminded of the old Thermalright XP-120, if anybody remembers that one - I used to love it. In fact, I probably would have got one if I could find a way to fit it to a Haswell!
It can be mounted any which way if you've room... turns out I hadn't, so it would only go in with the heatpipe "elbows" on the RAM side. And I had to take two case fans out and
fold my 4+4 CPU power out of the way even to get that
far. This better be worth it...
The first part of the fitment was fine - foolproof backplate, captive (eventually) hex head bolts, though these did have a lot of play being too small for the board holes. Plastic washers on next - OK. Next come the support brackets, and these also have too much play; there's a good 10-15 degrees of rotation before they're tightened.
Finally comes the "crossbar" (or "downbar" in my case) - what muppet
decided this should be removable!? Yes, there are dimples to line it up once it's seated in the heatsink, but trying to keep it in place and line it up with the crossbar's holes is pretty much impossible. I ended up supergluing mine in place.
Post-finally, the fan... muppet strikes again. Getting the second clip in place takes the finger strength of a rock-climbing jazz pianist. And then, to my horror, I find out the bottom clip is fouling on the back of my graphics card! Sod it; I left the top clip in place and cable-tied the bottom of the fan to the heatsink.
Took me the better part of an hour to fit this thing, and it never takes me an hour to do anything
to a computer!
At last, some good news! At idle my motherboard spins the fan at a measley 400-420 rpm, and I cannot hear it. As in stopping it makes no difference to the noise. None of that distinctive "crunchy" grind of a sleeve bearing except during spin up (and that's only going to happen once per sesson, and I won't have my ear to it by then).
OK... case side on, and let's show it some OCCT. Left it running for half an hour and the fan got up to a whopping 620 rpm. Still couldn't hear it. Bearing in mind I've just lost two case fans to this thing, the maximum for any core was 55 C. Yes, my Haswell has been undervolted to 0.92 V, but the Intel cooler was going just over 70 C under the same conditions and
making a racket. My silence demon is sated
Value for money
If you can find one for this mythical £30 asking price - and it will fit
- it's a bargain. With its dinner-plate fan it will clobber pretty much any blowdown cooler within fifteen quid of it; the bequiet Shadow Rock LP might give it a run, as would the NH-L12, but I think the former doesn't look as nice and the latter would be taller and more expensive.
Excellent construction and finish, particularly the base
Completely inaudible in my rig, YMMV
Fan can be replaced, if with only a few others
An absolute pain in the knob to fit
of room around the CPU