< BackOct 27, 2023
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Cougar Forza 135

INTRODUCTION

Featuring 7 heat pipes and fans strong enough to grind a piece of wood into pieces makes the Cougar Forza 135 the next contestant for the throne of the best CPU Air Cooler! It is time to take a closer look and see if they achieved what they aimed for!

 

 

POSITIVE

  • Excellent Max Performance
  • Acceptable Noise-to-Performance
  • PWM Splitter on Fans
  • Great Design
  • 7 Heat pipes
  • Ram Restriction manageable by moving fan up

NEUTRAL

  •  

NEGATIVE

  • Installation method slightly "wobbly"

WHAT'S IN THE BOX?

 

Cougar's enormous Forza 135 dual tower air cooler comes inside the usual cooler packaging covered with some specs and imagery. Once everything is removed from the box, you will find the following items:

  • Cougar Forza Heatsink
  • 1x MHP120 Fan
  • 1x MHP140-A
  • 3x Fan Clips
  • Installation Hardware AMD & Intel
  • Thermal Paste
  • Screwdriver

Down below you will also find a short summary of the coolers specs:

Name Cougar Forza 135
Dimension 153x140x160mm (DxWxH)
Fan

Cougar MHP120

Cougar MHP140-A

Fan Airflow

< 82.48CFM

< 72.93CFM

Fan Connection PWM
Fan Speed

< 2000 RPM

< 1500 RPM

Fan Noise

< 31.68

< 38.5

Fan Air Pressure

< 4.24mm/H2O

< 2.11mm/H2O

Color

Black

RGB

- none -

RGB Connection

- none -

Ram Restriction - none -
Extra - none -

COMPATIBILITY

Using Cougar's multi-platform mounting mechanic, the Forza 135 keeps compatibility with a relatively wide range of sockets. Down below you will find the full compatibility list:

Intel AMD
LGA1700 AM5
LGA1200 AM4
LGA115x AM3/+
LGA 1366 AM2/+
LGA 2011 FM2/+
LGA 2066  

INDIVIDUAL COMPONENTS

FAN

 

To get the heat away from the cooler, Cougar includes their in-house-made MHP120 and MHP140-A fans. The 120mm is supposed to be installed on the right heatsink whilst spinning up to 2000 RPM at 82.48mm/H2O and 4.24mm/H2O. The 140mm fan which can be installed in between the two towers without making the overall cooler higher is spinning at up to 1500 RPM whilst pushing 72.93CFM and 2.11mm/H2O.

 

 

Instead of including a 2-1 PWM splitter, both fans have a PWM splitter attached right to their cable, allowing you to combine and control them using a single PWM header on your motherboard. Additionally, thanks to the leftover fan clips and PWM splitter-end, you are able to add a third fan without the need for any extra splitters.

HEATSINK

 

The heart of the Forza 135 would be its 160mm high dual tower heatsink.

Being built symmetrically, the heatsink, or more the fan attached to it, will protrude above the first few ram slots. However, thanks to the fan clips being movable upwards, this restriction can be reduced to the point that every stick of RAM will be compatible.

 

BASE

 

At the bottom of the cooler, we find a copper nickel-plated base. Being big enough to cover all nowadays consumer-grade CPUs makes it perfectly adequate for it's use-case. Going up from there we got 7x 6mm heat pipes that travel up both heatsinks until they end in the top cover with an additional cap on top. The only outliner would be the central heat pipe which ends slightly underneath the cover, not releasing that it even exists when looked at from the top.

APPEARANCE

 

The 160mm high heatsink is made out of aluminum featuring its normal color. The only outliner here is the cover attached to the top of the heatsink. Being colored in a brushed dark-grey color creates a totally different design than the original aluminum color would have. The two black Cougar logos in the center of both covers combined with the fans and their cut-out middle section create a very industrial look, which we are strongly in favor of.

 

BENCHMARK

We benchmarked the cooler using our new CPU Cooler Benchmark Machine featuring 3 different Workloads at 320, 250, and 120W. For the Cougar Forza 135, the 120W and 250W workloads were applied as the highest one was too much for the cooler to handle.

120W

On the "light" workload at 120W, the Forza 135 managed to keep the CPU at 33.6°C above ambient. With this excellent result, Cougar almost managed to claim the industry standard set by the Noctua NH-D15.

 

 

By slightly lowering the fan speed in 10% steps, we created a Noise-to-Performance graph. Even if the Cougar Forza managed to push an exceptional level of max-performance, its noise-to-performance ratio is closer to a Gamdias Boreas P1 or Iceberg Thermal IceSLEET X7 Dual.

 

250W

At 250W, the Cougar Forza 135W kept the temperature at 65.3°C above ambient, again, just slightly behind the Noctua NH-D15.

 

 

The Noise-to-Performance graph at 250W looks quite similar to the 120W. 

Although the Forza 135 managed to climb the ladder, delivering a better noise-to-performance ratio than the Iceberg Thermal or Gamdias 7x heat pipe models, it is still quite far behind the Noctua NH-D15.

 

CONCLUSION

From a max-performance point of view, the Cougar Forza 135 delivers a fantastic result, but not a perfect one. 
Being always just an inch behind the Noctua NH-D15, it takes a solid second spot when it comes to consumer-friendly CPU air coolers.

 

 

Unfortunately, on the noise front, this result changes slightly. Being more comparable to an Iceberg Thermal or Gamdias 7x heat pipe cooler, it is not quite the Noctua NH-D15 killer yet.

 

Quality-wise, we have nothing negative to say about the Forza. From the heatsink to the fans, everything feels incredibly sturdy.

The only negative aspect of the cooler in our opinion is the mounting mechanic. Even if it is compatible with a wide range of sockets, we found the retention brackets to be quite hard to install as you need to keep them in place while securing them to the backplate. Pre-created mounting points keeping the brackets in socket-specific positions would have been more enjoyable.

 

 

Another aspect that scored major points for us was the design. The matt-grey top cover combined with the industrial look of the fans creates a great design that we like much more than the usual RGB-fueled designs dominating the market. However, the design will always be up to you.

 

 

All in all, we are absolutely recommending the Forza 135 as your next CPU Air Cooler for chips such as the 7900x, 13700K, and below. Being much more affordable than the Noctua NH-D15, we believe the noise to be an acceptable compromise for somebody who is looking for the best bang for the buck.

 

strumace
INTRODUCTION
WHAT'S IN THE BOX?
COMPATIBILITY
INDIVIDUAL COMPONENTS
APPEARANCE
BENCHMARK
CONCLUSION
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