Clearly not the best numbers here from the RCX-V100. I double checked the mounting of the cooler to make sure that the base was securely attached, and reapplied thermal paste for solid contact, all to no avail.
The Rosewill RCX-V100 has all the makings of a great cooler. Solid construction and a well finished base, a good mounting system and a nicely thought out design all are the building blocks of a well performing cooler. I had no doubt that a passive cooler could get the job done, as in my review of the Arctic Cooling Accelero S1 I found great numbers.
It's hard to tell what's holding the RCX-V100 back here. Certainly a bit of it has to do with the wide-spread fins. There simply needs to be more fins to dissipate the heat here, as the cooler was warm to the touch during testing. Another problem might come with the base. Not only was it plated in nickel and not copper, which is commonly recognized as the optimal choice, but it was also a little too shiny. Generally, a base this shiny has been polished, which hinders performance by filling small gaps in the surface with polish rather than thermal paste, widening the distance between the core and the cooler base. It certainly wasn't the environment, however. With five 120mm fans blowing full speed in my case, there was more than the average amount of airflow passing over this cooler, the ideal situation for a passive heatsink.
Despite its good construction, there are some general usage complaints with the RCX-V100. First of all, it is worth repeating for the third time that this cooler is HUGE. I can't imagine it fitting in any case that doesn't support an e-ATX motherboard. It was also excessively hard to install a fan onto the cooler. Doing so just required too awkward of an angle to be done easily. It would have been easier for Rosewill to use a clip system. It's also extremely hard to remove PCI-express power connectors from a card with this cooler installed because it hangs so far over the power inlet. Such a flaw is inherent to the design, though, and can't easily be fixed.
As of writing, Rosewill has yet to announce the RCX-V100 in any major way—it is not available on their website nor is there any mention of it on any news sites as far as I could tell. It seems like Rosewill should take a step back and do some re-working with this cooler before they make it public, lest someone purchase this cooler to go with their new HD4870 only to fry their expensive new card.
Thanks to Rosewill for providing this review sample.