Cougar Forza 135 Dual Tower CPU Air Cooler Review: An introduction to cooling Intel’s i7-13700K


  • Sturdy Build Quality
  • Decent noise normalized performance
  • No aRGB


  • It’s expensive for an air cooler at $89 USD

About Cougar

Today’s review coverings a new dual tower air cooler from Cougar, which is based in Germany. It features an “old school” build with sturdy construction, brushed metal, and solid black fans – no aRGB lighting on this cooler!

Cougar was founded in 2007, and used to be known for having an orange flair on many of its products. They also make other computer peripherals such as keyboards, power supplies, computer cases, and even streaming equipment like microphones and video capture equipment.

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Foreword & Testing Platform Configuration

My previous tests have focused on Intel’s i9-13900K, but with today’s article and most future reviews I’ll be using the i7-13700K instead.

Intel’s i7 isn’t quite as difficult to cool as the i9-13900K, but it’s still capable of overwhelming most coolers. Only the strongest liquid coolers, like DeepCool’s LT720 or Cooler Master’s MasterLiquid 360L Core, will be capable of keeping the i7-13700K under it’s peak temperature in intensive workloads.

I haven’t been testing the 13700K long, as such today’s review will only feature results from six coolers in total. While this isn’t ideal, I hope these results will give you an idea of how a strong dual tower air cooler will perform with Intel’s i7-13700K.

If you need more extensive comparison results, check out my review of Cougar’s Forza 135 on AdoredTV which features testing on AMD’s Ryzen 7 7700X!

Intel LGA1700 13th Generation Raptor Lake Platform

CPUIntel i9-13700K
MotherboardMSI Z690 A PRO DDR4
Computer CaseBeQuiet! Silent Base 802
System fans set to LOW
Comparison CoolersCooler Master Master Liquid 360L Core
Cooler Master Master Liquid 240L Core
Cougar Forza 135
Scythe Kotetsu Mark Three
Thermalright Frost Spirit 140
Thermalright Peerless Assassin

For thermal results, I’ve tested the CPU running Cinebench R23 in three configurations

  • Maximum Noise Levels and Cooling Performance
  • Noise Normalized Cooling Performance at 38.2 dBA
  • CPU Temperatures at and noise levels at 175W
  • CPU Temperatures and noise levels at 125W

Features of Cougar’s Forza 135 Dual Tower Air Cooler

RAM Clearance45mm
ColdplateNickel-plated Copper
Heatpipes7 x 6mm
Dimensions128 x 140 x 160mm
Compatible SocketIntel Socket LGA 115X / 1366 / 1200 / 1700 / 2011 / 2066
AMD AM5 / AM4 / FM2 / FM1 / AM3+ / AM3 / AM2+ / AM2
Weight w/ fans1391g
Price$89.99 on or

Nickel Plated Copper Heatpipes and base

The Forza 135 utilizes 7x 6mm copper heatpipes. The heatpipes and base have been plated with nickel.

Wind Tunnel Configuration – 1x 120mm fan and 1x 140mm fan

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. The Forza 135 includes fans of two different sizes – one 120mm fan in the rear and one 140mm fan in the center to create a “wind tunnel effect”.

Image Credit: Cougar

Cougar advertises the following with these fans:

  • Hyperdrive Cooling
    • Forza 135 is equipped with COUGAR MHP140-A and MHP120 high-performance fans. Both fans have durable metallic-reinforced motor hub & metal bearing shell design, providing high airflow & high static pressure to achieve an optimum balance between ultra-silent operation and extremely cooling. They are perfect partners for Forza 135 that deliver outstanding performance.
Size120 x 120 x 25 mm/140 x 140 x 25mm
Speed600-2000 RPM/500-1500 RPM
AirflowUp to 82.48/72.93 CFM
Static PressureUp to 4.24/2.11 mm H20
Rated Noise Level31.68/38.5 dBA
BearingHDB Hydro Dynamic Bearing
Connector4-pin PWM

Additional clips for an optional third fan

Cougar includes additional fan clips for enthusiasts who want to add another fan for maximum cooling performance.

Packaging and included contents

The Forza 135 comes in a fairly large box (for an air cooler), and uses cardboard, plastic coverings, and molded foam for the protection of the inner contents.

Included with the package are

  • Dual Tower Radiator
  • 1x 120mm fan
  • 1x 140mm fan
  • Mounting for modern Intel & AMD platforms
  • PWM Fan Splitter
  • Thermal paste
  • Fan clips for up to three fans
  • Manual
  • Included long screwdriver

LGA 1700 Cooler Installation

The installation of the Forza 135 is similar to many other cooler on the market. First, you’ll need to complete the backplate by setting the screws against the backplate and securing them with the included standoffs.

Press the backplate against the motherboard, and place the mounting standoffs around the screws.

Place the mounting bars on top of the standoffs, and secure them by using the included thumbscrews.

Place the heatsink on top of the mounting bars, then secure it by using the included long screwdriver to tighten the screws.

Finally, attach the fans using the included clips and connect them to your motherboard’s PWM connection.

Intel i7-13700K Thermal and Acoustic Results

Maximum Cooling Performance

Running Cinebench without power limits enforced is difficult to cool, and most coolers are unable to keep the CPU under it’s peak temperature in this scenario – so we’ll be looking at the maximum watts dissapated by the cooler in this situation.

Cougar’s Forza 135 does well here, performing on par with Thermalright’s Peerless Assassin, cooling 227 watts on average during the course of testing.

Maximum Noise Levels

Cougar’s Forza 135 achieves its maximum cooling performance with total system noise levels of 48 dBA, which is a moderately loud noise level. This shouldn’t bother most folks, but those who prefer silence will need to impose limits on fan speeds if they choose Forza’s 135.

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.

I have a limited amount of results testing with Intel’s i7-13700K in this scenario, so I’ve included my previous maximum noise level results with Intel’s i9-13900K below. While there are some differences in the system configurations, the maximum noise levels results should be largely comparable.

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.

Cougar’s Forza 135 is able to sustain an 185W average when noise levels are equalized to 38.2 dBA. This is an ~18.5% performance drop compared it’s full speed potential.

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 58C over ambient, Cougar’s Forza 135 pulls ahead of Thermalright’s Peerless Assassin by 2C. It achieves this performance at 47 dBA, which is slightly lower than the Peerless Assassin’s 47.7 dBA.

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!

With a temperature of 45C over ambient, the Forza 135 has a small lead over both Thermalright’s and Scythe’s coolers. But 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, Cougar’s Forza 135 maintained 41.4 dBA which is a very low noise level.

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Cougar’s Forza 135 is a dual tower air cooler that features solid construction with brushed metal and solid black fans, it performs very well for a cooler with 6 heatpipes. It’s a good pairing for any modern CPU. The only reason I don’t give it an award is it’s price – at $90, it’s a bit more expensive than competing coolers like DeepCool’s AK620 or Cooler Master’s Hyper 622 Halo.

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