Havik 140: NZXT's First CPU Heatsink

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Heatsink Comparison Table

Dual Fan CPU Coolers (ref. 140mm fans): CPU °C Rise Comparison
Fan Voltage / SPL*
18~20 dBA
15~17 dBA
12~14 dBA
Prolimatech Genesis
Noctua NH-C14
Thermalright Silver Arrow
Noctua NH-D14
Thermalright Venomous X
NZXT Havik 140
*Note: there are minor differences in measured SPL due to the variety of fan orientations and mounting methods offered by the compared coolers.

In a reference fan showdown with the top-end dual fan heatsinks, the Havik 140 unfortunately falls just a little short. Given its smaller size, it just doesn't have enough surface area to contend with the more monstrously sized coolers from Prolimatech, Noctua and Thermalright. It does however tie with the venerable Thermalright Venomous X, quite an accomplishment for NZXT's first heatsink.


These recordings were made with a high resolution, lab quality, digital recording system inside SPCR's own 11 dBA ambient anechoic chamber, then converted to LAME 128kbps encoded MP3s. We've listened long and hard to ensure there is no audible degradation from the original WAV files to these MP3s. They represent a quick snapshot of what we heard during the review.

These recordings are intended to give you an idea of how the product sounds in actual use — one meter is a reasonable typical distance between a computer or computer component and your ear. The recording contains stretches of ambient noise that you can use to judge the relative loudness of the subject. Be aware that very quiet subjects may not be audible — if we couldn't hear it from one meter, chances are we couldn't record it either!

The recording starts with 5~10 second segments of room ambiance, then the fan at various levels. For the most realistic results, set the volume so that the starting ambient level is just barely audible, then don't change the volume setting again.


NZXT's first foray into the CPU cooling market is a success as the Havik 140 fell just short the elite status awarded to much larger coolers like the Noctua NH-D14/NH-C14, Thermalright Silver Arrow, and Prolimatech Genesis. It performs as well as the Thermalright Venomous X which is no small accomplishment. It isn't anything revolutionary though, quite the opposite in fact as its overall design draws on elements found in the current crop of high-end heatsinks. The heatsink body and secure mounting system are very similar to what Prolimatech and Thermalright have been doing the last couple of years.

The stock fans sound excellent, acoustically equivalent to our reference Noctua NF-P14's, but only individually. When used as a pair they sound worse and measure higher than the Noctuas, an unfortunate side-effect of either intermodulation and/or the twisted shape of the fan blades. As a result, they can't deliver thermal performance similar to that of the P14's without emitting higher noise levels. The odd rubber fan mounts created a small acoustic improvement (only measurable when using a single fan). We were concerned they wouldn't stand up with prolonged use, but after multiple fan changes, there wasn't a scratch on them. The only downside we can see is the degree of finesse required squeeze them between the fins if the motherboard is already mounted in the case. In close quarters with limited visibility, metal clips are easier to deal with.

The NZXT Havik 140 has a MSRP of US$75, which is a little high considering more capable coolers like the Thermalright Silver Arrow and Noctua NH-C14 can be found online for a similar amount. If you're uncomfortable with having such beastly coolers in your system, the Havik 140 is definitely worth consideration though. For the noise conscious, the interaction between the two stock fans is undesirable, but as they sound excellent on their own it might be worthwhile to reuse the second fan in your case if it supports 14 cm models.

Our thanks to NZXT for the Havik 140 heatsink sample.

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Articles of Related Interest

Thermalright Venomous X Silent Edition CPU Cooler
Prolimatech Genesis CPU Heatsink: Retaking the Crown
Swiftech Polaris 120 CPU Heatsink
Zalman CNPS9900 MAX & CNPS5X CPU Coolers
Thermalright Silver Arrow Dual 14cm Fan Cooler
Noctua NH-C14 Dual Fan Top-down CPU Cooler

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Discuss this article in the SPCR forums.

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