Review: Nexus KCZ-2700 CPU Cooler

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June 27, 2003 by Mike Chin

Product Nexus KCZ-2700 (MS & LS)
Manufacturer / Supplier Nexustek
Price ~US$30

The Nexus KCZ-2700 integrated heatsink / fan is marketed by the same people who bring us the quiet Nexus NX-3000 and NX-4000 power supplies, reviews of which can be found on SPCR's PSU section.

The KCZ-2700 is described as a...

High performance processor cooler for up to AMD 3000+.

The KCZ-2700 has an extreme cooling capacity combined with very low noise operation. This processor cooler has a pure copper, nickel plated, base plate with patented folded fins of 99.95% pure aluminium.

The cooler is fitted with a three window mounting clip with a thumb latch for an easy and secure installation.

Dow Corning 340 thermal grease is used for an excellent heat dissipation between the processor die and the base plate. A thin film of thermal grease is pre-applied on the base plate of the KCZ-2700.

As you might have gleaned from the photo above, the KCZ-2700 is not particularly large or imposing. It measures 62.5mm x 80mm x 35mm, and weighs just 375 gram -- within AMD's safe weight recommendation. The nickel plating on the bottom of the base prevents copper's distinctive coloring from immediately identifying this heatsink as a "serious contender" (as all such coolers are copper these days) but also prevents any oxidation that would normally occur over time.

The aluminum fins are spaced fairly closely but don't appear too tightly spaced for decent low airflow operation. The fins appear to be soldered to the base.

The finish is good. The base is certainly nice and flat, especially in the center, at the mating surface to the CPU where it counts. There are some fine manufacturing lines that can be seen and felt. Some enthusiasts may frown at this; I don't think lapping would improve performance much.

The cooler also comes integrated with a 60mm x 15mm fan from Y.S.Tech with a standard 3-wire plug for connection to a motherboard fan header. It has fan RPM monitoring output.

The fan size precludes the use of our standard testing procedure of a Panaflo 80mm low speed fan at 12, 7 and 5 volts. (This procedure allows heatsinks to be compared directly without the variable of different fan airflow / noise.) Instead we must treat the KCZ-2700 as a single integrated unit of heatsink + fan. And indeed, the fan is well integated, being fitted tightly to a 60mm hole in the top portion of the frame that surrounds the aluminum fins.

The 6-lug mounting clip is very user-friendly, as the large protruding tab on the hinged side makes it possible to mount the HSF without a screwdriver that can potentially slip and damage sensitive components on the board. The friendly clip and the modest size of the KCZ-2700 makes it easy to work with, and probably makes it compatible with just about any socket-A (or socket 370) motherboard. The only caution is if the CPU socket location and alignment is such that the power supply unit is very close to the hinged lug. If so, you're advised to remove the PSU so there is room to move and can see what you are doing.

The KCZ-2700 comes with a gob of Dow Corning 340 thermal grease pre-applied on the base plate. This may be good enough, but it looked way too thick. Before testing, the stuff was removed and cleaned off, and our standard Arctic Silver 3 was applied.

There are 2 variants of the KCZ-2700, the LS with a quieter Low Speed fan, and the MS with a Medium Speed, somewhat noisier fan with greater cooling power. Samples of both variants were tested.

3200 RPM
28.8 dB(A)
25.2 dB(A)
21 CFM
17.1 CFM

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