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MP3 SOUND RECORDINGS
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 recordings start with 7~10 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
The Cooler Master Hyper N520 delivers good enough cooling performance, but its noise level is not really ideal for silent computing. There are positive aspects to its design, including the secure, not-too-tedious installation, the ability to point the fan airflow in any direction with either Intel or AMD motherboards, and nice quality finish. The offset, dual-fan, push-pull design is interesting, as well. It's difficult for us to get excited by it, however, due to the poor sonic quality of the fans, and the mediocre performance when the fans are slowed for lower noise. This is not to say many others aren't also similarly noisy; we don't get excited by them either.
It's not small enough that the smaller size is much of an advantage over larger, but much higher performance 120mm fan coolers, the dual-fan configuration seems easily matched by a smaller single 92mm fan fan design like the Xigmatek HDT-SD964, and finally, the price is just too high. There have been better CPU coolers from Cooler Master, and there will be again.
Cooler Master Hyper N520
* Good cooling performance at >9V
* Secure mounting system
* Nice fit and finish
* Fan direction controllable with both Intel and AMD socket boards.
* Not much smaller than better 120mm fan heatsinks
Cooling not good enough for price
* Fans have bad acoustics
Our thanks to Cooler Master for the Hyper N520 sample.
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