Cooling

Recommended Heatsinks

Cooling | Reference|Recommended
Recommended Heatsinks lists SPCR-reviewed top cooling devices for CPUs, VGA and other hot computer parts, ordered by cooling performance and low noise. Major update on 16 Sept 2014.

SPCR's Updated 2012 Small CPU Heatsink Test Platform

Cooling | Reference|Recommended
Four previous favorites from Noctua and Scythe run through their paces once again on our updated small CPU heatsink test platform. With Sandy Bridge hardware, the new testbed is closer to contemporary SFF builds.

SPCR's 2010 CPU Heatsink Test Platform [Updates: 10 April & 31 May]

Cooling | Reference|Recommended
Our CPU heatsink test platform has been updated with a hotter, more power hungry CPU. Eight of the top heatsinks we tested previously get put through the wringer once again. Some continue to excel while others drop to the wayside.

Anatomy of the Silent Fan

Cooling | Fans|Controls | Reference|Recommended
A distilled summary of fundamental design elements and key factors that affect the acoustic performance of DC axial fans in the role of PC cooling. This information is presented apart from our fan test methodology or actual fan review articles to keep information overload at bay. NOTE: A Postscript Q&A features Dorothy Bradbury, UK fan maven extraordinaire.

Phanteks PH-TC14S & Cyrorig C1 CPU Coolers

Cooling
For their modest size, the Phanteks PH-TC14S and Cryorig C1 both perform well despite using different orientations. The PH-TC14S is a split tower heatsink while the C1 is a short top-down cooler.

New 92mm-fan Tower Coolers from Noctua

Cooling
A new heatsink from Noctua is always worth more than a cursory glance, as this Austrian brand has become one of the most consistent producers of high performance CPU coolers in the past decade. The latest is a trio of tower models featuring a new 92mm fan, models obviously meant to replace the previous NH-U9B SE2: NH-U9S, NH-D9L and NH-D9DX i4 3U. Our full review of the U9S and D9L.

Swiftech H240-X CPU Liquid Cooling Kit

Cooling
The Swiftech H240-X is an interesting high-end open loop liquid CPU cooler that's also pre-assembled/filled and plug-and-play like all-in-one units.

Arctic Accelero Hybrid II-120 Liquid GPU Cooler

Cooling | Graphics Cards
Arctic's Acclero Hybrid II-120 combines an AIO liquid cooler with a back side heatsink to produce a formidable yet quiet cooling solution for high-end graphics cards.

Cryorig R1 Ultimate & Universal CPU Coolers

Cooling
While Cyrorig is a relative newcomer to the well-establish CPU heatsink market, their flagship R1 Ultimate/Universal has all the trappings of a top-tier cooling solution.

NZXT Kraken G10 Graphics Adapter

Cooling | Graphics Cards
Despite being tagged in our Cooling and Graphics Cards sections, the G10 is not actually a heatsink, but a metal bracket with a fan that allows any of 27 different models of AIO CPU water coolers to be used with a variety of video cards. This arrangement promises much improved cooling over stock coolers for GPUs that peak at well over 200W, but can it do so quietly?

NZXT Kraken X61 28cm Liquid Cooler

Cooling
With a massive 28 cm radiator, dual 14 cm fans, lighting effects, and software to control pump and fan speeds, the NZXT Kraken X61 has the makings of a truly premier CPU cooling solution. Our review shows you how to run it super quietly while achieving great cooling.

Enermax Liqtech 120X AIO Liquid CPU Cooler

Cooling
The Enermax Liqtech 120X utilizes dual fans, a chunky 120 mm radiator design, and a proper metal mounting system to challenge competing all-in-one liquid coolers.

Sub-$20 CPU Coolers: A Reader's Roundup

Cooling
This is not a standard SPCR heatsink review. It is a reader's roundup of the most affordable coolers, with an emphasis on perceived noise and performance, supported by acoustic test data from SPCR, collected with our usual high standards. If you're seeking an effective and really inexpensive quiet cooler, Andrew's roundup is a must read.

LEPA LV12 Direct-Touch Heatsink

Cooling
LEPA's first heatsink is a mid-range direct-touch model with plated fins, speed switches directly on the fan itself, and a modern mounting system.

NZXT Kraken X31 & X41 Liquid CPU Coolers

Cooling
Armed with pleasant-sounding fans, extra long tubing, and new management software, the NZXT Kraken X31 and X41 seek to leave a more favorable impression on us than previous CPU water coolers.
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