Cooling

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.

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 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.

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.

Tesla H for a Fanless NUC

Cases|Damping | Cooling
Tesla H is one of a dozen fanless "heatsink" cases offered by Akasa. This one is for the Haswell NUC and can house two 2.5" drives in a wider, sleeker design. Thermally, it's a winner, too. Market pricing vis a vis NUC kits and boards is its real challenge.

Noctua NH-D15: Update to an Icon

Cooling
The iconic Noctua NH-D14 helped usher in a new area of gigantic dual fan heatsinks. Its successor, the D15, is slightly heavier and larger, features upgraded matching 14/15 cm fans, and more densely packed fins.

Scythe Kotetsu CPU Cooler: A Compact King

Cooling
Weighing just over a pound and having only a single 120 mm fan, the Scythe Kotetsu still manages to compete and beat much of the larger competition.

be quiet! Shadow Rock Slim CPU Cooler

Cooling
A slim tower cooler built in the same vein as the Noctua NH-U14S, the bequiet! Shadow Rock Slim is lighter, more affordable, and surprisingly proficient.

Thermalright HR-22 CPU Heatsink

Cooling
The Thermalright HR-22 is a substantially bulked up version of the HR-02, weighing in at 1.17 kg. A plastic air duct is included to create a quasi-passive cooling solution. Is it worth a C note?

Our Lapped CPU Heatsink Test Platform

Cooling | Reference|Recommended
Lapping the CPU in a heatsink test platform is probably a controversial move that's bound to provoke reactions. Funny thing is, it was done a year ago, and photos of the CPU showing the copper top exposed by the lapping have been featured in many of our reviews. Yet, not a single comment. This article goes through the problems, investigations and explorations that led us to lap our Core i7-965 Extreme test CPU, and analyzes the results and implications.

Noctua NH-U14S Slim 140mm Tower Cooler

Cooling
The NH-U14S is a lean and mean CPU cooler in the distinctive Noctua style, with a slender physique to help avoid memory interference while still packing a surprisingly heavy punch.
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