Cooling

Thermalright Gets Back on Top with the Ultra-120

Cooling
Thermalright's Ultra-120 is designed to take on the biggest, coolest heatsinks on the market — and win. But, like most performance heatsinks, it has closely spaced fins that are designed to do well with lots of airflow. That doesn't always square well with SPCR's goals for low-airflow systems. We've put it head to head with the Scythe Ninja ... We have a new silent champ.

Apack ZeroTherm BTF80 & BTF90 CPU Heatsink/Fans

Cooling
They may look like motorized butterflies, but the ZeroTherm BTF80 & BTF90 from Apack are intended to be more than just ornaments for system builders with a feminine side. Chances are you've never heard of Apack, but this Korean company has been doing business with majors like Samsung and Intel for a few years, and now they're coming to the retail market. We hope they come quickly.

Zalman CNPS8000: A Worthy Successor?

Cooling
Zalman has broken with tradition and released a low profile heatsink that is not based on their's classic "flower" clamped-fins design. It's the same height as the venerable CNPS7000, but it has heatpipes and it weighs 100 grams less. How does it perform?

Arctic Cooling Alpine HSF: A New Budget King?

Cooling
Processors are getting cooler, and giant tower behemoths are not needed to cool 35W processors. While the overclocking market will always ensure a place for heatsink/fans that can deal with >100W of CPU heat, most of us don't need that kind of cooling any more. The Arctic Cooling Alpine 7 & 64 are reminiscent of heatsinks of yesteryear, when many processors were 35W parts. It's only $15; can Arctic Cooling, our favorite budget quiet HSF maker, do it again?

Scythe "Summit" Mine Heatsink/Fan

Cooling
Scythe has been the most prolific heatsink manufacturer recently, and we think we know why: They're cross-breeding their existing heatsinks to produce new ones. The Mine is the offsping of a Ninja and a Kamakiri, with genes from the Samurai Z mixed in. This heatsink has high aims; it has the Ninja in its sights, but has a smaller 100mm fan. Can it hit the target? Note: Postscript on results with a Nexus 120 fan added July 18, 2006

nMedia Icetank: More than a Cute Name?

Cooling
We like it when companies have a sense of humor about their products. That's a good thing for nMedia, since their Icetank heatsink is named almost as ridiculously as Scythe's Fishcake (Kamaboko). The joke extends farther than just the name too; the heatsink bears an unmistakable resemblance to a tanker truck. Is the heatsink as frivolous as its name, or has nMedia brought a serious contender to the market?

VGA Coolers: Thermalright V1 Ultra, Zalman 700 & 900, AC Silencer 5 v.3

Cooling
High-end VGA Cards are a major source of heat, so most silencers know to avoid them if they want quiet. But, what about people who need a high end video card? Gamers can't seem to do without them... and increasingly, they want quiet, too. That's where aftermarket VGA coolers come in. Like CPU coolers, VGA coolers can be bigger, cooler, and quieter. So here is our long-awaited, much-retooled review of the biggest, coolest, and quietest VGA heatsinks on the market in a 4-way battle for the SPCR crown: Zalman VF900CU & VF700CU, Thermalright V1 Ultra and Arctic Cooling NV5 Silencer.

Spire Verticool II SP601B3 tower heatsink

Cooling
The Spire Verticool II is a midrange retail CPU cooler offering. It won't be competing for the heavyweight championship, but at under US$30 it doesn't need to. Lightweights win prizes, too, from time to time, especially if they're quiet...

Scythe Samurai Z CPU heatsink / fan

Cooling
Scythe's sequel to its Samurai CPU heatsink / fan of 2004 is modestly priced, heatpipe-enhanced (virtually mandatory for aftermarket HSF these days, it would appear), and topped with a quiet 92mm fan of its own brand. A Zorro-like Z marks the new model, whose name is really the only similarity to the original. Samurai Z works well for the install & forget-about-it quiet seeker.

Microcool NorthPole XE Whisper heatsink/fan

Cooling
For an aftermarket HSF, it's downright tiny. But it's skived copper, has a thermally controlled fan, and it's mostly meant to be a northbridge HSF. Microcool's trick in the Northpole XE Whisper is that it can also replace the stock CPU HSF in desktop Pentium M boards like the AOpen 915s.

Noctua / Coolink Tower Heatsinks

Cooling
Noctua of Austria and Coolink of China are working together to offer large tower-style heatsinks for the performance-oriented aftermarket. Both companies supplied review samples of two models, one very large and one merely big. Coolink's products are offered with a fan and fan controller; Noctua's are bare. How do they fare against the current noise/cooling tower champs at SPCR?

Thermalright HR-01 CPU Heatsink

Cooling
From one of the established cooling powerhouses comes a new tall heatpipe heatsink positioned as a fanless, passive cooling device. Sound familiar? Thermalright's HR-01 is a bit late to the tower HS game... but it certainly has game.

Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro HSF

Cooling
Our favorite low cost quiet heatsink/fan maker has a new flagship with some unusual and innovative heatures. Multiple copper heatpipes and thin fins, of course, as in the original Freezer, and an improved "frameless" fan mounted with miniature soft rubber grommets. It's quite the cooling performer. What about noise? Read on to find out about Arctic Cooling's latest.

Modding the Zalman 9500 Heatsink

Cooling
Seagate joins Maxtor and Hitachi in offering a 500 GB hard drive in this era of ever increasing storage capacity. The Barracuda 7200.9 is a 4-platter drive with 16 mb of cache and SATA 2.5 compliance. We take a sample for a spin around our lab....

Asetek Vapochill Micro CPU heatsink/fan

Cooling
The Asetek name has long been associated with extreme PC cooling, including refrigeration and water cooling. The're stepping more into the mainstream with an unusual heatpipe-heatsink/fan product that borrows from previous technologies. We gave the Vapochill Micro a thorough workout on the testbench for cooling and acoustic performance.
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