Cooling

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.

LS Cable SHS-X500 heatsink/fan

Cooling
A new brand in the CPU heatsink/fan market hailing from Korea offers heatpipe technology in a small all-copper package that aims for low noise. Performance is comparable to the recently reviewed Scythe Katana, and the price is modest at an anticipated ~US$30, but the challenge will be to find one -- at least for the immediate future. The low profile and weight may make the hunt for the LS Cable SHS-X500 worthwhile for those who like to build systems in smaller cases.

Scythe Katana

Cooling
This new budget heatsink from Scythe has many desirable features: * Long copper heatpipes married to thin alumimum fins * Good quality modest noise fan * Mountings for sockets 478, 775, K8, 370 and A * Very light weight * Angled, rather than perpendicular to motherboard Our review of this latest "blade" from Scythe.

Zalman CNPS9500 LED heatsink/fan

Cooling
It's hard to believe, but the 9500 is Zalman's first CPU heatsink to use heatpipes. They're no strangers to heatpipes, having used them in many other cooling devices, such as VGA and HDD coolers; never before in a CPU cooler, though. But the waiting might have been worthwhile. The CNPS9500 could be the most sophisticated implementation of a heatpipe HSF for CPUs we've ever seen.

Scythe Kamaboko CPU HSF

Cooling
The Kamaboko is a more conventional heatsink/fan than most others in Scythe's eclectic lineup. There is the usual (and now expected) play on words in its name, but all kidding aside, this may be Scythe's first venture into a budget-priced CPU cooler territory. Click here for our review of the Scythe Fishcake.
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