ZEROtherm Nirvana CPU Cooler

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ZEROtherm Nirvana NV120 PWM

October 27, 2009 by Lawrence Lee

ZEROtherm Nirvana NV120 PWM
CPU Cooler
Street Price

Nirvana is the successor to ZEROtherm's earlier Zen CPU cooler. The Zen was a very proficient heatsink that had a great mounting system and a reasonable price. It fell a few degrees short of achieving elite status in our test arena, but a new and improved model might be able to crack that barrier. It will not be easy as the market is saturated with affordable high performance coolers.

The box.

The heatsink.

Nirvana retains many of the Zen's core design elements: Four heatpipes, thick, tightly grouped fins with a "honeycomb" style pattern at the center, and a translucent fan with blue LEDs. This heatsink is nickel-plated, giving it a less generic appearance and protecting it from the oxidation. The fan is also frameless, attached to a metal stand like a windmill — this will undoubtedly affect acoustics. To catch any air spilling out from the sides of the fan, the fins at the edges have been extended further outward. Truth be told, at a glance it doesn't seem to have any feature or design element to give it an edge over the Zen. We'll see if testing supports this impression.

The box contents include LGA775 and LGA1366 backplates. There is also a "premium" version of the NV120 which includes a fan controller.

ZEROtherm Nirvana NV120 PWM: Key Features
(from the product web page)
Feature & Brief
Our Comment
Best Performance among 120mm air cooling CPU coolers To be determined.
Effective 8-line Heat pipe effect Technically 4 U-shaped heatpipes, but effectively they act like 8.
Honeycomb structure for optimized air flow. More than 6,748 cm²
heat dissipation area
The honeycomb structure increases surface area but also impedes airflow.
120mm fan for max.
air-flow (up to 60CFM)
PWM Automatic Fan Speed Control As it should.
Ultra Low - Noise
Max 30 dBA at 1,800 rpm
We're more interested in the noise floor.
Polished NI-Plated
Copper Base
Wards off rust.
Support Latest Intel & AMD CPUs But not LGA1156.

ZEROtherm Nirvana NV120 PWM: Specifications
(from the product web page)
Dimensions 128 X 95 X 150 mm (5.04 X 3.74 X 5.83 inch)
Weight 638g (Without Components)
Material Base Pure Copper
Heat pipe Pure Copper
Fin Cr/Ni Plated Aluminum
Heat Dissipation Area 6,748 cm² (1,046 inch²)
Cooling Capacity
Over 150W
Fan Size 120x25 mm w/ 2 blue LEDs
Fan Speed 900 ~ 1,800 rpm (± 10%) PWM Auto Speed
Acoustic Noise Under 30 dBA (± 10%)
Bearing Type Long Life Bearing
Operating Voltage 5.0 ~ 13.8 VDC
Airflow Rate Max. 60 CFM
Compatibility List
Core™2 Extreme
Core™2 Quad
Core™2 Duo
Pentium D
Pentium 4
Socket-T (LGA775)

Support All Speeds (Models)
Core™ i7
Socket-B (LGA1366)
Support All Speeds (Models)
AMD Athlon64 FX
Athlon64 X2 / BE
Socket 939 / 940 / AM2

Support All
Speeds (Models)
Incompatibility List
Intel Socket 478, 771, 603, 604
AMD Socket 754, Socket F or Socket A

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