As anyone who would read our reviews knows, we love plain and simple for the simple fact that beautiful things at most times come in very simple ways. “Experience the power of V8” is a daring phrase that Coolermaster takes to use in their new cooler, but it’s one that pays off. With a great cooling capacity for the CPU and reliability with support strength, the Coolermaster V8 is a cooler to be reckoned with in a sea where CPU heatsinks are far from few. While support is a great factor of reliability, the mount solutions prove troublesome at times where it requires the end-user to practically remove the entire motherboard for maintenance purposes. Thankfully with efficiency, maintenance is not needed in such a top-tier level.
Today we are checking out the new CPU cooler from OCZ, the Vendetta 2. The cooler is designed to cool the latest processors from AMD and Intel, offering improved efficiency when compared to standard coolers. OCZ currently has one of the widest ranges of memory modules available, offering a wealth of DDR memory and also specializing in flash memory and solid state drives. They also have an extensive range of power supplies on offer and with their acquisition of PC Power & Cooling, making some of the industry’s finest products. Another market that OCZ has been targeting for some time now is the cooling market, with a small range of CPU coolers.
The Noctua NH-U12P CPU cooler is from Austria by a team of engineers that have won many international awards for form and function. It is cool, it is quiet, and it works.
The little owl, Athene Noctua, is the symbol of the Greek goddess Athene, who represents wisdom, science and strategy. Is this card similar to its name? Let’s see.
- Socket compatibility: Intel Socket LGA 775, AMD AM2 & AM2+, Intel Xeon on request
- Height (without fan): 158 mm
- Width (without fan) : 126 mm
- Depth (without fan) : 71 mm
- Height (with fan): 158 mm
- Width (with fan): 126 mm
- Depth (with fan): 95 mm
- Weight (without fan): 600 g
- Weight (with fan): 770 g
- Material: Copper (base and heat-pipes), aluminium (cooling fins), soldered joints, nickel plated
- Application: Intel all frequencies, AMD all frequencies
- Fan compatibility: 120x120x25mm / 120x120x38mm (2 fans can be installed)
- NF-P12 premium fan
- Mounting-clips for 2 fans
- Ultra-Low-Noise-Adaptor (U.L.N.A.)
- NT-H1 high-grade thermal compound
- SecuFirm™ mounting kits for LGA & AM2(+)
- Warranty 6 Years
- Model: Noctua NF-P12
- Bearing: SSO-Bearing
- Blade geometry: Nine Blade Design
- Rotational Speed (+/- 10%): 1300 RPM
- Rotational Speed with U.L.N.A. (+/- 10%): 900 RPM
- Airflow: 92.3 m³/h
- Airflow with U.L.N.A.: 63.4 m³/h
- Acoustical Noise: 19.8 dB(A)
- Acoustical Noise with U.L.N.A.: 12.6 dB(A)
- Input Power: 1.08 W
- Voltage Range: 12 V
To test out the Noctua NH-U12P, an Intel Core 2 Duo test platform which was then run at default and overclocked settings. To obtain 100% load, the room temperature was kept a constant was skyrocketed to 90 degrees. Joke…we just put a shit load of load on the thing. All of the coolers were tested with Arctic Silver as the thermal interface material.
The rest of the test system is as fallows:
- Motherboard: Intel 975XBX2
- CPU: Intel E6300
- Ram: Kingston Hyper-X DDR2 KHX9600D2/1G
- Hard Drive: Western Digital 250gb
- SATA Case: Antec P190
- Power Supply: Antec NeoLink 1200w
Profile 1: The Normal User (No Overclocking)
- CPU Multiplier: 7x
- CPU voltage: 1.2000V
- FSB Voltage: 1.20V
- FSB: 800MHz
- Memory Voltage: 2.20V
- Final CPU Frequency: 1.86GHz
Profile 2: The Average Enthusiast (Mild Overclocking)
- CPU Multiplier: 7x
- CPU voltage: 1.4000V
- FSB Voltage: 1.30V
- FSB: 1600MHz
- Memory Voltage: 2.20V
- Final CPU Frequency: 2.80GHz
As one would expect from a $70 high-end air cooler, the NH-U12P overtook stock Intel cooler. At the stock clock speed of the E6300, the NH-U12P beat the stock cooler’s idle temp by a good 3 degrees under load. The thing works as stated. NH-U12P is on par with the NV-120 but running at 900 RPM and 12.6dBA, that is quiet for an active air cooler, something we can be thankful for.
Here it is. And time to get right to it. Installing the new Thermaltake Big Typhoon VX heat sink is just like installing the retail box fan as it uses the same retention mechanisms. This caused roughly 8-10mm of the processor not to be covered by the heat sink. The Big Typhoon VX does not have the same issues as Thermaltake included little tabs on the heat sink base and the mounting bracket to make sure once the heat sink is installed that it will not move around on the processor even when the case is being transported. This is a nice touch and shows how a little extra time and money can deliver a well rounded product that consumers will enjoy.
Let’s take a look at the temperatures.
Finding cooling is hard. Even for Corsair. The guys over at Corsair Memory have been trying to bring high end water cooling technology down to the mainstream price point and Andy Paul, the CEO of Corsair firmly believes that the Corsair Nautilus 500 is the kit that will do just that. Launching with the MSRP of $159 this kit is aimed at the mainstream consumer.
Once you open the box one finds everything neatly packed. Corsair clearly spent some time on the packaging and the layout of the design. Before we take a closer look at the Corsair Nautilus 500 let’s take a trip down memory lane and look at a top secret photo of the early prototype that I took over a year ago!
Intalling the Nautilus 500 varies in time and difficulty depending on which processor you are installing the system on. Corsair claims that the average user can install the system in just over eight minutes, but that is not the case. By the time one powers down their system, open the case, and installs the system you are looking at a 15 minute to a 30 minute job. Think about the steps that need to take place…
- Power Down the System
- Remove The Case Door
- Remove The Current Processor Heatsink
- Clean Thermal Compound Off the processor
- Install New Thermal Compound
- Remove PCI Slot Bracket
- Assemble the Nautilus 500 (Quick Connects & Clamps)
- Route Water Lines (Trim if Needed)
- Install New PCI Bracket With Lines Installed
- Mount The Water Block
- Fill The System With The Bottle Of Corsair COOL Coolant
- Top Off The System With Distilled Water (You need to buy this seperate)
- Plug in the Nautilus 500 (4-Pin Molex Connector and 2 fan headers)
- Power on the Computer
- Top Off With More Distilled Water
- Check For Leaks
- Replace Door
Since Corsair is aiming this unit at the mainstream consumer this will likely be their first time trying out water cooling their eight minute claim in their marketing material is off. For a mainstream consumer to complete the above 17 steps in just over 8 minutes is amusing to say the least. Even setting up our system on an open test bench took over 8 minutes as we took our time to make sure everything was installed correctly!
For General Computer Users:
The Corsiar Nautilus 500 was designed for everyone. When you go home and open the box you will find the product presentation and an installation manual that is in full color (rare these days). The manual is very detailed and will walk to step-by-step through the installaion process. Installation will take 30-45 minutes and when you are done you will have a water cooled computer. After all is done, this thing runs great and the average temperature on all of our 25%-100% loads was about 35.8c.
The Koolance Exos-2 came out the fire. For people using smaller cases, external water cooling allows them the benefit of improved cooling without taking up case space.The Exos-2 is harsh with about retail for over $300, it is a high end kit for the enthusiast. Featuring the ability to dissipate 700W of heat(that right 700W!), the Exos-2 at first glance should be the cooling system of choice for people who wants the best cooling today.
One problem with pre-built cooling kits has always been additional component coolers. While all kits have CPU blocks, Koolance has taken their variety of blocks to the next level with an incredible assortment of high quality blocks for their systems.
The Exos-2 is available in black or silver aluminum, both integrating a 700W cooling system. Dual 120mm radiator fans, 3/8″ (10mm) tubing, reservoir LED lighting, and vastly improved display functionality are now available in an external unit. How does it link…oh yeah, the system will connect with any PC through a standard rear card slot.
- External compression fittings for a tool-less hose setup
- Radiator fan speeds adjust automatically, or with 10 manual levels
- Blue reservoir LED lighting
- Top coolant fill plug
- Variable safety shutdown temperature
- Adapted power connection – does not require an AC power outlet
Short Test Results
Using a full system stress test hooked to the PSU using a Sasmoon 800, we can tell the ambient temperatures ranged from 30-45 degrees Celcius that’s pretty good.
If you want lower temps, and great speed control and heat absorption, get this water cooler for your AMD 64 now.