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Rob Williams 08-07-2011 07:07 PM

NZXT HAVIK 140 CPU Cooler Review
With NZXT having expanded its product portfolio on multiple occasions throughout the years, the introduction of its first-ever CPU cooler, HAVIK 140, almost didn't even come as a surprise. But, how good is it? Well, it's big, has dual fans, aims for silence, and looks aesthetically-pleasing, so it holds a good chance of impressing.

Read through Ryan's full look at NZXT's HAVIK 140 CPU cooler and then discuss it here!

marfig 08-17-2011 06:16 PM

I was reading the review of the Thermaltake Frio Overclock King TT OCK (boy, that's a mouthful) on the Tech Roundup of this week and the same problem exists: These are some excellent, but big coolers that on quite a few configurations aren't simply possible.

So the question becomes: Considering the price one pays for these 1 kilogram behemoths (not something I'd want to install on a vertical motherboard either) at what point these coolers just become redundant when one can just switch to a much simpler water cooling solution for the same or similar price? It's just that I'm starting to see a few of these coolers and I just don't understand where's exactly the market for them. Am I missing something?

2Tired2Tango 08-17-2011 08:35 PM

Hey, my ram air scoop is bigger than your ram air scoop.... Wanna race?

Optix 08-18-2011 07:42 AM

All in one liquid coolers are just now starting to eclipse air coolers. Noctua (DH14) has been at the forefront of the cooling game. Before that it was Prolimatech (Megahalem) and before that was Thermalright (Ultra Extreme). You can go back years and years and see how air coolers have evolved. All in one liquid coolers are relatively new and finally starting to get some attention after many lack luster attempts (Bigwater what?).

For me, it comes down to a few things and these are in no particular order. Price, performance, will it fit without making me change my system configuration and finally quality. Quality is a big thing because you're not just putting in an air cooler where the soldering might not be that great or the fan is less than perfect. You're putting fluid in close proximity to your expensive gear so that bad boy better be properly leak tested.

With the liquid coolers being released now I'm convinced that a lack of confidence in the quality of the unit is the only reason why air coolers exist in the enthusiast market.

Don't get me wrong, I still think air coolers are a viable option for many users running a mild to medium overclock provided they have a small enough footprint. I still get excited when it's time to test one out and was really pumped to take a crack at the Havik 140. I've been a fan of NZXT for a while now but that's not enough to keep me from realizing that air cooling has hit a wall. Without some sort of break through in materials, heatpipe or fan design or an act of God, air cooling is coming to an end for folks like us.

Going forward I really don't think that they will be able to retain their ability to cool better than liquid systems and not become enormous to the point where they no longer become functional.

marfig 08-18-2011 04:09 PM

Thanks Optix. You pretty much confirmed my suspicions that air coolers are approaching -- or have hit already -- a dead end. At least with current materials and technologies. Coolers like this NZXT and the Thermaltake Frio are a clear display of that.

Air coolers are amazing pieces of technology, let it be clear. And will keep serving the mainstream for as long as we require them. It's these later coolers that I'm a critic of. This simply isn't the solution -- or shouldn't be -- for anyone. I cannot possibly recommend these to anyone.

martin 09-20-2011 01:20 PM

I had this unit and it increased my temperatures.
I thought it would be better that my corsair h70 but was badly mistaken.
Problem was the base was NOT FLAT and using a straight edge i could see through the gap in both directions.
When screwed down as tight as possible it was still possible to move it side by side.
I returned it AND AM STILL WAITING for a refund.
My advice, DO NOT buy this.
The rubber fan mounting system is hopeless.

Optix 09-20-2011 02:04 PM

I liked the rubber fan mounts to be honest. They were a bit tricky the first couple of times but they release very easily if you need to remove the fans in a hurry. Plus they're great at absorbing vibration because they keep the fan frame isolated from the aluminum fins of the cooler.

Most coolers that I have used that don't secure in the four corners can be moved. The Zalman CNSP7X could, the Thermaltake Jing and Frio OCK could and the Havik 140 would. It's just the way things go when you mount a cooler on one axis. Locking it down in four corners, regardless of whether it's Intel or AMD is always the way to go.

Even with a flat base the cooler came in behind the H70 so that would be one of those instances where it pays to check the reviews. You could try going back to NZXT to see if they will replace it with one that has a flat base but even still it won't be able to match the H70.

Rob Williams 09-20-2011 02:38 PM

I am not sure I'd understand why anyone would go from a Corsair H70, which is a wicked cooler, to an air solution that's about twice as large. Either way, sorry to hear about your troubles, martin. As Optix says, it definitely pays to read the reviews, although in your case, it seems like you got a bad unit given the lack of a totally flat base.

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