Good performance; two stock fans; easy install.
Rubber fan attachments can be tricky; fans can get loud at full blast.
NZXT DIDN’T ENTER the CPU cooling game until quite recently. We reviewed its first cooler, the skyscraper Havik 140, in December 2011. The Havik 140’s dual 14cm fans helped it power to the top of our air-cooling charts, though the slightly cheap-feeling mounting bracket kept it from Kick Ass Award status. NZXT’s second air cooler is the smaller, less expensive Havik 120.
The NZXT Havik 120 isn’t even close to the largest cooler in our roundup.
The Havik 120 stands 6.4 inches tall, 4.5 inches deep, and 5 inches wide with both 12cm fans strapped on—just about a quarter of an inch shallower and narrower than the 140. The Havik weighs more than two pounds, and has four fat heat pipes to the 140’s six. The Havik 120’s mounting mechanism uses the bars-and-crossbeam model from the 140, and installation is easy. The cooler’s two 13-bladed, 12cm fans have 3-pin connectors, and connect to one of two Y-splitters (one with a speed-limiting resistor). The fans attach to the cooling fins with rubber straps, which is not the most convenient mounting mechanism, especially when the motherboard is already mounted in the case.
The Havik 120 performed second-best of the five air coolers we tested, dropping the overclocked i7-3960X to 73.7 C at full burn. Using the included resistor splitter cable increased CPU temperatures by a few degrees but reduced noise to quite low levels.
We like that the Havik 120’s fin stack is high enough so the fans don’t interfere with most RAM DIMMs, and that it performs well without being too loud. It’s neither as quiet nor as effective as the 140, but it’s smaller. At $55, it’s a good midpoint between the $30 coolers in our roundup and those in the $80-100 range.
|Dimensions HxDxW (inches, with fans)||6.4x4.5x5|
|Weight||2 lbs, 1.1 oz|
|Heat Pipes||4 direct-contact|
|Stock Fans||2x 12cm 3-pin (w/ splitter / resistor cables)|
|Add’l Fan Support||No|
|CM Hyper 212 Evo ||Xigmatek Gaia ||NZXT Havik 120 ||Noctua DH-14||Zalman CNPS12X||Intel RTS2011LC||Corsair H100|
|Ambient Air ||23.8||25.1||25||25.2||24.2||25||25|
|Idle Temperature||36.2||35.5||34.8||34.1 ||35.2||35.2||33.2|
All temperatures in degrees Celsius. Best scores bolded. All tests performed using an Intel Core i7-3960 at 4.2GHz, on an Asus P9X79 Deluxe motherboard with 16GB DDR3/1600, in a Thermaltake Level 10 GT with stock fans set to High.