NZXT isn’t the only company branching into CPU coolers. EVGA—better known for videocards and motherboards—recently released its Superclock cooler, with five direct-contact copper heat pipes, one clear 12cm fan with red LEDs, and a sharp-looking black finish to its skyscraper-style copper cooling fin stack.
The Superclock rises to just less than 6 inches high, a little over 5.25 inches wide, and (with the fan attached), more than 3 inches deep. The black-plated copper fins are crimped down at the ends and around a hole in the center, channeling airflow only to the areas of the fins near the heat pipes.
Like most coolers these days, the Superclock’s mounting system uses a universal backplate with tall, threaded posts. Four metal nuts are used as spacers behind the motherboard, and four in front of it. The Superclock’s top mounting bracket is preinstalled around the heat exchanger and is secured with six spring screws—one at each corner and two holding the center pressure bar against the back of the heat exchanger.
The EVGA Superclock's direct-contact heat pipes can't make up for its single fan. It pales in comparison to the dual-fan competition.
The 12cm fan is held with wire clips, which attach to the heatsink and clip to the fan (instead of the other way around). For some reason, the heatsink fins are shaped asymmetrically, so you can only mount a fan on one side—there’s no way to secure a fan to the other side for push-pull cooling.
That’s a shame, because the Superclock would benefit from another fan. Or from a quieter fan. The fan uses a 4-pin PWM connector, and at full blast during our stress test, it got loud. The Superclock’s one 12cm fan also couldn’t quite hang with the NZXT Havik or Prolimatech Armageddon, both of which use two 14cm fans, though the Superclock bested the Hyper 212 Plus by 10 degrees C.
At $50, it’s around the midpoint of CPU cooler prices, and the performance is decent at high overclocks. Despite its name, the Superclock runs a little too warm and loud for really high overclocks, at least on Socket 1366. For Sandy Bridge overclocks or stock-clocked chips, it’s quite good, but it can’t compete with heatsinks that offer push-pull configuration with larger fans. Still, it’s good value for the money if you don’t mind a little noise or plan on replacing the fan with your own.
More effective at high clock speeds than the Hyper 212 Plus.
Loud; not as effective as dual-fan coolers.
NZXT Havik 140
Thermaltake Frio OCK
Hyper 212 Plus
100% Burn (C)
Asterisk (*) denotes best score. Ambient represents ambient air temperature in the Lab at time of testing. All coolers tested with a Core i7-930 overclocked to 3.9GHz on an Asus P6X58D Premium motherboard in a Corsair 800D chassis with stock fan, 6GB DDR3 RAM, and a Radeon HD 5850 GPU. Clock frequencies measured with TMonitor; temps with HWMonitor. Stress tests performed with Intel's internal testing utility running at 70 percent load.