Gelid believes the key to improving air cooling performance lies in the orientation of heatpipes. The company's latest cooler, the GX-7 (or CC-GX7-01-A, if you prefer), falls under Gelid's Gamer branding and utilizes seven heatpiples arranged in a way the company claims facilitates better heatflow than most traditional heatsinks.
Cases and cooling go together like peanut butter and jelly, ham and eggs, movies and popcorn, rum and Coke, and everything else that's better with the other. It shouldn't come as a shock to the system, then, that NZXT is releasing its first ever CPU cooler, the Havik 140. With funky looking fins and plenty of heatpipes, NZXT thinks it has a "true game changer" on its hands.
Misplace your heatsink? Try checking your wallet, right in between your Visa credit card and your Paypal debit card. It's not outrageous, it's Novel Concept Inc.'s new ThinSink cooler, which the company claims is the world's thinnest forced convection (fan cooled) heatsink. This thing's not just as thin as a credit card, it's even skinnier, yet supposedly has a volumetric cooling efficiency 25 times greater than today's best microprocessor heatsinks, Novel Concepts says. Can it really be true?
Remember the Dyson Air Multiplier we reviewed back in September 2010? We liked the slick fanless design, but at $300, we found the price tag a bit tough to swallow. That's starting to look like a bargain next to what you'll have to pay once the air blower undergoes a ColorWare treatment.
ColorWare is charging $450 per Air Multiplier, a $150 markup that buys you a choice of custom colors. You can choose a single color for the entire air blower, or create a truly fugly creation by selecting different colors for the airfoil, body, base, and controls. There are 21 solid colors to choose from, 21 metallic colors, and 4 pearl colors.
As brands go, Prolimatech is a new one. The company has only been around since 2008, after all, and it offers a bare handful of products. But the company was founded by people who clearly know a lot about CPU cooling, as it’s accrued considerable cred in just a couple of years. Its best-known cooler, the Megahalems, was designed for overclocked 1366 chips. We told Prolimatech about our new Socket 1156 cooling test bed, and the company sent over a newer cooler, ominously named Armageddon.
At 5.6 inches wide by 2 inches thick by 6.3 inches tall, the Armageddon is wider but slimmer than our champion air cooler, the CM Hyper 212+. While the Hyper has four direct-contact copper heat pipes, the Armageddon’s six heat pipes run through a more standard heat exchanger and up through a stack of heat-dissipation fins. The Armageddon’s mounting system is a bit complex—requiring a backplate, three retention bars, four bolts, four o-rings, four double-headed thumbscrews, four nuts, and two spring screws. But the end result is a stable, solid install with no give and no potential pressure- or torque-related failure points.
Back in the prehistoric times (April 2009), we reviewed the Domino A.L.C, an all-in-one liquid CPU-cooling system with three different speeds and an LCD screen. It worked well and was easy to install, but the screen (and attendant fan control) was, in our opinion, poorly thought-out. To see the apparatus, your case needed a side window, and to use it, you’d need to remove your side panel entirely—in which case, why not just use air? But the Domino performed well, so we let it slide.
Those features are gone in CoolIT’s new Eco A.L.C. In fact, the Eco bears a strong resemblance to Corsair’s H50 all-in-one that we reviewed in September 2009.
Like the Corsair H50, the Eco consists of a heat exchanger and pump that mount directly to the CPU socket, a radiator connected to the pump by a closed cooling loop, and a 12cm fan that connects to the radiator. The radiator and fan replace the rear 12cm or 14cm exhaust fan that’s standard in most ATX cases. The pump is powered by a 3-pin connector attached to any motherboard fan header, while the exhaust fan has a 4-pin PWM connector and attaches to the CPU_FAN header—just like with the H50.
When the wimpy-looking Cooler Master Hyper 212+ (reviewed Holiday 2009) came along and matched performance with the best air coolers on the market, we wondered if its direct-contact heat pipes were responsible, and if so, how soon we’d start seeing imitators. It didn’t take long. Thermaltake’s Contac 29 is a near–carbon copy of that little wonder, with a few subtle refinements and one colossal pain.
Like the Hyper 212+, the Contac 29 features three heat pipes that run from a heat exchanger up through a stack of thin aluminum fins, paired with a single 12cm fan (as well as room for another, if you want to push/pull air). Differing from most skyscraper-type coolers, the heat pipes on the Hyper and Contac contact the CPU heat spreader directly, instead of being embedded in a blocky heat-exchanger. The direct-contact method seems effective; in our tests, the Contac 29 matched the Hyper 212+’s performance to within one degree Celsius at full burn, and performed identically when idling.
Taking a page from conventional refrigeration techniques, NEC has developed a new cooling system the company claims uses 60 percent less energy than a water cooling loop, and up to 80 percent less than an air cooling system.
NEC's cooler is built around a chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) substitute. The refrigerant starts to boil at around 50C, at which point it changes into vapor and absorbs the heat coming from the CPU. Like a traditional water cooling loop, it then flows through a tube and is cooled by a fan in a radiator before turning back into a liquid and starting the process anew.
In addition to low greenhouse effects, NEC says the cooling fan doesn't have to work nearly as hard when compared to other cooling systems, and so it uses less energy. Not only that, but NEC claims the system is around 70 percent cheaper to produce than other cooling mechanisms.
So when can you get one and slap it into your system? Not anytime soon. NEC plans to first use the cooler internally, and then market the design to data centers in 2011. When or if this ever trickles down into the mainstream market remains to be seen.
(NEC hasn't yet published any product photos, only the above diagram taken from this PDF)
Thermaltake’s first SpinQ cooler (reviewed February 2009) had style for sure—it looked like a blue-lit stack of bike gears with a fan in the middle, mounted sideways. The SpinQ VT adopts the same basic formfactor—the stack of circular aluminum fins mounted around an 8cm fan—but stands the stack upright, and uses red LEDs instead of blue. Other than that, it’s more of the same—from the variable fan speed to the so-so performance.
The SpinQ VT (we still want to pronounce it “spink”) stands 6.2 inches from base to top, and the fin stack is 4.7 inches in diameter. Six heat pipes lead up from the base into the 50 aluminum fins, and the 8cm fan blows cool air down over the fins. The fan uses a 3-pin connector and includes a variable-speed knob to take it between 1,000 and 1,600rpm, but since adjusting it requires you to reach into the case, we imagine most people will set it once and never adjust it again.
When we tested Noctua’s tower-style NH-U12P in August 2009, its performance was excellent, making it a close second to our then-champion Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme. Given the success of coolers with one fan and one set of cooling fins, it’s logical to think that, hey, maybe two sets of fins and two fans would be even better! Thus (probably) was born the Noctua NH-D14, with its two pounds, 12 ounces of cooling power.
The NH-D14 consists of six heat pipes rising from a heat exchanger into two stacks of cooling fins, with a 14cm fan between the fins and a 12cm fan on the outside. It looks like the NH-U12P, doubled. And it’s enormous, albeit easy to install. The center 14cm fan removes easily—Noctua has really improved its wire retention clips—and an included long Philips-head screwdriver makes attaching the NH-D14 to its mounting bars simple, though we struggled with the sheer footprint of the device; some configurations may require moving the 12cm fan, lest it interfere with RAM cooling fins.