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Diamond XtremeSound

We were so in love with the old Diamond Monster Sound that it wasn’t until our recent move that we finally sent the unsupported, driverless card to hardware Valhalla.

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Coolit Freezone

We all know that water-cooling delivers more cooling power to the CPU than air-cooling does, but even water-cooling has an Achilles’ heel. It can’t achieve temperatures below the ambient room temperature. The Coolit Freezone gets around this limitation by using six thermoelectric coolers (TEC), aka Peltier coolers, to chill the water to below room temps. It’s a fantastic idea, and it seems like the best CPU cooler ever made, on paper. In practice, however, it’s not quite as awesome as we expected.

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Kingwin Big Air BA-12 for AMD

Kingwin’s BA-12 shares a similar design with the popular Thermalright XP-120. A copper base plate connects to an aluminum heatsink, which is aligned parallel to the motherboard. A 12cm fan blows air over the heatsink, cooling the fins and also all the components around the CPU socket.

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Sytrin Kuformula VF1 Plus

Sytrin is a newcomer to the cooling scene, and this is the second product we’ve seen from the company. The first product we sampled was its air-conditioned PC case (reviewed March 2006), which impressed the hell out of us. Sytrin’s VF1 Plus GPU cooler is also impressive, although it has a few faults.

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Scythe Ninja Plus

The Scythe Ninja Plus is a huge-ass cooler, but it’s surprisingly light. Hugeness usually equals goodness when it comes to heatsinks—more surface area means more cooling power, which the Ninja delivers.

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Akuatek Extreme FS92

Though the Akuatek looks like a run-of-the-mill heatsink/fan setup, it’s actually a water-cooler in the same vein as Cooler Master’s Aquagate Mini. The heatsink comes prefilled with water, which circulates throughout the device, aiding in cooling.

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Western Digital Caviar SE 16 500GB

This month, WD joins the 500GB party with its Caviar SE 16 drive. Because the 400GB model is already our favorite 7,200rpm drive, we expected big things from its four-platter successor—and we were mostly satisfied.

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Thermaltake Blue Orb II

We gave the Golden Orb II a mediocre 7 verdict back in October 2005, but the Blue Orb II is bigger and much, much better. It’s a massive cooler that squats over the CPU socket like a sumo wrestler, taking up every square millimeter of space.

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