CPU cooling

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Xigmatek Aegir Review

Direct-contact heat pipes, and then some

WE HADN'T HEARD much from Xigmatek in a while until last month’s LGA2011 cooler roundup. In that review roundup, we tested the company’s budget Gaia cooler and found it roughly equivalent to the Hyper 212 Evo—which is a good thing. Now we’ve got our hands on the Aegir, a direct-contact heatsink with more fins, more fans, and more oomph.

The Aegir has a strange heat pipe configuration: Six copper heat pipes rise through its 4.6-inch stack of cooling fins, but only four have direct contact with the CPU heat exchanger. The other two heat pipes are set into channels at the top of the heat exchanger, above the two center direct-contact heat pipes. They don’t contact the CPU directly. They don’t even touch the heat pipes that touch the CPU. Xigmatek calls this "Double Layer with Heat-pipe Direct Touch," or DLHDT. Catchy!

Many coolers designed before the launch of Sandy Bridge-E have LGA2011 support added after the fact, and not always well. With some coolers, we had trouble putting sufficient mounting pressure on the heatsink, leaving the cooler’s LGA2011 performance lagging compared to other platforms. That isn’t a problem with the Aegir: Even on LGA2011, the mounting crossbar clamps down so far we worried we’d break our motherboard. But we didn’t, and thanks to the pressure, the Aegir’s four lower direct-contact heat pipes got plenty of, well, direct contact with the CPU’s heat spreader.

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EVGA Superclock Review

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.

At $50, the Superclock is around the midpoint of CPU cooler prices, but can its performance live up to its name?

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Thermaltake Frio OCK Review

We have to hand it to Thermaltake: Nearly everything about the Frio OCK is well thought out. The two 13cm fans are secured in a black, red, and blue cowling that clips on and off of the heatsink with ease, eliminating many of the installation frustrations inherent in two-fan (or one-fan) heatsinks. Are the Frio OCK's performance numbers as cool as its design?

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NZXT Havik 140 Review

NZXT is new to the cooler game, but if the Havik 140 is any indication, the company isn’t being dumb about it. The Havik 140 is a hefty cooler in the stacked-fins “skyscraper” style, with six copper heat pipes rising from the heat exchanger through 4.25 inches of nickel-plated‑copper heat-dissipation fins.

Once mounted, the Havik performed admirably, besting the Hyper 212 Plus in our stress test by nearly 18 degrees Celsius, but was it good enough to dethrone the Best of the Best?