NZXT Havik 140 CPU Cooler Review

Author: Chris Ledenican
Editor: Howard Ha
Publish Date: Wednesday, June 8th, 2011
Originally Published on Neoseeker (http://www.neoseeker.com)
Article Link: http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Hardware/Reviews/NZXT_Havik_140/
Copyright Neo Era Media, Inc. - please do not redistribute or use for commercial purposes.

NZXT is best known for being a computer chassis manufacturer that designs cases for gamers and enthusiasts. Over the last few years NZXT has started to venture into other market segments, and they now have products ranging from fan controllers to power supplies. As of last month NZXT expands their portfolio even further by launching a high-end CPU cooler they are calling the HAVIK 140.

With the HAVIK 140, NZXT is looking to compete aggressively with companies that are more established in the cooling market. They have done this by giving the HAVIK 140 robust cooling features such as six 6mm heatpipes, a high-quality nickel plated copper base, all aluminum fins and dual 140mm fans. All of these features along with a universally compatible mounting system for Intel and AMD processors should help add up to exceptional thermal performance.

The NZXT HAVIK 140 is hitting the market with an MSRP of $74.99, which places it in competition with some of the best air cooling solutions. Some of the names that offer high-end cooling solutions for the same price include Thermalright, Corsair, Nocuta and Thermaltake, so the HAVIK 140 will definitely have its work cut out for it.

Specifications
Materials
Aluminum / Copper nickle-plated
Dimensions
135(W) x 160(H) x 60(D) mm
Weight
760g (Without fans and mounting kit) / 1035g (with dual 140mm fans)
Mounting Pressure
55~60lbs
Fan Size
140(W) x 140(H) x 25(D) mm x 2pcs
Fan Bearing
Long Life (Oil-Leaking Prevention) + Shaft with Copper Sleeve
Fan Speed
1200± 10% RPM
Noise Level
25.2dBA
Air Flow
90.3 CFM
Connector
3-pin
Input Power
3.6W
Life
30000 Hours

The NZXT HAVIK 140 comes packaged in a predominantly white box that includes a large image of the heatsink on the front. The front of the box also includes some highlighted features such as the size of the heatpipes, 100% soldered design and the decibel rating of the fans. The surrounding panels on the packaging list additional features, so NZXT has done a good job providing packaging that is both informative and attractive.

The HAVIK 140 is a tower-style cooler with a symmetrical design, measuring 135(W) x 160(H) x 60(D) mm and weighing 760g (1.6lbs) without the attached fans. This is heavy for a tower cooler, but the weight is largely due to the high-quality aluminum used in the fin array. The thick aluminum will improve the thermal performance, but the array also utilizes an optimally designed surface area that "slices" the passing airflow. This design helps to improve the overall ventilation of the array and also reduces the airflow needed for optimal performance, lowering the total noise output.


The HAVIK 140 includes six 6mm heatpipes that extend from the nickel-plated copper base to the top of the cooler. The heatpipes all enter the array at different locations, which will spread throughout the six heatpipes and allow them to more efficiently distribute the heat. Additionally, the HAVIK 140 uses a 100% soldered base and fin array. This design improves the heatsink's reliance to degradation and increases the operational life span of the cooler.

There are two 140mm fans included with the HAVIK 140. Both the fans utilize a unique wave-like blade design that provides airflow of up to 90.3 CFM. Along with the high airflow rating the blade design also improves the acoustics, as the maximum noise rating of the fans is only 27.9dBA.

To attach the fans to the surface of the array, NZXT has included a unique mounting system that includes rubber fasteners. The rubber design ensures mounting the fans is easy and also works to reduce the vibration level of the fans during operation.

With the fans attached to the heatsink the width is noticeably increased, but there is still ample room between the base of the cooler and fans to ensure clearance for memory modules and on-board thermal solutions on motherboards will not be an issue. Each fan has a 3-pin power connector, but NZXT has included an adapter that allows both fans to be powered off the same source.

The NZXT HAVIK 140 comes with a universal mounting kit that supports Intel's LGA 1366, 1156, 1155 and 775 CPU sockets, as well as AMD's AM3, AM2 and AM2 sockets. The HAVIK also includes thermal grease, a Y-header to allow both fans to operate off a single fan header, and the installation guide. All the accessories and mounting kits are separated into their own container and the installation guide shows which socket the different mounting kits are designed for.

We will be testing the NZXT HAVIK 140 on an Intel LGA-1366 motherboard, so the mounting kit we will be looking at is the one designed for Intel based systems. The first portion of the mounting kit is the rear bracket. The bracket works with four long screws and has mounting holes that allow it to fit any LGA-1366/1155/1156/775 socket types. Once the screws are secured into their proper position for the socket, all that is needed is to thread the screws through the mounting holes on the motherboard.

After the screws are threaded through the mounting holes, there are four pillars that need to positioned on each screw. These pillars provide support provide support for the mounting clips and ensure they are in the proper location.

The next step is to install the Intel brackets to the mounting system with the directional arrows facing inward. It is important to ensure the arrows are facing the proper direction or the crossbar will not fit properly. After the brackets are in place they are secured to the board via four thumbscrews.

The last step of securing the heatsink to the processor is to place the HAVIK 140 itself onto the installed CPU and secure it to the mounting kit using the included crossbar. The crossbar is tightened to the board with a Phillips screwdriver and when installed it supplies 55 to 60lbs of pressure.

After the heatsink is in place, all that is left to do is place the fans onto the sides of the fin array of the HAVIK and secure them using the rubber fasteners. Remember to set the fans up in a push/pull configuration for optimal cooling performance.

Installation of the NZXT HAVIK 140 was easy, but with this mounting kit it would be hard to install the heatsink through a CPU access area on a motherboard tray. Likewise, the fans should be installed with the motherboard outside of the chassis because their size would make it hard to install them while in a case.

To gauge the cooling performance of the NZXT Havik 140, we will be using an Intel i7 920 at both stock and overclocked frequencies. For the idle temperatures all programs will be shut down, except the OS and the results will be recorded after 20 minutes, and for load temps we will be using Prime95 to stress each CPU core to their maximum threshold. The program will run for 15 minutes before temperatures are gathered with RealTemp. To ensure proper performance between all models, the test room will maintain a consistent temperature throughout the testing process. For the overclocked portion of the testing the processor will be set at 1.35V and clocked to 3.6GHz.

Testing Setup

The HAVIK 140 being the first CPU heatsink from NZXT, we weren't surprised by the results we got. At the stock speeds, the HAVIK 140 was actually the most efficient processor of the lot, as it was able to maintain a load temperature of only 56°C. Once overclocked though it did lose some ground to the likes of the Corsair H60 and Thermalright Ultra-120, but it still performed better than the majority of heatsinks in our testbed.

For NZXT's first attempt, the HAVIK 140 is actually a solid performer that was able to compete with top rated thermal solutions such as the Thermalright Ultra-120 and Corsair H60. Even more impressive was the fact that the HAVIK 140 was the most efficient heatsink in our charts at the stock voltage level. So, in terms of efficiency NZXT has succeeded in creating an excellent thermal solution. However, once we increased the CPU voltage to 1.35V, the HAVIK 140 lost more ground than the H60 and Ultra-120, which resulted in the HAVIK having a third place finish amongst our other tested coolers.

The thermal performance of the HAVIK can be credited to the design, which utilizes technologies such as six 6mm heatpipes, a nickel plated copper base, optimal heatpipe positioning and dual 140mm fans. These are all technologies that are utilized by the best cooling solutions on the market, (excluding the heatpipe positioning) so NZXT didn’t miss any steps on their first outing.

Along with the excellent thermal performance, the NZXT HAVIK 140 is also a very high quality product that includes thick aluminum fins and two high performance 140mm fans. The thickness of the fin array is very important in our opinion, because it not only improves the overall cooling efficiency, but also prevents the fins from bending while mounting the heatsink or attaching the fans. Likewise the included fans add a lot to the design of a heatsink and the ones included with the HAVIK work quite well at efficiently dissipating the heat built up in the array. Also, the unique fin design allows them gives them a high airflow rating which maintaining a relatively low noise level.

Our only real complete against the HAVIK 140 is that the fan don’t include a 4-pin PWM connector, so they are forced to spin at the highest RPM setting at all times. This is of course the best option for cooling efficiency, but at full RPM the fan noise will be noticeable. Overall the fans are fairly quiet, but when using a computer for the most basic daily tasks, such as surfing the net, there is no reason to have the fans spinning at their maximum level.

Even without a PWM option, the NZXT HAVIK 140 is a good thermal solution that can compete with some of the best coolers on the market. For this reason we believe the $74.99 MSRP is right on with the performance.

»Neoseeker.com

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