Overclocking On Air: 10 LGA 1156-Compatible Performance Coolers

Features Comparison

While most of today’s cooler competitors already include the necessary LGA 1156 mounting hardware, two require additional components. Sunbeamtech’s accessory mounting brackets cost around $10, while Xigamtek’s $8 universal LGA adapter is expected to eventually replace the dual-compatibility part included in current samples.

LGA 1156 CPU Cooler Features

Top
Height
Base
Height
DIMM
Intrusion
Number
of Fans
Fan
Size
PWM
Control
LGA 1156LGA 1366LGA 775AM3 / AM2
Arctic Cooling
Freezer 7 Pro R2
131mm28mm12mmOne92mmYes
Cooler Master
Hyper 212 Plus
160mm38mm6mmOne120mmYes
Noctua
NH-D14
160mm46mm42mm*Two120mm,
140mm
No
Scythe
Mugen-2 Rev. B
156mm41mm28mmOne120mmYes
Sunbeamtech
Core-Contact Freezer
156mm38mm10mmOne120mmNoxx
Thermalright
MUX-120
161mm47mm2mmOne120mmNoxxx
Thermaltake
Frio
162mm28mm11mmTwo120mmNo
Tuniq Tower
120 Extreme
156mm47mm9mmOne120mmNo
Xigmatek
Thor's Hammer
160mm44mm24mmTwo120mmNox
Zalman
CNPS10X Quiet
160mm37mm8mmOne120mmNo


Top height in the chart above refers to the amount of mounting space needed to install the cooler in a case. Base height refers to component clearance space under the bottom fins, a number required to determine whether large coolers will fit over various motherboard sinks. DIMM intrusion refers to how far the sink extends beyond the front edge of the 3.75”-wide silk-screened outline that surrounds most LGA 1156 sockets.

Notice that all of today’s coolers extend beyond the outline that surrounds the socket. Base height can also be used to determine maximum memory height for DIMMs that fall under the cooler’s front fan.

Noctua’s NH-D14 gets an asterisk following its DIMM intrusion number because this particular cooler has a center fan that can be used with or without the front fan. Removing the front fan lessens DIMM encroachment by 25mm, though it also reduces the performance of the heat sink.

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    Top Comments
  • arkadi
    I just love to read toms old school articles like this one :)
    19
  • Other Comments
  • kumaiti
    Not a single top down cooler?? That is disappointing, though I can already see the excuse: "they don't have as much performance as the tower coolers".
    -15
  • mrgrey
    Argh - unbelievable! I literally just purchased my build on newegg, and they just posted this article. I bought the Arctic Cooling 7 over the Hyper 212+, not having seen the article yet.

    Hey Tom's - what temps are you getting at 3.2 GHz with the Arctic Cooling 7? Did you use arctic silver 5?
    3
  • barmaley
    Test settings page reads: CPU Intel Core i7-860, but CPU-Z screen shot under it reads Intel Core i7-870. Which one is it that you tested Tom?
    3
  • Anonymous
    Is there an article testing thermal compounds?
    2
  • nzprogamer
    mrgreyArgh - unbelievable! I literally just purchased my build on newegg, and they just posted this article. I bought the Arctic Cooling 7 over the Hyper 212+, not having seen the article yet. Hey Tom's - what temps are you getting at 3.2 GHz with the Arctic Cooling 7? Did you use arctic silver 5?


    no worries there you will be fine
    0
  • nzprogamer
    i had the 212 and sunbermtech both were running really good and cool. but i would buy the sunbeamtech with the easy exchange fan kit.
    0
  • arkadi
    I just love to read toms old school articles like this one :)
    19
  • falchard
    What no Coolermaster V10 or Thermaltake SpinQ Vertical?
    -5
  • Crashman
    kumaitiNot a single top down cooler?? That is disappointing, though I can already see the excuse: "they don't have as much performance as the tower coolers".
    falchardWhat no Coolermaster V10 or Thermaltake SpinQ Vertical?
    You would have to ask the manufacturers, since they picked the coolers.
    8
  • micky_lund
    prolimatech megahalems
    -3
  • Anonymous
    If NH-D14 is in this, where's Prolimatech's Megahalems and Thermalright's Venomous X?
    -4
  • mayor_mccheese
    just bought a freezer pro too :(
    2
  • Crashman
    BobalinaIf NH-D14 is in this, where's Prolimatech's Megahalems and Thermalright's Venomous X?

    Thermalright sent the MUX-120.
    3
  • Spanky Deluxe
    Why no Megahalems? They're widely considered the best air coolers out there right now.
    1
  • pbrigido
    Even though the Zalman CNPS10X didn't win any of the tests, I still prefer its design because of the all copper contact between the CPU and the heatsink. Nice to see some of these tests again...can you also do one to compare the effectiveness of different thermal compounds?
    1
  • Crashman
    Spanky DeluxeWhy no Megahalems? They're widely considered the best air coolers out there right now.


    Some companies didn't respond to the invitation. Sorry, I didn't keep a list.
    4
  • fred2421
    Quick question..these temps you are showing they are all with an ambient temperature of 11C? So when you say 82C over ambient the temps are actually 82+11=93C?
    5
  • ubernoobie
    the best cpu cooler is now the thermalright vemonous I believe
    -1
  • JohnnyLucky
    Interesting article. I knew results would vary from other reviews. That's normal.

    I was surprised the new Thermalright Venoumous X was not included. It's an updated version of the Ultra 120 Extreme specifically designed for the new Intel Core i5/i7 cpu's.

    Didn't THG mention in an older article that those extra tall heatspreaders that sort of look like a comb did not provide any additional cooling over stock heatspreaders?
    0
  • Silmarunya
    It's clear the AC Freezer 7 is a poor choice for higher end overclocking, but how does it fare as a medium end OC cooler? Could it bring, say, an i5-750 to 3.5GHz without giving in?
    0