Skip to main content

10 Mammoth CPU Coolers: Size Does Matter

NorthQ NQ 3312

Overall Impression

Eye-pleasing Design: NorthQ's copper cooler NQ 3312

From a design standpoint, the NorthQ NQ 3312 has a lot of similarities to Zalman's CNPS7700-Cu: the dimensions are almost identical, and there are a number of other areas that are reminiscent of the Zalman. Still, there are some differences too: NorthQ doesn't engrave the company name into the cooling fins, but instead corrugates them to increase their surface area.

Corrugated fins are intended to increase the surface area and thus improve the heat dissipation

The list of supported sockets leaves nothing to be desired:

  • Socket 478 for Pentium 4
  • Socket LGA775 for Pentium 4
  • Socket 462 (Socket A) for Athlon XP and Sempron
  • Socket 754/939/940 for Athlon 64 and Athlon 64 FX

It's quite a relief that no holes have to be drilled in the motherboard to install the cooler in Socket A, which is rather unique for "multi-socket coolers".

The cooler gets power through a conventional 3-pin connector, so control via PWM isn't feasible. Instead the cooler features a fan control system, designed as an adapter. The fan speed can be adjusted by means of a small potentiometer knob.

Fiddle at will: the knob can be freely adjusted.

However, the control unit wasn't made to be moved around a lot: the connecting leads are very short, so each time the unit is moved the case has to be opened. In addition, the control knob is so small that precise adjustment isn't really possible. The fan control unit is quite adequate for lowering the fan speed once, but not for much more than that.

The layout of the fan insures that the voltage regulator and other components are cooled as well.