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Nine Big Air Coolers For Intel's Haswell CPUs, Reviewed

Zalman CNPS10X Optima

Like one of its competitors, Zalman adds a channel down the center of its CNPS10X Optima heat sink to direct air, rather than let too much of the fan’s pressure escape from the sides. The cooler also features a universal support plate similar to that competitor’s, except for a few minor improvements.

Rather then use plastic, Zalman’s support plate is steel. It still flips over to accommodate Intel and AMD hole patterns, but uses threaded inserts and soft plastic insert holders to minimize motherboard contact and prevent annoying conflicts. Intel’s socket plate acts as a spacer to complete this low-impact design.

Zalman also puts a slightly different spin on the direct touch design concept by using four thin heat pipes instead of three fatter ones. Its base assembly is sanded completely flat, leaving only tiny sanding scratches to fill with thermal compound.

  • Madn3ss795
    No NH D14?
    Reply
  • 016ive
    Thermalright Archon SB-E X2, That's one big as* cooler!
    Reply
  • jk_ventolero
    The CM H212 Evo has been a crowd favorite for quite some time now. :) I wonder how that might have performed. :D
    Reply
  • blackmagnum
    Water cooling is the best way forward: less noise, energy efficient and low maintenance.
    Reply
  • CaptainTom
    I hate to say it but all this article demonstrated to me is that Haswell is in no way better than Ivy Bridge. Even Ivy Bridge used 25% less energy with a 10% boost when compared to Sandy Bridge, and I can still get IB to 4.8 GHz on air.

    Haswell= 10% more power for 10% more energy and 10% less headroom. Oh and it costs more...

    Man I hope AMD can whip them back into shape with Steam Roller...
    Reply
  • s3anister
    I can't even fathom why one would spend this much time to write an article like this and still leave the NH-D14 out.
    Reply
  • spazoid
    It's funny how some of you guys still think Intel made Haswell with desktops in mind. This is a CPU architecture made for mobile. It's quite sufficient for desktops in every regard. Yes, it might not outperform IB by much, and it might run a bit hotter, but in a laptop, there is nothing that compares to Haswell.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    11158600 said:
    No NH D14?
    Noctua picked the NH-U14S instead of the D14. Please feel free to ask them why.

    Since Noctua chose not to feature the NH-D14 this time, you might want to look at its closest competitor. The article links a comparison of Phanteks TCP14E and NH-D14. Since Phanteks chose to keep its big cooler in the running but Noctua chose otherwise, this was the closest "frame of reference" available.

    11159094 said:
    I can't even fathom why one would spend this much time to write an article like this and still leave the NH-D14 out.
    I can't even fathom why you would repeat the first post without regard to any response. And speaking of a response, please read above.
    Reply
  • Shneiky
    Really disappointed that there was no be quiet! and Cooler Master representatives. I would enjoy seeing how a Dark Rock Pro 2 or a V8 GTS/V6 GT.
    Reply
  • flong777
    The comments are correct concerning the omission of the NH-D14 from this testing. It really doesn't matter a damn what "Noctua picked," that is not the issue. The FACT is the D14 is legendary for its cooling and to leave it out of any major test is just plain stupid. Don't forget that it won your last competition for best cooler.

    To say compare it's performance with the Plantek's performance is lame. Use some common sense when you do these reviews.
    Reply