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

Picking The Right Cooler For Haswell

After hearing about 5 GHz overclocks from pre-production fourth-generation Core processors (that's Haswell, for fans of code names), enthusiasts were despondent to hear that retail parts would be far less friendly. Angelini even went so far as to poll folks with hundreds of retail processors for his launch coverage in The Core i7-4770K Review: Haswell Is Faster; Desktop Enthusiasts Yawn. The consensus was that stability at 4.5 and 4.6 GHz on air was extremely rare, that most enthusiasts should expect to top out at 4.3 GHz or less using 1.2 V, and that heat is the most likely culprit.

Before we get into the details, let's have a quick look at the nine air coolers we'll be testing in today's round-up.

LGA 115x CPU Cooler Features
Gamer Storm AssassinNoctua NH-U14SPhanteks PH-TC14PE
Height6.4"6.6"6.5"
Width5.8"5.9"5.8"
Rad. Thickness2x 2.0"2.1"2x 2.1"
Total Thickness6.0"3.1"6.3"
Base Height1.7"1.8"1.6"
Assy. Offset1.0" Forward1.0" Forward1.0" Forward
Cooling Fans1 x 140 x 25 mm 1 x 120 x 25 mm1 x 140 x 25 mm2 x 140 x 25 mm
Connectors1 x PWM 1 x Three-PinPWM2 x Three-Pin
Weight37 Ounces36 Ounces47 Ounces
Intel LGAs115x, 2011, 1366, 775115x, 2011115x, 2011, 1366, 775
AMD SocketsFour-bolt RectangularFour-bolt RectangularFour-bolt Rectangular
AMD OrientationVerticalVerticalVertical
Web Price$80$75$85

DeepCool’s Assassin and Phantek’s TC14PE return from our LGA 2011 round-up, ready to prove themselves against the more thermally-constrained Haswell package. The Assassin carries the Gamer Storm logo.

LGA-115x CPU Cooler Features
Prolimatech PRO-GNSS-BKScythe Ashura SCASR-1000SilverStone Argon AR01
Height6.5"6.4"6.3"
Width8.5"5.7"4.8"
Rad. Thickness2 x 1.3"2.6"2.0"
Total Thickness8.5"3.5"3.0"
Base Height1.9"1.6"1.5"
Assy. Offset1.6" ForwardNone1.0" Forward
Cooling FansNot Included (2 x 140/120 mm)1 x 140 x 25 mm1 x 120 x 25 mm
ConnectorsFan-DependentPWMPWM
Weight32 Ounces37 Ounces26 Ounces
Intel Sockets115x, 2011, 1366, 775115x, 2011, 1366, 775115x, 2011, 1366, 775
AMD SocketsFour-bolt RectangularFour-bolt RectangularFour-bolt Rectangular
AMD OrientationBothBothVertical
Web Price$80$50$35

Prolimatech sent a pair of fans and alternative clips with its $80 PRO-GNSS-BK, pushing the as-tested configuration to $125.

LGA-115x CPU Cooler Features
Thermalright Archon SB-E X2Xigmatek Night Hawk FrostbourneZalman CNPS10X Optima
Height6.8"6.3"6.1"
Width6.1"4.8"5.1"
Rad. Thickness2.1"2.0"2.5"
Total Thickness4.1"3.0"3.4"
Base Height1.6"1.4"1.4"
Assy. OffsetNone1.0" Forward0.9" Forward
Cooling Fans2 x 140 x 26 mm1 x 120 x25 mm1 x 120 x 25 mm
Connectors2 x PWMPWMPWM
Weight47 Ounces22 Ounces24 Ounces
Intel Sockets115x, 2011, 1366, 775115x, 2011, 1366, 775115x, 2011, 1366, 775
AMD SocketsFour-bolt RectangularFour-bolt RectangularFour-bolt Rectangular
AMD OrientationVerticalVerticalVertical
Web Price$80$50$30

Thermalright adds a second fan to its Archon SB-E, which now supports smaller LGA and even AMD’s sockets. Zalman updates its previously-reviewed CNPS10X in this Optima-version.

  • 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