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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.