Designed For Quiet
The EFZ-120HA5 includes enough rubber mounting studs for dual-fan push-pull configurations, but comes with only a single low-speed 120 mm blower. Three heat pipes are arranged in a V-shape to direct more of the air down the heat sink’s center, and SilenX even folds the fins to keep air from blowing out the sides.
Sporting half as many heat pipes as many of this round-up’s competitors, the EFZ-120HA5 hopes to instead win a value award. A low price will certainly help, so long as this part can keep up with our platform.
Thermalright Archon SB-E
The Archon SB-E combines most Archon Rev.A components with Thermalright’s LGA 2011 retention kit. Smaller Intel processor interfaces are also supported, along with AMD Sockets 939 through AM3+. Thermalright’s installation kit even supports the proper cross-flow orientation on most AMD motherboards.
An enormous 150 mm fan with rectangular hole spacing fits only in the orientation shown in the image, and a second fan of the same design can be added to the back if you want a push-pull configuration.
Thick And Thin
The Archon’s extraordinary 6.1” width makes its normal 2.1” thickness appear dainty. A concave face guides air towards the cooler’s center, while a symmetrical design allows it to be flipped over independent of flow direction.
Semi-Polished And Fully Plated
Thermalright has its own way of doing things, which often pays off when it comes to winning performance tests. All six oversized heat pipes are soldered to a copper base, whereas most of its competitors simply rely on a press fit for heat transfer. And while most competitors have a polished, machined, or sanded CPU interface, Thermalright’s machined finish is polished only halfway before the pipe and base assembly are electroplated.
Xigmatek Venus XP-SD1266
Supporting all recent Intel and AMD processor interfaces, Xigmatek’s Venus pairs a slightly-oversized heat sink and single 120 mm fan for high-performance cooling at a mid-pack price. AMD owners will even find that the cooler fits the right way on most boards, while LGA 2011 installations ditch the included socket support plate in favor of special screws.
A Shining Beacon
While Gelid only lights up the blades on its cooling fan, Xigmatek uses a translucent fan frame with LEDs on the outside to truly brighten up a case. Your tolerance for lighting may vary.
An X-shaped hole through all the fins is an interesting visual cue that case modders might want to highlight by adding their own lighting at the cooler’s base.
Xigmatek’s Venus is probably the smallest cooler we’ve seen employ six heat pipes for faster heat transfer. This combination of size and capacity could make it a good solution for mid-sized systems or those with crowded CPU areas.
The Venus base is also polished, though a reflection of the cooler’s box shows that there were a few minor flaws in the finish prior to electroplating.
While several of its competitors focus on twin-tower designs that could optionally support up to three fans, Zalman’s CNPS12X includes them. This potential performance boon comes with a customization bust, since all three softly-lit fans are wired together.
Intel’s desktop processor interfaces are all supported, along with AMD’s own sockets. LGA 2011 users ditch the included support plate in favor of Intel’s integrated support plate and custom screws bundled with this cooler. Zalman’s bracket design limits most AMD motherboards to updraft configuration, making this primarily an Intel-oriented product.
Back In Black
The return of Zalman’s upright orbital heat sink design is celebrated in an electroplated finish that appears to be black nickel. The finish reflects light colors with a slightly smoky tint and, blends nicely with each fan’s soft blue lighting.