Intel Core i7 / LGA1366 CPU Cooler Roundup

by AkG     |     October 20, 2009

Intel Core i7 / LGA1366 CPU Cooler Roundup

Featuring: CoGage, Kingwin, ProlimaTech, Spire, Tuniq, Zalman & ZeroTherm

After a small hiatus from our CPU cooling reviews, we are back with a vengeance and a brand new testing methodology to boot. In keeping with our new methodologies, we’ve decided to go for broke and do a roundup of no less than seven of the latest CPU coolers.

By now you should all know that the CPU heatsink market is as cut-throat as they come with new technologies or methods being few and far between. There are plenty of people out there who have claimed again and again that air cooling just can’t get any better. However, it seems that as every year passes, we see air coolers taking new strides towards thermal efficiency.

If anything, this roundup will be divided into two separate categories: the high end air coolers that cost more than a budget CPU and the products that don’t cost and arm and a testicle but nonetheless promise performance that is equal to or better than their big brothers.

First up in the heavy weight division and looking to take the crown away from ProlimaTech we have the ZALMAN CNPS10X Extreme cooler. Not to be outdone or be accused of sitting back on their laurels we have ANOTHER Prolimatech cooler with the Mega Shadow Deluxe Edition which looks to be even more impressive than its predecessor. If that isn’t interesting enough for you, the Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme is also looking for the crown. Rounding out the big boys is our dark horse contender: the ZeroTherm Nirvana 120.

With the top of the fight card filled with uncompromising behemoths, we are going to set our sights on the other crown (and the one that many people think is more interesting AND important): the best bang for your buck cooling. In this arena, we feel the Cooler Master 212+ already reigns supreme with its combination of a kick ass stock fan, awesome base finish and its amazing ability to cool hot systems. Challenging this cooler we have the Cogage TRUE Spirit, the Kingwin XT-1264, and the Spire TherMax 2. If you are a fan of mixed fighting styles this head to head should be right up your alley. We not only have a “lite” version of the venerable TRUE 120 (with its solid base design) but two HDT coolers both with their own unique take on what a HDT cooler should look like. As with the big boys we have questions about the noise of the fan each of these companies have selected and their cooling ability, but to us the really important question with these CPU cooling solution is: are they not only worth their asking price?

This is certainly going to be one heck of a ride. While this is a major undertaking, we promise that we will give you a clear and concise picture of these coolers and that this will NOT be the case of “too much of a good thing”. If all this is not enough of a challenge we will also be introducing noise measurements to the fan section so you can get an even more accurate idea of a given product’s true colours long before spending any of your hard earned money. So without further ado lets get things rolling by introducing in a bit more detail the seven coolers that comprise this round-up.


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