Heatsink Roundup Q4 2005 Holiday Edition

Cooling/CPU Cooling by jmke @ 2005-12-24

We are proud to present you with our last heatsink roundup of 2005. Featuring the latest offerings from Arctic, Scythe, Silverstone, Sharkoon and newcomer Noctua. We compare them to the best out there in 3 different test setups.

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NH-U 12: Install/Test

Installation :

The NH-U 12 uses a custom mounting bracket, so you need to remove the stock AMD one, and thus remove your motherboard from the case. The Athlon 64 mounting brackets installed

Madshrimps (c)

It turns out that orientation of the NH-U 12 is not ideal when combined with this DFI motherboard, blowing hot air upwards. Unfortunately there is no way to rotate the heatsink towards the rear.

Madshrimps (c)

Fan mounting is through the use of 2 clips, installation is easy when you still have the motherboard outside the case. Once inside the case swapping fans can be a challenge, as this large heatsink will occupy the space needed to maneuver to get to the clips. Bridged or webbed fans are incompatible with these clips (example).

Noctua provides 4 strips of rubber to reduce fan vibration (2nd set is when you decide to install a 2nd 120mm fan on the heatsink).

Madshrimps (c)

And here is the NH-U 12 ready to go!

Madshrimps (c)

Performance and Noise :

Now the moment of truth, claiming to be the best I decided to compare the NH-U 12 results with those from Scythe’s powerhouse, the Shogun, in the graphs below. Before I start, please remember that the NH-U 12 is not orientated ideally, and you might see better performance when you can blow hot air towards the rear. The Shogun however can be installed either way, and in this test is orientated towards the rear.

Madshrimps (c)

And of to an excellent start, the NH-U 12 takes the 2nd place, only trailing the Shogun by a meager 2°C. The Shogun is slowly blowing hot air towards the rear… over the PWM area; this explains the higher temperatures.

The Coolink 120mm fan offers the exact same performance/ratio as my Papst super-silent 120mm fan!

Let’s remove more heat by adding extra case cooling:

Madshrimps (c)

More case airflow seems to help the NH-U 12, it now has a (very small) lead over the Shogun; I think it’s fair to say both heatsink deliver equal performance.

Madshrimps (c)

Again the same result, that is, there’s only a negligible difference between the two.

The Verdict:

Noctua came through on their claim; I compared their NH-U 12 to the best and it stood its ground. It’s excellent with very slow/quiet 120mm fans and that will interest those looking to silence their system and not lose performance. Recommended as and alternative to Scythe’s Shogun.

Compatible with all current AMD and Intel sockets
Top performance with both silent / powerful fans
Competitively priced
Possibility to install a 2nd fan (extra clips included!)

Motherboard removal required
Can not change heatsink orientation

  • Where to buy?
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