We have tested quite a variety of CPU coolers in the past, each year we see bigger and bolder version, using more copper, thicker heat pipes and bigger fan support. Their performance has increased as size went up, but what happens when you want to use a small and compact case with your high end CPU? About 99% of these flashy cooling designs won’t fit though so your available options are limited.
Today we take a closer look at a compact heatsink from Silverstone, their NT05 is designed to give a very good performance/size ratio and to test this we used an Antec Aria with an Athlon 64 system to see how cool this heatsink can keep the CPU.
The retail packaging is solid and damage from shipping is unlikely to occur, inside the package you’ll find beside the heatsink a small PCI bracket with a rheobus, mounting gear for Intel Socket 775 and AMD S939, a manual and a small tube of thermal paste.
The heatsink design is that of a small tower, with the fan mounted diagonally, blowing the hot air towards the rear of the case instead of down onto the motherboard. The 70mm fan is quite small to make it fit this compact unit; at full speed (4800rpm) it’s quite loud but at low speed (2300rpm) it becomes wisher quiet and with the rheobus you can find the best balance for each system setup.
The finishing is very good, showing a high level of craftsmanship, combing aluminum and copper fins with heat pipes which are joined at the base. The fan is mounted onto a shroud which helps guide air through the fins.