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Nine Big Air Coolers For Intel's Haswell CPUs, Reviewed

Nine Big Air Coolers For Intel's Haswell CPUs, Reviewed
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Intel's Haswell-based CPUs have a unique cooling problem that leaves many overclockers in a quandary. Today, we're rounding up nine different sink and fan combinations to see if any can contend with the fourth-gen Core processor's copious heat.

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
Assassin
Noctua
NH-U14S
Phanteks
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 mm
1 x 140 x 25 mm2 x 140 x 25 mm
Connectors1 x PWM
1 x Three-Pin
PWM2 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 PriceUK Price Not Available
£65
£77

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-BK
Scythe Ashura
SCASR-1000
SilverStone
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 PriceUK price not available
£48£28

LGA-115x CPU Cooler Features
 Thermalright
Archon SB-E X2
Xigmatek
Night Hawk
Frostbourne
Zalman
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£68£42£22

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.

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  • 0 Hide
    hefox , 15 July 2013 08:46
    I don't understand why would you use Silverstone AR01 (which is the cheapest version and entry level cooler) when you have the much better AR03?!
  • 0 Hide
    mi1ez , 15 July 2013 10:28
    Like the looks of the assassin, especially with its MF DOOM box art!
  • 0 Hide
    h9dlb , 17 July 2013 14:31
    why test the inferior NH-U14S ? They should have tested the NH-D14. Everyone knows this is the best cooler on the planet.

    Also why wasn't the BeQuiet Dark Rock Pro 2 tested ?
  • 0 Hide
    mi1ez , 17 July 2013 14:56
    Quote:
    Also why wasn't the BeQuiet Dark Rock Pro 2 tested ?

    Aren't they largely a UK/Europe-centric company?

  • 0 Hide
    virgult , 29 July 2013 13:11
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Also why wasn't the BeQuiet Dark Rock Pro 2 tested ?

    Aren't they largely a UK/Europe-centric company?



    (I know that the articles are mostly written in USA, but) looking at the TLD of this website, I see this as a further reason to include it.