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Review: Intel Ivy Bridge CPU 7-way cooler group test

by Parm Mann on 27 July 2012, 09:44 4.0

Tags: Arctic, be-quiet, Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), Noctua, NZXT, Sapphire, SilverstoneTek, Thermaltake (3540.TWO)

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NZXT Havik 120

NZXT Havik 120 specification
Materials Aluminium / Copper Nickel-Plated
Dimensions 125 (W) x 160 (H) x 112 (D) mm
125 (W) x 160 (H) x 58 (D) mm (heatsink)
Weight 680g (excluding fans and mounting kit)
980g (with dual 120mm fans)
Mounting Pressure
55-60 lbs
Fan Size Dual 120 (W) x 140 (H) x 25 (D) mm
Fan Bearing Long Life (Oil-Leaking Prevention)
Fan Speed 1200 +/- 10% RPM (low); 1500 +/- 10% RPM (high)
Noise Level 18-22 dBA
Airflow 61.5-75.8 CFM
Connector 3-Pin
Y-Split Cable White connector for low speed; black connector for high speed
Input Power 3.6 W
Life 30,000 Hours
Compatibility Intel Socket: 2011, 1366, 1155, 1156, 775 CPUs
AMD Socket: AM3, AM2+, AM2 CPUs
Product Page


NZXT's Havik 120 looks promising. For around £40, it touts a good-sized heatsink, four heatpipes and two three-pin 120mm fans. The bundle includes everything you need to get started on the latest Intel and AMD sockets, and NZXT has thrown in a few extras, too. These include a choice of voltage stepdown adapters for controlling fan speed (use the black cable for 1,500 RPM or the white cable for 1,200 RPM) and five rubber bands for mounting the fans (four are required, so there's one spare).


Once again, this is another neatly-presented heatsink that feels well made and sturdy. The aluminium fins have an extra bit of dazzle through an angular section on each side - which, presumably, is more for appearance's sake than performance - and the four nickel-plated, 8mm-thick copper heatpipes feed nicely into the machined base.

Thermal paste isn't pre-applied, but a small application tube is included as part of the bundle and installation is easy and familiar, as NZXT uses a mounting kit that's also used by a couple of other manufacturers. Like most coolers, it involves attaching a backplate to the motherboard that accepts a pair of mounting brackets for the heatsink to be screwed into. This particular mechanism makes use of a clamping bridge that passes over the base of the heatsink with screws either side, and if your chassis isn't laying flat, installation can be a bit tricky.

The Havik 120 doesn't quite have the quality feel of the Noctua, but it looks decent and the rubber fan clips work well - the end of each band slots into two corners of each fan with a good tug and then passes around the groove on the heatsink for a secure and vibration-absorbing fit. The total package weighs just under 1kg, but using both fans does cover one of our DDR3 memory slots; we'd be forced to remove the heatspreader on GSkill's memory if we wanted all four slots occupied.

The black-and-white aesthetics could be a good match for a monochrome chassis, but the Havik 120 won't necessarily turn heads. Then again, if performance is up to scratch, perhaps it won't need to.