Xigmatek Achilles Plus SD1484 Heatsink
Featured Reviews: Cooling

One of the benefits of testing computer hardware is that you occasionally get to look at a new product before it's introduced to the market. In my time at Benchmark Reviews, I've been fortunate enough to be able to review computer cases and CPUs before they were generally available (or in some cases, before they were even announced). Recently Benchmark Reviews was given the opportunity to evaluate a prototype of Xigmatek's forthcoming Achilles Plus SD1484 CPU cooler, and I tested it to compare performance against a variety of air and water coolers.

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Antec Kühler H2O 620 Liquid Cooling System
Featured Reviews: Cooling

Since Corsair popularized their version of Asetec's "LCLC" (low cost liquid cooling) system back in 2009, it seems that every time you look, another variation on the theme appears. All-in-one CPU water coolers have become popular and even mainstream, and for good reason: they're much cheaper than traditional liquid cooling systems, and offer a combination of good performance and generally low noise that makes them attractive alternatives to higher-end air coolers. The first generation of these coolers were virtually clones, with manufacturers doing little other than labeling Asetek's design, but we're starting to see some innovation in the area, and Antec's Kühler H20 620 steps into the market with its own unique take on the concept.

antec kuhler h2o 620 cpu cooler

 
Corsair Hydro H70 Liquid CPU Cooler
Featured Reviews: Cooling

Although there were previous entries in the field, Corsair's Hydro Series H50 all-in-one sealed liquid cooling system was one of the first that actually worked, in the sense of being easy to install, reliable, and most importantly offering performance competitive with good air coolers while being quieter than most of them. The H50 became very popular and spurred competition from other vendors. The Corsair Hydro Series H70 improves upon the H50 design with a new pump and a much thicker radiator equipped with dual fans. It should offer significantly better performance than the H50, and Benchmark Reviews puts it to the test against a collection of air and water coolers to see how it compares.

Corsair Hydro Series H70 CPU Cooler

 
Best CPU Cooler Performance: Intel Q3-2010
Featured Reviews: Cooling

Motherboard sockets come and go, but processors can always be depended on to create heat. For a short while longer, Intel's LGA1366 socket on the X58-Express remains the platform of choice for hardware enthusiasts and performance overclockers. Heatsink manufacturers haven't made much noise recently, holding back CPU cooler announcements until after Intel's Sandy Bridge LGA1155 socket is launched. In this article, Benchmark Reviews tests a few newcomer heatsinks against a collection of solid past performers in this Best CPU Cooler Performance: Intel Heatsinks Q3-2010 article.

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Zalman CNPS9900 MAX 135mm CPU Cooler
Featured Reviews: Cooling

Many years ago, I'd have recommended a Zalman CPU cooler above almost anything at the market. Those were the days, where best CPU coolers were totally different compared to nowadays. Since Full-Tower coolers started to appear, it seems like all companies followed the trend, obviously with a strong backup thanks to the performance obtained with this kind of coolers. While many brands now only produce full-tower coolers, there are some brands like Zalman, that still try to make their personal stuff, as we've seen with the CNPS9900 series. Even if Zalman has already launched some full-tower coolers, they're still ready to offer "different" solutions to the consumers, and the CNPS9900 MAX is about to show it. This CPU cooler comes with 3 (omega shaped) heat-pipes, which Zalman claims to be equivalent to a 6-heatpipe cooler. The CNPS9900 MAX also bundles a silent 135mm blue/red LED fan and a very nice and unique design. Said enough, can the CNPS9900 MAX be cool enough to compete against superb coolers like the severally awarded Prolimatech Megahalems? Of course, Benchmark Reviews is ready to put this cooler against the competition to check cooling performance against some very popular tower coolers...

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Zalman VF3000A VGA Cooler
Featured Reviews: Cooling

Zalman is one of the oldest names in PC cooling products, and they've had some star performers over the years. They have always had a line of graphics card cooling products that compliment their CPU coolers. The GPU cooler market is more stable, and much less diverse that the CPU marketplace, for a number of reasons. Zalman has been a strong and steady presence as the power density of graphics processors has been steadily rising. There is a lot of competition on the OEM front for GPU coolers, as manufacturers try to differentiate their products in the video card marketplace. It's one of the key design elements that we look for at Benchmark Reviews. Into this power struggle, Zalman has just launched a whole new product line of aftermarket VGA coolers that will work with a wide variety of video cards. Today, we're going to look at the VF3000A model, which is specifically designed to mate with the ATI Radeon HD 58xx series of graphics cards.

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Xigmatek Aegir SD128264 CPU Cooler Heatsink
Featured Reviews: Cooling

Not everyone wants to spend a small fortune buying the fastest processor sold, simply for the promise of factory-made speed. Overclockers are quite the opposite; they're known for taking a more affordable model and making make it into a CPU comparable to the top products. Overclocking can mean exerting additional performance from computer hardware, or it can be a hobby for anyone who likes to tweak settings the same way that some people wrench on cars. But like any race car, the high-performance computer requires the right components to keep it operating at peak condition. Heat is the problem, and overclocked processors generate plenty of it. CPU cooler heatsinks are the answer, and the Xigmatek Aegir SD128264 is the latest product to promise outstanding thermal efficiency and ease of installation. Benchmark Reviews tests the double-layer HDT design of the Xigmatek Aegir SD128264 against the best heatsinks in the industry, using both silent and high-output fan combinations.

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SilverStone SST-AP181 Air Penetrator Fan
Featured Reviews: Cooling

Along with the innovation in computer case design comes an increasing number of new fan designs. Manufacturers try to tune noise and performance with tweaks to rotational speed, blade design, and even grill and fan chassis alterations, giving the enthusiast a broad selection of fans with differing acoustic and airflow levels. SilverStone Technology has introduced a new version of the giant 180mm fans used in their "vertical motherboard" chassis series (the Raven RV01, Raven RV02, and Fortress FT02): the SilverStone SST-AP181 Air Penetrator fan. Benchmark Reviews compares the performance of this new fan to the stock fans in a Fortress FT02 case to see if the extra performance justifies their price.

SilverStone AP181 Air Penetrator Fan

 
Best CPU Cooler Performance Q2-2010
Featured Reviews: Cooling

Why do we overclock? It's really a very simple question, but one that has found new meaning over the years. It used to be that computer hardware enthusiasts had very few options when it came to choosing a processor, and building your own custom system was simply not possible. This was back in the day when computers featured a 'Turbo' button, overclocking from 33 to 66MHz was a click away. Back then, overclocking the CPU could push clock speeds past any production level. Today the market is different, and overclocking the processor could result in very little additional performance. With so many dual-, quad-, and hexa-core processors now sold on the open market, overclocking has transformed itself from a tool to help people work faster, into a hobby for enthusiasts. Enthusiast overclockers demand only the best performance from their computer hardware, which is why the aftermarket heatsink industry is thriving with fierce competition. Benchmark Reviews tests the latest Intel LGA1366 heatsinks in this Best CPU Cooler Performance Q2-2010 article.

Best CPU Cooler Performance Intel LGA1366 Q2-2010

 
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