Thermalright XP-90C CPU Cooler
Earlier this year we compared some smaller CPU coolers, following on from our earlier larger coolers roundup. Thermalright's XP-90 fared very well among the smaller coolers, as did its larger brother the XP-120 in its own class. The XP-120 would be on everyone's shortlist for a high-end aircooler, assuming they could justify the cost, apart from one niggling fault: it's huge. We ended up choosing Cooler Master's Hyper 6 over the XP-120, largely because the XP-120's awkward layout makes it incompatible with many motherboard and cases. Thermalright were obviously aware of the issues because the XP-90, named for the 92mm fan it can be fitted with, was a pretty clear effort to scale down the XP-120 (which takes a 120mm fan) and make it more compatible. The problem of course, is that the XP-120, with its larger fin area and extra heatpipe, is better at cooling than the XP-90, if it fits your system. However the XP-90's base and heatpipes fit entirely within the mounting bracket on a S478 motherboard, which means it'll fit virtually every motherboard out there, including LGA775 and AMD64 boards.