NZXT Havik 120 Reviewairman -
Category: CPU Cooling
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Several months ago, I had the opportunity to take a look at the introductory line of NZXT's new branch of computer products — CPU cooling. The NZXT Havik 140 performed quite well for a company's first step onto a new branch of products, and nipped closely at the heels of the other top competitors. Being a 140mm cooler, the biggest concern was whether or not it could fit in smaller cases. In a lot of situations it was either too tall and prevented the side panel from going into place or too wide where it may have caused clearance issues with a top exhaust fan. NZXT seems to have recognized this issue, which may be why we're seeing a newer, slightly smaller version of the original Havik 140.
From what I can tell, all of the same characteristics from the Havik 140 appear in the new Havik 120 with some general changes. Some features are different, such as the four 8mm heatpipes on the Havik 120 versus six 6mm heatpipes on the Havik 140. The heatpipes are also laid out a little differently, the shape and fin pattern are a little bit different, and the included fans are a newer design as well. Even though this cooler is slightly smaller than the original Havik, the best that I can hope for is that NZXT has improved upon its design and there won't be [much of] a performance hit for those who cannot use the 140mm version or simply choose otherwise. Even though NZXT did an excellent job on its first heatsink, I'm looking forward to seeing what all has changed in the newer, more compact version. In this review I will provide a complete evaluation of NZXT's Havik 120, starting with its unboxing as well as an in-depth, close-up look at the cooler followed by an intense testing session where its cooling ability will be compared to other high-end coolers on the market. That being said, let's get started!
The package of the NZXT Havik 120 is fundamentally the same as the box in which the Havik 140 is packaged — although not surprisingly, it's slightly smaller. The front of the box features the "NZXT." logo and Havik 120 at the top. Beneath this text is a 3/4 picture of the cooler with both fans installed. To the right of this picture are four icons that say "Easy Installation", "4x8mm heatpipes", "22dBA quiet fans" and "Dual FZ-120" fans. The left side of the box has three figures that show critical dimensions from different views such as width both with and without fans, length, height, and motherboard clearance. Above these figures are a list the cooler's compatibility of sockets and CPUs that covers all recent AMD and Intel sockets including Intel's Socket 2011.
The right side of the box has an inspirational paragraph that offers a description of the cooler itself and compares it to the earlier Havik 140 from NZXT. In short, it states that the Havik 120 is a smaller and more versatile version of the Havik 140 and displays a side view of the cooler showing its profile. The rear of the box offers up-close information of the cooler and its features along with a detailed specifications table that contains information such as weight, materials, fan size, speed, flow, and noise levels. Right away, I see that the Havik 120 shares the similar fan mounting which uses rubber straps to quietly secure the fan. These straps are a different concept, but I still think I prefer a well-executed wire clip method — especially for in-case installs where hand clearance is limited.
After unpacking all of the accessories, I have tallied up and verified its "inventory". Included in the box is the cooler itself, two 120mm NZXT FZ-120 fans, both a straight-through and a resisting Y-adapter (for running the fans at a lower speed), thermal paste, five (5) rubber fan straps (a spare in case one breaks) and the universal AMD/Intel mounting. The mounting is a standard 2-point sprung mechanism and appears to be of good quality and design. This type of mounting is probably the most common in upper-end coolers due to its effectiveness. Once assembled, the cooler looks good and is ready to rock. The square fans on the Havik 120 are obviously different from the round fans from the Havik 140, but are still finished with the original black and white scheme.
With everything unpacked, I am so far satisfied with the cooler, its appearance, and its construction/feel. On the next page I will provide an up-close look at the cooler and offer my thoughts and opinions of its individual features.