NZXT Havik 140 Reviewairman - July 14, 2011
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The first thing that I notice about the Havik 140 is the routing of the heatpipes and the paths they take. Instead of locating single-file to the direction of airflow, NZXT has placed them perpendicular to the direction of the airflow. This does two things, one is that the first heatpipe doesn't block the other five, and it also distributes the heat in smaller "bursts" along the width of the cooler, rather than concentrating it all in one spot. The latter allows for more of the fin surface to be utilized. Taking a look at the sides of the Havik 140 will make it obvious that NZXT has fit the maximum number of 6mm heatpipes into the base, which is six. These heatpipes are sandwiched between the base and a plate that is screwed to the base. This means that this cooler does not use a direct contact base, which allows for a very fine machining process to be done here to make have a near-mirror reflection. Not all bases are perfect, so we'll take a look at the Havik 140's shortly.
As you can see, opposing other heatsinks, NZXT chose to keep the exterior of the Havik 140 simple. There are no fancy designs or plastic pieces that have no function other than to look cool. In my opinion, manufacturers who follow that principle are true engineers of their product, rather than marketing a model by screwing colored plastic pieces to it and gluing some lights in it to make it look cool. A lot of recent heatsinks, cases, and other hardware are getting back to these basics and I've enjoyed seeing that transition back to function over form. In my opinion, there are a lot of things that belong in that realm and idea of thinking.
Taking a look at the top of the NZXT Havik 140 will show the heatpipe layout that I was talking about above. Instead of collecting into one spot by having nearly uniform bending coming out of the base, each pair is bent at a different radius (the inside heatpipes are wrapped nearly 180° for placement). Other similarly styled heatsinks such as the Noctua NH-U12P and the Thermalright TRUE place the heatpipe's terminations closer together which can block airflow and create a hotspot in this area. So to me, having them line up this way is beneficial in a few aspects. A closer look at the heatpipe-base interface shows that there are little gaps here between the two surfaces, which means a good interface for conduction. The base, however, could have used some polishing as it's clearly quite far from a mirror sheen. Having the base as flat as possible maximizes the surface area of the interface between the integrated heat spreader (IHS) of the processor and the heatsink base itself. The more surface area in direct contact allows for a faster heat transfer rate, which is obviously desired.
The two fans are constructed from black plastic with a black, rubberized coating. They each have nine, highly-pitched white blades that are wavy in shape and have the NZXT logo on a sticker in the center of the fan itself. According to the label on the rear of the fan, these fans operate at 12VDC and pull 0.30A each, making them 3.6W fans. They are specified to move 90CFM of air at 28dBA, which will be a noticeable whirr. No fan controller is provided. However, if it's too loud, the user can install one on their own, or use a software utility to control it manually. The fans are fastened to the heatsink by a set of rubber straps, unconventional from the typical metal clips. We'll see how these work out!
Installation of the NZXT Havik 140 is simple and self-explanatory. Since it will be tested on an Intel 1366 board, I will be demonstrating the Intel side of putting it together. First, the backplate is placed on the back of the motherboard with the threaded portions through the mounting holes in the motherboard. Each threaded rod gets a spacer, and then the two brackets are secured to the rods by a set of thumb-nuts. From there, the heatsink is placed into position, and a crossbar applies pressure on the top of the base. The first picture below illustrates what the crossbar does and how it is positioned. Here again we see that NZXT chose a well-proven method for mounting the heatsink.
With the heatsink in place, there's not much else to say other than it fits! By "fit" I mean that it has generally good clearance between other motherboard components such as possible interference between heatpipes or fans and RAM or other heatsinks. That being said, let's get a move on! The next page will show manufacturer specifications and features of the NZXT Havik 140, followed by an intense testing session where its performance will be compared to other coolers on the market.