Thermaltake NiC C4 Reviewhornybluecow - May 22, 2014
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Thermaltake NiC C4 Closer Look:
Once removed from the box you can see thermaltakes clam-shell design that holds the fans on the heatsink via two plastic clips on each side. Each fan operates in sync as the wires lead to the same connector. The Fans themselves are controlled via a fan controller with a knob for two speeds; High or Low. Low speed run the fans at 1100 RPM @ 22 dBA, while high bring that up to double at 2200 RPM @ 39 dBA. If you choose to not use the fan controllers, both fan run at full speed, which is nice and loud. Standing at 160mm after installation, the cooler falls under the larger ones, but manages to fit inside some tight space and budget cases because of its compact size. Thermaltake could shorten the height a bit by removing the tips of the heat pipes and plastic, but I wonder how that will work out.
The cooler itself is made from aluminum and is comprised of 53 fins with four heat-pipes passing all the way through from the base-plate and out the top fins. The cooler also has a "V" sharp on both sides allowing the center to be thinner than the sides. Thermaltake does not list the reason for this, but most likely has to with air dynamics.
To remove the clam-shell, simply use your fingers to lift the plastic clips on each side holding it to the cooler itself. After completing this for both sides, eight in total, you are ready to install the cooler. As explained above, the fans are controlled via a fan controller, which has a knob for two speeds, 1100 RPM or 2200 RPM. If you choose not to use the fan controller, the fan will run at full speed, no matter what you do.
Installation requires looking over the manual as to figure out the correct orientation for the support. Installing to the Intel 115X socket requires holding the included back-plate then put a screw in and thread the black piece of plastic to hold the screw in place. After completing that, the user must place a support bar across two screws and secure it with their own screws. Once everything is tightened, you are ready for the cooler installation. This is when it becomes a bit of work. After placing the cooler down on the CPU, a bar is placed over the base were both sides will be secured to the support. The cooler requires one side to be threaded and then the other side needs to be pressed down with high amount of pressure as it is threaded in. The amount of pressure takes a few attempts for anyone trying to be cautious. I had to stop and double check the manual to make sure that was the proper way to install it.
After a few days use, I removed the cooler and from the image below you can see how much pressure the bar really provides. You can clearly see where the CPU die is in the middle. I don't know what to think about this as it's effective at making sure the cooler has solid contact, but I would think that it's putting some stress on the CPU IHS.
Installation of the cooler has its up and downs. The hardest thing is getting the clam-shell back on, which can take a while if it's your first time. I suggest installing the cooler before placing the motherboard in the chassis, but it can be done afterwards. Keeping tabs on the fan controller piece was a challenge itself, as it is long and tended to get in between the motherboard and tray. I would rather seen it shortened or removed completely.