Titan Fenrir Siberia Edition Reviewairman - March 26, 2012
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I can tell that the mounting hardware for this cooler is very similar if not the same as earlier Titan coolers, which I am a little wary about. Since the mounting posts are "un-sprung", it can take extra adjustment and tuning to get the cooler's surface tightened evenly onto the CPU die. Hopefully with properly machined components, this won't be an issue. I will find out for sure soon enough when I go to install it! Anyways, onto the cooler itself. Its packaging doesn't exaggerate its actual size; it certainly isn't compact. Overall, the scheme and look of the Titan Fenrir Siberia Edition is simple. There are no unnecessary, flashy plastics, colors, or design anywhere on the cooler and is as simplified (cost-effective) as it can be! This is the characteristic of Titan and its coolers. The most obvious characteristic of the cooler is the two, perpendicularly-oriented fin groups. The vertical fin group is roughly the same dimension as the horizontal group.
The contrast between the two colors, copper and aluminum, is rather even — usually exposed heatpipes are much less prominent which gives a unique characteristic to the Titan Fenrir Siberia Edition. The bottom half of the base is copper while the top plate is aluminum. The heatpipes for the horizontal fin group leave the base at a 90° upward angle, continue for about 30mm, turn back outwards, and then arrive at a 180° angle into the horizontal fin group. The other side of these five 8mm heatpipes exit the opposite side of the base at a more gradual angle of no more than 90° in total and reside in the vertical fin group. The [narrow] sides of each fin group are folded inwards which assists in channeling the air through these narrow gaps. From a top-down perspective, the footprint of the cooler is larger than what is typically seen in even high-end coolers. However, the heatpipe arrangement for the horizontal fin group accommodates a lot of ground clearance — even within a couple of centimeters within its base. Its height, on the other hand, is no more than what is found of other 140mm coolers that are currently on the market.
An up close look at the fin pattern shows its minute details, including small serrated edges through the middle of the array and a channel near each edge that will hold the rubber fan dampening strips. Additionally, the inward curvature of the fan mounting surfaces is said to reduce potential flow stagnation of the air current produced by each fan; reducing this potential increases the effectiveness of the fans. A stamped design is visible on the surface of the exterior fins and imitates similar geometry to that of Titan's logo — which kind of reminds me of the Transformers logo, but maybe that's just me. The bends in the heatpipes are acceptably uniform and I cannot detect any surface defects that may have been caused by their bending.
As I pointed out earlier, the base is constructed from a copper section and an aluminum section. The copper section will be in contact with the CPU die, and the opposite aluminum half sandwiches the heatpipes between itself and the lower half. The heatpipe-base interface, at least as viewed at the edges, does not perfectly contact the interior machined surfaces through which the heatpipes pass. To alleviate the point and line contacts of this interface, Titan has placed some sort of thermal epoxy or other compound similar to that of thermal paste, but it's rather sloppy-looking from what I can see from the outside. Since heat transfer through conduction is solely dependent upon the contact area, performance may be decreased slightly by this interface not being any better. Distances between heatpipes as they exit the base is minimal and shows the optimization of the usable dimensions of the base.
The base itself is of decent quality. Bare copper bases (most bases are still copper, but are plated which turns them silver) are becoming less common, just as flat, high-quality bases are as well. The base on the Titan Fenrir Siberia Edition is nothing to complain about — the surface finish is smooth and doesn't display any noticeable amounts of curvature. Going back to what I mentioned earlier, conductive heat transfer is directly rated to interface surface area and is the reason why having a smooth, flat base is important!
The two fans provided are a single 120mm fan and another 140mm fan. Both are a branded as Titan Kukris and are individually listed to use 0.32A and 0.4A, consume 3.84W and 4.8W, at 24~66CFM and 35~90CFM with noise levels of 15~35dBA and 8~29dBA for the 120mm and 140mm fans, respectively. The Kukri design and blade geometry is known to increase efficiency and reduce noise. Each fan uses a 4-pin PWM connector. In order to connect both fans to motherboards that may only offer a single PWM connector, Titan kindly provides a 4-pin Y-adapter to accommodate both fans on one power source that is still PWM.
The overall installation of the cooler seems simple on paper, but before I got started I thought about the difficulties that may be introduced in tightening the mounting hardware that resides directly in the large shadow of the horizontal fins. As so, it's definitely not easy — especially working inside of the case. Luckily I was able to tighten the one that I could not get to at all with a screw driver by locking it down all the way with a pair of small pliers that I fit back in there. Other than that, installation is simple. Backplate goes on, standoffs hold it in place, X-bracket comes in and clamps the heatsink to the CPU. Aside from the difficulties of getting everything buttoned up on the mounting, the fan clips left a lot to be desired too. The grooves in the fins that hold the clip are far too shallow for the clips to "get a grip", so to speak. I think a sneeze close enough to the case would cause the fans to come crashing down.
Now that the Titan Fenrir Siberia Edition is installed onto the motherboard and is ready to go (it is quite large to say the least), it's time to power up the machine and get a move on with obtaining some performance results! A full description of the testing methodology and results will be provided after the following page: Specifications & Features.