Titan TTC-NK95TZ Entertainer Review

airman - 2009-08-27 09:48:43 in CPU Cooling
Category: CPU Cooling
Reviewed by: airman   
Reviewed on: September 21, 2009
Price: $34.99

Introduction:

Heat. It is currently technology's worst enemy, and lately with increasing performance and power draw, there is more of it. Heatsink manufacturers have been constantly improving their designs in order to keep up with the demands of the heat energy the latest hardware can produce. One feature which has been implemented in heatsinks for some time now are heatpipes, and now practically every aftermarket cooler has them. More recently, are "direct contact" heatpipes. Rather than having a copper or aluminum plate with heatpipes set into it, the heatpipes sit directly on top of the processor die so that the heat is transferred faster through one less interface. Titan has introduced the NK95TZ "Entertainer" cooler, which is a low profile, direct contact heatpipe cooler. With all of the heat components expel, and in a small environment such as a HTPC setup, controlling that heat is dire. If space is limited, a low profile cooler may be required. At only 6.5cm tall, the NK95TZ would be an ideal choice where there isn't a lot of room. Being as small as it is, I am interested to get this cooler into test bed to see how it performs.

Closer Look:

The Entertainer is packaged in an attractive black and gray box with the Titan logo at the top and the words "Entertainer, Cool & Silent" at the bottom. The front of the box features a clear plastic window that shows the actual product sitting inside. The fan is righted so that the Titan logo on the fan is in the correct orientation. The right side of the box has general specifications, such as dimensions of the cooler and info about the fan. The left side lists all the compatibility, which is a pretty impressive list. The rear of the package lists four separate features, in nine different languages - which fills it out pretty well.

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

The cooler is packaged in clear fit formed plastic, allowing for a snug holding of the heatsink and enough buffer in case any external damage were to ensue.  This method of packaging is pretty much standard among most manufacturers.

 

 

Included is the manual, insulating washers, an 1156 clip, AMD AM3/AM2/K8 clip, a small amount of thermal paste, mounting screws and mounting "bolts", which look just like motherboard standoffs. The 1366 clip is already installed on the cooler.

 

Now that it's out of the box, I'm looking forward to getting it out of the package and taking a closer look at it.

Closer Look:

At this point I'm a little skeptical at how it will perform due to its size, but I know Titan has made a good name for themselves over the years so I won't be making any assumptions yet. The cooler easily pops out of the two pieces of formed plastic, which are held together by four "snaps".  I describe them as this because that is what they do, they are just small cylinders formed in the plastic, one inward and one outward, that snap together. As usual with most heatpipe based coolers, the fins are made from aluminum. They are press-fit onto the heatpipes and make good contact with the heatpipes themselves. When viewed from the side, only a little bit of the copper color shows through, which means there is good contact between the fins. The more contact, or surface area of the interface to the fins, the more rapid the heat transfer. With the fan, the heatsink only stands about 3 inches tall, which makes it perfect for a low clearance application.

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As stated in the introduction, the Entertainer uses direct contact heatpipes. The last couple of direct contact coolers we've seen didn't have the smoothest surfaces, as seen in the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Review. On the Closer Look page, the gaps are obvious. As we know, gaps and imperfections on these surfaces can trap heat, and result in poor cooling performance. On the Titan Entertainer, the surface is actually quite smooth considering the direct contact design. It's not perfect, but a lot better than some other specimens. However, the machining marks are evident and the finish could have been improved dramatically if a little more attention was given to this area.  So far, that's the only thing I can think of that this cooler lacks.  Without the fan, a closer look can be taken at the fins and how they are fit onto the heatpipes. It's actually a clever, efficient technique.

 

 

 

The fan is 10cm in size and PWM controlled. It is held on the heatsink by a simple clip on each side. The clips were a little tight and it was difficult to get them to release the fan. I had to break out a flat head screwdriver to pry them off. A looser fit would have been just as affective, but would have been easier to get the fan free. The fan is operated on 12v and has a current draw of 0.14A. A clever phrase is on the underside of the label and reads: "Running faster is the systems job / Keeping them cooler is our business".

 

Now that the Entertainer has been explored, the next page will contain the manufacturer specifications and features.

Specifications:

Outline Dimension
118 x 110 x 67mm
Fan Dimension
100 x 100 x 25mm
Rated Voltage
12V DC
Rated Current
0.14 A(MAX)
Power Consumption
1.68 W
Rated Speed
800+/-25%~1500+/-10% RPM
Airflow
24.84~46.58 CFM
Static Pressure
0.01~0.05 Inch H2O
Noise Level
<15.3~<29 dBA
Bearing Type
Z-axis Bearing
Lifetime
60,000 Hours

 

Features:

 

 

Testing

Testing of the heatsink will involve load simulated by Prime95 using small FFTs in stock and overclocked scenarios. Idle and load temperatures will be recorded. Load temperatures will be the maximum value displayed in RealTemp after running 8 threads in Prime95 over one hour, and idle temperatures will be the minimum value recorded by RealTemp with no computer usage after one hour. The temperature values for each of the four cores will be averaged. The ambient temperature is held at a constant 25c throughout testing of the Nk95TZ, as well as the comparison heatsinks. All the data shown in the graphs is in Celsius. The thermal paste included by Titan will be used during testing on the Entertainer.

Testing Setup:

Comparison Heatsinks:

 

 

 

 

 

These results are pretty impressive when put up against the towering Hyper N620 from Cooler Master. The Entertainer kept up with it the N620 in everything but overclocked load, where the Entertainer simply doesn't have enough heat capacity to stay cool under a larger heat output. On the final page, I will wrap this review up with my conclusion.

Conclusion:

The Titan Entertainer has definitely impressed me while conducting this review. I was slightly skeptical at first due to its size, the poorly machined base, and the slight gapping between the aluminum contact plate and the heatpipes, but after testing the Entertainer, I will admit I almost didn't think the temperatures that I was seeing were correct. It idled and loaded under stock conditions at nearly the same as the Cooler Master Hyper N620, which has to be at least twice its size and boasts and extra fan. To be sure, I actually retested the N620 to make sure it didn't read any different that it did originally, and it did not. My actual reaction was almost along the lines of "Woah." The only place that the Entertainer fell short was the overclocked load, where it fell behind. This is most likely due the the smaller size of the cooler that can't handle the more wattage put out by the overclocked processor. Overall, valued at a target price of $34.99, the Titan Entertainer would be a great choice where space is limited or even in a regular desktop scenario where cooler temperatures are desired but overclocking on a high wattage processor may not be.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: