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ZEROtherm Nirvana NV 120 Cpu Cooler Review

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I wasn’t quite sure how well a heatsink would perform facing up. Since heat rises, pulling air from the top of an enclosure can be a nightmare and actually cause an increase in temperature. I will most likely purchase an aftermarket NB passive heatsink to get rid of that problem. Even though the heatsink was facing up and pulling warmer air than if it were facing down, there was an 11° difference at idle and a 21° difference at load at stock speeds.

I’m not a big fan of fan controllers, but since the ZEROtherm Nirvana comes with one, I felt obliged to test it. With the fan speed set to low there was only a 2° Celsius change at idle and a 5° change at load. These temperatures decreased as the fan speeds were increased.

So what more can you ask for? The ZEROtherm Nirvana NV 120 CPU Cooler, which retails for an average of $45, stood neck-and-neck with one of the most popular heatsinks on the market today. Did the Nirvana perform as I expected? No; it performed better. Like many others, I am not very familiar with ZEROtherm coolers and would have probably even overlooked it in a store because of the unfamiliarity with the brand name. We all have tendencies to purchase products that are familiar to us and lean towards "big names". Just because a brand is more well-known, does that necessarily mean it will perform better? Does it mean that it is made better? Most of the time it does require a higher price, but why pay the higher price for the same or better performance?

The ZEROtherm Nirvana NV 120 CPU Cooler is a solid performer. It stood up to what many refer to as the top dog in the industry and performed just as well or better. Do the math; when it comes to price, performance, and value, the Nirvana can cover it all. So why spend your money on a name; spend it on a product that performs.



  • Price
  • Performance
  • Gunmetal Finish
  • Copper Base
  • Copper Heat Pipes
  • 120 mm Blue LED Fan
  • Ease of Installation
  • Screw Stops on Bracket



  • None
Editors' Choice

  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Closer Look (Continued)
  3. Installation
  4. Specifications & Features
  5. Testing
  6. Conclusion
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