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Cooler Master, DEEPCOOL, Noctua, and Thermaltake CPU Cooler Roundup

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Closer Look (DEEPCOOL Neptwin)

This second DEEPCOOL CPU cooler, the Neptwin, comes in a larger box to contain its larger stature. Popping the top brings forth three boxes containing the cooling tower, the accessories, and the twin 120x25mm fans. Aside from all the mounting accessories you get a 4-pin PWM fan splitter that allows control of up to four separate fans (although I would caution against plugging in four high-powered fans into this splitter when it is plugged into your motherboard), some mounting pads for the splitter, and a tube of DEEPCOOL thermal paste.












Wow - this cooler really looks like it means business! There's no extra plating (aside from the base plate), no flashiness, nothing at all that's not purely functional. The twin-tower design boasts six copper heat pipes soldered to aluminum fins and a nickel-plated copper base plate. The aluminum fins are serrated for maximum turbulence on both sides and the heat pipes are arranged laterally across the fins to maximize heat transfer. The Neptwin does bow in slightly to the center due to the bending of the heat pipes, but this shouldn't hamper performance in any way.




The top plates on the Neptwin sport the DEEPCOOL logo embossed on each side but are otherwise bare. The base plate is finned slightly and grooved to grab the hold down bracket for installation. The nickel plating on the base plate is superb and exceedingly flat – the Omnibond LEGO man really liked his reflection! The heat pipes are bare copper and will tarnish over time (especially if handled), but this will only affect the looks and not the performance.



The two included fans look identical at first glance but they are not. Once sports a 4-pin PWM fan connector, while the other is graced with only a 3-pin connector. The rear hub of each fan is again unlabeled, which doesn't help with the confusion. Both fans are 120x25mm in size although the 4-pin fan spins at 900-1500 RPM, while the 3-pin variant spins at 1300 RPM and move 60 and 54 CFM, respectively. With both of them installed, this cooler should really be able to dissipate some heat!



Installation of the DEEPCOOL Neptwin is essentially identical to the Ice Blade Pro V2.0. Install the back plate, install the mounting brackets, and then mount the cooler with the hold down bracket. Curiously enough, the nuts to hold the mounting brackets to the board are much shorter on the Neptwin and consequently tend to slip even with a fairly large Phillips screwdriver when close to completely tight (the bolt through the board pokes up through the center of the nut and interferes with the screwdriver). Why DEEPCOOL didn't use the same excellent nuts (tee-hee) from the Ice Blade Pro V2.0 is a mystery – either way, it was a small annoyance.




Once mounted I actually flipped through the manual to figure out how the little foam 'o'-rings were supposed to be used. It turns out they simply mount to the fins to dampen vibration from the fans. The fans mount quite easily with the included clips and have no issues with clearance with the Mushkin test RAM. The tower fins do slightly over-hang the first RAM slot, so if you have obnoxiously tall RAM heat-spreaders, you may end up moving them or dropping a stick.



With both fans installed, this cooler clearly means business. The spartan appearance along with the dual fans and gobs of laterally oriented heat pipes, just scream "throw some heat at me!".


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