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NZXT Havik 120 Review


Closer Look:

The NZXT Havik 120 seems to be symmetrical in all directions with the exception of the heatpipe heads and tails, which is unavoidable. The cooler is similar in shape and stature as the Havik 140, only on a smaller scale. The obvious difference is the 6x6mm heatpipes on the Havik 140 versus the 4x8mm heatpipes on the Havik 120. I like the 6x6mm heatpipe configuration better because it offers about 10% more cross-sectional area than 4x8mm heatpipes and more overall surface area. On each of the narrow sides of the heatsink are two slots that run vertically and will be used to secure the fan straps to the heatsink. The edges of the fins in these locations do something interesting — they are pinched together in pairs. I'm not sure if this design has a function, but it is the first time I've seen something along these lines!














Looking a little closer at the heatpipe tips, the solder that holds them together can be seen. You can also get a better look at the way the edges of the fins are touching in these spots. Something else that I have never seen before is the contour of the edges of the fins along the direction of the airflow. You can see the overall thickness of the fins is about 0.5mm on the short edges, but on the long edges where the fans will be located the thickness has been shaved down to about ~0.3mm. This "knife-edging" is said to improve airflow. I have nothing to which I can compare this new "addition" of knife-edging the fins, but I'm sure it slightly helps the effectiveness of the cooler. Looking underneath the cooler at the bottom fin, notice that there are two triangular cutouts in the center and you can barely make out pieces of the "NZXT." logo left behind. There are also oversized holes through which the inside heatpipes pass, mainly due to manufacturing tolerances and also the possibility that the heatpipes may not be straight up and down for a few more fins after they first start. I'm not sure what the triangular cutouts in the fins are for, but they continue up the entire height of the cooler and stop just before the last fin, which is solid.



Looking straight down on the top of the cooler you can see the heatpipe pattern. As with the Havik 140, I have some slight reservations about their placement as they are in line with one another along the direction of the airflow. With placement like this, the heatpipes in front can block some of the airflow that the other heatpipes could be receiving. I'm sure it's minimal, but it's still something that I've seen other manufacturers avoid with certain arrangements. The NZXT logo can be seen in the complete top fin along with the 2d pattern of the fins. Flipping around to the bottom side, we find the usual protective film over the base with a message telling the user to remove it before installing the cooler. There is also a serial bar code on the bottom fin.



Looking closely at the base-heatpipe interface, we can see the solder used to secure the heatpipes inside the base as well as the construction of the base itself. There is a C-channel on the back side of the base with half-circle channels in place for the heatpipes into which the copper base is placed on the other half of the heatpipes. The base is indeed copper but it is all nickel-plated which gives it a medium, silvery finish. There is some spatter left over on some surfaces from the soldering/flux but none of this appears on the machined base. Again, the other ends of the heatpipes stick out slightly at the top and are soldered to each fin.



The quality of the base isn't anything impressive since the machining marks are rather evident. The reflectivity is quite low but at least it is flat. The only thing holding the base back from being of upper-end quality is its lack of polishing. Running the base through additional stages and a good polishing could have made it perfect. Nevertheless, that's why thermal paste is used. I've certainly seen better bases but I've also seen worse — so it's not the end of the world. The base on the NZXT Havik 140 was about the same, if not a tiny bit better in overall quality.



The fans are plain 120mm fans badged/branded as NZXT. They are constructed from a black plastic frame housing 13 white fan blades. Each uses a 3-pin connector and uses 12V, pulls 0.3A (3.6W), operates at 1500 RPM with a noise level of 22dBA, and has a flow of 76 CFM. With the low-speed Y adapter, the fans will run at 1200 RPM and push 62 CFM at 18dBA. Both 18dBA and 22dBA are both nearly silent, so I would only recommend using the resistor Y adapter if silence is more important over airflow. The front of the fan is the same as the rear with the exception of the slightly different perspective of the blades. On the front, there is a simple black sticker with the NZXT logo in the center of the fan.



Installing the cooler on an Intel LGA 1366 board is as simple as following the included instructions (duh). Starting with the through-screws in the correct position in the backplate, the backplate is secured in place by placing a plastic spacer bushing on each through-screw followed by placing a mounting strip on each side. Once together, a thumb nut secures each corner into place. Once the lower mounting is in place, the heatsink can be positioned over the CPU and the hold-down clamp can then be tightened onto the threaded stubs on the mounting strips. Finally, the sprung screws on the hold-down clamp are tightened until they bottom out, and the installation is complete. This method to secure a heatsink to a motherboard/CPU is simple, effective, and has been proven time and again. Being a 120mm heatsink, there is plenty of clearance around the cooler — even with the fans in place.




With the NZXT Havik 120 installed, it's almost time to get the testbed fired up and move along to the performance evaluation section of the review. First I have compiled the manufacturer-provided list of specifications and features for the NZXT Havik 120 on the next page. The following page will be the performance evaluation.

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