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ZAWARD ZCJ013 Vapor 120 Review

Price: TBD


Heat sinks always target certain categories of build types, such as silent performance, cooling capabilities, size, artistic quality, affordability, and so on. Often, several traits are combined together and can produce a real winner. Others only have a few of the qualities, and make an "ok" heat sink. Zaward has provided a heat sink and case fan for OCC to review. Their heat sink is the Vapor 120 and uses direct heat-pipe technology with three heat pipes at the base and a 120mm golf-dimple-blade black fan with four blue LEDs. They have also provided us with their fan, the Golf Fan GII ZG2-140A – a 140mm low dBA case fan. Both fans use the patented golf dimple blades on the impellers to create a spread of noise over differing frequencies – creating the lower dBA rating. The fans use a modified sleeve bearing called Duro bearing that claims a 60,000-hour MTTF at 40°C. Every other fin on the Vapor 120 has small dimples, each of which have holes in the center – aiding in cooling. 


Closer Look:

The box is colorful and clean – very professional looking. A window on the front gives a good look at the dimpled fan impeller. Compatibility covers all AMD chips from socket 754 all the way up to AM3 (754 and 939 have the same bolt pattern as does AM2/AM2+/AM3). The Vapor 120 heat sink also supports the three latest sockets from Intel – LGA 775, 1156, and 1366. The box has a model number – ZCJ013 – and states that it was designed in Japan. In the red foreground are dark dots that mirror the dimples on the blades of the fan. Rotating around to the side shows seven pictures of some features of the heat sink and fan that comes with it. The features include dimpled aluminum fins designed with a breathing effect, H.D.T direct contact  heat pipes to provide rapid heat transfer, patented golf ball dimpled fan blade for enhanced air flow, low noise PWM fan with blue LEDs, dual fan installation option, dual direction installation option for AMD sockets, and 60,000 hrs long life DURO bearing. The background on this side is a mesh screen image – continuing off of the dot theme.








The back of the Vapor 120 box lists the specifications of the fan and heat sink inside. The background has some dots and wavy effects, keeping it from being plain. The back labels the heat sink as the “Vapor 120 heat sink breathing effect” model ZCJ013, supporting LGA1366/LGA1156/LGA775 and AM3/AM2/K8, dimensions 120 (W) x 50 (D) x 160 (H) mm, Aluminum alloy fins with 3x .08mm copper heat-pipes, and an aluminum base with H.D.T. exposed heat pipes. The fan is 12V DC PWM that draws 0.45A maximum with rated input power 5.4W. The bearing is a sleeve bearing style called the Duro bearing that should last 60,000 hrs. The fan rotates up to 2000 +/- 10% rpm and provides up to 93.96 CFM with 10~34.3 dBA noise. Thermal resistance is rated at 0.15°C/W and the heat sink weighs 684+/-20g. The last side shows two graphs on noise and cooling performance, and how the fins and heat-pipes work to increase cooling. The holes in the dimples allow air to travel between the fins and create more turbulence – unfortunately the fins aren’t soldered in. Performance is compared between the Vapor 120 with stock blades and dimpled blades, and stock cooler for a 130-Watt Intel processor. The noise levels are compared between the breathable heat sink and normal heat sink.



The top of the box got caught during shipping and was slightly dinged up. Again, another window shows off the dimpled fins and heat-pipes. The top is red and has some wavy lines like the back of the box. Opening the box reveals a three-piece plastic form that protects the heat sink and fan separately.



Held safely in a large, sealable plastic bag, are the installation pieces needed to get this kit installed. Four fan clips make it so an input and exhaust fan can be used, a back plate, manual, and everything else needed to get the heat sink installed on an compatible system. Users may have to use tools to remove their motherboard if they do not have an access hole on their case tray panel. One side of the manual is for the Intel installation and the other is for the AMD systems – most of the grammar is good save for a few errors (powder rather than power). The manual is thorough enough and should be easy for people to follow along.



The case fan that Zaward has provided is too large for the heat sink – it is a 140mm case fan from the Golf GII line with model number ZG2-140A. The box art is colorful and resembles the Vapor 120 box. The box claims a 15% noise level reduction at same rpm/airflow from the patented Golf Dimple blade and 60,000 MTTF at 40°C from the Duro bearing. Noise is quoted at 10.1~20.3dBA with 300~1200rpm. The fan includes rubber silencing mounts and normal fan screws. Another photo explains the Duro bearing, and two graphs show Speed vs. Duty Cycle and Speed vs. Noise Users must beware that graphs can have altered ratios to give a different visual (the noise graph looks linear although at 10dBA the fan isn’t hardly spinning while at 20dBA its at 1200rpm, yet the graph looks linear). The bottom of the box has specifications in five languages – German, French, Spanish, Japanese, and English. The fan draws 12V at 0.1A which equates to 1.2W and claims to provide 74.14 CFM with only 10.1~20.3dBA.



One side repeats the features that were on both the front cover and backside and the other side didn’t have anything mentionable. With the fan out, I can get a good shot of the impeller covered in dimples. Each blade has the same dimple design pattern with small, medium, and large dimples. The fan color and texture resembles an eggshell.



Swapping to the back we see that the other side of the impeller has dimples too. The sticker is clean and shows the fan speed, model, brand, power requirements, and that it has the Duro bearing. Four metal fan screws and rubber, tool-free silent mounts are included with this case fan. In addition, a piece of paper is included that explains how to install it with either the screws or mounts.



Time to look at and assemble the heat sink!

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