NZXT have made a name for themselves in the enthusiast community already through products like the Phantom, showing that they understand what power users want and need in their PC components. Today we’ll be evaluating their first stab at another key area of performance PC building, the CPU cooler. The Havik 140 builds on existing design trends in air cooling, while adding NZXT’s own take on things. Read on to see how this cooler performs.
A Closer Look
Following NZXT’s usual trend for such things, the front of the box features a large profile shot of the cooler itself, with minimal text. The rear goes into more detail, pointing out features like the universal bracket mounting system, the unusually-shaped fans, and the rubber mounting system to attach the fans to the cooler.
One side of the box provides a comprehensive compatibility list, which includes pretty much every desktop CPU made in the past decade. The other side provides a bit of promotional text that goes over the salient product features again, for those who prefer paragraphs to bullet-point lists.
Opening the box up, we find first a fold-out installation guide sheet, then the cooler and fans encased in foam, with an accessory box on top. As you can see, everything is extremely well-padded, which is always a good sign.
The accessories for this case, while comprising fewer physical pieces than most, still cover everything you need. Thermal grease is included, as are the screws, spacers and nuts needed to construct the retention bracket. The small screws are used to physically bolt the four top brackets together when the Havik is used with an AMD board; only the two straight brackets are used with an Intel board. As with the ThermalTake Frio, the single included backplate is designed to work with either AMD or Intel motherboards. The fan cable at top splits a single 3-pin fan header to supply power for both fans on this cooler, though as they use standard 3-pin headers themselves, you could hook them directly to a fan controller if so desired. The four rubber strips slot into holes on the fans, and hook into grooves in the heatsink itself to hold the fans securely, while keeping vibration noise to a minimum.
The heatsink is based on a fairly standard tower design, with three pairs of heatpipes sprouting up from either side of the mating block to ascend through the tower of stacked fins. The spread of these heatpipes is even and well-spaced, which should ensure that heat is distributed evenly across the fin surfaces. The fins are tightly spaced, but airflow restrictions between them are minimal, consisting of the six pairs of heatpipe segments and a single series of folded-down tabs in the center. As each fin is welded to the heatpipes, no further spacers are needed or used. As you can see in the top view, channels in the side provide anchor points for the rubber fan mounting straps.
The mating surface, which is nickel-coated like the rest of the cooler, provides a smooth, slightly convex surface to contact the CPU’s heat spreader. The surface is smooth to the touch, but not mirror-polished like some.