In my short time of doing CPU cooler reviews, I have seen some coolers do really well and a few others that have fallen flat on their face trying to keep up with the crowd. Some of these coolers arrive highly anticipated, while others have arrived without much knowledge on that specific cooler. Titan is one of the latter companies for me, as up until now I haven't even looked at their website.
While Titan has been around since 1992 serving the PC community with their aftermarket coolers and have also recently introduced a few new innovations, it's a company that has slipped past my radar until now. Titan is based in Taipei and has, since its inception, made big steps to take a place amongst more prominent manufacturers; this by adding a USA and Germany branch to help get their products around the globe. With all the advances of Titan, they have managed to acquire 20,000m² factory floor space and over 1100 workers at this time to keep production up, so that the end user can find these products on store shelves.
Today we have the Fenrir, the first 120mm tower style cooler from Titan, as their main listing of coolers shows they normally submit coolers with a fan on top blowing towards the motherboard. While this concept and style of cooler has been done before, this is Titan's first attempt to introduce a said style cooler to the market. Not personally having tested Titans products myself, at this point I don't have any idea what to expect in the performance or build quality of Titan, but we will soon get to those aspects.
The name Fenrir comes from old 13th century Norse legend and it's roughly translated to a monstrous wolf. With this extra bit of history, it will help explain the imagery found on the packaging and cooler itself, as you are about to see. With a Name like Fenrir, maybe Titan plans to unleash the Fenrir to devour the competition. Either way, with a name like monstrous wolf, it only stands to think this cooler may bring good things to the table, as far as performance goes. It is now that time where I get the camera ready and hop to the task at hand to show you what the Titan Fenrir has to offer.
Specifications, Availability and Pricing
Titan builds the Fenrir with an all aluminium stack of 50 fins connected to four "U" shaped, 8mm heat-pipes that draw heat with direct contact to the CPU. The Fenrir will stand 156mm from the top of the CPU and weighs in at 790g without the fan. The Fenrir is accompanied by a 120mm, chromed fan. The outer housing is covered again in black over the chrome, which gives the fan a unique look; almost close to a black nickel look, which has been popular as of late. This fan is PWM controlled and Titan claims it runs at a quiet 17 dBA. Lastly, the Fenrir will mount to an LGA775 CPU and is also made to accommodate any AMD, socket 754 and later as well.
Titan released the Fenrir to the European markets last November and it is still proposed to hit the shelves in the U.S. as well. Google and Newegg both come up empty as far as trying to locate this cooler, even for an early listing in anticipation for arrival, but all to no avail at this time. As it is for now, if you live in the U.S. and plan to get the Fenrir, you may need to contact some of your overseas mates and see if they can locate one and send it to you. Just be aware of the time lost going through customs and any sort of import tax you may incur along the route.
Making contact with Titan and directly asking about the projected pricing, I was told that Titan expects to place the Fenrir on U.S. shelves with the retail price of around $60. While this price is a bit high, it seems to be an ongoing number that the newer coolers are releasing at. Still, at this time I can only speculate that the global economic situation is feeling a bit more pressure now and prices for resources are going up. This in turn has to be passed to the buyers, unfortunately.
Titan ships the Fenrir TTC-NK85TZ in an all-plastic, thermally sealed package backed with imagery of the wolf-like emblem backing the Fenrir name. The bottom half shows off the nine important features of Titan's cooler, while the top half is cut away to expose the Fenrir to the consumer.
Twisting the package to the right gives yet another view of the top half of the Fenrir, while the bottom half displays the specifications and applicable processors.
The back of this packaging starts off by showing images off six of the main features of the Fenrir and to the right it bullet points another five. At the bottom is a list of three primary features in eight additional languages.
Spinning the cooler once more leaves us with the left side. Here, again, we get to look at the Fenrir through the top half. The bottom half is used to show a bit more on what is included with the Fenrir. Titan has added a sample of their "Royal Grease", thermal interface material, and a 3-pin to 4-pin adapter for boards with no PWM controls.
Carefully cutting the edge of the thermally sealed edging reveals the inner sections and components. Titan has separated the fan, cooler and hardware into three sections for shipping. In my case, it kept the cooler in good shape, as the outer packaging didn't look like it had a nice comfy ride to my doorstep.
TheTitan Fenrir TTC-NK85TZ
The Titan Fenrir TTC-NK85TZ
The Titan Fenrir is a stack of 50 stamped and embossed, aluminium fins, with the top fin being stamped with the image Titan has chosen to represent the wolf-like creature of its namesake. The embossed sections of the fins aid in redirecting air back inward towards the rear of the cooler, maximizing the airflow's cooling potential.
Looking right into the fin stack, you can see how the heat-pipes run from the aluminum base and take it through the 50, 3mm, spaced fins.
From the side of the Fenrir you can see the four, large, 8mm heat-pipes. The fan is mounted to the left side and the air flows to the right until it is slightly redirected by the embossed fins to get the air back to the center to do its job more efficiently. Most coolers waste this side exhaust and don't use ways to recapture it for use.
Here we have another look at the top of the Fenrir. The four heat-pipes protrude through the top of all 50 fins. This view also gives a better feel for the depth of the embossed ends. You can also see here that Titan cuts the heat-pipes a bit short at the top and this leaves the other rounded ends to hold the top couple of fins in place, which they do.
The base of the Fenrir is milled and not polished, but the heat-pipes obviously are making direct contact with the CPU. Since both the aluminium base plate and the pipes are both milled at once, they are flat and true. Bear in mind that a bit of compound rubbed into the gaps prior to install will allow for better coverage of the interface material that is placed on the processor.
I wanted to show how the locking mechanism has a cut-out in the base of the Fenrir to stabilize the cooler. Note it has a cross pattern for additional stability; I will show another close-up in a bit with the brace in place.
The included, 120mm fan comes wired and sheathed in black and ends with a 4-pin, PWM header on it for maximum control of the fans speed. This fan is all plated in a chrome finish and as I alluded to before, the outer housing is then coloured black on top of the chrome. This leaves all the corners and edges with the chrome still coming through, while the bigger sections are covered quite well in black. This gives the fan a unique look from the top viewing angle most of us see day to day.
Reversing the cooler shows the power requirements of this fan of 12 Volts and 0.32 Amps. The part number is displayed just above this. At the top of the sticker is the Titan logo and their slogan, "Running faster is the systems job, keeping them cooler is our business". In just a short time we will see if their slogan rings true.
Here we have the Fenrir with the fan attached from the front. You can see the fan gets a good amount of coverage over the aluminium fins.
With the fan installed you get an early glimpse at a bit of the hardware. Titan sends wire fan mounting clips to hold on this fan and they fit rather tightly into the pre-cut grooves in the fins. Notice on the side of the included fan, Titan has chosen a fan that includes arrows to show both directions of flow out of the fan, as well as the rotational direction of the blades themselves.
Accessories and Documentation
Titan includes a large assortment of hardware with the Fenrir, so I will just work my way from the top left to the bottom right. First up, we have Titan's LGA1366 back plate which includes a screw set to the proper height. In the middle is the universal mounting plate with the crossed centre for additional stability. To the right is the universal LGA775 and AMD back plate. Notice both back plates are insulated with black plastic to keep any shorting issues at bay.
In the very middle you have the two supplied fan mounting wires. Underneath those is the 4-pin to 3-pin adapter for more control on boards with no PWM. There are four brass raisers that are mounted to a board with the four Phillip's head screws next to it. There are two thicknesses of insulating washers; the AMD washers are thin and white, while the Intel washers are thicker and black. In the bottom right corner is a sample of Royal Grease thermal compound. And last but not least, there's the thumb screws for mounting the mounting plate to the studs.
The instructions are very easy to follow. The images are underlined with English text for the step by step process, but it is then followed in eight other languages as well. As you can see, this side of the fold-out is for AMD mounting solutions.
Unfolding the instructions and reversing them shows the Intel mounting step by step. While the images show and really only discuss the LGA775 mounting, once you read it, it is simple logic to figure out the idea behind the LGA1366 mounting.
Here is that close up image of the plate lying in the aluminum base. You can see how the crosses set together and give the cooler more stability against any twisting notion, while also making sure the cooler is fully centered on the processor.
Be sure you follow the instructions and don't mount the fan to the Fenrir prior to installation on the motherboard. You can see, once the fan is on it was a real treat to try to get the thumbscrews on for my installation, as clearance is an issue with the fan in the way.
TweakTown uses a different method for testing CPU heatsinks which allows for an even playing field across all product tests. We feel that by using the same ambient temperature and strict lab-like testing procedures we are able to accurately compare one product to another. More information on our testing procedure can be found in the T.E.C.C. article here.
While at idle, the Titan Fenrir did ok, but not great. It reported in at 52.1°, some five degrees behind the best on our list, but this is due to the idle fan speed as well. Then I ran the load test and was really surprised to see what the temperature was, a mere 56.5° Celsius. This is a really good performer in my mind. Taking an average CFM fan and getting that type of result with just one fan is an admirable accomplishment.
Titan's claim to a low noise good cooling solution has tested well in temperatures, but what about the noise required during operation? - The Fenrir did an okay job at both idle and load testing and while they aren't setting any records with this solution, they are doing a better than average job of keeping noise at bay.
Unleashing a wolf is exactly what I feel Titan did with the release of the Fenrir. Not actually believing the testing results initially, I ran them twice to confirm reality and both tests were a match. While I know this cooler isn't so efficient at idle, it is because the fan is spinning at a very low 800 RPM to manage noise levels, so I can let that slide. I can always change my BIOS settings and lower the idle temperatures if I wanted to. The load test is where the Fenrir really starts to devour some of the competition; just edging out the Thor's hammer and falling just short of the Z600R, two of our latest great performers.
While all the concepts of the Fenrir have been done and seen in other coolers up to this point, Titan has gotten the formula right on with the Fenrir. The shape and design of the fins, the correct noise to performance ratio of the fan, to the cool wolf-like image on the cooler; Titan has a winner on their hands. The cooler doesn't bring a ton of "flash" to the party, but I will say it can dance with a few of the best. Considering the asking prices of both of the previously mentioned coolers, I do have to say the Fenrir is priced right at a $60 U.S. dollar price tag.
I did only find one issue with the Fenrir overall. This is the fact that the top two fins don't get secured by all eight tips of the heat-pipes. The fins themselves didn't fall off; they are secure on the four heat-pipes that do fully extend through all the fins. The issue I see as a possibility is vibration of the outer fin edges as the fan builds up a little dust and starts to vibrate itself a bit. I had no vibrations during my time of testing, so only time will answer this issue.