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Swiftech Polaris 120 High Performance CPU Cooler Review

By: Chad Sebring | CPU Air Coolers in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Mar 28, 2011 2:16 am
TweakTown Rating: 90%Manufacturer: Swiftech

Specifications, Availability and Pricing




As with most tower coolers, the Polaris 120 consists of aluminum fins; forty-six to be exact, pressed over a set of five heat pipes. In the Polaris 120 these five heat pipes are sintered, which has to do with the type of wicking properties the inside of the heat pipe contains. In the case of the sintered pipe, it is usually good for anti gravity situations, and allows for tighter bends within the length of the pipe. At the base the pipes are squeezed together and are square in appearance as all five pipes are going to make direct-touch contact with the processor. Holding the pipes together at the base is an aluminum block that not only keeps the pipes in place, it gets used to mount the universal mounting ring to the cooler.


Between the massive heat pipes, the amount of aluminum in the fins, and the added weight of the included fan, this cooler weighs in at almost 2 pounds. While it seems a bit heavy, I assure you the mounting system is very secure and should cause no issues with warping a motherboard. Along with this weight you do get not only an attractive to look at product, you get many features built in that you may not notice at first glance. Things like fully enclosed sides to trap airflow, dimples in the fins to disturb the air as it passes over them for better heat transfer, a serrated leading edge of all of the front edges to get the turbulence correct before the air passes over the fins, along with the secret I left off the first page.


Working in conjunction with the closed sides of the Polaris 120, Swiftech implemented an "airfoil" shaped center airflow director. I know that sounds a bit abstract, so think of it this way. Take a wing off a model airplane and insert it dead center into a body of fins. With this design the hole is punched in the fins and the edges get rolled to direct the airflow right over the heat pipes. This takes the majority of the "dead zone" in cooling and directs the top and bottom of the dead zone over the pipes along with what already comes from either side of the fans hub. If the idea still isn't clear after the review is over, you can look at the drawings from Swiftech here. To work with this wind tunnel design Swiftech didn't choose a slouch, they went right to the 84CFM range which comes on most coolers today. This fan boasts good control on the range of speeds and noise levels, but with a 41 dBA rating on the box; that means it's going to make some noise while it's working.


When I caught wind of this cooler, it was just over a week ago as I write this, and they wanted to be sure that we got one with all the others that went around to be reviewed. With that being said, there are obviously retail samples out there as I got a complete kit from Swiftech. As I check the new website, I see they have them listed and are available to "add to cart" for $59.95 direct from Swiftech . I don't have any word on if they are going to let others carry this line of coolers yet, but if you want one now it seems you need to buy one direct. The $60 price point is very good, and as you will soon see, as did I when I ran the testing, this is a serious cooler for a minimal price.


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