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Swiftech Polaris 120 High Performance CPU Cooler Review (Page 4)

By Chad Sebring on Mar 27, 2011 09:16 pm CDT - 3 mins, 49 secs reading time for this page
Rating: 90%Manufacturer: Swiftech

The Swiftech Polaris 120 CPU Cooler


Our first look at the Polaris 120 is where the fan will later sit. This area has been contoured in a wave form and the edges of this wave have a zig-zag edge. Inside the fins you can see the rings around the pipes that hold them in place, but there is also the large section in the middle that appears to be blocked off. All forty-six of these fins are also dimpled, and with the shape, contour, and dimples combined, it should offer very efficient heat transfer from the five 8mm diameter copper pipes coming from either side of the base.


The sides of the Polaris 120 are completely closed off. This will capture airflow that is simply lost with open side designs. So even though there is the divider channeling the airflow from the inside to the outside of the fins, this design captures that flow and redirects it through the cooler. Also notice the cooler body fits within the parameters of the mounting hardware. This means clearance issues are very limited, even once the fan is installed.


The rear profile is rounded on the edges, and the enclosed sides carry around to here. With the large center cavity keeping the air moving near the inner row of pipes, those rounded edges assure airflow to even the outermost pipes from the fan. So far this design of the fins stands to be a very efficient use of the included fan.


While the top fin is more of a cosmetic covering, it displays the tips of the copper pipes, the dame dimples, and a Swiftech logo in white paint. You can see the pies are set staggered through the fins, but they also curve around the center section that is directing the air. In either edge of the right side there are tiny holes that run through all the fins. These are where the fan clips get inserted later to install the fan on the right side only. Sorry, the addition of a second fan wasn't taken into consideration in the design.


Here I want to cover three things. First there is the large aluminum block that holds the heat pipes into the bottom of the cooler. The mounting ring gets mounted to the sides, but isn't locked into place as you would expect. The screw sticking up allows for the use of a cross bar to add tension, upwards, to this "ring", allowing to apply better pressure to the processor.


We are looking under the cooler from the back so I can give you a shot of the center cavity. This cavity is built into all but the black, top fin creating the channels for the airflow to follow.


While they are spaced throughout the fins to utilize the airflow, the working end of theses copper heat pipes is right here. With most heat pipe coolers the gaps here are quite large. While the gaps are noticeable, the overall square shape of the pipes as they pass through the base allow for a pretty smooth area once it gets planed level. While it isn't take to a mirror finish, what finish is there is flat against the edge of a razor and offers a great area for surface contact with five 8mm pipes in here.


I went ahead and grabbed the wire fan clips out of the hardware box so I could show you what it looks like together. The fan with a black frame and white, seven blade fan is capable of 84 CFM at 2500 RPM, but be ready for the 41 dBA of noise coming from the cooler. As you can see the fins are quite compact and this 120mm fan hangs quite a bit above and below the fin array.


While there aren't any rubber pads or Teflon strips to isolate the fan, it does fit snugly inside the fins. There is a little ledge that holds the fan perfectly centred across the width of the cooler, and you have the liberty to raise or lower the fan on the front. This will allow for a bit more room to sneak in some memory with taller heat spreaders.


I lifted the fan until the bottom of it was even with the bottom fin. This shows how much the fan will rise over the top while still offering the right amount of air to the bottom of the cooler. On a side note, I also just thought the image looked cool.

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Chad Sebring


Jumping into computers for just the aspect of gaming is how it all started for me. After a solid year of gaming, I caught the overclocking bug. With overclocking comes the need for better cooling, and I have had both air and water setups to tinker with. With a few years of abusing computer parts, I looked for something new. I then decided to take my chances and try to get a review job with a online site. As an avid overclocker, I am always looking for the next leg up in RAM, cooling, as well as peripherals technology.

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