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NZXT HAVIK 140 CPU Cooler Review

NZXT and CPU air cooling collide! With a reputation for delivering feature packed, well valued products, expect good things from their first shot at the CPU cooling sector.
@chad_sebring
Chad Sebring
Published Wed, Jun 1 2011 10:42 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Apr 7 2020 12:30 PM CDT
Rating: 97%Manufacturer: NZXT

Introduction

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VIEW GALLERY - 29 IMAGES


Introduction

That's right! You just read the title correctly - NZXT is jumping into the air cooling market! I'm sure this cooler is currently sitting on a table on display at Computex as I type this and people are swarming the table to get a look at what they brought to enter the CPU air cooling segment. Already covering everything you can desire from cases and power supplies all the way down to lighting and sleeved cabling, NZXT offers everything you can want for housing, powering and dressing up your case to fit your personality. Realistically, this is the only other piece that has been missing up 'till now for a complete NZXT themed build.

Air cooling is already a very full market with quite a few top names already holding honorable spots in our testing results. The point I am driving at is that in order for the cooler we are about to see to at least win me over, it needs to be silent like a Noctua, and perform alongside let's say the Swiftech Polaris 120 I like so much right now. Seeing what I have seen as of late from NZXT, I have a feeling that this will be another Hale power supply or Phantom type of success. I mean from what I have seen this cooler looks good, but looks don't allow for extreme overclocks now, does it?

From what I gather, the HAVIK 140 CPU cooler from NZXT that you are about to look at was released to the public only today, and as I type this I am under NDA not to discuss my findings or any of the images you are about to see with anyone. For those who couldn't make it to the show, we at TweakTown are pleased to be one of the ones to receive and test this cooler.

With that in mind, I say we get down to it and see what the cooler is made from and the thoughts behind the concepts, and see if NZXT has another product that will be the talk of all the forums.

Specifications, Availability and Pricing

Specifications, Availability and Pricing

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Fresh to this market, NZXT seems to have followed the basic premise of tower coolers with its basic concept. The combination of Aluminum for the forty-six fins and the top half of the base, and the use of copper for the base plate and the six, 6mm heat pipes which received nickel plating are things that you really can't change too much in the typical tower design. The nickel plated pipes are sandwiched between the copper base and the aluminum top half and get soldered to both for better heat transfer between the metals. These pipes then make some very tight turns and run vertically through the fins in a very evenly spaced pattern of the twelve tips that poke through the top fin. Things that can be changed, like fin shape, form, and the soldered attachment of the fins to the heat pipes help efficiency, and it seems NZXT wasn't lost on these little performance boosters. The body we just covered weighs in at 760 grams and that is before we add any cooling or mounting hardware.

Cooling the HAVIK 140 is a pair of 140mm fans that are made with a black frame and have nine blades with a funky shape in white. With the term "funky", I figured I should explain myself. This new fan has its blades oriented at a much steeper angle than I am used to seeing. That alone make these weird to see for the first time, but it's the heavy leading edge and the double bumped shape of each blade that has me saying "funky". These fans will spin at right around 1200 RPM with 12 volts supplied to them and offers just over 90 CFM of airflow. In the box you will get two of these fans, both powered by 3-pin connectors. You also don't need to worry about fan headers either, as NZXT includes a two fan adapter so you can power both off of one header.

With this cooler having just being launched publically, at this time I am unable to provide pricing or availability details, but knowing NZXT, they are already in full swing to have this cooler delivered to major etailers and retailers all over the place, and you should be able to get your mits on one within the next couple weeks.

With no price to go on at the moment, I will let the cooler talk for itself as I go through the images and show you with the testing results what this fresh entry to air cooling is capable of.

Packaging

The Packaging

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NZXT packages the HAVIK 140 in an attractive white fronted box with a large image of the cooler using most of the space. At the bottom are four features that NZXT wants to address first.

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This side of the package has a brief statement explaining why this cooler should be your choice over the others. Under this statement there is a side shot of the HAVIK with both fans on it.

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On the back the six featured highlighted around the full cooler images are zoomed in with brief descriptions about what you are looking at. At the bottom there is a full list of specifications.

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Along with another image of the side of the HAVIK 140, the top of this side holds the processor compatibility list.

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I just liked the top of the box, so I figured I would show you too.

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Removing the cooler from the box is pretty simple. Just open the large flap and invert the box over a table and lift it off. This leaves three high density foam trays and a box on the right containing the hardware.

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The three layers of foam hold the body of the cooler, which is also wrapped in plastic for transit, and the other two trays hold one of the 140mm fans, each.

The NZXT HAVIK 140 CPU Cooler

The NZXT HAVIK 140 CPU Cooler

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Looking in through the body of the HAVIK 140, the cooler looks pretty squat in stature with the forty-six fins stacked on the six 6mm heat pipes. The lower third has a combination of the tightly bent, nickel plated heat pipes and the top plate of the base that accepts the mounting hardware with a cross bar style final mount.

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Since the aluminum fins are soldered to the pipes, the center support isn't that important. Out at the edges there are two sets of tabs to support each fin and keep the spacing correct. If you again look at the bottom, you can see the heat pipes also bend inward to allow for the alignment of the pipes through the fins NZXT has chosen.

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Since this cooler is built to allow air to flow correctly in both directions, both faces of the cooler are identical. The lower third has a combination of the tightly bent, nickel plated heat pipes, and the top plate of the base that accepts the mounting hardware with a cross bar style final mount.

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The sides are also the same as each other so this time I will again go to the heat pipes. From the side you can see the pipes not only make the tight bends we saw from the front, but the pipes also converge in the middle to allow for the pipe arrangement that NZXT has chosen.

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This is the pipe arrangement I was speaking of. The pipes go from exiting the base in a vertical stack of pipes and then the pipes "twist and turn" into a horizontal layout as you see it here. The holes in the middle of the fins are for spacing, while the notches on the outside edge are for some creative fan mounting.

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I took this image for a few reasons. One was to show the little dobs of solder on the fins and pipe connecting point, two was to show the nickel plating, and the third was to show the pipe arrangement from a less confusing angle.

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The base of copper isn't milled to a polished finish, and the nickel plating isn't thick enough to fill the voids from the lapping process it went through. The majority of the plate is flat and level, but as the edges discolor, it is also rounded there.

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Skipping ahead a bit I grabbed the fans and rubber mounting systems and got them mounted to the cooler body with no issues. You can see this 90 CFM 140mm fan more than covers the fins and should offer some added flow to the motherboard components.

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Looking from the side the HAVIK 140 takes on some bulk. With the 50mm of fans, plus a little extra from the fan mounting set up, this cooler comes in at almost 5" from outside fan edge to outside fan edge.

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This is just a glamour shot so you can see this beast from another angle and take a minute to soak in all the goodness.

Accessories and Documentation

Accessories and Documentation

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Of course, with the HAVIK 140, you get not one, but two 140mm fans in the box. To work much better with the included fan mounts you are about to see, the holes for a push or pull installation are offset to make grabbing the tabs that much easier. The black frames and white blades with just a touch of blue trim make these fans able to look good in any system as well.

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In the hardware box you will also find the 3-Pin female to dual 3-Pin male connection adapter. This allows you to control and power both fans from a single fan header. The four rubber straps are used to mount the fans to the cooler. Not only are these SO much easier than working with wire mounts, they also isolate the fans making this cooler near dead silent during operation.

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Pictured here is the bulk of the mounting hardware and accessories. You get four black spacers, a square spacer and four thumb screws on the left. In the middle is the tube of TIM, pre-cut insulation film and an eight-pack of IA screws. On the right are the four longer through bolts for mounting the back plate to the top of the board hardware.

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Along with the universal back plate, which is marked which side goes down for Intel or AMD, you get AMD and Intel mounting supports. The Intel (left) and AMD (right) brackets both have a threaded center post on the top. These accept the nuts atop the springs of the cross plate pictured in the middle.

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Here is an eighth of the instruction manual. This folds out in quarters, on one side showing a full parts list and an exploded diagram of the Intel mounting while the opposing side carries a similar exploded drawing for AMD. The drawings, text and the parts list are very well done and leave very little to screw up with the thoroughness of this manual.

Test System & Testing Results

Test System & Test Results

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.

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Taking fourth place in air cooling on the idle chart is really good news for the HAVIK 140 so far. NZXT's entry is looking promising.

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I don't even have a snappy comment for the rating on the load testing. The HAVIK 140 taking over with a new first place mark to beat in air cooling; all I can say is, great job NZXT, congratulations!

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What astounded me is that most of the coolers in the top ten should have shipped with ear plugs. Typically I rave about how silent a Noctua fan is, but NZXT has them beat in silence, hands down. Seriously, when the testing was running, I had to put my ear into the air flow to hear anything; even then it's the flow over my ear I was hearing and not the noise from the fan.

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Once I set the box up for the 12V testing, I actually had to go to my digital multi-meter to see if the fan was in fact getting the right amount of power, as I barely heard any increase in the fans noise production. I know the box states 26dB, but I am not going to slit hair over silence at this level!

Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

NZXT knocked this one out of the park! It's not every day that a new to the game type of product just outright shatters my expectations! NZXT has so far proven to me that you now can in fact have the best of both worlds. There is a ton of potential to hold even the highest of overclocks and that's how it sits out of the box. On top of that, the low noise levels of the fans that are sent in the HAVIK 140 box are unparalleled at this point. I have never tested a cooler that was both this silent and was able to just kick some butt as it smashed the competition.

From what I do know, this cooler is kicking ass and taking names; the HAVIK 140 is never leaving my house! It is very rare that I keep a hold of air coolers, and for those of you that read my case reviews, you know I use a lot of stock cooling for that, and just recently swapped over to the Polaris 120 for my reviews. Fit willing I think I have found the replacement cooler to show off the inside of my builds, as well as this, getting my personal recommendation here or on any forums where members are asking about a great cooler that you don't have to hear from 30 feet away.

The combination of all the parts made for an excellent finished product. Again, it comes down to applying all the right "tricks" into one package. It's few and far between that a company gets it right, let alone handle itself as well as the HAVIK 140 has done. The "funky" fans as I called them definitely earned my respect; they can look as funky as they want, they are powerful and are terrific at being seen and not heard. With the lowest sound rating to date and the best performance on the load testing, I can't help but gloat about the HAVIK 140.

I know as of yet I don't have a solid price point for this cooler. What I do know is that if this cooler is anywhere near the magic $50-60 breaking point of most buyers, it's going to fly off the shelves like hotcakes. Even if they do decide to charge a bit more, weighing this against a Noctua for price versus performance, they are as high as $90 depending on the model. Either way, as long as NZXT isn't charging an outrageous amount (and knowing NZXT, they will make it very reasonably priced), the HAVIK 140 comes highly recommended for both silence and efficiency!

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After a year of gaming, Chad caught the OC bug. With overclocking comes the need for better cooling, and Chad has had many air and water setups. With a few years of abusing computer parts, he decided to take his chances and try to get a review job. As an avid overclocker, Chad is always looking for the next leg up in RAM, cooling, as well as peripherals.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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