Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
This is not the first of the "non-interference CPU coolers" to hit our lab from Thermaltake. There were a few in the original release of this series a while back, and at that time, Thermaltake had sent along the flagship cooler of that original release, the NiC C5. In that cooler, there were a lot of cool ideas that came to fruition. To be honest, the NiC C5 was likely the most user friendly cooler Thermaltake produced at that point, and it was even able to hold its own in the masses of competition.
To achieve the non-interference bit of the naming, Thermaltake was sure to develop a serious cooler that wouldn't encroach on anything else around it. Not only did the NiC C5 cooler clear all of the memory slots, but it also left the top PCI-e slot wide open for use, and it didn't cover the motherboard mounting screws. At the same time, the NiC C5 looked great, and was more than capable of taming the heat produced from our test rig.
Well, it seems Thermaltake is at it again, but this time they have come up with something slightly different to accomplish all of the things that make the NiC series what it is. Today we are going to look at the top-tier product from Thermaltake's second run of non-interference coolers, the NiC L32.
Things have definitely changed since the last time we looked at the NiC series coolers, but the real question is: Can the NiC L32 keep up with the original, and is everything around this cooler still easy to get to and use? Stick around, because we plan to get up close and personal with this cooler. With the bar raised so high by the NiC C5 CPU cooler, we will soon find out if the second iteration of coolers to obtain the non-interference moniker is worthy of the name.
In the NiC L32, we are still dealing with a single tower of fins, but this time, the body of the cooler is a fair bit wider. Despite the increase in width, the cooler is still only 160mm in height, so it will fit inside of nearly every standard mid-tower chassis, and anything larger. The construction of this cooler delivers fifty aluminum fins that are 0.4mm in thickness, and the ends of each are bent at the edges to support the fin above. This will aid in keeping the fin spacing correct, but in doing so, also closes off about half of the sides of the cooler's fin stack. Three 8mm diameter heat pipes run through each of the fins. These pipes are copper, plated to fight oxidation, and run through an aluminum base plate. Once the pipes are in the base, the base is milled to expose the copper heat pipes in this direct contact base.
There is only one fan supplied with the L32, but at 140mm, it is larger than that of the NiC C5. This fan will spin in a range of 500 to 1800 RPM, delivering a maximum of 104.4 CFM of air flow. While it can draw 7.2W of power, it also affords users 2.11 mmH2O of static pressure in its 50,000 hour lifespan while doing so; the noise is also below 38.4 dBA. This fan is connected with a four-pin PWM connection, and we did lose the dial inline fan controller knob. The last bits offered by this chart are the 180W TDP of the NiC L32, and its lighter 620 grams of weight.
Anyone in the market for a new CPU cooler can appreciate the current pricing of the NiC L32. The initial pricing may differ slightly from location to location, but once shipping is included, we find everything seems to balance out. Over at Amazon.com, we found the NiC L32 for only $34.99, and they do require an additional $4.96 for shipping. In other locations, the initial pricing was slightly higher by a couple of dollars, but in those instances, they were asking less for shipping and handling of the cooler. No matter where you end up, the difference is minimal, but we are very interested to see how a roughly $40 cooler can do in today's market where near $100 air coolers reign supreme.
PRICING: You can find the Thermaltake NiC L32 for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.
United States: The NiC L32 retails for $34.99 at Amazon.
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