The NiC L32 definitely fits in the non-interference bit of the series name. The cooler is not too tall for the average chassis choices, it did not encroach on the memory, we were able to mount the cooler before installing the motherboard with full access to all screws, and even while very close to it, the first PCI-e slot on the motherboard is usable. We liked the ingenuity of the design with the offset built into the leading and trailing edges, and the bent sides for structural support and capturing and redirecting air flow that is typically lost.
Thermaltake also louvered each fin in the stack to disturb the air on the sides, and added the Thermaltake logos to do the same in the middle. The NiC L32 is striking with the bright red fan with white blades on the tower of aluminum, and it would appear to be a cooler that is more than capable of keeping our processor cool.
This is where we found this design falters a bit. While our fan never reached the specified 1800 RPM, we do not feel that an extra 150 RPM would make this cooler amazingly better than the results we achieved. Even though this cooler is impressive when compared to the stock cooler, and maybe a small handful of previous submissions, the numbers just aren't that impressive on their own, especially when you consider the noise level to achieve these mediocre results. Also, to readdress that PCI-e slot, while there is just enough room to get a card in the slot, if you have something with a back plate attached to it, the NiC L32 will indeed be resting against that card. So, while it does fit the NiC series, maybe there should be an asterisk to notify potential customers of this.
However, there is one huge saving grace to this NiC L32 that keeps our spirits in a good light for this cooler. While there are many that would do better than the NiC L32, more than 75% of the contenders that do provide better results fall well over the $40 price point of this Thermaltake submission. So, in the end, the charts tend to show this cooler in a worse light than it really should be.
When you consider the investment, and the facts at hand, it crushes the competition in a dollar per degree aspect, much like CM Hyper coolers. We were expecting slightly better cooling results, maybe near the middle of the pack, but with only about ten coolers on that list comparing in price, most of those options are below the NiC L32 when it comes to overclocking our system and handling business.
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.
Product Summary Breakdown
|Quality including Design and Build||90%|
|Bundle and Packaging||92%|
|Value for Money||98%|
|Overall TweakTown Rating||91%|
The Bottom Line: In the charts, the NiC L32 results do not tell the full story! Complete freedom around the socket, a matching color scheme to a lot of systems, and a great price, the NiC L32 is hard to deny its props.
- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging]
- Page 3 [Thermaltake NiC L32 CPU Cooler]
- Page 4 [Accessories and Documentation]
- Page 5 [Installation and Finished Product]
- Page 6 [Test System Setup, Thermal Tests and Noise Results]
- Page 7 [Final Thoughts]
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