The Bottom Line
Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
Jumping into the way-back machine, somewhere in the realm of five years ago, we got or hands-on the Reeven Justice CPU air cooler. In that time, single tower coolers were just that, a tower of fins, in this case, fifty-three of them, stacked onto heat pipes with no concerns of offsets or memory clearances. The tower was left in its natural aluminum state, while the copper bits were plated to match; however, the Justice sported bold yellow trip pieces that made it stand out in any build. As time passed, Reeveen must have been proud enough of that cooler to give it a second life, as we are here now to cover the second installment of the Reeven Justice cooler.
Loads of things we found on the original Justice cooler were rethought, redesigned, and readdressed to bring a pretty standard 120mm tower cooler into the modern age. Opting for fewer fins this time, and slightly wider gaps between them, Reeven feels the change to the tower structure was needed. The new version keeps the same amount of heat pipes, but this time they are bent in a way that offsets the tower to ensure RAM of any height can be used along with this cooler with not a single conflict. The fan has been changed as well, and with the diet, it went on, the weight has also been lessened ten grams overall. The most significant change is in its visual appeal, as the yellow has been ditched, and the top fin of the tower is now black to help it blend into builds this time around.
In our hands for testing is the Reeven Justice II. On paper, we feel that with the reduction in the number of fins, and opting for a much less powerful fan this time around, they are in for a fierce battle against all of the other coolers found in our charts. Reeven may have some tricks up their sleeves that we do not see on initial inspection, but after we get up close and personal with the Justice II CPU air cooler from Reeven, we will be punishing it like all the rest. Once in the charts, we can take a head to head approach comparing this cooler and see if its sub fifty dollar price point is saving grace enough.
While the original Justice was the RC-1204, as you can see in the chart we borrowed from the product page, the Reeven Justice II can also be found searching the RC-1207 model number. Right out of the gate, we see all of the systems that the cooler is compatible with, starting with LGA115X and continuing through 2066. AMD compatibility starts with AM2, includes the FM1 and FM2 sockets, and is ready for AM4 as well. The chart continues with a brief synopsis of the specifications, starting with the dimensions. The Justice II stands 155mm tall, it is 125mm wide, and with the fan is 100mm deep. It uses six 6mm diameter heat pipes, and with the fan included, it weighs in at 920 grams. The fan cooling the tower is a 120mm 4-pin PWM fan, which tops out at 1200 RPM. At that speed, you will get 50.93 CFM of airflow, 1.03 inchH2O of static pressure, while delivering 25.1 dB(A) of noise.
That is not covered are things like the use of aluminum for the fins, that they are press-fit onto the heat pipes, and compared to the original Justice, is lacking three fins. They do not mention that the heat pipes are made of copper, that they are soldered into the aluminum base, nor that they are offset in a way to leave full RAM clearance. They do not mention the new design of the fan, which has slots in the fan blades, something we do not recall seeing so far. They do not indicate that the top of the cooler has a black top plate, thicker than the rest of the fins, and is black now to match as many systems as possible. There may be a few other minor details we do not recall at this time. Still, we will be covering them as we look at the tower, we just wanted to go over the basics, and things we tend to find in specifications charts that may have a bearing on your purchasing decision.
At just $49.99, the Reeven Justice II is looking very appealing, but there are a few coolers that are slightly more affordable, that have shown impressive abilities for the cost. While the battle in our charts is hard-won when you can make it to the top third, we feel that the Reeven Justice II may already be handicapped in this race. From the specs, we have on hand, and with what we know about how CPU cooling works, this very well may be an instance where a company is driven to keep noise levels down, no matter what sort of results are delivered. Let's just hope things do not go too far south for Reeven, because aesthetically and financially, it is a cooler that might make sense to many users otherwise. As always, though, we will let the results do the talking, and go from there.
The outer packaging is made of cardboard, and the majority of it is matte black. On the front of the box, we get a fair view of the cooler that is packed inside of the box along with the compatibility at the top-left corner. At the bottom is the full name of the cooler, the model number, and its classification.
With a top-down view of the Justice II used as the background, we find five things of interest on this side of the box. First is the asymmetric design, which we have covered. There is the use of the Zephyros II fan mentioning its fluid-dynamic bearing. We then see a mention of the premium mounting hardware, and we agree it is quite good. Reeven also covers the fact that this could be considered compact with its 155mm overall height. The last thing we see is the smaller notation at the top of the two-year warranty.
The back of the box is bright yellow, as Reeven does tend to like yellow, but it is used to display the specifications. At the top are renderings stating the dimensions of the cooler as well as the fan, The bottom offers a chart which is provided in eight languages, delivering the same specs we saw earlier in the chart we took from their page.
The last panel does not offer much in the way of information; Reeven used this more like a place where Reeven thought the name of the cooler in a large font would be better than say another couple of views of the cooler.
We are missing two pieces of foam in this image, as there is one for either end of the cooler still inside of the box. When removed, the center section of foam will lift the cooler out of the box, after you have removed the hardware box and the fan sandwiched between the box and the tower. The dense foam does its job well, as the Reeven cooler is in terrific shape and ready to have its photos taken.
Reeven Justice II CPU Cooler
What we see here is the leading edge of the Justice II tower, where the fan is to be attached. There are fifty fins in the stack, including the thicker top fin, and we can plainly see the three paths the six heat pipes take through the fins. As to the shape of the leading edge, the outer sides are extended to the tune of 3mm to allow a gap in the middle for the fan to start building pressure.
The view of the back of the tower is similar to what we saw on the front, but the shape of the fins is slightly different. Things start the same with the longest bits of the fins are at the edges, and there is a recess in the middle. However, this time, there is another drop in depth in the center of the fins,
From the back, there is not much to see, but we are aware that a second fan can be added for a push/pull arrangement of fans. While the sides of the cooler are open, it is the bits of aluminum around the heat pipes that keep the spacing of the fins equidistant throughout the fin stack.
A view of the last side of the Justice II leaves us with things like the studs which hold the top plate on the cooler go ten fins deep to ensure it does not come loose. At the opposite end of the cooler, we can see how tightly packed the six pipes are in the aluminum base, but we also see small dabs of solder that have squeezed out in the assembly process.
The top fin of the cooler is made of aluminum but has been finished in matte black. Near the pins are some styling additions to break up the solid metal look, along with the REEVEN name being punched out of the top fin. The earlier model had holes running on either side of the name, but we do not miss them in this model.
The base of the cooler is slightly convex, and as you can see, the base is not polished to a fine mirror finish. The circular machine marks are visible from where they surfaced the copper base, before plating it in nickel.
Accessories and Documentation
We have the bulky components of the mounting hardware on display in this image. At the top is the cross-bar, which locks the base of the cooler to the shiny metal top ring below it. The top ring supports Intel and AMD and is marked so that it is installed correctly. On the right is the universal backplate with Intel labeled on one side, and AMD on the other.
The rest of the mounting gear is what we have now. The knurled nuts lock the studs in place, but after the white plastic spacers are under the top ring from the last image. At the bottom, we find the LGA2011/2066 studs, and to the right of them are the isolation washers that go on the backplate before installation on the motherboard.
Even though the Justice II comes with a single fan, Reeven wants to leave you with the option for additional performance by giving us four wire fan clips. We also found a syringe of Reeven thermal Grease, suitable for a few application attempts.
On the box, we saw that this fan is called the Zephyros II, but now we can see it in full form. Using a black frame with significant rubber contact points for isolation, this nine-bladed fan has four slots in each of the highly stylized blades. Reeven is trying some fan magic to lower noise, while hopefully keeping similar performance to the original cooler.
The manual comes folded, and once laid open, you find a parts guide to start things off. As for the instructions, the renderings are good enough to get you through the process, but we also notice very little in the form of textual information. However, with this guide, we had the cooler installed and ready for pictures in less than five minutes.
Installation and Finished Product
To go along with the Intel LGA115X installation instructions, find the proper holes in the backplate, and key the studs into the holes, so that they lock, and will not spin. Once that is sorted, slide a rubber washer on top of each of the studs to isolate this component from the motherboard.
The next step is to align the studs with the socket holes in the motherboard and install the backplate. Put a finger or two on the backplate, and flip the motherboard over, to move onto the next step.
Whether on AMD or Intel, unless on LGA2011/2066, this part of the hardware installation is all the same. Drop the white plastic spacers on the studs, with the proper end up, as shown in the instructions. The next step is to install the top ring, ensuring that the holes for mounting the cooler are left and right of the socket for a typical installation orientation. Then lock it all into one mass of hardware with the knurled nuts.
We added some paste, dropped the cross-bar in place, and screwed it down on the front of the tower with little to block the screw, while at the back, that is what the deep valley in the fins was for. Now installed, we see a bit of the fan is missing behind the memory, which is a very good thing! We can also see that the fan does cover the majority of the fins, and even has a gap at the bottom to add a bit of airflow to the power delivery systems of your motherboard.
Not only is the fan offset for zero issues with the memory in front of the cooler, but they also give you a few more millimeters extra so that no matter how tall the RAM may be, it will be easy to remove without the need to mess with anything else. This is also as low as the fan can sit, as it rides the top of the cross-bar mounting screws.
Taking a step back, we can see that for those of you with LGA2011/2066 motherboards, as shipped, there is no interference on either side of the cooler when it comes to memory. However, adding a second fan could limit access, but if the case allows, the fan could be raised to enable sticks like ours to fit.
Once installed into the chassis, we can now see the Justice II as many will see it on a daily basis. The matte black top fin blends well with the motherboard and video card, and the simplicity of their styling can be appreciated as well, sort of a "sleeper" style cooler, if you will. As to the installation, we had full access to all the screws to mount the motherboard, connectivity of the PSU wiring is not impeded, and we still have full use of the top PCI-e slot on some motherboards.
Test System Setup, Thermal Tests, and Noise Results
Chad's CPU Cooler Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS ROG Maximus VIII HERO (Intel Z170) - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- CPU: Intel Core i7 6700K - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Memory: Patriot Viper 4 3000MHz 4X4GB - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Graphics Card: MSI GeForce GTX 1060 6GB OC - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Storage: Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Case: INWIN D-Frame - Read our review
- Power Supply: Thermaltake Toughpower DPS 1050W - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-bit - Buy from Amazon
- Software: RealTemp 3.70, AIDA64 Engineer 5.75.3900, and CPU-z 1.77.0 x64
To see our testing methodology and to find out what goes into making our charts, please refer to our CPU Cooler Testing and Methodology article (October 2016) for more information.
The Justice II looks like it delivers a sad result, but the reality is that 61-degrees is not all that bad. However, the NiC C5 was in the charts with the Justice, and it beat the C5. The Justice II is a couple of degrees behind the C5 this time around, so we do get less performance this time around.
At 77.5-degrees, we are over eleven degrees from the top of the chart. Again, not a horrible result as we are still quite a ways away from the throttle point of this processor, and have more room to go if the CPU has more left in the tank.
The 73.75-degree result is not so important here, as it is our metric to see what sort of performance they left in the cooler opting to go beyond the PWM fan curve. In the Justice II, without much of a noise increase at all, we were able to get nearly four degrees of performance increase from this cooler with little effort or irritations from opting to go this route.
Noise Level Results
While the PWM circuit is in use, the lowest we saw the fan spin was at 450 RPM, and at this point, we guarantee it will not be heard inside of a case. While running the stock settings for the CPU, the highest speed we saw in software was 650 RPM. 26 dB is all we got from the fan at that speed.
As we changed over to the overclocked profile in the BIOS and ran the test, the fastest we saw was 840 RPM for the fan. At this time, we got to a whopping 28 dB of noise level, so they are under the radar for most ears out there.
We do wish that Reeven had been more aggressive with the fan curve. As out OC testing shows, they left almost a quarter of the fan's performance in the tank, not even trying to use it. Since the fans noise level only increased to 33dB at full speed, we feel they would have been better served to opt for a bit more performance under control of PWM.
The problem we have at the end of all of this isn't so much that the Reeven Justice II does the job as it is intended to do, and kept us comfortably away from throttling, it has to do with the competition. There is a slew of options at this price point or below, many we have tested recently, can deliver what Reeven offers to a point. We have coolers scattered all through the charts, many from Scythe, the aging NiC C5, even the one-offs like the NEOllusion, Core Frozr L, XTC700, even the Enermax AXE coolers are better. Some may have more noise associated with them, some may have lights, but many are as stylish, and all of them will not break the bank. This is the bit that has us in a bit of a quandary as to what path we take.
For what it is on a basic level, the components are what we tend to see in other coolers, no major kinks in the heat pipes, a fair amount of aluminum fins, maybe not the best choice for a fan, but the mounting hardware is some of the best and easiest to work with, in the market. Hardware is not the thing that will carry the Justice II to a victory, though. While we feel like this has turned into a bash session about Reeven, the bottom line is that they delivered something average, at an average price, with average performance level, with an ordinary aesthetic appeal. It is not that the cooler is terrible in any way, as we found nothing to be dysfunctional or damaged in any way, quite the opposite. It is just that usually there is that extra "something" that we can carry away a product on a positive note.
We appreciate quiet cooler, we appreciate coolers that blend in with many systems, and we love it when mounting is not some over-complicated exercise in anger management, and Reeven offers all of that! They deliver a good user experience with the fact that five minutes from opening the box, the cooler can be installed, and you can be installing the motherboard screws and making the appropriate connections! There is full access to everything around the Justice II, including RAM, motherboard screws, 8-pin EPS power, and even the top PCI-e slot. These are all great things to have in a cooler, and we just wish that Reeven would have opted to not leave that three to four degrees of performance for us to have to find, as it would have shown them in a much better, and much more competitive light for your hard-earned dollar.
The Reeven Justice II will take on what you want to throw at it, and with a fan swap, this thing could be a beast rather than a sleeper with adverse reaction time. At $49.99, we do not feel that opting for the Reeven Justice II is a bad call to make; we just think that for the price, there are better options out there, and Scythe is currently killing it on a feature to feature basis. If it were us, we might keep this around as a secondary cooler that is simple to use in such a manner. Still, for our daily gamer or productivity rigs, we would likely go with the better performing options with similar noise levels.
While the score reflects its merits, we just cannot recommend the Justice II with the competition at this price as tough as it is. We found it to be a bit plain and average, but in the end, there are many coolers that would be a worse choice as well.
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