Asus Triton 88
We predict that you’ll have a horrible time installing the Asus Triton 88. It uses a bulky design with two coolers that are joined by six heatpipes. The fan is located between the two coolers, which are designed to accommodate two additional 120mm fans on the outside of the heat exchanger. Mounting clips are supplied (the fans are not) so you could install a total of three fans if you fancy.
The two coolers overshadow the CPU socket so Asus supplies a small spanner that allows you to work the four mounting screws into place, quarter turn by quarter turn. It’s fiddly and annoying, and is the result of poor design. You really want to have the motherboard on the bench for this installation.
The Asus is fairly quiet at the standard processor speed but as soon as we overclocked the Core i7 920 the thermally controlled fan spun up to speed and made quite a lot of noise. On the plus side, the Triton 88 kept the temperature under control so it’s not without virtue but neither is it a winner.
Reg Rating 65
More Info Asus' Triton 88 page
GELID Silent Spirit
The Silent Spirit from GELID uses a novel lightweight construction, and the heatsink that sits on top of the processor looks just like the sort of thing you generally find on the chipset of a motherboard. Four copper heatpipes move the heat from the heatsink to the main exchanger, which sits at a jaunty angle above the CPU. GELID supplies a choice of mounts for AMD, LGA775 and LGA1366 motherboards that attach to either side of the heatsink with a small screw. The two Intel mounts employ the usual quarter-turn push pins so we expected the Silent Spirit would be easy to install. Unfortunately, the pins were quite stiff and we had to remove the motherboard as it required a good firm push on two of the pins.
The fan has a four-pin connector and is thermally controlled, but it measures a relatively small 92mm in diameter. At standard clock speeds, the Silent Spirit did a decent job and was very quiet but when we overclocked our Core i7 the temperatures rose steadily along with the fan speed and noise.
Having said that we were pleasantly surprised that the GELID managed to control the CPU at 3.8GHz, and when you consider the low price of this model we feel that it's well worth consideration.
Reg Rating 65
More Info GELID's coolers page
Next page: Coolink Silentator
@Radiated heat commenters
Wouldn't a CPU cooler be better off with low radiated heat and high conducted heat? I mean radiated heat would go into heating the surrounding case and electronics (which is bad as the heat ends up in non-actively-cooled components), but conducted heat only heats up the air being pulled through by the fan (which, with proper case airflow, is good as the heat's pulled out quickly afterwards). So the best cooler designs would be those with huge surface area (i.e. many vanes) and a big fan.
The best case designs, however, would radiate heat- they're (typically) radiating to a whole room (so radiated heat is spread over a massive surface area) rather than blasting the heat back at whatever you're trying to cool in the first place.
Saying that, the most important thing to start with is good case airflow. Otherwise you just end up recirculating the hot air...
This is without a doubt one of the best coolers on the market fish around for reviews...it costs less than £35 delivered and is in my experience the best you can buy for a air cooled cpu. Water cooling is such a farce...I have had the Zalman 8700 and 9700 models as well as the scythe coolers...min cpu i have had them on is a Q6600 my QX6700 runings @ 40c under load @ 3.2Ghz with the Xigmatek HDT-S1283.... FIVE STARS!
I want a gold plated IEC mains lead too
@refined chap and others
It is indeed largely about "bling". But roughened matt black, whilst good at losing the heat, wouldn't look so good in comparison with superprettified polished chrome would it.
The eejits these things are aimed at are the same eejits that gold plated fuses for the car stereo are aimed at. Fuses. Gold plated. Think about it.
Respect is due also for the EMC comment re see-through PC sides, not that anyone in authority in the UK cares much about EMC regulations anyway (otherwise the market for powerline ethernet (Homeplug etc) would be just as dead as the market for SSE Telecom's powerline broadband).
kinda wished you had also based results on the stupid special fans that need lots of cable ties if the clips ever break or fan needs replacing
i use a mini ninja on my case with 3 fans loaded on it and nootice only a 4 degree cahnge under load and idle :D
but its louder than a bloody 747 at take off :/
The "Titan TTC-NK85TZ Fenrir" is better than these
I have one, it's huge, but cools damned well, and can even cope with tall DDR3 (you mount the fan higher up the heatsink.