Noctua NH-U12P SE1366
The Noctua NH-U12P SE1366 uses the same mounting system as the NH-C12P so, once again, you have to remove the motherboard from the case to install the base plate. The difference with this model is that the cooler stands vertically so you can install a 120mm fan on each side of the cooler, if you so choose.
The NH-C12P is big but reasonably low in profile, while the NH-U12P stands tall. However, it's no more bulky than the Akasa, Asus, Coolink and Thermalright coolers. Noctua supplies two NF-P12 fans which retail for £18 each, yet this cooler sells for the same price as the NH-C12P which only comes with one fan. The package also includes two sets of in-line resistors to control the fan speed.
When we overclocked the Core i7 we could see that the NH-U12P has better cooling performance than the NH-C12P in a straight fight when using a single fan. However, our testing showed that the second fan made only the tiniest difference to performance. We recommend you buy this Noctua and use the second fan elsewhere inside your case.
Reg Rating 75
More Info Noctua's NH-U12P page
Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme
The eXtreme version of the Thermalright Ultra-120 has six heatpipes instead of the four you got with the original Ultra-120. It comes in two versions depending on whether you want AMD or Intel mounts, so you’re only paying for the hardware that you want.
Although the Thermalright looks similar to the Coolink and Noctua coolers, it has a design that is both simple and effective. But it also suffers from some minor flaws. The cooler is attached to the back plate with an X-shaped bracket that is held down with four screws that have fairly strong springs so you need to lean on the screws to get the threads engaged while holding the bracket in place. It's essential that you have the motherboard laid flat on the bench to install this cooler.
The 120mm Thermalright fan has a three-pin connector and spins at a constant 1200rpm which makes it rather noisier than we would like. The fan clips into a plastic holder and we had no problem swapping it for the Akasa fan which quietened the Thermalright noticeably but of course that raises the cost of the cooler.
We can partially forgive the Ultra-120 eXtreme for the hassle during installation and the noise that it makes as it is an effective cooler that matched the performance of the Akasa.
Reg Rating 80
More Info Thermaltake's Ultra-120 page
Next page: Zalman CNPS9900-LED
@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.