Date: August 21st, 2009
Article by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Noctua
<--SHOP FOR GREAT PRICES ON AN INTEL I7 COOLER
NOCTUA NH-U12P SE1366 SPECIAL EDITION INTRODUCTION
Ah it is funny how products fade in and out of popularity. In 2001-2003, cpu coolers were all the rage as young computer users tried to push to see how fast they could overclock their computers. But then, due to the exponential increase in processor speeds thanks to the war between Intel and AMD, the need for overclocking and the relative cooling down of processor cores as engineering revisions were made, the need for special coolers faded to nil. In fact, the stock cooler did a fine job at keeping the fast processor at decent temperature even during overclocking. But now with the release of the i7 and the upcoming i5, performance coolers are again becoming one of the most sought after piece of hardware when user's are trying to build a custom rig. They not only cooler better than ever, they also look great in a windowed case.
Today I will be reviewing the Noctua NH-U12P SE1366 cooler which is Noctua's flagship cooler for the Intel i7. Not only does it size and features match the competition, it also has two fans to facilitate the removal of heat from the heatsink as soon as efficiently as possible. But is it all flash and no substance? How will it perform under the 130 watt heat output from the eight virtual cores contained within one of the fastest processors in the world.
Let's see if it will hold its own.
SMALL HEATPIPE TECHNOLOGY TUTORIAL
I am going to keep this as simple as possible to get the basic premise across to all of the Tweaknews readers. Please don't be insulted if this is too simple for your education level. I have to cater my writing to the least technical reader looking for information.
The basic idea behind heatpipe technology is really simple.
1.) With a tube containing a compressed fluid/gas, the fluid comes in contact with the heat source (the cpu core, in this case) which heats up the volatile fluid and turns it to a gas. The energy is absorbed in the gas production process and is ready for transportation.
2.) The heated gas now travels along the inner portion of the tube where it comes to the cooling portion of the heatsink in this example.
3.) The radiator, with or without a fan, will cool the liquid and transfer the energy (AKA heat) to the radiator to be dispersed to the surrounding air. With the heat removed, the vapor quickly condenses back to a fluid and runs along the inside surface of the pipe, back down to the bottom, where the process can be started all over again.
For another example, you can consider a boiling pot of water with a glass lid as a very very basic heatpipe. When the water boils, the water vapor comes in contact with the cooler glass pot lid which forces the vapor to condense back to water, where it dribbles back down the inside of the lid back into the pot.
It's basic, but it gets the point across.