Date: October 30th, 2007
Article by: Joe Anderson (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Zerotherm
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PRODUCT PICTORIAL AND WALKTHROUGH
If you've seen ZEROtherm's CPU cooling products before, you can see that the design of the Nirvana has taken a departure from the distinctive butterfly look in favor of a more conventional design. The finish, however, is anything but conventional. In my opinion, this nickel-chrome finish is just beautiful. It's very shiny and almost, but not quite, black. The fin design is a little unusual, too. ZEROtherm calls this “honeycomb structure” and claims enhanced cooling due to the intersecting fin arrangement. Keep an eye out as we take a closer look in the upcoming photos.
The base is dead flat, and the nickel plating gives it a nice look. One could argue that plating the copper mating surface may not provide optimal heat transfer, but several top manufacturers have been doing it for years with no ill effects. The mounting bracket that accepts the clips and screws is very sturdy with more than enough material present to prevent stripped threads.
The four copper heatpipes and base seem to be soldered together into a single unit, promising excellent heat transfer and good cooling. We'll see.
Accessories included with the Nirvana are the user's manual, Intel and AMD mounting clips, the fan controller and a bag with thermal compound, screws and adhesive mounting disks for the control module.
PRODUCT INSTALLATION AND TESTING
For this review, I've chosen a DFI Infinity P965-S motherboard coupled with an Intel Core 2 Duo E4300 Allendale processor (overclocked to 2.4 GHz, +0.1 Vcore.) The other components are listed below.
- eVGA 7900GS KO graphics card with Thermalright cooler
- Buffalo Firestix PC2-6400 (1024mb X 2) memory
- Zalman ZM600-HP heatpipe modular 600 Watt PSU
- Western Digital Raptor 740 SATA hard drive
- Samsung DVD-RW SATA drive
I'll be putting the Nirvana on a Socket 775 board, so I installed the appropriate clip to the base. ZEROtherm cautions the user to place the cooler on its side to avoid damage to the heatpipes. After applying a thin coat of thermal paste, the backplate can be placed under the motherboard and the spring-loaded screws can be tightened down, completing the installation.
While this install was as easy as the 775 scheme allows, AMD users will like that mounting solution even better. It uses the OEM retention bracket and may allow the Nirvana to be installed with the mobo in the case, depending on the hardware.