Articles: Cooling

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Design and Functionality

The new Nexus cooler boasts pretty unusual looks:



The primary reason for the unusual looks is an angled fan installed at an almost 25° angle to the vertical axis of the cooler:

You can see the cooler dimensions on the scheme above, and its weight is 635 g.

Nexus VCT-9000 consists of five copper nickel-plated heatpipes, four of which are 6 mm in diameter, and one central heatpipe is 8 mm in diameter. The aluminum heatsink plates are pressed against these heatpipes and covered with a casing with a 120 mm fan at the top:


The shape of the casing sides reminds us of flames or wind gusts. All in all, it looks very attractive.

The top of the casing is put over the ends of the heatpipes:


When you look at the cooler you notice right away that it is built using today’s popular contact direct touch technology. So, it seems to be a decent cooler that stands out among a lot of others. So, is there a problem? Keep reading and you will understand what we mean.

Take a closer look at the heatsink:


It is obviously composed of three heatsink arrays including aluminum plates of different width. The lowest and widest array (77 mm wide) consists of 11 plates and has a wedge-shaped cut in the center. The middle array and the top one - each consists of 21 plates – do not have a V-shaped cut like that and are 57 and 36 mm wide respectively. According to Nexus, this V-shaped profile in the lower part of the heatsink should let the airflow from the cooling fan easily access the area around the CPU socket and cool the components in it more effectively.

Of course, this area needs to be cooled, but in this case much less air will actually get into the heatsink. Moreover, since the fan is installed at an angle to the heatsink plates, there is additional resistance to the airflow, which has to affect the heatsink cooling efficiency. It is remarkable that Nexus repeats the same mistake that Scythe made in their Kama Cross cooler. The only difference is that the Japanese maker has already corrected this mistake by launching their new Grand Kama Cross cooler, which heatsink plates are bent towards the airflow. Nexus , however, hasn’t yet corrected anything and we wonder if it ever will at all. Here I have to add that the heatsink plates are 0.3 mm thick and are placed 1.5 mm apart from one another.

Now let me say a few words about the heatpipes. We can’t figure out what in fact inspired Nexus engineers to direct the central 8 mm heatpipe that bears the highest thermal load into the least cooled part heatsink. We also do not quite understand why they installed a small aluminum heatsink right above the base without applying any thermal interface between them:


To make sure that this heatsink does actually do some good during the tests we applied a layer of thermal interface ourselves.

Heatpipe direct-touch technology in Nexus’ interpretation is called “Heat pipe-On-Core”. In VCT-9000 it is implemented in a pretty unique way as well. We have already got used to seeing aluminum or (rarely) copper inserts between the heatpipes in the cooler base, so the fact that there is practically nothing between the heatpipes of VCT-9000 cooler is truly new to us at this point:


If some of you believe that it is better to have air between the heatpipes in the cooler base then we will try to convince you of the contrary with the help of the following two photographs:


Well, there is nothing else to tell you about the heatsink, so let’s move on to the fan:


He fan is firmly attached to the aluminum casing with four plastic mounts. As for the casing, it is screwed on to the top of the heatsink as well as to the cooler base. D12SL-12(B-PWM) fan model uses an enhanced slide bearing with the official MTBF of 50,000 hours. The fan rotation speed is automatically PWM-controlled in the interval between 500 and 1600 RPM. The level of generated noise should lie anywhere between $15 and 22 dBA, and the actual airflow remaines unknown. The fan is 113 mm in diameter, has a 41 mm rotor (diameter) and comes with a 480 mm cable.

There are four blue LEDs in the corners of the fan that create mild glow during cooler operation.


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