Articles: Cooling

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Design and Functionality

First, let’s take a closer look at the NZXT Havik 120 heatsink:



Nothing in its design jumps out as extraordinary: 46 almost rectangular aluminum fins are firmly pressed against four copper nickel-plated heatpipes 8 mm in diameter:


The gaps between the fins are a little less than 2 mm and the fins themselves are 0.5 mm thick. The heatsink dimensions are 160x125x58 mm and its weight is 680 grams. The calculated effective heatsink surface is 6,560 cm2, which is pretty small compared with other tower-cooler available in the today’s market.

The heatpipes pierce the heatsink body symmetrically on both sides and are shifted away from one another:


I believe this is how NZXT engineers were trying to ensure that the heat will get distributed evenly over the heatsink surface and also that most heatpipes will end up being in the parts of the heatsink that receive the best airflow. Although to accomplish this, two central heatpipes had to be bent really dramatically right at the base, so they do not have any contact with the lower 4-5 heatsink fins. These fins work only with the side heatpipes:

The heatpipes lie inside special grooves in the nickel-plated cooler base and the contact spots are soldered thoroughly.

The base surface looks like it could have been finished better:

However, despite the unappealing looks, you don’t feel the machine marks to the touch at all – the surface is smooth and most importantly – even, and the only reason why we didn’t get a perfect thermal paste imprint was because of the convex CPU heat-spreader:


NZXT Havik 120 can accommodate two 120x120x25 mm fans with uniquely shaped blades:

We didn’t find any fan models with this particular blade shape (like a goose feather) among the company’s products. They are probably made exclusively for Havik 120. Judging by their specifications, their maximum rotation speed should be 1500 RPM and if they are connected via a special resistor, then their maximum rotation speed drops to 1200 RPM. The declared level of noise for these specific fans is 22 and 18 dBA, and the airflow – 75.8 and 61.5 CFM, respectively.

The fans use a slide bearing with 30,000 or at least 3.4 years MTBF:

According to the rotor sticker, the maximum power consumption of one such NZXT fan shouldn’t exceed 3.6 W. Our measurements showed that one fan rotating at maximum speed didn’t need more than 2.2 W of power, which means that they are pretty energy-efficient. The startup voltage was equal 4.1 V.

The fans are attached to the heatsink with very soft silicone mounts. These mounts are inserted into the retention holes in the fan frame, then they go in-between the fins and catch on to the slits on the sides of the heatsink:

This soft suspension allows to almost completely prevent the vibrations from being transferred through the fan frame into the heatsink thus reducing noise substantially. I have to add that the fans are installed for air intake and exhaust.

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