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Cooling Efficiency Tests

The results of our cooling efficiency tests are summed up in the diagram and table below:

When tested with two default fans NZXT Havik 120 proved very efficient and managed to cope with an overclocked six-core processor even at 800 RPM fan speed. At the same time, HR-02 Macho cooler tested with one default fan at the same 800 RPM proved to be 3°C more efficient than Havik 120 under peak load. At 1000 RPM this difference is only 1°C, and at maximum fan speed for both coolers Thermalright’s product loses 4°C to the new NZXT cooler. Of course, at this point we do not take into account the acoustics, but we will discuss it in just a few paragraphs.

We can clearly see that the cooling efficiency of NZXT Havik 120 depends a lot on the rotation speeds of its both fans: the temperature difference between the lowest speed of 800 RPM and maximum speed of 1600 RPM is 12°C, and within this range it changes by 2-4°C in every 200 RPM increment. Besides, I would like to draw your attention to the fact that Havik 120 cooler becomes even more efficient once we replace the default fans with Thermalright TR-FDB-2000. For example at 800 RPM the improvement from the default fans is 2°C, at 1000 RPM - 3°C, at 1200 and 1400 RPM - 2°C, and at the maximum 1600 RPM  the temperature is 1°C lower with alternative fans. The results obtained with these two alternative fans show that NZXT’s original fans are probably not the best match for the new Havik 120.

Despite this fact, the maximum CPU overclocking experiment was performed with the default fans at their maximum speed. As we found out, the new NZXT cooler can ensure stability of the overclocked 6-core processors at 4.5 GHz with the Vcore set at 1.405 V and peak temperature of the hottest core at 79°C:

We couldn’t push NZXT Havik 120 any further, but even this result is quite good already.

Now let’s add the results of the new NZXT Havik 120 cooler to our database diagram and table, where all coolers are entered in their default configurations. We will add the results in quiet mode (2x800 RPM) and at maximum speed of both fans (2x1600 RPM) when the CPU was overclocked to 4.375 GHz at 1.385 V core voltage:

* - The peak temperature of the hottest CPU core is posted on the diagram taking
into account the difference from the current ambient temperature and is reduced to 25°C.

If we disregard the noise at this point, we can conclude that at 1600 RPM of both fans the new Havik 120 is as efficient as Phanteks PH-TC14PE with two fans at 800 RPM or Thermalright Archon with one fan at 1260 RPM. Of course, both super-coolers work much quieter in this case. As for the quiet mode, NZXT Havik 120 was the last one here having lost a little over 3°C to its closest competitor – Thermalright HR-02 Macho.

We would also like to add Havik 120 to the new cooling systems rating according to the maximum CPU overclocking that they allow. All coolers are also entered in their default configurations only:

NZXT Havik 120 also looks pretty good here, but only at relatively high rotation speed of both its fans and therefore higher level of generated noise. At lower fan speeds the new cooler couldn’t cope with a six-core processor overclocked to 4.5 GHz. Despite this fact, we have to admit that NZXT Havik 120 did very well overall.

The only thing left to address at this point is the acoustic performance of the tested cooling products.

Acoustic Performance

We measured the noise from our testing participants in the entire supported speed range of their fans following the methodology described above. The results are summed up on the following graph:

As we see, two NZXT fans on Havik 120 are noisier than one 140 mm fan in Thermalright HR-02 Macho, but the difference in acoustic performance is insignificant. Havik 120 remains acoustically comfortable up to 1050 RPM and quiet at up to 920 RPM, while Macho remains acoustically comfortable at up to 1150 RPM and quiet at up to 980 RPM. Note that soft fan suspension and perfectly-balanced impellers they produce no parasitic noises, crackling or vibrations, which makes the noise quite acceptable even beyond the subjective acoustic comfort zone.


In fact, the only drawback the new NZXT Havik 120 has is its high price. Today 55 dollars will buy you not only a more efficient but also a quieter cooler, and we had one of them competing against the newcomer in our today’s test session. If Havik 120 cost $10 less (better $15 less), it would become very attractive solution for overclockers, as high price is its only drawback and everything else about it is great.

The new NZXT cooler is completely universal, has a simple and reliable high-pressure retention and doesn’t interfere with the tall heatsinks on memory modules or voltage regulator components. At the same time, NZXT Havik 120 offers great cooling efficiency and is capable of coping with (not extremely) overclocked six-core processors at minimal rotation speed of its two default fans. Some improvements of the base finish and, most likely, use of alternative fans with classical blades could make this cooler even better. However, in our opinion, its market success will primarily depend on its price.

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