Some of you may be surprised to learn that super-coolers make the smallest share of all CPU coolers purchased by users today, but this is really so. There are several reasons for that. First, these coolers are primarily designed for overclockers, and in fact, relatively small group of users out there overclock processors. There are even fewer users among them who try to squeeze all the juices out of their processors with air-cooling alone. Second, super-coolers are expensive and pretty large in size, so you have to really think everything through before buying one. Third, there are mainstream coolers in the today’s market that cost half or even one third the price of the super-coolers and are much smaller in size. The interesting thing, however, is that these products lose not so much to the super-solutions in terms of cooling efficiency as you might think they would. However, very often you have to put up with lower maximum CPU frequency during overclocking and lower Vcore.
Today we are going to talk about four new cooling solutions from the mainstream segment that includes coolers ranging from $25 to $40 in price. Therefore, our today’s heroes - Cooler Master Hyper N520, Scythe Katana 3, GELID Silent Spirit and Scythe REEVEN - all fit this profile perfectly well. All of them are quite compact in size and easy to install. In our today’s article we will not only compare their functionality, cooling efficiency and acoustics, but will also see how far behind they are compared to the best air-cooler in CPU temperature as well as maximum overclocked frequency.
Cooler Master Hyper N520 (RR-920-N520-GP)
Package and Accessories
The first solution we will be talking about today ships in a pretty large box for a cooler of this size. It is designed in Cooler Master’s traditional colors:
There is a lot of information on the box that gives you a good idea of the cooler inside. The cooler is bundled with the following accessories:
- Retention kit and backplate for LGA1366 mainboards;
- Retention kit and backplate for Socket 754/939/940/AM2(+)/AM3 mainboards;
- Retention kit and backplate for LGA755 mainboards;
- Warranty slip;
- A set of screws, rubber rings, plastic washers, screw-nuts and a wrench for them;
- 1g of Cooler Master thermal interface;
- Installation instructions in several different languages.