Nexus Cooling Roundup Page: 1
Today we will have a look at some of Nexus's recent cooling hardware. Nexus have been around since the millenium and are well known in the computer enthusiast world for brilliant silent cooling solutions. Below is what Nexus say about themselves:
Nexus Technology BV was established in 2000 by a group of experts on heat conductivity and noise reduction in the computer industry. The founders have build up an in depth knowledge and experience on heat conductivity issues and thermal characteristics by working closely with many of the larger pc manufacturers for several years.
The idea to have a full line of high quality computer components to improve the working environment by reducing noise levels brought the founders together. Continuously developing products to reduce noise levels and consequentially improve heat conductivity and airflow.
What has arrived on OC3D's doorstep recently is a box of Nexus goodies; we will take a deep look into each of the items and see how they help with the cooling of your computer.
Wow, lots of goodies there. Let's crack on and have a closer look at those fans.
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My first impression was that the fans are truly amazing. They have a very high quality build, being very strong and using thick plastics. In the goodie box we were given an 80mm, 92mm and 120mm fan, each using the same colour scheme: black chassis and white fan blades.
After plugging the fans in for the first time, I was greeted with a completely silent operation. The fans themselves make no noise whatsoever, but the downside to no noise is low CFM. These case fans cannot move as much air as one might want for a high-end PC. I would personally recommend them for a HTPC or something that requires less airflow. Having said this, these fans are still top-notch in every other area.
Model number: D12SL-12 Orange or Black/White
Versions: Full Orange or Black Chassis and White Rotor/Blades
Fan mounts: 4 pieces Ultra-Soft silicone Fan Mounts
Weight: 123 grams
Voltage: 12 Volts
Voltage Range: 6.5 ~13.8 Volts
Input Current: 0.30 Amp Max
Rotation Speed: 1000 RPM (+/-10%)
Acoustic Noise: 22.8 dB(A)*
Airflow: 36.87CFM / (62.61m3/hour)
Starting voltage: 7 Volts
Operation Temperature: -10 to +65 C
Specs taken from Nexus website for the 120mm fan.
The power connector has both a molex and normal 3-pin fan connector. This has solved the problem with compatibility, as you can now choose to use either 3-pin or 4-pin molex, depending on what you have free. However, because the molex and 3-pin are always connected, they look messy when in use, even more so due to lack of sleeving to hide the brightly coloured wires; only the 120mm has a little sleeving on the 3-pin connector.
Looking at the picture, you can imagine how that would get in your way when inside your case. I think to improve on the fans further, they would need to include an adaptor so you don't have the molex dangling about, or vice versa.
To further silence each of the fans, Nexus have included four rubber "screws". These screws allow you to fasten the fan to your case without the worry of the vibrations making any sound. These work very well, and are worthy of installing if you really value your silence
On the next page we shall have a look at another item from the goodie box.
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We now come to a rather interesting item: the FrizzBee. The packaging is shaped like a frisbee with a black and orange colour scheme - very original. Let's see if the cooler has the stuff too.
Specs below: taken from Nexus's site.
- Model number: FRZ-3500
- Dimensions: 101.6x94.6x17.8mm
- Fan Dimensions: 60x60x15 mm
- Bearing Type: Sleeve Bearing
- Rated Voltage: 12 Volts
- Rated Current: 0.03 A
- Rotation Speed: 1500 RPM
- Noise Level: Inaudible! (<15 dB(A))
- Airflow: 6.4 CFM
- Warranty: 3 Years
As you can tell from just looking at the specs, the Frizzbee is incredibly silent, and if you have hot hard drives, this will surely be a good solution.
Looking at the fan, you can tell it hasn't been done before; the fan is designed to screw onto the screw holes on the bottom side of the disk, allowing the fan to blow cold air onto the circuit board to cool it. Just like the Nexus fans on the previous page, the FrizzBee has the same black and white colour scheme, which is very effective.
The Frizzbee is powered by a male/female molex, which is a brilliant idea for people who have IDE hard drives seeing as it can plug straight into the hard drive and get power from there. But for people with SATA drives, this may be a little irritating as you will have to go hunting for a spare molex connection. Maybe someone could make a fan powered by SATA power connector?
Right; on to installation. For some reason, you don't get any instructions for the installation of the fan, so if you are new to computer hardware and cooling then beware. As said previously, the fan attaches to the bottom of your hard drive and blows air up onto it. Below is a picture of what it should look like when installed correctly.
Now let's have a look at the temperature of my IBM IC35L IDE 120GB hard drive.
I am completely surprised by the outcome of this test. I was expecting a drop in temperature, but not of such a significant amount. I am especially impressed with the load temp as well; the FrizzBee seems to be able to keep the drive cool even when it is working hard. I used HDTach
to put the disk under load, and it seemed to be working pretty hard on the random access test. Very impressive hard drive cooler.
The Frizzbee has seriously impressed me. Let's now move on to another item from the Nexus box.
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Moving on now to Nexus's Hard Disk Mounting kit, designed to stop vibration resulting in a more silent hard drive. Let's have a look at the packaging.
As you can see from the image, the box is rather average. A plastic window shaped like the actual kit allows you to see in on the mounting brackets. Three orange ovals in the top right corner describe what the brackets achieve: "Stop Vibration", "Fits up to 2x3.5" hard disks" and "Mounts in a 5.25" bay". Let's now look at the specs:
Specifications - Taken from Nexus website.
- Model number: DoubleTwin
- Dimensions: 113x34x23 mm
- Compatibility: one or two 3.5" HDD
- Weight: 45 grams (per unit)
- Materials: Solid Aluminum, Solid Rubber, Mounting Screws
- Warranty: 3 Years
Right, now for a closer look at DoubleTwin.
As you can see the build is pretty solid and the rubber absorbers look like they will do the job.
So far they look quite promising. Let's fit them to a harddisk and see how it goes. Installation is relatively easy. All you need is a screw driver and some standard screws. Once the hard drives are fastened to the mounts, they do look pretty, uhm, cool. I think my only doubt about the DoubleTwin so far is the fact that they take up space in the 5.25" drive bay. Below are some pictures of what the drives look like when mounted to the DoubleTwin.
As you can see from the picture on the left, mounting two harddisks to the DoubleTwin still allows space between for airflow, so there is no need to worry about overheating the drives. Another interesting thing is the bottom drive (SATA one) is mounted upside down, once again helping cool the chip on under-side.
Overall, the DoubleTwin does its job; it certainly stops the vibration of the drives resulting in near silent operation. But I did test with two drives - one my latest and most modern SATA2 Western Digital and the second an old IDE Hatachi Deskstar. What this showed me is that the mounting kit did nothing to help the new Western Digital, mainly because modern hard drives have very little vibration, whereas for the old rickety IDE drive, the kit silenced the drive's operation. If you have an old hard disk and want to silence the vibration, this mount kit will do the job. If not, then you will not gain from this at all.
Now, let's move on to another.
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We move on to some interesting little numbers, Ventilation Brackets. These are designed for the PCI slots on the back of your PC to allow better airflow instead of having a solid bracket. Nexus outlines their strongest assets:
- 3 units in one package
- Strong shaped metal mesh
- quick and easy solution!
- universal design
There is not a lot to say about these brackets. They look good, they do the job and they are well made. I do, however, have one issue with them. Say you wanted better airflow in your case; would you go out and pay for these brackets or would you take the cheaper option and just have no brackets at all? This would allow for better air flow as the air doesn't have to go through the grill.
Other than what I mentioned above, I am impressed with the quality of build, and if you are looking for air flow but want to keep the good looks of your rig, I recommend these brackets.
On to the final item of interest; follow on to the next page to look at Nexus's RAM sinks.
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The Nexus HXR-5500 come in boxes of one, as shown above. Three yellow ovals (similar to other packaging from Nexus products) display the main specifactions for the RAM sinks: "Heat Pipes", "No Noise" and "Suitable for DRR/DDR2/DRR3". At first glimpse, these heat sinks are of a very high quality build with no bad edges, well-finished aluminium and shiny copper heat pipes. You can tell these little beauties will make any RAM modules look 'beefy' and I am sure they move a fair amount of heat.
After closer inspection, the well-finished metal is even more obvious and in-fact quite impressive. Inside the heat spreaders you will find two strips of thermal pads, allowing for good heat transfer without risking the RAM chips themselves. Installation is as easy as it gets: simply unscrew two screws on the back of the spreaders, allowing you to slip your RAM modules into their new metal jacket. Then just screw the sinks up again to fastern the RAM in place, simple.
Time for some testing. For this test I am going to screw the RAM sinks to some Geil Black Dragon PC2-6400 5-5-5-15 RAM. I will then test with and without the sinks to see if there is a noticable difference; then I will overclock the modules and test again. I shall be using Orthos
to stress the RAM, aiming to get them nice and toasty.
Below are specifications of the bench rig that will be used in the following tests.
Now let's begin. I shall start by running at stock speeds of 800Mhz and record the idle and stressed temperatures of the chips with and without the sinks. All test were done in a room with an ambient temperature of 21.4oC.
The Stock Clocks Results:
We can already see that the RAM sinks have lowered the temperatures of the modules. But it hasn't made a huge impact, not life-threatening enough. So let's have a look at the Overclock results and see if the Nexus HXR-5500 performs any better.
The Overclock Results
The outcome from the overclocking is a little more promising. Bear in mind that I am using the pads that come with the spreaders. If you were to apply a 3rd party thermal grease, you may get better but messier results. Finally, before you wonder, "Can these heat spreaders be used on a single sided module?," they come with an extra cushion to comfort the side which hasn't got memory on, while the other side gets cooled.
On to the conclusion!
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Right, back to the real conclusion. Overall Nexus's gear is fantastic to say the least. Everything tested in the review has a very high-quality finish with no manufacturing defects. Each item served its purpose and excelled in it with either good looks or medium performance. Not much else to say that hasn't been said already, so let's get on with the ratings. As this review was done on 5 objects from the same company, I am going to give them an overall score, basically rating how good or bad Nexus is.
- Very well-made kit
- Some unique looks/designs
- Does what it says on the tin
- Not super high performance
- None to report
Many thanks to Nexus
for providing all of the items reviewed
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