Aftermarket coolers aren't just for those who intend on undertaking obsene overclocks. The traditional heatsink that comes bundled with today's Intel and AMD processors have a number of limitations that inevitably lead to end users purchasing something more capable. While temperatures remain to be the 'make or break' factor, noise levels are just as important. So is your desktop computer whining invariably like a sick puppy? Well look no further as this is what today's review is all about.
Nexus is a name that may not ring a bell for many of you. Formed nearly ten years ago in The Netherlands, Nexus started life as designers of fans and heatsinks. Sporting the goal of "Building a Strong and Reliable Trademark for Silent Computing", Nexus are here to show off their latest offering; the VCT-9000.
So what exactly does Nexus' new cooler have to offer?
|Socket Compatibility||Intel Mount|
|Heatpipe Count||Total of 5 Direct Contact Heatpipes|
4 x 6mm Heatpipes
1 x 8mm Central Heatpipe
|Heatsink Dimensions (mm)|
132 x 117.8 x 144.92
|Fan Dimensions||120 x 120 x 25 (mm)|
|Fan Speed & Noise||500 - 1600RPM|
Nickel Plated Copper
On paper, the VCT-9000 sounds very promising. Featuring a number of direct contact heatpipes, a dense fin structure and a fairly large set of dimensions, perhaps we're on to a winner? Let's continue.
Packaging & Initial Impressions
Nexus have adopted a very mature and professional design for their packaging. If you're looking for the total opposite of Scythe packaging, this is it.
Without excessive unravelling, the cooler is removed from the top of the box, fully assembled with it's shroud and 120mm fan. It is a rather large cooler, although the staggered fin design behind the fan means that it features considerably less surface area than other 120mm compatible tower coolers.
As mentioned previously the VCT-9000 features five direct contact heatpipe coolers. There is much debate as to whether direct contact is necessary or noticeably more effective than conventional designs, but the surface is suitably flat and should hopefully perform just as well.
Notice that the central heapipe is larger than the rest with a 8mm diameter. Finally, each fin is just 3mm thick. The spacing is tight and as such Nexus have managed to fit a large number of fins in doing so.
Intel Core i7 930 @ 2.80GHz
Asus Rampage Extreme 3 Motherboard
Corsair Platinum 6GB x10 ratio
Asus Radeon HD 5870 1GB GDDR5
Windows 7 Ultimate x64
On the basis that the VCT-9000 is a cooler orientated towards silence rather than all out performance, we weren't entirely sure what to expect. For now, we're going to let the graphs do the talking.
It's fair to say that we couldn't have expected miracles with a Core i7 930 with a fan spinning at just 500RPM on any cooler. With the Nexus VCT-9000, temperatures shot up to a slightly uncomfortable but safe temperature of 86*c. As one would imagine, the cooler was nigh on silent with it's fan set to low and with that in mind, we feel that the result is quite reasonable.
As we cranked the fan up to it's maximum speed of 1600RPM, a level of motor noise was noticeable although it was not intrusive. This however saw a staggering 25c drop in temperature to a much healthier 61c. At this fan speed, the Nexus is capable of matching the smaller Noctua NH-C12P's performance. Given the temperature drops witnessed from a 1100RPM increase, we can't help but wonder what the cooler might be capable of with a noiser but more effective fan.
Sadly the Nexus began to struggle as we applied our two preset overclocks of 3.60GHz 1.30V and 4.00GHz 1.35V. Neither of these were obtainable and so it seems that this cooler is not particularly suitable for overclocked Core i7 processors. The same would surely apply for Phenom II X4/X6 processors with voltages north of 1.4V.
That's all folks. Time for a conclusion
Today Nexus have shown us a very mature product. We were impressed by it's quality construction, ease of installation and low noise. It is not uncommon for CPU Coolers to come bundled with poor quality fans or none at all. Quality fans may set you back as much as £15 a pop and soon enough, the overall outlay for your CPU cooler adds up very quickly. Thankfully the VCT-9000 saves you the trouble by including an excellent fan along with rubber vibration dampening fittings. Regardless of whether you operate your Nexus at 500RPM or 1600RPM, noise will not be an issue.
It must be stressed however that the VCT-9000 isn't for everyone. With a retail price of around £50, many of you might expect this aftermarket cooler to handle a flaming Core i7 or Phenom II X4/X6 with relative ease. Sadly, the nature of this cooler means that our overclocked Core i7 930 could not be tamed. Solely from a cooling performance point of view, this is not going to interest a large number of individuals. However, as we mentioned at the start of the review, Nexus is all about offering low noise solutions and this is exactly what you get. As a "straight from box" solution, there is very little on the market today that will offer such noise levels for standard frequency Core i7's and (more comfortably) Core i3/i5's and Phenom II processors. Nexus have chosen to cater for a very small niche with this cooler but they have been very successful in doing so. Well done.
- Silent Operation
- Multi Socket Support
- Ease of Installation
- Price could be lower
- Not suitable for high end Quad/Hex Core overclocking
We would like to that Quiet PC for the sample today, you can discuss our findings in the forums.