NZXT HAVIK-120 Review


NZXT Havik 120



The Havik is marketed essentially as a smaller version of the Havik 140.  That being the case you'd expect the 2 units to look pretty much identical, or at the very least to share certain visual attributes and perhaps technologies.  In essence you'd be forgiven for expecting to see that the the Havik 120 was simply a scaled down version of the 140.  I'd forgive you, I really would.  You would however still be wrong. 

The Havik 120 differs from it's bigger brother in quite a few ways.  I don't just mean that they have different number of heat pipes and one is physically bigger than the other.  The fans are different, with the Havik 140 model using a round cowling 140mm 9 bladed fan with curved blades, and the Havik 120 using a more traditional square cowling fan with 13 straight blades.  The outer edges of the central portion of the 120s fin stack are inclined together in pairs, whereas the 140s are left straight.  The layout of the cooling pipes within the fin stack also differs between the two units with the 140 having 2 linear rows of 6 pipes, and the 120 having two groups of 4 each clustered towards the outer margins of the fin stack.  The 120 has the "honed" leading edges of the fins where as the 140s are left un sharpened.

What we really want to know of course is have these changes been for the better, or worse still has the change in the formula  used for the  Havik 120 removed some of the established performance strengths of the Havik 140.  Well I think the performance graphs speak for themselves to be honest, but just in case you never read that bit and skipped straight to the conclusion (shame on you) let me re cap.  At 4.0GHz The Havik 120 betters both the Enermax T40, Thermolab Trinity and the Hyper 212S.  Perhaps no surprise, these are single fan units with slim fin stacks.  It then goes on to better the and the Hyper 612s and then not content goes on to better the Dark Rock Pro, which is a much much bigger cooler, and by a nats todger narrowly misses getting the better of the Promlimatech super Mega.  At 4.2GHz things aren't so good coming bottom of the pile but not far off the Prime and the DarkRock pro, both of which, like the majority of coolers in the 4.2GHz club are big beefy units with all the associated RAM and case side clearance issues often found with large heat sinks.

So we've established that the Havik 120 differs from the 140 in a great many ways, but then remember we said these two coolers were brothers we never claimed they were identical twins.  I think we've also established now that although the Havik 120 differs from the 140 it shares many of it's strengths.  It's simple and elegant looking, with a trendy black and white finish.  It's relatively quiet even at full revs.  It's well accessorised with the inclusion of fans splitters and spare bungee.  But most of all it gets the job done. 

Lets just take a moment to reflect on this cooler.  Think about it.  This is a 120mm cooler that's capable of playing with the big boys at 4.0GHz.  It betters many of the coolers in it's class and even a few that are more expensive and physically bigger.

At 4.2GHz it's still able to stand up for itself with only the big boys beating it.

So we're looking at near big brother performance in a much smaller package.  If space and/or cash are a bit limited and you're in need of a 120mm cooler as opposed to one of the monsters, but you still want to clock that CPU then the Havik 120 is a reasonable idea.  I think NZXT have just earned themselves another Gold! 


Thanks to NZXT for the Havik on test today, you can discuss your thoughts in our forums. 

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Most Recent Comments

04-04-2012, 06:25:08


We saw what the Havik 140 could do back in December last year when Tom took it for a spin. Now with the release of the Havik 120 it's time to see what the 140s little brother can do.

Continue ReadingQuote

04-04-2012, 07:00:25

Nice review Gary, As I am on the daughters laptop atm I had to scroll up and down to compare fan results, what might help others in the future would be a vertical red bar of the temps achieved by the item in question.going up through all results for easy comparison.Quote

04-04-2012, 07:28:22

Sounds great for those with limited space or a tight budget seems NZXT are lifting their game nice to see.Quote

04-04-2012, 10:04:52

Originally Posted by Excalabur50 View Post

Sounds great for those with limited space or a tight budget seems NZXT are lifting their game nice to see.
It's because we've upped the amount of time we spend whipping our designers, I assure you. :b


04-04-2012, 13:52:55

the 120 really is a nice bit of kit. Whatever it is NZXT are doing it seems to be working.

This lady with the whp, does she take bookings? Quote

04-04-2012, 13:55:54

£46 seems steep for a heatsink of this performance level. Actually all heat sinks are starting to sink into much higher price brackets! what happened to the ocz vendetta that stomped everything at £28Quote

05-04-2012, 11:35:13

Originally Posted by Ghosthud1 View Post

£46 seems steep for a heatsink of this performance level. Actually all heat sinks are starting to sink into much higher price brackets! what happened to the ocz vendetta that stomped everything at £28
As prices of materials go up and the Euro/Dollar/Pound's value goes down, there's no much anyone can do. 46 Euro is essentially 60 bucks which is in a VERY nice price for high-end Aircoolers.Quote

06-04-2012, 02:30:21

At least it is better than hyper 212+/evo.Quote

06-04-2012, 17:59:59

Great review! Looks like a very solid performer for the size of the thing.Quote

06-04-2012, 21:32:35

Good review ..nice coolerQuote

09-04-2012, 14:13:04

Once again NZXT deliver Quote

26-04-2012, 17:17:19

I was watching some of your reviews online, and I was curious if you've ever considered trying to maintain a closer ambient temperature when testing heatsinks to provide the fairest test

The reason I suggest it, is because based on thermodynamics, heat transfer has a multiplicative effect based on the difference of the two items temperatures which are touching. Meaning, more heat will transfer at a faster rate between two things (air and the heatsink fins/pipes) when the difference in their temps are greater.

Meaning, when you test two heatsinks at different ambient temperatures, the Delta Temp you measure when the ambient temps are higher will actually be skewed due to the multiplicative effect.

I don't know if this makes a huge difference in air cooled heatsinks as I've never tested it, but theoretically it would.

You cant test the difference it would make easily. Use the same rig/setup voltages, settings, etc at two difference ambient temps in the room.

If the delta temperatures for the cpu are the same/similar, then it doesnt have an effect; however, if they are different, it would show that the ambient temperature has an effect on the delta temperatures you are measuring, putting rigs in a higher ambient temp room at a disadvantageQuote

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