Specifications

The 120mm fan is pre-mounted and is not interchangeable with other 120mm fans. That makes specifications and performance of the Nirvana fan particularly important. The NV120 can be mounted on either AMD 754/939/940/AM2 or Intel Socket 775.

ZEROtherm Nirvana NV120
Dimensions 128(W) x 95(D) x 150mm(H)
Weight 628g (18.7 ounces)
Matepial Nickel-plated copper heatpipes and base, aluminum cooling fins
Heat Dissipation Area 6728 cm^2 (1046 in^2)
Cooling Capacity >150W
Configuration Four nickel-plated copper heatpipes in U loops

Nirvana 120mm Integrated Fan
Fan Size 120mm x 120mm x 25mm
Fan Speed 700-2600 rpm (+/- 10%)
Connector 3-pin
Operating Voltage 5.0 - 13,8V DC
Noise Level Under 39 dB(A)
Maximum Airflow 84.7 CFM
Operating Power Max 5.0W

The included 120mm fan is rated at a high 84.7 CFM output at 39 dB(A) noise level. These specifications appear in line with the output specifications. The clear fan is backlit by two blue LEDs, which may matter to you if you display the guts of your computer in a side window case.



Installation

The Nirvana comes fully assembled, including the fan. You just need to install the mounting plate for either Intel or AMD before attaching the cooler to your motherboard. That involves just four small screws to install either the Intel or AMD adapter to the base plate.

For Intel you must remove the motherboard to attach the cooler. On Intel 775 the spring-loaded mount screws pass through the four motherboard holes and they are secured to the motherboard with a back plate with threaded holes to receive the mount plate screws. The NV120 is a heavy cooler and the secure mounting system is definitely appreciated. However, for an Intel CPU there is no option but to remove the motherboard before installation. This will be trivial to some, and a big deal to others.

Overall, the cooler installation is pretty easy - much easier than many competing products that also provide the security of a bolt-through installation. It is obvious the engineers at ZEROtherm actually examined and used the cooler mount system. This is particularly noticeable when you see the spacing of the fan in relation to the cooler body; it allows a screwdriver to fit right through to the spring-loaded screws to mount the cooler. It is in thoughtful little touches like this that the Nirvana stands out from most of the cooler crowd. Those worried about a heavy heatsink popping out of holes with the Intel push clips will be much happier with this installation method.

Nirvana attaches to AMD with a clip that snaps onto the lugs of the existing CPU cage. The motherboard does not need to be removed from an AMD system to install this cooler, but the entire weight is basically resting on two plastic lugs. This should not really present a problem, but it is not a mount solution that can take a lot of moving. If your LAN party system is AMD-based, you will want to look elsewhere for a cooler that can handle the demands of being carried from one LAN party to the next.

Index CPU Cooling Test Configuration
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  • Spanki - Thursday, January 17, 2008 - link

    Nice review.

    Was the Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme's top overclock (3.94GHz) achieved with one SFlex SFF21F fan? Or two? On a retail cooler? Or a lapped and/or mount-modded one? It would help if you listed the fan(s) used in all tests/charts. Is it safe to assume one fan, unless you specifically state otherwise?

    Aside from that, I agree with an earlier poster - a rise-over-meaured-ambient at the time of test would be a much better indicater when we're talking about 1-3C differences in coolers these days.
    Reply
  • Amuro - Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - link

    Are you sure those are Core Temp readings? They look like Tcase temps to me. I mean the stock Intel cooler idle @ 31C? That's incredible.

    I compared them to these articles of yours from a year ago, where you used Nvidia Monitor to messure the Tcase temps:
    http://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.aspx?i=2937&p...">http://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.aspx?i=2937&p...
    http://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.aspx?i=2943&p...">http://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.aspx?i=2943&p...
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Thursday, January 17, 2008 - link

    Those are the CoreTemp readings, which provide a temp reading for each core of the X6800. The results are very consistnet and repeatable across our tests, but they can NOT be compared to earlier nVidia utility readings. The CoreTemp readings are much lower than the nVidia readings, but they are consistent acrss test platforms. Reply
  • Amuro - Thursday, January 17, 2008 - link

    That is weird. Core temps (Tjunction) are supposed to be higher than BIOS temps (Tcase). The difference between Tcase and Tjunction should be 15C or +- 3 degress for a C2D dual core, or 10C for a quad core. Reply
  • Amuro - Thursday, January 17, 2008 - link

    That is weird. Core temps (Tjunction) temps are supposed to be higher than BIOS temps (Tcase). The difference between Tcase and Tjunction should be 15C or +- 3 degress with C2D dual cores, or 10C for a quad core. Reply
  • Amuro - Thursday, January 17, 2008 - link

    That is weird. Core temps (Tjunction) temps are supposed to be higher than BIOS temps (Tcase). The difference between Tcase and Tjunction should be 15C or +- 3 degress with C2D dual cores, or 10C for a quad core. Reply
  • Amuro - Thursday, January 17, 2008 - link

    That is weird. Core temps (Tjunction) temps are supposed to be higher than BIOS temps (Tcase). The difference between Tcase and Tjunction should be 15C or +- 3 degress with C2D dual cores, or 10C for a quad core. Reply
  • coolingwine - Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - link

    Wesley - always like your analysis.

    But, what would be really useful is a performance (temp) to noise ratio chart. And make this standard in future analyses.

    As you know, there is typically trade-off between temp and noise, much like price/performance. I may be willing to give a little on the OC potential (which is a factor of temp, all things except the HSF being equal) if the noise is less.

    Just a thought....
    Reply
  • soydeedo - Sunday, January 20, 2008 - link

    I second this idea. I find myself swapping between the noise/temp pages constantly to get a better overall picture of cooling performance. Reply
  • PolymerTim - Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - link

    Thanks for the great review. I really like how these reviews examine a large variety of coolers from different perspectives (idle/load, with/without OC, noise, etc). I was thinking a bit about the data and had a couple of thoughts/suggestions.

    I see in your test configuration that ambient temperature is maintained between 20-22 C. It seems to me that a 2 degree range can be important in some of the tests such as idle tests. At stock idle, half of the coolers fall into a 2 C range. I wonder if it is possible to record the actual ambient temperature during testing and then plot increase from ambient for each cooler. I think this could give a little more accuracy to the comparisons.

    A minor detail along the same lines; I think it is unnecessary to start the scaling graphs at 0 C. I think a lot of blank space could be saved by starting at 20 C. What do you guys think? Also, maybe this is data overkill, but I would be curious to know the temperature of each cooler at the max stable OC.

    -Tim
    Reply

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