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.


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


View All Comments

  • Iketh - Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - link

    umm that last graph clearly shows u the temp at max stable Reply
  • PolymerTim - Thursday, January 17, 2008 - link

    Ahh, yeah, that would be it. So just disregard my last sentence. :) Reply
  • GhandiInstinct - Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - link

    These cooler reviews provided a list of motherboards this thing can fit on. My # 1 problem is finding out if my motherboard or a new motherboard can support a cooler I want to mount.

    The manufacturer is very weak in providing this information.
  • Wesley Fink - Thursday, January 17, 2008 - link

    Most of the top motherboard makers are very aware these days of the size and fit of the major coolers. There usually is no real problem with those top boards. Where we usually see fit issues is with the cheaper or lower line boards where board real estate is often a premium.

    Our problem is that it's not really possible to report a cooler fit on every board out there. We have tried in the past to comment on the major board fit but that is becoming a moot point since there are very few cooler fit issues at the top any more.

    Our motherboard reviewers do a pretty good job of pointing out potential cooler fit problems in their reviews. The best source of the information you want might be to go back to the motherboard review for the board in question. We will also try to do a better job of pointing out any fit issues we ran into in our cooler reviews.
  • ussfletcher - Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - link

    My friend bought one of these and when he installed it there were 2 metal edges poking out quite far from the bottom and caused his processor to overheat in seconds, I'm quite sure that it was installed correctly.. i was there. Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Thursday, January 17, 2008 - link

    I've looked at the Nirvana closely and I can't figure out where the two metal protrusions might have been on your friend's cooler. The one I tested was very nicely finished, but defective ones can always slip through.. Can you please describe the manufacturing defect in more detail as I just can't get a mental picture of what was wrong. Reply
  • shabby - Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - link

    What were the idle/load temps using the low fan setting? Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - link

    I will add the Low speed results to the graph. Idle was 2C warmer than High and load was 3C warmer. Reply

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