Manufacturer: Titan UK Price (as reviewed):£62.00 (inc VAT) US Price(as reviewed): NA
Titan is a long-term favourite in the Bit-tech lab thanks to its sensible and effective Fenrir cooler, which earned a Recommend award way back in 2009, so the arrival of its latest heatsink - the Fenrir Siberia Edition - saw us in optimistic mood.
When we eased the cooler from its box it soon became clear that Titan had abandoned any notions of sensible design. The five 8mm copper heatpipes snake out from the copper contact plate in two directions. Instead of heading towards the normal vertical heatsink we’re used to seeing, the Siberia splits its cooling between two towering chunks of aluminium fins.
The Titan Siberia uses two banks of cooling fins, making it very large
The heatsink directly above the processor is aligned horizontally and is topped off by a 140mm Kukri fan that draws air into the fins, and the similarly-sized heatsink at the rear of the cooler sits vertically, with a 120mm fan expelling air towards the exhaust fan of the average desktop PC.
Titan claims its design improves cooling performance across the rest of the motherboard. While those five heatpipes primarily draw heat away from the processor and out to both heatsinks, the combination of two heatsinks and fans is also supposed to improve air circulation around the VRM cooler, North Bridge heatsink and memory modules.
It's an ambitious approach, but one thing immediately stood out: the Siberia's sheer size. It's 225mm from front to back, rises 163mm off the motherboard, and weighs in at a hefty 1.09kg. That makes for an impressive bit of kit, but it also hampers the Siberia with a range of practical considerations.
Large VRM heatsinks may come a cropper against the bending heatpipes that lead to the vertical heatsink, for instance, and those using memory with tall coolers will also find they interfere with the right-hand set of heatpipes, despite Titan's efforts to curve them away from DIMM sockets.
The cooler is well made, with a smooth base and solid cooling fins.
Those using X79 motherboards will find the Siberia impractical, too, as some four DIMMS on the I/O side of the board will likely be blocked by the lower heatpipe and vertically-oriented heatsink.
Our concerns extended to installation. The sheer weight of the Siberia calls for a bracket to be attached to the rear of motherboards boasting Intel's LGA 775, 1155, 1156 and 1366 sockets, as well as those using AMD boards, and we had to remove the motherboard to attach this properly. And, once that was done, the size and bulk of the Siberia made attaching its various screws difficult - a problem that will be exacerbated with large VRM heatsinks dotted around the sockets of any number of high-end motherboards.
Installation into our LGA 2011 rig was easier, because that particular socket is larger and bulkier and has four screw holes already included so there's no need to install the backplate on the rear of the motherboard. Be aware, though, that the size of the cooler does mean that installation onto any socket is made easier by taking the motherboard out of its case.
Also be aware that the Siberia's 163mm height means installation in smaller cases might be out of the question: in our test chassis, the Silverstone PS03, we couldn't properly attach the side panel in that corner of the case.
The Sibera is compatible with Intel's sockets from LGA 775 and LGA 1155 and LGA 1156, LGA 1366 and LGA 2011, and on the AMD side it's ready for use with its K8, AM2, AM2+, AM3 and FM1 sockets. As well as mounting kits for all of these sockets, the box includes the two Kukri fans, a two-in-one fan connector with PWM to connect both fans to a single motherboard fan header, eight rubber blocks to help mount the fans, and a tube of Titan Nano Grease thermal compound.