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Heatsink testing overview

Akasa 965BL

Manufacturer: Akasa
UK Price: £14.09 (inc. VAT)
US Price N/A

While we haven’t previously reviewed this cooler ourselves, we are aware that it’s become rather popular since its release, and its results certainly prove why.

Despite being tested with an ambient temperature higher than our control, it convincingly bested our control test setup, recording 33°C at idle and 48°C under load, although it was noticeably louder.

However, it`s solid performance is even more remarkable when you factor in it's very low price, making the Akasa 965BL the best value cooler in the test.

Heatsink testing overview Testing Cont.Heatsink testing overview Testing Cont.

Noctura NH-U12P

Manufacturer: Noctua
UK Price: £42.17 (inc. VAT)
UK Price: $59.95 (ex. Tax)

The Noctua heatsink fitted with an NF-P12 120mm fan, was, unsurprisingly, massively quieter than our control test. Its cooling performance was similarly impressive, with a peak CPU temperature of 47°C, despite an ambient of 23°C. These advantages come at significant cost though - the Noctua is not a cheap heatsink, with the fan alone costing more than some of the other coolers we tested!

Heatsink testing overview Testing Cont.Heatsink testing overview Testing Cont.

Thermalright Ultra 120 eXtreme

Manufacturer: Thermalright
UK Price: £32.89 (inc. VAT)
US Price: $62.95 (ex. Tax)

Following our review of the Thermalright Ultra 120 eXtreme back in January, we thoroughly expected the Thermalright to crush all comers in our tests, and it didn't disappoint. Even when fitted with the low CFM Noctua NF-P12 120mm fan, it comfortably bested everything we had tested by a full two degrees under load. We recorded a peak CPU temp of 44°C in an ambient temperature of 22°C. The Thermalright is very much the heatsink to beat.

Heatsink testing overview Testing Cont.Heatsink testing overview Testing Cont.

Heatsink Rundown - Under Load

  • Thermalright 120 eXtreme
  • Noctua NH-U12P
  • Akasa 965BL
  • OCZ Vendetta 92mm
  • Zalman CNPS9700 NT
  • Asus Silent Square
  • Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro
    • 22
    • 44
    • 22
    • 24
    • 47
    • 23
    • 25
    • 48
    • 23
    • 25
    • 45
    • 20
    • 27
    • 49
    • 22
    • 27
    • 49
    • 22
    • 30
    • 50
    • 20
0
10
20
30
40
50
Temperature (°C)
  • Delta T
  • CPU Temp (load)
  • Ambient

Looking to the future

With this field of results, we’ll be able to easily compare future heatsinks to our current preferred models, and allow you to make a more informed decision when it comes to keeping your CPU cool. That is really what this whole process is centred on - ensuring that our results are as accurate as possible, so you can make the right purchase and keep your system cool.

Related Reading

Noctua NH-U12P
Thermalright vs Zerotherm: Cooler Faceoff
OCZ Vendetta
Heatsink Group Test - August 2007