Spire Verticool III
The smallest in over all size (well other than stock that is) in our round up is the Spire Verticool III cooler. At 93 x 93 x 126mm (LxWxH) it is quite small, but weighing in at 858g it is the heaviest cooler of the bunch. The Verticool III has 4 separate vertical heat pipes and center mounted 92mm fan and PCI slot mounted fan controller.
Looking from the side you can see how the width of the cooler compares to stock. We can also see the fan mount/shroud, this shroud helps keep the air flow going front to back without escaping out the sides.
Zalman CNPS9700 LED
Here we have the Zalman CNPS9700 LED – the oldest cooler in the line up. This was my first high end air cooler and has served me well over the last couple years. The Zalman CNPS9700 LED is 90 x 124 x 142mm (LxWxH) and weighs in at 764g. The CNPS9700 LED has 3 figure 8 style heat pipes and a 120mm blue LED fan and separate fan controller. I’m putting this one in the mix because I’m interested to see how my 2-year old $60 investment holds up to the new CPUs.
Again, this is looking from the side compared to stock. Here we can see how the heatpipes connect to the base, as well as the shape of the cooling fins.
ZEROtherm NV-120 Nirvana
The ZEROtherm NV-120 Nirvana is the second to largest cooler in physical size at 95 x 128 x 150mm (LxWxH), and, oddly enough, it is the lightest of the group at 638g. The Nirvana is also (to me) the sharpest looking cooler of the bunch with a very nice gunmetal finish.
Looking from the side we can see the size of the heatpipes a little better. The Nirvana sports 4 ‘U’ shaped heatpipes giving it 8 vertical pipes; it also has a 120mm blue LED fan and separate adjustable fan control.
The biggest cooler is the Noctua NH-U12P at 95 x 126 x 158mm and weighing in at 770g is not what one would consider small. At a whopping 158mm (6.22 inches) this is definitely a cooler that you will need to measure your case for. The NH-U12P may be the biggest, but it is also by far the quietest active air cooler I have ever used. At 100% the fan runs at a silent 19.8 dBA. If that is too loud for you, Noctua provides 2 adapters they call Ultra Low Noise Adaptor which can drop the fan to a very quiet 12.6 dBA.
The Noctua NH-U12P only has one draw back to it: the fan body color. The fan body is a flesh tone, and the fan blades are a chocolate brown. I know that the colors used are the company’s logo colors, and it makes the product stand out, but I would have much rather had one in black.