NZXT HAVIK-120 Review Page: 1




We all saw what a stellar cooler the NZXT 140 was when Tom tested it back in December last year.  It's now time to see what the 120 model can do. Sporting 4 x 8mm heat pipes and twin 120mm fans, the pedigree inherent in it's bigger brother should hopefully see it match if not better similar specked 120mm fan units. Aesthetically with its Black and white finish it should also fit in well with the colour schemes of a great many of the new monochromatic cases hitting the market at present. But the proof of the pudding is in the eating as they say so lets have a look at the full specs and then see what it can do.


Technical Specification

MATERIALSAluminum / Copper Nickel-Plated
DIMENSIONS125(W) x 160(H) x 112(D) mm
125(W) x 160(H) x 58(D) mm (heatsink)
WEIGHT680g (excluding fans and mounting kit)
980g (with dual 120mm fans)
55-60 lbs
FAN SIZEDual 120(W) x 140(H) x 25(D) mm

Long Life (Oil-Leaking Prevention)

FAN SPEED1200 +/- 10% RPM (low); 1500 +/- 10% RPM (high)
AIR FLOW61.5-75.8 CFM
Y-SPLIT CABLEWhite connector for low speed; black connector for high speed
LIFE30,000 Hours
COMPATIBILITYIntel Socket: 2011, 1366, 1155, 1156, 775 CPUs
AMD Socket: AM3, AM2+, AM2 CPUs


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Up Close:  Packaging and contents 

Like the fans within, the box housing the cooler is also monochrome black and white. And very classy looking it is too. As well as the usual pictures and graphical representations of the cooler the exterior of the box gives technical specifications and key features.




The Havik 120 comes nicely nestled in a protective shell of expanded foam, with additional sections of the material providing both support and protection. The unit comes with both of the 120mm fans contained within the packaging although they will require attachment to the body of the cooler



As you would expect the unit comes with a mounting system that accommodates pretty much any CPU you care to stick it on top of, including LGA2011 of course. Instructions are clear and informative with diagrams and text walking you through the process of installation. Also included are a pair of Y splitter cables allowing the fans to be united into one header. The splitters provide for high and low speed respectively. Finally NZXT have added some TIM and a spare fan attachment Bungee (looks like they have listened to Tom as this was an omission with the 140) and you've got yourself a pretty comprehensive set of kit.


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 NZXT Havik 120 


Up Close: The Cooler

With two thirteen bladed fans set up in push pull configuration the Havik 120 is quite an imposing sight. The fans are 1200-1500rpm units, with the supplied Y splitters able to offer the required control into a single header. These 13 bladed fans look very similar to NZXTs 9 bladed black and white units but do not appear to feature on the NZXT website.



The 4 heat pipes are grouped into sets of 2 closer to the outer edges of the fin stack than the centre. As with the Havik 140 the fans are attached by means of rubber bungees. A bit of a fiddle to begin with, but once you get the hang of them you'll never want to go back to the metal spring clips. No chance of dropping one of these inside your case and shorting out something expensive.



In the images below you can see better how the fans attach. The bungees are a single piece per side, essentially looping from the rear of one set of holes, though the edge of the fin stack and back into the other hole. They're secured by simply stretching them over the fins and letting them find their own level to sit at. Being rubber the bungees also provide vibration dampening between the fans and the fin stack. Also seen on the images below is that the outer edge of the centre of each layer of fins are slightly inclined towards each other in pairs. At first I thought this angulation went all he way through the cooler, but on closer inspection it is just the outer edges. Whether this be for aesthetic or performance reasons I'm not sure. Perhaps a bit of both. Something else that may be intended to aid performance is what appears to be a slight honing of the leading edges of the fins in the stack. The edges appear slightly thinner and "sharper" than they would normally be, and certainly thinner than on the reverse side. I'm thinking perhaps NZXT have looked towards aerospace engineering and tried to imitate and aerofoil to some degree. Either that or my eyes are starting to play tricks on me because in all the photos I took it they looked no different.



The contact plate and heat pipes can be seen in the images below. The contact plate is machined smooth rather than being of the mirror finish type. To be honest I'm not sure that having a mirror finish to the contact plate makes much of a difference to performance. I'd rather have it machined and flat than shiny but not flat any day. At the end of the day it's going to get a blob of TIM delivered in to the gap anyway so what's it really matter if you can reflect a pound coin in it? Both the contact plate and the heat pipes are Nickel plated Copper and are finished to a high degree, although there is some evidence of solder leakage around where the heat pipes enter the contact plate, presumably from when the one was attached to the other. I mention this in passing as it won't be seen and shouldn't affect performance.  


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 NZXT Havik 120



Those of you familiar with my reviews will know that a short "Fitting" page is in general terms a good thing as it means I haven't gone of on one and had a rant about about just how bad an item is to fit.  Well I'm pleased to report that the Havik 120 is a joy to fit.  This I think is in no small part o it having exactly the same mechanism as the Xigmatek Prime and the Havik 140.  And when I say exactly the same, I mean exactly the same, as in they're interchangeable with each other.  This isn't a bad thing, far from it.  if I had my way I'd pass a European legislation that made all OEMs design their coolers to fit this way.

In simple terms then it's a two stage process with a back plate being secured from behind with pass through bolts.  Brackets then screw onto these bolts.  The cooler is attached and a locking piece is passed through between the heat pipes and screwed down tight.  Attach the fans using the supplied bungees (you even get a spare in case you snap one, but believe me you'll have to try really hard to snap one).  Instructions are clear and concise and cover all major languages.  10-15 mins all in job done and you're good to go.

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  NZXT Havik 120



To provide continuity the test set up is as always

Gigabyte UD3R V2
Intel i7 950 @ 4GHz 1.25v & 1.35v
Mushkin Radioactive 2000MHz
HIS 6850
Cooler Master Storm Trooper
Corsair AX750w


For the first test we set our i7-950 overclocked to 200x20 @ 1.25v for a clock speed of 4.0GHz. We allow the system to idle for 10 minutes and then run Prime95 'maximum heat maximum stress' setting for a further 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes we note the temperatures of all cores and the ambient temperature of the room. An average of all cores is taken, then the ambient temperature is removed from this figure and this gives us the delta temperature. Delta is the temperature difference above ambient which is a truer reflection of the heat-sink performance rather than mere maximum figures. Testing in an Igloo or the Sahara would give vastly different maximum temperatures, yet the Delta could be the same. As this unit is supplied with 2 fans I have tested in both single and dual fan configuration

The second test follows all steps from above but with a 200x21 @ 1.35v for 4.2GHz overclock, the extra voltage in this test allows us to see if the heat-sink can cope when extreme loads and overclocks are applied. As with 4.0GHz the Heatsink was tested in both single and dual fan configuration.

As you might suspect from the high Max temp on the 4.2 test, the Havik didn't make it though the 4.4GHz test maxing out to over 90 degrees in under 5 mins.

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NZXT Havik 120



The Havik is marketed essentially as a smaller version of the Havik 140.  That being the case you'd expect the 2 units to look pretty much identical, or at the very least to share certain visual attributes and perhaps technologies.  In essence you'd be forgiven for expecting to see that the the Havik 120 was simply a scaled down version of the 140.  I'd forgive you, I really would.  You would however still be wrong. 

The Havik 120 differs from it's bigger brother in quite a few ways.  I don't just mean that they have different number of heat pipes and one is physically bigger than the other.  The fans are different, with the Havik 140 model using a round cowling 140mm 9 bladed fan with curved blades, and the Havik 120 using a more traditional square cowling fan with 13 straight blades.  The outer edges of the central portion of the 120s fin stack are inclined together in pairs, whereas the 140s are left straight.  The layout of the cooling pipes within the fin stack also differs between the two units with the 140 having 2 linear rows of 6 pipes, and the 120 having two groups of 4 each clustered towards the outer margins of the fin stack.  The 120 has the "honed" leading edges of the fins where as the 140s are left un sharpened.

What we really want to know of course is have these changes been for the better, or worse still has the change in the formula  used for the  Havik 120 removed some of the established performance strengths of the Havik 140.  Well I think the performance graphs speak for themselves to be honest, but just in case you never read that bit and skipped straight to the conclusion (shame on you) let me re cap.  At 4.0GHz The Havik 120 betters both the Enermax T40, Thermolab Trinity and the Hyper 212S.  Perhaps no surprise, these are single fan units with slim fin stacks.  It then goes on to better the and the Hyper 612s and then not content goes on to better the Dark Rock Pro, which is a much much bigger cooler, and by a nats todger narrowly misses getting the better of the Promlimatech super Mega.  At 4.2GHz things aren't so good coming bottom of the pile but not far off the Prime and the DarkRock pro, both of which, like the majority of coolers in the 4.2GHz club are big beefy units with all the associated RAM and case side clearance issues often found with large heat sinks.

So we've established that the Havik 120 differs from the 140 in a great many ways, but then remember we said these two coolers were brothers we never claimed they were identical twins.  I think we've also established now that although the Havik 120 differs from the 140 it shares many of it's strengths.  It's simple and elegant looking, with a trendy black and white finish.  It's relatively quiet even at full revs.  It's well accessorised with the inclusion of fans splitters and spare bungee.  But most of all it gets the job done. 

Lets just take a moment to reflect on this cooler.  Think about it.  This is a 120mm cooler that's capable of playing with the big boys at 4.0GHz.  It betters many of the coolers in it's class and even a few that are more expensive and physically bigger.

At 4.2GHz it's still able to stand up for itself with only the big boys beating it.

So we're looking at near big brother performance in a much smaller package.  If space and/or cash are a bit limited and you're in need of a 120mm cooler as opposed to one of the monsters, but you still want to clock that CPU then the Havik 120 is a reasonable idea.  I think NZXT have just earned themselves another Gold! 


Thanks to NZXT for the Havik on test today, you can discuss your thoughts in our forums.