There's a joker in every pack, and the mantle this month falls to the comically oversized Nofan CR-95C. But is it an ultimately doomed effort à la Heath Ledger, or does this passive cooler have the longevity to slip into the Jack Nicholson category and just keep on trucking?
Strained comic-book villain analogies aside, the Nofan is certainly a little bit special. First there are the gargantuan proportions. This CR-95C model isn't the biggest beast in the Nofan jungle, but at 180mm in diameter it's still an outrageous bit of kit.
It's so large, in fact, that it puts significant limitations on system compatibility. In terms of overall height, you shouldn't run in to too many issues. It's the sheer width of the thing that's the problem. For starters, you'll have to make sure you use low profile memory sticks. Anything with a bit of heat sink sticking out of the top simply ain't gonna fly.
Depending on your make and model of motherboard, you might find the CR-95A is wide enough to get in the way of the first PCI Express graphics slot, though that's not a problem if have a second slot and a single-card setup.
As for performance, there's no getting round the passive nature of the heat dissipation. Not only does it make for the highest temperatures of any cooler on test - they're also high enough to induce clock throttling at higher frequencies.
So while we had no problem booting at 4.9GHz, our 2,500K test chip throttled down to below 4GHz when under load.