Zerotherm have missed a trick with their Nirvana cooler - it could have at least come in a heart-shaped box. Or smelt like teen spirit.

They may be referring to the Buddhist concept of nirvana and not the 90s grunge band, but 'nirvana' literally translates as 'to cease blowing', which is exactly what you hope your CPU cooler won't do.

A monster cooler

First impressions are: it's huge. It's the Humvee of CPU coolers, and you'll need a capacious case to hold it.

Fitting it isn't exactly easy - the metal backing plate can only be installed by completely removing your motherboard. It's fiddly, but feels far more secure than those hideous plastic clips we've had to endure.

And, smartly, the cooler is compatible with both AMD and Intel CPUs, so if AMD finally release some killer processors you won't have any problems upgrading your cooler at least.

Cool and calm

It's definitely worth all the hassle of installation though. The Nirvana is one of the quietest coolers we've come across, thanks in no small part to its whopping 120mm fan. It comes with an unsightly, but infinitely handy fan speed adjustment unit, which can be mounted outside your case.

Results on the lowest fan speed are equally impressive - a 12°C drop over a stock Intel cooler. Setting the fan on high results in a further drop, which is potentially handy for overclockers looking to eek a little more performance from their CPU.

This CPU cooler may be a shade more expensive than your average one, but you're getting a versatile, rock-solid and future-proof fan that performs well. It's not quite Nirvana: but it does blow instead of suck.