The ARCTIC Freezer i30 CPU coolers have been designed to support wattages up to a staggering 320 Watts. So, they're not just a clever name.
You just know by the sheer size of the box it comes in that the Fiend Shark is a bit special, but even so, its size may still surprise you, as will the care taken with the way the contents are packed. It certainly puts most other cooler manufacturer's to shame in that respect, with its fixing components all having their own separate space in the two plastic packing trays.
In its attempt to bolt as much on as possible, we think Cooler Master has lost sight of simple efficient cooling. Installation is tricky and causes issues with memory. It's also overly noisy for the level of cooling it provides.
Crazy naming aside, you get the feeling the Prolimatech Armageddon means business, it's a hefty 750g of heatsink cooling with six heatpipes and a 160mm high rack of cooling fins, which measure 140mm across.
There's little we have to criticise on the Xigmatek Gaia SD1283, it is out performed a little by more expensive units but that's why you pay your money. We're not massive fans of the mounting system but it is highly flexible.
It takes the classic low-profile design that can still fit into a slimline PC case and yet provide efficient high-performance cooling without excessive noise levels. Its main problem is that it has some fine competition the classic Zalman Super Flower Cooler is still one of the best on the market or the more recent Scythe Shuriken with its full 120mm fan is another.
Intriguingly, the first batch of Spire's Thermax Eclipse II CPU cooler hit online retailers in the wrong packaging. We mention this because we received one of these, and were a little confused as to which it was. A squint at Spire's website sets the record straight, since the Eclipse II has black nickel-coated fins, something that immediately separates it from the sea of silver aluminium you're faced with when you browse CPU coolers on any etailer's site, and those looks will definitely appeal to people with a windowed chassis.
The Revision 2 nomenclature for ARCTIC's Freezer 7 indicates that LGA 1156 compatibility has been added, alongside pretty much every other standard. On paper, it should cope with our i7 920 test system, despite the cooler's relatively diminutive size. It has three 6mm heat pipes and we did wonder if it was really up to the task. The 9cm PWM fan fits neatly over one side and is mounted on rubber springs, a patented technology apparently. Its most obvious rival is the popular Hyper 101 from CoolerMaster.