Cooler Master Hyper N520 vs. Scythe Mugen 2 vs. Xigmatek Achilles S1284C
15 July 2009
Conclusion: We've come full circle, so which cooler should you buy for under £40? For most users, we believe that either Intel's or AMD's reference coolers should be perfectly adequate. Purchased a cooler-less OEM CPU? Well, providing you've a chassis with decent airflow, there's really no harm in opting for a budget CPU cooler such as the Akasa AK-965. You'd be getting adequate cooling, and a saving of £20-£30 that could be invested in an upgrade elsewhere.
Summary: This tower heatsink stands out because its two 92mm fans are arranged in an offset push-pull formation. There are a couple reasons for offsetting the fans by 20mm that we'll touch on momentarily.
Summary: The Cooler Master Hyper N520 delivers good enough cooling performance, but its noise level is not really ideal for silent computing. There are positive aspects to its design, including the secure, not-too-tedious installation, the ability to point the fan airflow in any direction with either Intel or AMD motherboards, and nice quality finish. The offset, dual-fan, push-pull design is interesting, as well.
Pros: Good cooling performance at >9V, Secure mounting system, Nice fit and finish, Fan direction controllable with both Intel and AMD socket boards.
Cons: Price, Not much smaller than better 120mm fan heatsinks, Cooling not good enough for price, Fans have bad acoustics
Summary: At the start of the review I was anxious to see how well the Hyper N520 CPU cooler would perform. The offset 92mm fans on a more compact heatpipe tower seemed like an interesting concept that could bring high end cooling into tighter spaces.
Pros: » Unique design, » Well made, » More compact than other heatpipe tower coolers
Cons: » Fairly loud, » Installation could be easier, » Mediocre cooling performance, » Relatively high price
Summary: Coolermaster considered the N520 to be their budget cooler. At $49 is not cheap from some people's point-of-view. But if you are a gamer, overclocker or an enthusiast you will know that $49 is not a lot of money when it comes to cooling an overclocked processor like ours. And $49 is not a lot of money when you can compete with some of the best coolers on the market which can cost upwards of $60 without fans. I would be happy to fork out this price for this cooler.
Conclusion: How to sum up this cooler? I will start with the looks, personally I love this coolers conservative aesthetics and think its just as striking as many of the more elaborate designs on the market today. Next would have to be the performance which is right on par with what can be expected from a cooler of this size and cost.
Conclusion: So over the last few pages we've take a pretty solid thorough look over the Cooler Master Hyper N520, so what can we conclude about it? Well for starters, it's a pretty nifty looking heat sink. Unless you have something against the form that a lot of heat sinks today adopt you can't say it's particularly bad aesthetically. The plastic shroud could have been made out of aluminium to make it a little better looking but never the less, the plastic does the job.
Pros: General Performance, Noise Levels with the fans @ 12v, Build Quality, LGA1366 compatible out the box