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: The Cooler Master Hyper N520 is an interesting CPU cooler for the average PC consumer. It's not priced too high at 30 EUR. Though in USD the price could be a little lower as right now it starts at 40 USD.
The performance of the cooler is very adequate and as such it is competing with the OCZ Vendetta 2, a cooler that is exactly in the same price range. The design is great, and esthetically the Hyper N520 is a very pleasing cooler.
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
Conclusion: Looking at the Hyper N520 I found myself very conflicted. The method of installation could be very difficult. Imagine having to remove the motherboard just to reseat the heatsink, something that should be simple. On the upside, the performance was top notch for a 92mm heatsink, outperforming bigger heatsinks.
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