Nexus LOW-7000 R2 CPU Cooler Review
By Rafael Coelho on December 11, 2009


Introduction

This time we tested Nexus LOW-7000 R2, a CPU cooler with four heatpipes, a 120 mm fan and with a height of only 2 3/4" (70 mm), making it compatible with SFF cases. But will it perform like "big" coolers?

LOW-7000 R2 box is big but low, showing the cooler main characteristic. The low height is well advertised, but keep in mind that it is not the lowest cooler on market, as Scythe Big Shuriken, for example, is only 2 9/32" (58 mm) high. In the box there is also a small window that shows part of the cooler.

Nexus LOW-7000 R2
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Figure 1: Box.

Inside the box we found the cooler, user manual, installation hardware and a tube of gray thermal compound.

Nexus LOW-7000 R2
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Figure 2: Box contents.

In the next pages we will see this cooler in detail.

Nexus LOW-7000 R2

Nexus LOW-7000 R2 is a horizontal cooler with design similar to other coolers like Scythe Big Shuriken, Thermaltake ISGC-400, SilverStone NT06-E and Noctua NH-C12P. The heatpipes connect the base to a bigger heatsink located over the base but not touching it.

Nexus LOW-7000 R2
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Figure 3: Side view.

In Figure 4 we have a side view of LOW-7000 R2. Note the fan connector with four pins, which means it has PWM speed control.

Nexus LOW-7000 R2
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Figure 4: Side view.

In Figure 5 we have a front view from LOW-7000, where we can see the tips from the four heatpipes. We can also see the smaller heatsink, that is attached directly to the base.

Nexus LOW-7000 R2
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Figure 5: Front view.

In Figure 6 we can see the back side of the cooler, where we can see the position of the heatpipes.

Nexus LOW-7000 R2
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Figure 6: Rear view.

Nexus LOW-7000 R2 (Cont’d)

In Figure 7 we have a top view of LOW-7000, where we can see the 120 mm fan.

Nexus LOW-7000 R2
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Figure 7: Top view.
In Figure 8 we see the base of the cooler. Practically only the heatpipes keep contact with the CPU. The base is not very polished, and thus it has no mirrored surface.
Nexus LOW-7000 R2
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Figure 8: Base.
An amazing detail we have not seem before is that the thermal compound syringe comes inside a vacuum-sealed bag. There is also a plastic spreader to help applying the compound.
Nexus LOW-7000 R2
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Figure 9: Thermal compound and spatula.
In Figure 10, you can see the thermal compound tube removed from its bag. A pity that the hard consistency of the compound makes the spreader useless, because the paste keeps "united" and hard to spread. With the pressure from the cooler, however, the thermal compound spreads evenly over the CPU.

Nexus LOW-7000 R2
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Figure 10: Thermal compound tube.

Installation

In Figure 11 we can see the clip used with AMD socket AM2, AM2+ and AM3 CPUs. The cooler comes with an hexagonal screwdriver to help installing the screws.

Nexus LOW-7000 R2
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Figure 11: AMD clips.

In Figure 12, you can see the clips for Intel CPUs (sockets 775, 1156 and 1366). The clips look like the standard ones from Intel. There is also a tool to help installing and removing the cooler from the motherboard.

Nexus LOW-7000 R2
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Figure 12: Intel clips.

In Figure 13 we see the Intel clip installed on the cooler base.

Nexus LOW-7000 R2
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Figure 13: Intel clips installed.

Installation (Cont'd)

In Figure 14 we can see LOW-7000 R2 installed on our motherboard. This was the hardest CPU cooler installation we've seen to date - and it doesn't even have a backplate! With the motherboard inside the case it is impossible to install the cooler and even outside the chassis it was very complicated to install it, because it is hard to access each clip and we needed to use a big amount of force in order to hear the characteristic "click" when pushing each clip.

Nexus LOW-7000 R2
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Figure 14: Installed on the motherboard.

Actually the pressure applied on each clip is so strong that our motherboard was severely bent, as you can see in Figure 15.

Nexus LOW-7000 R2
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Figure 15: Bent motherboard.

In Figure 16 we see LOW-7000 R2 inside our case.

Nexus LOW-7000 R2
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Figure 16: Installed in our case.

How We Tested

We are adopting the following methodology for our CPU cooler reviews.

First, we chose the CPU with the highest TDP (Thermal Design Power) we had available, a Core 2 Extreme QX6850, which has a 130 W TDP. The choice for a CPU with a high TDP is obvious. To measure the efficiency of the tested cooler, we need a processor that gets very hot. This CPU works by default at 3.0 GHz, but we overclocked it to 3.33 GHz, in order to heat it as much as possible.

We took noise and temperature measurements with the CPU idle and under full load. In order to achieve 100% CPU load on the four processing cores we ran Prime95 with the "In-place Large FFTs" option, and three instances of the StressCPU program, all at the same time.

We also compared the reviewed cooler to the Intel stock cooler (with copper base), which comes with the processor we used, and also with some other coolers we have tested using the same methodology.

Temperature measurements were taken with a digital thermometer, with the sensor touching the base of the cooler, and also with the core temperature reading (given by the CPU thermal sensor) from the from the SpeedFan program, using an arithmetic average of the four core temperature readings.

The sound pressure level (SPL) was measured with a digital noise meter, with its sensor placed 4" (10 cm) from the fan. We turned off the video board cooler so it wouldn't interfere with the results, but this measurement is only for comparative purposes, because a precise SPL measurement needs to be made inside an acoustically insulated room with no other noise sources, which is not the case here.

Hardware Configuration

Software Configuration

Software Used

Error Margin

We adopted a 2 °C error margin, i.e., temperature differences below 2 °C are considered irrelevant.

Our Tests

On the tables below you can see our results. We ran the same tests with the coolers shown on below tables. Each test ran with the CPU idle and the with the CPU fully loaded. On BigTyp 14Pro, TMG IA1, NH-U12P and ISGC-300 the tests were done with the fan at full speed and at minimum speed. The other coolers were connected directly to the motherboard and it controls the fan speed based on CPU load level and temperature on PWM models. ISGC-400, iCEAGE Prima Boss and Megahalems Rev. B were tested at minimum speed on idle test and at maximum speed on full load test.

CPU Idle

CoolerRoom Temp.NoiseFan SpeedBase Temp.Core Temp.
Intel stock14 °C44 dBA1000 rpm31 °C42 °C
BigTyp 14Pro (min)17 °C47 dBA880 rpm29 °C36 °C
BigTyp 14Pro (max)17 °C59 dBA1500 rpm26 °C34 °C
Akasa Nero18 °C41 dBA500 rpm26 °C35 °C
Cooler Master V1014 °C44 dBA1200 rpm21 °C26 °C
TMG IA1 (max)16 °C47 dBA1500 rpm22 °C30 °C
TMG IA1 (min)16 °C57 dBA2250 rpm21 °C30 °C
Zalman CNPS10X Extreme16 °C44 dBA1200 rpm21 °C29 °C
Thermaltake ISGC-10018 °C44 dBA1450 rpm35 °C49 °C
Noctua NH-U12P (low)15 °C42 dBA1000 rpm20 °C30 °C
Noctua NH-U12P15 °C46 dBA1400 rpm20 °C28 °C
Noctua NH-C12P17 °C46 dBA1400 rpm23 °C28 °C
Thermaltake ISGC-20021 °C43 dBA1100 rpm31 °C35 °C
Schythe Kabuto22 °C42 dBA800 rpm29 °C34 °C
Arctic Cooling Alpine 11 Pro20 °C43 dBA1500 rpm32 °C39 °C
ISGC-300 (min)18 °C42 dBA800 rpm26 °C30 °C
ISGC-300 (max)18 °C46 dBA1400 rpm24 °C26 °C
SilverStone NT06-E21 °C66 dBA2600 rpm30 °C41 °C
Zalman CNPS9700 NT22 °C48 dBA1700 rpm28 °C35 °C
Scythe Mugen-2 17 °C41 dBA 700 rpm25 °C30 °C
ISGC-400 (min)17 °C44 dBA850 rpm24 °C30 °C
Cooler Master Vortex 75220 °C48 dBA1700 rpm32 °C44 °C
iCEAGE Prima Boss (min)22 °C42 dBA1000 rpm29 °C36 °C
Evercool Buffalo17 °C51 dBA1850 rpm22 °C29 °C
Scythe Big Shuriken20 °C42 dBA900 rpm31 °C39 °C
Cooler Master Hyper TX321 °C44 dBA1700 rpm30 °C39 °C
Titan Skalli20 °C43 dBA1200 rpm27 °C34 °C
Prolimatech Megahalems Rev. B21 °C40 dBA800 rpm28 °C32 °C
Zalman CNPS9900 NT23 °C45 dBA900 rpm30 °C34 °C
Cooler Master Hyper N62021 °C44 dBA1200 rpm28 °C34 °C
Nexus LOW-7000 R223 °C46 dBA1400 rpm33 °C42 °C

CPU Fully Loaded

CoolerRoom Temp.NoiseFan SpeedBase Temp.Core Temp.
Intel stock14 °C48 dBA1740 rpm42 °C100 °C
BigTyp 14Pro (min)17 °C47 dBA880 rpm43 °C77 °C
BigTyp 14Pro (max)17 °C59 dBA1500 rpm35 °C70 °C
Akasa Nero18 °C48 dBA1500 rpm34 °C68 °C
Cooler Master V1014 °C54 dBA1900 rpm24 °C52 °C
TMG IA1 (max)16 °C47 dBA1500 rpm27 °C63 °C
TMG IA1 (min)16 °C57 dBA2250 rpm25 °C60 °C
Zalman CNPS10X Extreme16 °C51 dBA1900 rpm24 °C50 °C
Thermaltake ISG-10018 °C50 dBA1800 rpm58 °C93 °C
Noctua NH-U12P (low)15 °C42 dBA1000 rpm28 °C59 °C
Noctua NH-U12P15 °C46 dBA1400 rpm25 °C54 °C
Noctua NH-C12P17 °C46 dBA1400 rpm37 °C76 °C
Thermaltake ISGC-20021 °C48 dBA1900 rpm42 °C68 °C
Scythe Kabuto22 °C47 dBA1200 rpm38 °C63 °C
Arctic Cooling Alpine 11 Pro20 °C51 dBA2300 rpm49 °C85 °C
ISGC-300 (min)18 °C42 dBA800 rpm36 °C64 °C
ISGC-300 (max)18 °C46 dBA1400 rpm31 °C56 °C
SilverStone NT06-E21 °C66 dBA2600 rpm39 °C96 °C
Zalman CNPS9700 NT22 °C56 dBA2600 rpm34 °C63 °C
Scythe Mugen-2 17 °C46 dBA 1300 rpm 28 °C54 °C
ISGC-400 (max)17 °C47 dBA1400 rpm36 °C69 °C
Cooler Master Vortex 75220 °C55 dBA2300 rpm48 °C92 °C
iCEAGE Prima Boss (max)22 °C53 dBA2000 rpm35 °C59 °C
Evercool Buffalo17 °C51 dBA1850 rpm32 °C67 °C
Scythe Big Shuriken20 °C50 dBA1500 rpm51 °C85 °C
Cooler Master Hyper TX321 °C53 dBA2700 rpm39 °C66 °C
Titan Skalli20 °C47 dBA1550 rpm37 °C69 °C
Prolimatech Megahalems Rev. B21 °C61 dBA2600 rpm30 °C51 °C
Zalman CNPS9900 NT23 °C56 dBA2000 rpm34 °C54 °C
Cooler Master Hyper N62021 °C50 dBA1650 rpm32 °C56 °C
Nexus LOW-7000 R223 °C53 °C1900 rpm45 °C74 °C

The next graph shows how many degrees Celsius the CPU core was hotter than room temperature during our idle tests.

LOW-7000

The next graph gives you an idea on how many degrees Celsius the CPU core was hotter than room temperature during our full load tests.

 LOW-7000

Main Specifications

Nexus LOW-7000 R2 main features are:

* Researched on www.newegg.com on the day this review was published.

Conclusions

Nexus LOW-7000 R2 achieved a performance similar to Thermaltake ISGC-400, having a better performance than most cooler with similar design we've tested so far (Scythe Big Shuriken, SilverStone NT06-E and Noctua NH-C12P). On the other hand, it presented a performance worse than most tower coolers we tested so far.

It has some problems as well: its noise level is not high but the cooler is not quiet - especially when the advertising on the cooler box says it is a "silent cooler"; its installation is hard; it bends the motherboard; and it is not inexpensive.

So for the average user with a mid-tower case, there is no point in buying this cooler. But if you have an SFF computer and you are looking for a good performance cooler, Nexus LOW-7000 R2 is a good option.

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Nexus-LOW-7000-R2-CPU-Cooler-Review/878


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