img_3182-lanoc-reviews-lanoc-reviews-smallWith our trip to CES this year I had a rare opportunity to get a closer look at Coolermaster’s current and upcoming heatsinks. They showed off their “Top Dog” the v10 mostly, and because of that coverage and enthusiasm the new Hyper N520 was slightly overshadowed. Targeted at the budget crowd who is looking to get the best performance for their money I don’t expect it to break any records. But we have been surprised before, will the Hyper N520 out perform its competitors?

Review Sample Provided by: Coolermaster

Review by: Wes

Pictures by: Wes

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Specifications

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Packaging

Coolermaster packed the N520 up into a purple and white box. On the front, there is a picture of the heatsink showing off the offset fans. There is also a list of compatible CPU’s on the front to make it easy to figure out if it will fit your rig. The side of the box has a full list of specifications just like what is posted here in our review. On the back of the box you will find a small list of features along with pictures of some of the best ones.

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Inside the box the Hyper N520 is packed up tightly is cardboard. You will find one bag with all of the brackets, thermal paste, and screws that you will need for an installation on any chipset. It would be nice to see the three brackets broken down into bags for each but they did stamp them. Along side of the parts I also found instructions for all three chipsets (AM2, 775, and 1366) along with a warranty paper.

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Our Test Rig

Abit IN9 32X-MAX 680i motherboard
Intel Q6600 Quad core CPU B3 stepping at stock clock speed
4 gigs of A-Data G Series Ram
EVGA 8800GTS Video Card 640MB
Antec Twelve Hundred Case
Antec Quadro 850 Watt Power Supply
Lite-On DVD Burner
Running Vista Ultimate and XP
Tuniq TX-2 thermal paste is used on all of our heatsink tests for consistency
*all of the case fans are run on high speed during testing

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Installation

Most heatsinks that I see have a similar mounting setup. The Hyper N520 looked very similar but was different enough to stand out. It still requires access to the back of the motherboard like most aftermarket heatsinks; I wish they would find a good mount that doesn’t require a backplate. The way the Hyper N520 stands out is that the screws face down and the heatsink has to be tightened down from the backside of the motherboard. This means that the heatsink can’t be removed without taking out the motherboard unless you have CPU access (I hope this becomes more popular with case manufactures). Other than that major issue, the installation went smoothly. Coolermaster provided great instructions for all chipsets.

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Performance

As you can see from the charts below, the Hyper N520 outperformed all but the most high-end heatsinks. Considering the N520 is selling for up to half as much as the top coolers, the performance is amazing. The dual 92mm fans don’t put out a lot of noise but aren’t as quite as a single low speed 120mm fan like you would see with most of the other heatsinks. This small increase in noise is well worth the space savings. At CES, Coolermaster promised "Increased efficiency by combining wider and more surface area, with offset fans allowing increased airflow, requiring less static pressure from fans in a compact area." I believe the performance numbers speak for themselves in this case!

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Overall

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. The price is also much lower than other heatsinks with similar performance, this is exaturated even more in the case of the TRUE that requires you also must by fans. What it comes down to it this, the Hyper N520 has great performance, but may be more difficult to work with in the end. If you are trying to get the best cooling performance per dollar and are willing to work a little harder to get that performance the Hyper N520 is perfect for you. If you want top tier performance without much work, you are going to have to look at more costly options. I think its a fair trade.

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Author Bio
garfi3ld
Author: garfi3ldWebsite: https://lanoc.org
Editor-in-chief
You might call him obsessed or just a hardcore geek. Wes's obsession with gaming hardware and gadgets isn't anything new, he could be found taking things apart even as a child. When not poking around in PC's he can be found playing League of Legends, Awesomenauts, or Civilization 5 or watching a wide variety of TV shows and Movies. A car guy at heart, the same things that draw him into tweaking cars apply when building good looking fast computers. If you are interested in writing for Wes here at LanOC you can reach out to him directly using our contact form.

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