Overall and Final Verdict
I will admit I would like to retest the Black Edition in the proper orientation at some point but again, I am not looking forward to the installation. While it did preform admirably in several areas even at a handicap it isn’t completely without blame. The unique arrangement of the heatpipes sits so low that without sufficient space around the CPU socket you are forced to face it in a different direction that is optimal for performance. This completely eliminates any gains that may have been achieved.
The Black Edition was a pleasant surprise after all of the wrestling and hoops I had to jump through to get it installed. The quiet operation and equal performance in a smaller package are certainly upsides to look at. However, the space required by the heatpipe arrangement coupled with the bear of an installation leave me with less the pleasant feelings.