Akasa Nero – 1366
The Akasa Nero is a very good looking cooler that continues in the HDT technology tradition, showcasing equal parts sleek aesthetics and cooling prowess. While the HDT base was somewhat of a concern with the gaps apparent along the CPU contact points, it appears that this is not a serious issue since the Nero posts some impressive cooling numbers on a very hot CPU.
What’s interesting here is that the HDT contact surface proved fairly successful in handling the the new Intel Core i7 CPUs that feature almost 40% greater surface area. The heatpipes were definitely doing their job, getting very warm to the touch when stressed by a highly overclocked processor.
The installation of the Nero is a bit better than some other coolers we’ve reviewed due to its narrower design and nimble fan attachment, even though it still relies on the push pin style of mounting (get a new design already, Intel!) The Nero’s availability is a bit sketchy in North America but it can be found at select retailers for around $40 USD, and it is readily available in the UK between £25 and £30 including VAT. [Update: Sidewinder Computers has the Nero in stock, you can find it http://www.sidewindercomputers.com/aknecoemuncp.html] This price puts it squarely in the middle of the performance cooler pack.
As we’ve seen today, coolers that are primarily designed for Socket 775 and come with a 1366 installation bracket will not perform nearly as well on Core i7 CPUs as they do on Core2 chips. Relatively speaking, however, while the Nero may not be the top performing cooler on the market, it is a great all-around product, offering an excellent balance between performance and affordability in a quiet setup.
If you’re in the market for a new heatsink for your new Core i7 rig in particular, take at look at the Nero, we think it’s worth considering.
Our thanks go to Akasa for providing the Nero for this review.