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Zaward Twin Towers Northbridge Cooler

t_ski

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#1
In the quest for silent performance, users are looking toward heatpipes for most of their cooling needs. Today we are looking at the new fanless chipset cooler from Zaward, called the Twin Towers. This chipset cooler has two heatpipes, one of which can rotate around the other to reduce compatibility issues. We put the Twin Towers to the test to see what kind of performance comes with its silence.

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WarEagleAU

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#2
That is truly one of the most unique looking coolers I have seen, period. I like it very much and am very happy with the results.
 
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#3
they got guts calling it the twin towers.....

BTW - good review to ski
 

t_ski

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#4
DrunkenMafia, I knew that would come up in here, but as the heatsink is being released in Europe and Asia only, I didn't know if the rest of the world knew of our "Twin Towers" in the US.

Unfortunately, there are so many different things around the world that mean different things to different people, that eventually something will be offensive (like Vista meaning "foul", etc.).

However, I respectfully ask that no one turn this thread into an opportunity to discuss their views of the World Trade Center and 9/11. Thanks :toast:
 

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#5
With a base lapping and a hardware revision lowering how tall it is and making it able to accomodate a fan, this could be quite formidabble. As it stands, IMO, its just too tall, which severely limits its compatibility, and when compared to even a stock cooler, it doesnt exactly beat it by much. Giving it a TPU recommended award is generous - far too generous.
 

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#6
I saw another review of this cooler after I posted mine where the CPU heatsink/fan was mounted either blowing up or down - either way it was sucking or blowing air acrossed it. I think that would have a significant effect of its performance.
 

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#7
@t_Ski

Nice review. Do you have any pictures of the unit installed on the test system ?
(P5W DH Deluxe)

I read that if you remove the top "Asus" Plate from the stock cooler and install a small fan directly on top of it, that you get better cooling. I wonder if a small fan on Asus' cooler would match the performance of this unit.
 

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#8
I think you need to directly compare this with the likes of the hr05 and other more well known chipset coolers. Also neither of the heatpipes appear to be real heatpipes, just copper plates like are found in laptops. The heatpipe of the second tower is stamped flat, theres no way evaporation will take place like most heatpipe systems. The main pipe looks as if it is just part of the copper base, again preventing proper evaporation/condensation. No surprise it doesn't cool well.
 

t_ski

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#9
I have a 40mm x 25mm fan I was thinking of doing before I got the Twin Towers, but I never got the chance to test it out.

By pictures of the unit installed on the test system, do you mean in a case, or just the whole board? I did not have the system installed in a case, but on a home-built (ie: ghetto) techstation.
 

t_ski

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#10
I think you need to directly compare this with the likes of the hr05 and other more well known chipset coolers. Also neither of the heatpipes appear to be real heatpipes, just copper plates like are found in laptops. The heatpipe of the second tower is stamped flat, theres no way evaporation will take place like most heatpipe systems. The main pipe looks as if it is just part of the copper base, again preventing proper evaporation/condensation. No surprise it doesn't cool well.
No, neither one is stamped flat. The ends are crimped, just as all heatpipes are - some are done if different ways though. They are indeed round tubes, like most other heatpipes. And their contact with the base is decent. I think any issue of performance falls down to passive cooling's limitations. If there was a fan involved the cooling would obviously be much better.
 

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#11
I have a 40mm x 25mm fan I was thinking of doing before I got the Twin Towers, but I never got the chance to test it out.

By pictures of the unit installed on the test system, do you mean in a case, or just the whole board? I did not have the system installed in a case, but on a home-built (ie: ghetto) techstation.
Just a picture of the thing installed on the P5W DH Mobo. Actually would be better not in a case as you can see the positioning better.

Thanks.
 

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#12
Not off-hand, but I'll see if I can come up with one. I have wide-angle pictures of the Vivo installed on the motherboard, and there is a picture here of the Twin Towers next to the Vivo.
 

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#13


You are telling me that is a normal perfectly round tube with free flowing liquid/vapor?

Take a infrared thermometer, take readings of the fins and the base. I guarantee the base is the same temp as your chipset die and the fins are 30ish. The fact that the second pipe can easily rotate around and has no thermal interface between the copper base and the pipe itself also limits it to very little heat, so most of the heat is probably coming from the main tower instead of the secondary.

As I said before, throw a hr-05 on that test setup and then rethink your recommendation.
 

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#14
The pipes are slightly out of round as any bent heatpipe would be, but it is by no means flat. The base of the heatpipe has some thermal compound on it to aid in thermal transfer. And, I used to have an HR-05-SLI, and that monster ate the corners off my NF4 chipset. I wouldn't recommend it to anybody.
 

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#15
There is a small amount of thermal compound spread around the base to allow better thermal contact with the second heatpipe.
While I can see why they did this, what happens when the goop dries up and turns to stone ? Does it come appart so one can reapply thermal goop again ?

If not, it would seem to me that the unit will lose any additional cooling gained by the second heatpipe over time.
 

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#16
I'm currently using one on my ultra d. With the pad plus a screwed down method vs flimsy pushpins I haven't had an issue. Sounds like you bumped yours a lot while messing with hardware. I'm really curious why you are defending this so much. Hell install it in a real rig and show us the temps. If it doesn't work as advertised then how in the hell can you recommend it?
 

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#17
I saw another review of this cooler after I posted mine where the CPU heatsink/fan was mounted either blowing up or down - either way it was sucking or blowing air acrossed it. I think that would have a significant effect of its performance.
But you didnt test that for yourself though. What about the people who only use passive cooling in their systems? Acting on assumption is just slapdash :shadedshu
 

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#18
Put it in a enclosed computer as it was intended to be run and see how it performs. You shouldn't have to mod something for it to work better than stock. If case airflow isnt enough for a passive product it is therefore a failure.
 

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#19
I don't feel that I am defending it, but I do feel as the reviewer it is my job to answer questions about the items I review. Some of your comments seem to suggest that either you had not read correctly or I had not made myself clear. I like to give others the benefit of the doubt and assumed it was my error, so I was trying to make myself more clear.

As for testing it in the case, that is my ultimate plan, but I have too many responsibilities ATM to rip my computer apart and upgrade my current system to the "test" system shown above (and combining parts where necessary).

In defense of my testing methods I think they could not have been more fair. Both the original stock heatsink and the Twin Towers were used under the same conditions, and tested in the same manor. They were also installed using the included hardware direct from the manufacturer, and were not modded in any way. Doing so could have changed the performance beyond what would create a fair evaluation.

I would have to agree with Ketxxx and say that you are more than welcome to do your own testing and let us know how the testing comes out.
 

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#20
With a hardware revision the cooler could be good, but as it stands it just isnt. Hence, any recommendation for this cooler as it stands is near to impossible to give. Its performance margin over a stock cooler is practically non-existent, and certainly not worthy of $26, maybe $6, but not $26. In practicality it just doesnt work. In an enclosed setup, I'm willing to bet that thing will actually perform worse than the stock cooler.

Faultlist:

- Its too tall
- Cant acommodate a fan
- severely limited mobo compatibility
- poor base finish
 

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#21
I have to agree that the base finish is one of the biggest faults of the unit. Zaward is now aware of this and working to correct it. However, your first and third faults listed are common to any kind of vertical heatpipe, not just this model. And for the inability to use a fan, that may not be a fault in everyone's eyes. There certainly are markets out there for users who don't want a fan in their system, including HTPC's. I would consider the ability to add a fan a plus, but since the unit was designed from the bottom up for use without a fan, I don't think it's fair to count it against the unit.

Honestly, I would have loved to test this in my Ultra-D. I think it would have been more of what the heatsink was intended for - replacing a noisy stock heatsink/fan with a decent performing silent solution. Unfortunately, due to the incompatibility I had to test it on the other system I had available to me. The bad part was that the Asus board already had a decent performing, passive heatpipe cooling solution. In a case where the motherboard does not have a heatpipe chipset cooler, but instead a plain aluminum heatsink, I think the performance difference would be worth the cost, especially since the price is comparable to the larger Thermalright solution.
 

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#22
Designing a fanless solution to be able to be used with a fan is not all that hard to do. Theres really no excuses. Height is a problem in this case because of how mainboards are designed that use SLi or Crossfire. It would not of been hard to increase the surface area of the design to add a few more heatpipes and generally widen the design a little instead of it being so bloody tall. I recently made a new chipset cooler for my 975 chipset, its deadly silent, low profile, and only cost about $12 to make. I'll also wager my custom solution being able to outperform this twintowers.
 

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#23
Well that should be the keynote of this entire review then.

"Not enough time"
 

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#24
Sounds cool. Make sure you post some pics and results in the Project Logs section. ;)
 

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#25