Zaward Vapor 120 CPU Cooler
(4.5 star rating)
The Zaward Vapor 120 is a new CPU Cooler with a breathable HDT (Heatpipe Direct Touch) heat sink and unique golf ball dimple design for added cooling area on the fins and quiet spinning fan blades. It sports support for all sorts of CPU types - AMD AM2+/AM3 and Intel LGA 775, LGA1156 and LGA 1366 - and includes a single 120mm fan. Can it compete with the big boys from Zalman, Thermaltake, Noctua, etc.? Let’s find out.
The Vapor 120 has the mounting brackets for both common and past motherboards using a four post screw attachment. Similar to most other high efficiency coolers, the 160mm height of the Vapor 120 means you will most likely need to remove your motherboard for installation.
This CPU cooler is designed in a rather hefty size that is actually quite common to CPU coolers today. Small form factor cases are going to have trouble fitting the Vapor 120, but that is becoming the norm with CPU coolers.
The main unique feature of this cooler is the 4.5mm diameter shallow circular dimples on each fin, with the idea that cooling surface area for the fins is increased and airflow is optimized. The fan also has dimples on the blades for addition air flow and noise reduction as well as having the mounting clips for an additional fan if you have another one handy.
- Socket: Intel LGA775, LGA1156, LGA1366, AMD AM2, AM2+, AM3, 754, 939, 940
- Dimension: 120 (W) x 50 (D) x 160 (H) mm
- Fin: Aluminum alloy with 3 x O8mm copper heatpipes
- Base: Aluminum with H.D.T
- Fan Dimension: 120 x 120 x 25 mm
- Voltage rate: DC 12V
- Consumption current: 0.45A max.
- Input power: 5.4W max.
- Air pressure: 3.47 mmAq
- Bearing type: Long life Duro bearing
- Speed: 300±200 rpm ~ 2000±10%
- Air flow: 93.96 CFM max.
- Noise level: 10~34.3 dBA
- Connector: 4 pin with PWM function
- LED: 4 blue
- Life Expectancy: 60,000 hours
- Thermal resistance: 0.15 °C/W
- Weight(Net): 684 ± 20g
|Front View||What's in the Box||Heatsink View|
Installation was pretty easy with the fan being able to unclip from the CPU Cooler before and after installation using the common wire clips. The fan will probably need to be removed before any installation as the base plate that gets screwed down to the heat sink or lays above it will have the fan in the way of the collar nuts.
You can install the cooler with the air flow front to back or top to bottom and place the fan to blow air in any direction by installing the fan according to the arrows on the side. The mounting clip as the instructions call it but it really resembles a plate goes either above or below the heat sink part of the cooler depending on which direction you want air flow.
When installing the AMD plate you either place the mounting clip or plate on the heat sink screwed down from below or above it. Four Allen screws hold the base plate on the heat sink if you want air flow from top or bottom of the cooler or just the four mounting screws on the plate holds it down against the heat sink.
If you want air flow from front to back you simply turn the cooler so the fins align like many coolers with the front and back of the case and have the mounting clip or plate above the heat sink. For Intel mounting you use a different mounting clip or plate and only have one choice for direction of air flow. You use the same back plate for under the motherboard and standoffs which hold the back plate on the motherboard with the mounting screws.
Once you have the cooler positioned you clip on the fan, plug the fan in and reassemble the motherboard and computer system. I found changing out the CPU as I did four times to be pretty easy for testing the various processors that I was also testing for an article on upgrading CPU's.
|Installed on Motherboard||Installed and Running|
Testing and Performance
- Motherboard: Asus M2R32-MVP
- CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ BE, AMD Athlon II X3 435, AMD Athlon II X3 440, AMD Athlon II X4 635
- Memory: 4 GB RAM
- CPU Heatsink: Zaward Vapor 120, Thermaltake Spin Q, Noctua NH-D14
- Power Supply: Thermaltake Toughpower XT 750W
- Hard drive: Seagate 500 GB 7200RPM SATA
The Golf Fan from Zaward is a good fan but is a bit noisy at high speed, a little more noise from this fan unit than other fans I have but it does prove efficient in cooling. But the test results show that the cooling of the Vapor 120 is really very good and keeps pace with the more expensive Noctua NH-D14.
Testing the Vapor 120 against some recent coolers I found the Zaward Vapor 120 does perform well with a variety of processors at stock speeds for the AMD Athlon II X4 running at 3.1 Ghz. I did not get into overclocking as I found the processors and cooling was not even close to being a problem but am sure this cooler will perform well for a decent overclock.
Zaward Vapor 120 CPU Cooler
Overall, the Vapor 120 CPU Cooler does a great job of keeping your high power CPU cool with its golf ball dimple design on the heat sink and the fan assembly fins. While I was only able to find it at one online retailer that ships to North America, at $52 USD the price-to-performance ratio is quite good for the Vapor 120. It also performs well with a variety of AMD and Intel CPUs, and as evidenced from the test results it can certainly hold its own against the competition. As long as you don’t have an issue with the rather hefty size, the Vapor 120 comes highly recommended.
Pros: Easy removal/installation of CPU after initial install; Multi directional fan and heat sink; Superb cooling efficiency.
Cons: Initial installation requires motherboard removal; Fan can be noisy at high speeds
Rating: 4.5 out of 5