Conclusion: Best of the Best
"In our Best CPU Cooler Performance - Q1 2008 article, one product stood out among the crowd and outperformed every other test product: the OCZ Vendetta 2 Heat-pipe Direct Touch 120mm CPU cooler. Three months later, the OCZVEND2 is back on top again. It has it's limits, but for the vast majority of overclockers and enthusiasts it will offer more than enough performance under both low- and high-volume fan configurations.
The OCZ Vendetta 2 was very easy to install since it uses the standard pin-style compression clips. I have noticed that both the original Vendetta and the new Vendetta 2 both have a clip system that requires more force to secure than an OEM Intel cooler. This gives the Vendetta 2 a much stronger mount to the CPU in return. Although the Vendetta 2 design is very similar to the Xigmatek HDT-S1283 cooler, there are several key differences separating the two products. Presently NewEgg is listing the OCZTVEND2 for $49.99.
For anyone wanting top-level cooling performance at recession-level pricing, the Xigmatek HDT-S1283 and its clone RVT-12025 are perfect solutions. At the moment, Xigmatek's HDT-S1283 CPU cooler is just turning one year old. There are a multitude of products that are either similar or identical, which is fair considering that Xigmatek doesn't own the patent for HDT anyway. Presently the HDT-S1283 is available from NewEgg for $36.99. Alternatively, NewEgg also offers the RVT-12025 for $31.99, which is considerably less expensive and is an exact clone (but comes with a much lower-volume fan for reduced noise levels).
The end-goal is different, but it always remains the same: overclockers want more. The question is how much more? If you're after the absolutely highest possible overclocks and need the most out your cooling solution, then the Thermaltake Ultra-120 eXtreme actually has an advantage. Sure, it's more expensive, and it will require tedeous lapping of the surface to make it flat, but there are still a few things that it can do that other cannot: such as mount a second fan. For that small bunch of ultra-enthusiasts, a $100+ air-cooled solution doesn't seem absurd if it delivers a few extra degree of cooling performance.
Although the Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme CPU cooler has been on the market for almost two years, prices for the ULTRA120EXTREME are still hovering around $60. Please keep in mind that the TRUE does not include a fan, and one (or two, if desired) must be purchased separately.
Ultimately though, this article has to reach a large and diverse crowd of enthusiasts. My advice is this: identify your needs and estimate your budget, because I have covered the three best coolers for every configuration in this article. If your an overclocker who like to keep the peace, the Vendetta 2 offers great low-volume performance. If cost is an issue, the Xigmatek HDT-S1283 and its Kingwin RVT012025 clone are perfect. Finally, if time and money are readily available and noise isn't nearly as important as top-end cooling, the Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme is your best choice."
my 2 cents:
All 3 are good coolers and choices, depending on your requirements
I went with the OCZ V2Edited by kpo6969 - 6/30/08 at 9:44pm