CPU Coolers nowadays are becoming more and more silent. However, what normally comes with silence is a drop in performance. This has made enthusiasts try to find their own, personal, perfect balance- either for silence or performance. At Tech-Reviews today, we have a Nexus LXM-8200 for review, a cooler boasting noise levels of 17dBA. Is it the perfect balance?
Nexus Technology BV was established in 2000 by a group of experts on heat conductivity and noise reduction in the computer industry. The founders have build up an in depth knowledge and experience on heat conductivity issues and thermal characteristics by working closely with many of the larger pc manufacturers for several years.
Dimensions: 11 x 7,2 x 14 cm/4.3 x 2.8 x 5.5 inch (including fan)
Fins: 19 pure copper fins, 40 pure aluminum fins
Heat Pipe: 2 copper heat pipes with a diameter of 8mm/0.3 inch
Base Material: Copper
Propeller diameter: 10 cm/3.9 inch
Mounting: 92mm case fan standard
Speed: PWM controlled, Max. 1500RPM ±10%
Noise level: 17dB(A) ~ 25.5dB(A)
Bearing: EL bearing
Rated voltage: 12V
Rated current: 0.18A
Power Consumption: 2.16W
Warranty: 3 years
The Nexus LXM-8200 arrives in a thick cardboard box. The box has many graphics on it and is very informative. This will help to catch the buyers eye whilst the product is on shop shelves.
On the front of the box, a woman holding a finger to her mouth is shown – highlighting the fact that the cooler is ‘whisper quiet’. Also on the front is a large transparent section enabling you to catch a glimpse of the cooler in all its glory.
The back and sides of the box are much more informative with the product specifications and a short briefing about the LXM-8200. The briefing is listed in 7 different languages, this is the only multilingual we’ve witnessed on this product so far.
With most coolers, you get an assortment of accessories. This isn’t the case with the Nexus, you simply get a sachet of thermal paste and the cooler itself. Pre-installed already is the socket 775 mounting clip, ‘push-pin style’.
The Nexus LXM-8200
The LXM-8200 uses the tried and tested ‘tower format’ of design. This is a very popular format in high-end coolers at the moment as they offer great performance as well as being relatively simple to install. The Nexus is no different.
Atop the heat-sink is four aluminium stoppers which are seated over the raw ends of the copper heat-pipes. This looks great and shows that Nexus have paid close attention to detail in designing the LXM-8200. Also on the top fin of the heat-sink is the Nexus logo and some boastful words on the technology which the cooler uses – this actually looks quite good, and is a great way for Nexus to further market their product in the enthusiast community.
At the front of the heat-sink is a 10cm fan – an odd size – which produces between 17 to 25 d BA. Both of these values are of very low noise level and should be pretty much inaudible in a computer case. The fan is secured to the heat-sink by two metal rods, we’ve seen this technique in use on many of the latest coolers. Fortunately the fan which is supplied with the Nexus, can be replaced with a different fan as it shares the same mounting positions as a standard 92mm model.
The fins on the Nexus are the extra ordinary. Instead of just sticking with one metal, one colour, Nexus have used both aluminium and copper fins: 19 copper ones in the middle and 20 aluminium fins at each end. If you’re not so good at maths, that totals up to 59 fins. As well as just creating the cool ‘band’ effect round the cooler, this supposedly is the ‘best possible dissipation/ weight balance’. Although I’m not sure on that, as the cooler is actually very heavy – heavier than some ‘all copper’ coolers I’ve tested in the past.
In total, there are two heat pipes. Compared with most CPU Coolers nowadays, this is a very low number of pipes. Also unlike most, the heat-pipes aren’t all shiny and polished, they have a dull ‘raw’ finish to them which doesn’t resemble any sense of quality.
The base of the cooler is much like the copper heat-pipes in terms of quality. Like most, its protected by a plastic label, stopping greasy fingerprints etc. from interfering with the cooler’s performance. However, upon removing the label, its clear to see how badly finished the base is. Its not polished or shiny in any form and is laden with oily fingerprint marks – you can actually see the prints. This is quite possibly the worst finished base I’ve ever seen. Not impressed.
Mounted to the top of the the ugly copper base is an aluminium block which the heat-pipes thread through. Attached to this block at the front and back is the bog-standard Intel Push Pin clips. In my opinion, this is the easiest method of securing an Intel Cooler, so its great to see that Nexus have made use them.
Powering the CPU Cooler is the newly used 4-pin (PWM) connector. This cable enables your Bios to take control of the fan speed and also allows you to monitor fan running speeds.
As the socket 775 push pin clips are pre-installed on the Nexus, the installation just involves actually securing it on your motherboard.
The first job is to apply some thermal paste to the CPU, we used Noctua’s NT-H1.
The next bit, attaching the LXM-8200 to the motherboard is actually very simple as unlike most coolers, the Nexus has plenty of room around the cooler for easily reaching the push pins. Once the pins were in place, the cooler was secure with no wobble at all.
All which was now needed was to connect the PWM connector to the 4-pin CPU fan header on my motherboard. If you don’t have a PWM header on your motherboard, don’t fret as its backwards compatible with 3-pin. Every ones happy.
|Case||Antec Twelve Hundred|
|Processor||Intel C2D E8400|
|Memory||4GB Crucial Ballistix Tracer|
|Motherboard||Asus P5K Premium|
|Graphics Card||Vivikoo 9600GT|
|Power Supply||Kingwin Mach 1|
|Hard Drive||SATA Western Digital SE16 500GB|
|Optical Drive||SATA Samsung DVD-RW|
To test CPU Coolers we simply boot the PC up into Windows Vista and measure temperatures under idle and load states. The temperature is recorded from the CPU’s own diode using SpeedFan.
For idle testing, we leave the PC doing nothing for half an hour and take 3 temperature readings at 10 second intervals after 30mins. We then use the average score from these as the result. When testing at load temperatures, we use a similar method but load both cores of our CPU right to 100% by loading two processes of ‘CPU Burn-In’.
Ambient (testing environment) temperature was 22 degrees Celsius.
We’ll be comparing the Nexus LXM-8200 to the stock Intel Cooler (copper base model). Noctua NT-H1 is the thermal paste which will be used when testing both of the coolers.
The Stock speed of the E8400 is 3GHz with a 333FSB.
*Measured in Degrees Celsius
|Nexus LXM-8200||Stock Intel
(Copper Base Version)
The results are fairly conclusive showing that the Nexus performs a few degrees better than the stock Intel cooler. This is a good temperature drop and one most enthusiasts will be happy with.
As well as performing a bit better than the stock Intel cooler, the main benefit is going to be from the coolers noise level. Fortunately over the humming of my stock Antec case fans (at low speeds), the LXM-8200’s fan couldn’t be heard at all. This is unlike the Intel cooler, which could be heard clearly. Altogether, the Nexus is a very quiet performer – as the saying goes “Silent but Deadly”.
The Nexus is a very good cooler. It performs reasonably well, stays at a low noise level and is quite possibly one of the easiest S775 Intel Coolers to install. At just £25, its a good buy for anyone who’s still using their stock Intel cooler and would like something much quieter with a slight boost in performance.
The only downside to the Nexus is its base – laden with grime and fingerprints. This can easily be improved upon and will certainly increase the performance of the cooler slightly if improved.
Altogether, I think this product deserves four shiny stars. Good job Nexus!
- Looks good
- Good Price
- Easy to Install
- Slight temperature boost
- Base is horribly finished
- S775 only