[nextpage title=”Introduction”]

Today we are going to analyze VCT-9000 CPU cooler from Nexus, which has a very unique design, with a tower heatsink with an inclined fan. But will this design result in a good performance? Check it out!

The box is very fancy, with a window that allow you to see the cooler and its inclined fan.

Nexus VCT-9000Figure 1: Box.

Inside the box we found the cooler with the fan installed, manual, installation hardware and a vacuum-sealed tube of thermal compound.

Nexus VCT-9000Figure 2: Box contents.

In the next pages we will analyze this cooler in detail.

[nextpage title=”Nexus VCT-9000″]

In Figure 3 you have a front view of the cooler. Note the heatpipes tips on the base. The 120 mm fan is made of dark transparent plastic.

Nexus VCT-9000Figure 3: Front view.

In Figure 4 we see clearly how different is VCT-9000 design. Note that the heatsink is not touching the base, but drifted from it.

Nexus VCT-9000Figure 4: Side view.

On the rear side of the cooler you can check the positon of the heatpipes and the presence of a small auxiliary heatsink on the base.

Nexus VCT-9000Figure 5: Rear view.

[nextpage title=”Nexus VCT-9000 (Cont’d)”]

In Figure 6, you can see VCT-900 from above.

Nexus VCT-9000Figure 6: Top view.

In Figure 7 you see the base of the cooler. The heatpipes touch directly the CPU. Note that the middle heatpipe is thicker than the others, with 8 mm in diameter, while the others have 6 mm. The base is not very smooth, looking like it was finished with a coarse sandpaper. There are gaps between the heatpipes, which means you must use a good quantity of thermal compound in order to fill them.

Nexus VCT-9000Figure 7: Base.

In Figure 8, you can see the syringe of thermal gray compound that comes with the cooler. This compound is not easy to apply because it is too hard. The plastic spatula that comes with the cooler can’t even spread it. The quantity of this thermal compound is also too little to give a good contact between the base of the cooler and the CPU. We had to use another thermal compound in order to assure a good thermal contact.

Nexus VCT-9000Figure 8: Thermal compound.

[nextpage title=”Installation”]

In Figure 9, you can see the base of the cooler with the holding clips for Intel CPUs in place. These clips are similar to the ones used on the Intel stock cooler, but it fits sockets 775, 1156 and 1366.

Nexus VCT-9000Figure 9: Intel clips.

In Figure 10, you can see the cooler installed on our motherboard. It was a very hard installation, because access to the clips is too narrow for the fingers. Even with no backplate, it is virtually impossible to install this cooler if you don’t remove the motherboard from the case.

Nexus VCT-9000Figure 10: Installed on the motherboard.

In Figure 11, you can see the cooler installed in our case.

Nexus VCT-9000Figure 11: Installed on case.

On other reviews we go straight to the test methodology and results after this page, but with this cooler we had an unpleasant surprise, which we explain in the next page.

[nextpage title=”Installation Issues”]

We turned on our system in order to perform the tests (in Figure 12 you can see the fan turned on) but our computer turned off by itself after a few seconds. We discovered through the motherboard setup that our CPU was reaching 110 °C, and we were not running any programs! So we removed the motherboard from the case for an analysis of the cooler assembly.

Nexus VCT-9000Figure 12: Fan glowing.

We found that in the position we installed the cooler (which is the position recommended in the manual), the heatpipes were touching the capacitors of the motherboard voltage regulator circuit, avoiding the base of the cooler of touching the whole CPU. We tried other positions, but the only one we could install the cooler was the one shown in Figure 13. This was the position we ran our tests.

Nexus VCT-9000Figure 13: Cooler reinstalled.

Unfortunately, in adition to almost burn our processor on the first installation, the heatpipes also smashed the capacitors from the voltage regulator circuit, as you can see in Figure 14. Luckly our motherboard survived (at least by now).

Nexus VCT-9000Figure 14: Smashed capacitors.

[nextpage title=”How We Tested”]

We are adopting the following methodology for our CPU cooler reviews.

First, we chose the CPU with the highest TDP (Thermal Design Power) we had available, a Core 2 Extreme QX6850, which has a 130 W TDP. The choice for a CPU with a high TDP is obvious. To measure the efficiency of the tested cooler, we need a processor that gets very hot. This CPU works by default at 3.0 GHz, but we overclocked it to 3.33 GHz, in order to heat it as much as possible.

We took noise and temperature measurements with the CPU idle and under full load. In order to achieve 100% CPU load on the four processing cores we ran Prime95 with the "In-place Large FFTs" option, and three instances of the StressCPU program, all at the same time.

We also compared the reviewed cooler to the Intel stock cooler (with copper base), which comes with the processor we used, and also with some other coolers we have tested using the same methodology.

Temperature measurements were taken with a digital thermometer, with the sensor touching the base of the cooler, and also with the core temperature reading (given by the CPU thermal sensor) from the from the SpeedFan program, using an arithmetic average of the four core temperature readings.

The sound pressure level (SPL) was measured with a digital noise meter, with its sensor placed 4" (10 cm) from the fan. We turned off the video board cooler so it wouldn’t interfere with the results, but this measurement is only for comparative purposes, because a precise SPL measurement needs to be made inside an acoustically insulated room with no other noise sources, which is not the case here.

Hardware Configuration

  • Processor: Core 2 Extreme QX6850
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte EP45-UD3L
  • Memory: 4 GB G.Skill F2-6400CL5S-2GBNY (DDR2-800/PC2-6400 with 5-5-5-15 timings), configured at 800 MHz
  • Hard drive: 1 TB Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 (ST31000528AS, SATA-300, 7200 rpm, 32 MB buffer)
  • Video card: PNY Verto Geforce 9600 GT
  • Video resolution: 1680×1050
  • Video monitor: Samsung Syncmaster 2232BW Plus
  • Power supply required: Seventeam ST-550P-AM
  • Case: 3RSystem K100

OS Configuration

  • Windows XP Professional SP3

Software Used

Error Margin

We adopted a 2 °C error margin, i.e., temperature differences below 2 °C are considered irrelevant.

[nextpage title=”Our Tests”]

On the tables below you can see our results. We ran the same tests with the coolers shown on below tables. Each test ran with the CPU idle and the with the CPU fully loaded. On BigTyp 14Pro, TMG IA1, NH-U12P and ISGC-300 the tests were done with the fan at full speed and at minimum speed. The other coolers were connected directly to the motherboard and it controls the fan speed based on CPU load level and temperature on PWM models. ISGC-400, iCEAGE Prima Boss, Megahalems Rev. B, Thermaltake SpinQ VT, Zalman CNPS10X Flex, Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme and Tuniq Propeller 120 were tested at minimum speed on idle test and at maximum speed on full load test.

CPU Idle

Cooler Room Temp. Noise Fan Speed Base Temp. Core Temp.
Intel stock 14 °C 44 dBA 1000 rpm 31 °C 42 °C
BigTyp 14Pro (min) 17 °C 47 dBA 880 rpm 29 °C 36 °C
BigTyp 14Pro (max) 17 °C 59 dBA 1500 rpm 26 °C 34 °C
Akasa Nero 18 °C 41 dBA 500 rpm 26 °C 35 °C
Cooler Master V10 14 °C 44 dBA 1200 rpm 21 °C 26 °C
TMG IA1 (max) 16 °C 47 dBA 1500 rpm 22 °C 30 °C
TMG IA1 (min) 16 °C 57 dBA 2250 rpm 21 °C 30 °C
Zalman CNPS10X Extreme 16 °C 44 dBA 1200 rpm 21 °C 29 °C
Thermaltake ISGC-100 18 °C 44 dBA 1450 rpm 35 °C 49 °C
Noctua NH-U12P (low) 15 °C 42 dBA 1000 rpm 20 °C 30 °C
Noctua NH-U12P 15 °C 46 dBA 1400 rpm 20 °C 28 °C
Noctua NH-C12P 17 °C

46 dBA 1400 rpm 23 °C 28 °C
Thermaltake ISGC-200 21 °C 43 dBA 1100 rpm 31 °C 35 °C
Schythe Kabuto 22 °C 42 dBA 800 rpm 29 °C 34 °C
Arctic Cooling Alpine 11 Pro 20 °C 43 dBA 1500 rpm 32 °C 39 °C
ISGC-300 (min) 18 °C 42 dBA 800 rpm 26 °C 30 °C
ISGC-300 (max) 18 °C 46 dBA 1400 rpm 24 °C 26 °C
SilverStone NT06-E 21 °C 66 dBA 2600 rpm 30 °C 41 °C
Zalman CNPS9700 NT 22 °C 48 dBA 1700 rpm 28 °C 35 °C
Scythe Mugen-2 17 °C 41 dBA 700 rpm 25 °C 30 °C
ISGC-400 (min) 17 °C 44 dBA 850 rpm 24 °C 30 °C
Cooler Master Vortex 752 20 °C 48 dBA 1700 rpm 32 °C 44 °C
iCEAGE Prima Boss (min) 22 °C 42 dBA 1000 rpm 29 °C 36 °C
Evercool Buffalo 17 °C 51 dBA 1850 rpm 22 °C 29 °C
Scythe Big Shuriken 20 °C 42 dBA 900 rpm 31 °C 39 °C
Cooler Master Hyper TX3 21 °C 44 dBA 1700 rpm 30 °C 39 °C
Titan Skalli 20 °C 43 dBA 1200 rpm 27 °C 34 °C
Prolimatech Megahalems Rev. B 21 °C 40 dBA 800 rpm 28 °C 32 °C
Zalman CNPS9900 NT 23 °C 45 dBA 900 rpm 30 °C 34 °C
Cooler Master Hyper N620 21 °C 44 dBA 1200 rpm 28 °C 34 °C
Nexus LOW-7000 R2 23 °C 46 dBA 1400 rpm 33 °C 42 °C
Evercool HPK-10025EA 20 °C 54 dBA 1900 rpm 27 °C 34 °C
Evercool HPH-9525EA 23 °C 50 dBA 1900 rpm 38 °C 49 °C
iCEAGE Prima Boss II 23 °C 42 dBA 1000 rpm 29 °C 35 °C
Thermaltake SpinQ VT 24 °C 45 dBA 950 rpm 32 °C 39 °C
Titan Fenrir 21 °C 42 dBA 950 rpm 29 °C 35 °C
Zalman CNPS 10 Flex 23 °C 40 dBA 800 rpm 32 °C 39 °C
Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme 24 °C 43 dBA 1100 rpm 30 °C 37 °C
Gelid Tranquillo 22 °C 41 dBA 850 rpm 29 °C 36 °C
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 20 °C 45 dBA 1200 rpm 27 °C 35 °C
Spire TherMax Eclipse 20 °C 58 dBA 2300 rpm 25 °C 34 °C
Tuniq Propeller 120 20 °C 43 dBA 1050 rpm 24 °C 33 °C
Nexus VCT-9000 20 °C 44 dBA 600 rpm 28 °C 37 °C

CPU Fully Loaded

Cooler Room Temp. Noise Fan Speed Base Temp. Core Temp.
Intel stock 14 °C 48 dBA 1740 rpm 42 °C 100 °C
BigTyp 14Pro (min) 17 °C 47 dBA 880 rpm 43 °C 77 °C
BigTyp 14Pro (max) 17 °C 59 dBA 1500 rpm 35 °C 70 °C
Akasa Nero 18 °C 48 dBA 1500 rpm 34 °C 68 °C
Cooler Master V10 14 °C 54 dBA 1900 rpm 24 °C 52 °C
TMG IA1 (max) 16 °C 47 dBA 1500 rpm 27 °C 63 °C
TMG IA1 (min) 16 °C 57 dBA 2250 rpm 25 °C 60 °C
Zalman CNPS10X Extreme 16 °C 51 dBA 1900 rpm 24 °C 50 °C
Thermaltake ISG-100 18 °C 50 dBA 1800 rpm 58 °C 93 °C
Noctua NH-U12P (low) 15 °C 42 dBA 1000 rpm 28 °C 59 °C
Noctua NH-U12P 15 °C 46 dBA 1400 rpm 25 °C 54 °C
Noctua NH-C12P 17 °C 46 dBA 1400 rpm 37 °C 76 °C
Thermaltake ISGC-200 21 °C 48 dBA 1900 rpm 42 °C 68 °C
Scythe Kabuto 22 °C 47 dBA 1200 rpm 38 °C 63 °C
Arctic Cooling Alpine 11 Pro 20 °C 51 dBA 2300 rpm 49 °C 85 °C
ISGC-300 (min) 18 °C 42 dBA 800 rpm 36 °C 64 °C
ISGC-300 (max) 18 °C 46 dBA 1400 rpm 31 °C 56 °C
SilverStone NT06-E 21 °C 66 dBA 2600 rpm 39 °C 96 °C
Zalman CNPS9700 NT 22 °C 56 dBA 2600 rpm 34 °C 63 °C
Scythe Mugen-2 17 °C 46 dBA 1300 rpm 28 °C 54 °C
ISGC-400 (max) 17 °C 47 dBA 1400 rpm 36 °C 69 °C
Cool
er Master Vortex 752
20 °C 55 dBA 2300 rpm 48 °C 92 °C
iCEAGE Prima Boss (max) 22 °C 53 dBA 2000 rpm 35 °C 59 °C
Evercool Buffalo 17 °C 51 dBA 1850 rpm 32 °C 67 °C
Scythe Big Shuriken 20 °C 50 dBA 1500 rpm 51 °C 85 °C
Cooler Master Hyper TX3 21 °C 53 dBA 2700 rpm 39 °C 66 °C
Titan Skalli 20 °C 47 dBA 1550 rpm 37 °C 69 °C
Prolimatech Megahalems Rev. B 21 °C 61 dBA 2600 rpm 30 °C 51 °C
Zalman CNPS9900 NT 23 °C 56 dBA 2000 rpm 34 °C 54 °C
Cooler Master Hyper N620 21 °C 50 dBA 1650 rpm 32 °C 56 °C
Nexus LOW-7000 R2 23 °C 53 dBA 1900 rpm 45 °C 74 °C
Evercool HPK-10025EA 20 °C 54 dBA 1900 rpm 39 °C 69 °C
Evercool HPH-9525EA 23 °C 50 dBA 1900 rpm 58 °C 100 °C
iCEAGE Prima Boss II 23 °C 56 dBA 2100 rpm 32 °C 56 °C
Thermaltake SpinQ VT 24 °C 52 dBA 1500 rpm 40 °C 68 °C
Titan Fenrir 21 °C 50 dBA 1600 rpm 33 °C 58 °C
Zalman CNPS 10 Flex 23 °C 61 dBA 2600 rpm 33 °C 59 °C
Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme 24 °C 56 dBA 1900 rpm 35 °C 60 °C
Gelid Tranquillo 22 °C 46 dBA 1450 rpm 31 °C 60 °C
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 20 °C 52 dBA 1900 rpm 32 °C 64 °C
Spire TherMax Eclipse 20 °C 58 dBA 2300 rpm 29 °C 73 °C
Tuniq Propeller 120 20 °C 55 dBA 1900 rpm 36 °C 68 °C
Nexus VCT-9000 20 °C 50 dBA 850 rpm 43 °C 88 °C

The next graph shows how many degrees Celsius the CPU core was hotter than room temperature during our idle tests.

 Nexus VCT-9000

The next graph gives you an idea on how many degrees Celsius the CPU core was hotter than room temperature during our full load tests.

 Nexus VCT-9000

[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]

Nexus VCT-9000 main features are:

  • Application: Socket LGA775, 1156, 1366, AM3, AM2+ and AM2 processors.
  • Fins: Aluminum.
  • Base: Aluminum, with heatpipes in direct contact with the CPU.
  • Heat-pipes: Five copper heat-pipes.
  • Fans: 120 mm.
  • Nominal fan speed: 1,600 rpm.
  • Fan air flow: Not informed.
  • Maximum power consumption: Not informed.
  • Nominal noise level: 22 dBA.
  • Weight: 1.46 lbs (635 g).
  • More information: https:
    //www.nexustek.nl
  • Average price in the US*: USD 70.00.

* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.

[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]

What can we say about a cooler that is expensive, has a poor cooling performance and can even damage your motherboard?

The only strong point on Nexus VCT-9000 is its looks, unique and nice. Actually, we could also say it has a very quiet fan, even at full speed. But there’s no advantage on a pretty and quiet cooler if it does not fulfill its primary function: to cool down the CPU.

Besides that, its holding system needs to be completely redesigned by the manufacturer. The heatpipes that come out of the base should turn upwards near the base, which is not the case. So, they touch (and force) the motherboard capacitors and, in our case, avoided a good contact between the base of the cooler and the CPU, and even smashed those capacitors. We were lucky of not losing our motherboard.

So, we have just one thing to say about Nexus VCT-9000 CPU cooler: avoid it.