Frostytech is not going to waste your time by leaving the most important information till the very end of this review - the Nexus VCT-9000 heatsink is an interesting looking thermal solution, but it fails completely in its execution. Nexus have manufactured the VCT-9000 heatsink poorly, resulting in uneven exposed heatpipes that may not contact the processor properly. The heatsink does not perform very well as a result, so the rest is pretty much moot. You might as well read about this heatsink instead.
For the diehards that want to know a little more about what caused the Nexus VCT-9000 heatsink Frostytech tested to fail, read on. For the moment we'll overlook the fact that the AMD socket AM2 mounting system is nearly impossible to tighten down, the real travesty is that the exposed heatpipe base is as uneven as a log road.
see in the thermal test charts, the Nexus
VCT-9000 doesn't perform very well
and these results are directly linked to the lack of contact between the VCT-9000's
five exposed heatpipes and the CPU test die on the unit Frostytech tested. It's
a critical flaw that no heatsink can afford make, undermining all other potential innovations
and leaving us with a 635g hunk of metal good for the scrap bin. And it started off so promising...
Nexus VCT-9000 Heatsink
And it started off so promising...
Nexus VCT-9000 Heatsink
The 120mm PWM fan is equipped with four blue LEDs for added visual effect and operates at 1600-500RPM. The fan ranges from moderately audible to outright quiet. Weighing 635 grams, the VCT-9000 heatsink is built around a combination of heatpipes; four 6mm diameter copper heatpipes to the sides and one 8mm diameter copper heatpipe down the center. Standing 153mm tall, the VCT-900 has footprint of roughly 133x115mm so it's not too large or bulky
The angled fan mounting changes how the air stream passes through the stacked aluminum fins so it's difficult to predict performance outcomes. To mix things up even further Nexus created a stepped leading edge out of the heatsink's fins. The exhaust side of the aluminum fin tower has an interesting concave/convex set of curves too.
The Nexus VCT-9000 heatsink ships with separate mounting brackets for Intel LGA775/1156/1366 motherboards and AMD socket 939/AM2/AM3 computer systems. The clips attached just above the base, in a side groove opened up by loosening four screws which hold the skived aluminum base heatsink in place. The groove is visible in the image below, at each corner below the small skived heatsink.
The Intel brackets use standard Intel push-to-click retention feet set in sliding channels that accommodate the various motherboard heatsink mounting hole spacings.
The AMD mounting clips however, are virtually impossible to tighten down with the supplied Allen key wrench because of the overhanging sides of the heatsink. To install the VCT-9000 heatsink we ended up having to pull the entire fan and fan shroud off.
FrostyTech's Test Methodologies are outlined in detail here if you care to know what equipment is used, and the parameters under which the tests are conducted. Now let's move forward and take a closer look at this heatsink, its acoustic characteristics, and of course its performance in the thermal tests!
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