Zaward Twin Towers

Coolers

The Twin Towers

Firstly, I’ll cover the point that you are all wondering about; the name. It seems very strange that Zaward would be ignorant enough to choose a name for a product which is linked to the sad loss of lives in New York for something as comparatively trivial as PC cooling. The first thing that I thought of when I read the packaging was why? Surely there are other names that could have been chosen that won’t have this connotation? Zaward, fire the person responsible and change the name ASAP.

Zaward Twin Towers
Click to enlarge

Zaward Twin Towers
Click to enlarge

Anyway, back to the review… The Twin Towers are sent in a small grey cardboard box which has a large window at the front showing you what it looks like in the flesh. The rear has all of the points that the cooler calls features, including ‘Patent twin owers rotary…’. Spelling mistakes seem to happen a great deal with computer products, probably due to the fact that they are translated. Even Swiftech show errors; their watercooling box contains small-print with basic typing errors.

The product itself is based around heatpipes which pretty much every heatsink contains now. Heatpipes rely on phase change of a liquid to gas inside the pipes to transfer heat much faster than their solid metal counterparts. In this case, there is one large heatpipe that runs vertically upwards from the base and is connected to the larger of the two towers. The second heatpipe terminates in a curve which raps round the base of the other and comes out as another arm. This second tower is slightly smaller and can be rotated right around the other. In order to ensure the heat transfer between the curved heatpipe and the base of the cooler, there is a load of heatpaste squirted in where the heatpipe rotates. This will improve the contact area slightly, but – in my mind – more importantly will stop the whole thing squeaking when you rotate the second tower.

The towers themselves are constructed of small 2-3mm high sections which stack on one another to create the whole tower. They are ~35mm and ~28mm in radius for the large and smaller tower respectively. The box explains that there is no soldering involved with the construction of the cooler, meaning that nothing is actually physically connected to each other. As a result, the fins are just forced into place. You can take them apart if you want, although each layer is glued to the next. While the no-soldering policy might be environmentally friendly, it does mean that the conductivity between the different parts won’t be as good as it might have been. That said, it’s on a Northbridge, not the latest octo-core CPU so there shouldn’t be a problem.

Zaward Twin Towers
Click to enlarge

Zaward Twin Towers
Click to enlarge

The tops of the towers are capped with a small piece of black plastic which acts as a hood to shield your eyes from the pinched ends of the heatpipes. Once removed, you can see the golden colour of the copper that the heatpipes are made of.

Zaward Twin Towers
Click to enlarge

Looking at the bottom of the towers, you’ll find more copper, however in this case it’s the interface pad that will sit on top of your chipset. Copper has always been the metal of choice for heatsink makers due to its conductive properties, while aluminium is generally used for the fins; the Twin Towers are no different in this case. The interface pad seems a little odd as there are screw heads visible from the underside that will lower conductivity. Running around the perimeter of the base is a ring of spongy foam which will hopefully stop you from chipping the edges off a naked piece of silicon.

On that note, this cooler doesn’t seem to be designed for the latest chipsets as there is simply not enough space for, say, an X38 chip to be used; the foam ring will just prevent the cooler base from reaching the IHS (integrated heat spreader). You could remove this ring, although you would still have the issue of the screw heads on the base. For the most part, more modern chipset would have a complete cooling system complete with heatpipes and the like. Newer motherboards seem to be moving away from a single piece of extruded aluminium epoxy’d to the chip and actually creating something that keeps the chips below 50C. In this scenario, the Zaward Twin Tower cooler is simply outdated and won’t be useful with it in any way.

The Twin Towers cooler however does still have a niche; the media PC. Most mATX boards don’t have good cooling, or if they do, it active and hence makes a noise disturbing your DVD watching. These boards will benefit from using an after-market cooler, such as the Twin Towers, providing that the cooler fits.

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Last modified: February 15, 2011

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