As unlikely as it sounds, Intel may be getting into the aftermarket CPU cooler business. At least, there are few other explanations for why Akiba PC Hotline found a retail-boxed LGA1156 heatsink in a Japanese store a few days ago.
Judging from the pictures, the tower-style cooler comes in a shiny blue box labeled "Intel thermal solution XTS100H." This retail package reportedly sold for ¥4,980, which works out to around $55 U.S. dollars—roughly in the same league as some of the nicer third-party heatsinks around, like Thermaltake’s V1.
According to Akiba, the XTS100H weighs in at 865 grams and features a 130-mm fan with a speed range of 800 to 2,600 RPM. Rated noise levels range from 17 to 45 dB. A switch at the top lets users toggle from "S" to "P" modes, which one would assume are different fan speed presets.
Otherwise, Akiba says the cooler looks very much like what Intel bundles with the Core i7-980X Extreme, except with three heat pipes instead of four, a smaller footprint, and several other, minor differences. The site provides some comparison photos of the two designs.