One of the biggest problems with using an aftermarket CPU cooler is finding one that won't hang over your motherboard's DIMM slots. Larger coolers can create clearance issues for memory with taller heat spreaders, and the issue has become more widespread as motherboards move DIMM slots closer to the CPU socket to improve signaling. Thermaltake has a new line of Nic coolers designs to combat the problem, and our intrepid Editor-in-Chief took a closer look while touring the firm's CES showcase.
The Nic series uses thinner heatsinks and fans to ensure ample clearance for taller memory. There are four models in total, starting with the Nic F3. This base unit has three heat pipes, one 120-mm fan, and support for CPUs up to 160W. While the F3 should be sufficient for any stock-clocked CPU, overclockers might want to consider beefier versions. The F4 variant adds a fourth heatpipe and a second fan, allowing it to dissipiate up to 180W.
Both F-series coolers use PWM fans, but the fans in the Nic C-series have variable in-line resistors that enable manual speed control. The spinners are mounted to plastic brackets rather than anchored with metal clips, and dual fans come standard on both models. The C4 boasts four heatpipes and a 220W dissipation rating, while the C5 adds a heatpipe and another 10W of cooling capacity.
Each member of the Nic family comes with a universal mounting bracket that supports all the usual suspects in additon to LGA2011 and Haswell's LGA1150 socket. We don't have any information on pricing, but I'd expect the F-series units to be relatively inexpensive.