What happened? Tower-style CPU coolers with vertically mounted fans are the cream of the crop among air coolers today. These designs evolved from top-down coolers with fans pushing air downwards, throwing hot exhaust directly into the CPU socket area. At least one manufacturer is going back to basics with a cooler design reminiscent of the past.
The JF13K Diamond from Chinese cooler maker Jiushark is a low-ish profile heatsink that aims to utilize the surface area for maximum cooling. According to the product listing on retailer JD.com, the cooler uses a pair of 120mm fans in a side by side configuration like you’d see on a 240mm AIO water cooler. A total of seven heatpipes can be obtained from hero shots. It looks like an aftermarket GPU cooler rather than a CPU cooling solution.
A report from IT Home claims that the cooler is rated for CPUs with a TDP of up to 265W. It was reportedly tested with an Intel Core i9-11900K processor and was able to limit the temperature to 85c.
It’s been a while since we’ve seen a major shakeup in the air conditioning industry. Those with a few years under their belt may remember a time when heatsink makers were experimenting with all kinds of radical designs. And yes, even this fan side design was tested at some point.
The example you see here is a prototype from Noctua shown at Computex 2011. Noctua’s prototype also features seven heatpipes and offers 20 percent more surface area than the NH-D14 tower cooler this.
That said, there are probably several reasons why the scheme hasn’t found much traction up to this point. The adaptation of the motherboard and clearance around the CPU socket was a big obstacle and if memory serves me correctly, I don’t remember that it was all good.
The Jiushark JF13K is offered in your choice of white or black on JD.com for 269 Yuan, which works out to around $39, if you’re interested in giving it a spin.