NorthQ NQ-3360A Max Tower Extreme CPU Cooler
Author: Rutledge Feman
Editor: Shawn Knight
Date: 11-12-2008
Provided by: NorthQ
First Impressions

The NQ-3360A arrives in a fitted blister pack with a nice inch-wide buffer to keep it safe during shipping, along with a box full of accessories. All in all, in addition to the cooler itself, the package includes: a 120mm fan, fan mounting brackets, cooler mounting accessories, a single-sheet installation manual, thermal paste, and a fan controller with double stick tape. The included fan controller is quite standard, and, given the amount of provided cabling, will be mounted inconveniently inside of your case. These days, it would be more convenient to plug the fan directly into your motherboard and use software to control your fans rather than removing your side-panel whenever you want to adjust fan speed.

A 360 view at the NQ-3360A reveals some interesting features. While the cooling fins aren't dimpled on the NQ-3360A as we are used to seeing on other coolers (like the OCZ Vendetta, etc.), they are turned down at the end opposite the fan. While this will cause similar air turbulence as dimples and attempt to prevent the air from streamlining across the fins, it will certainly not be as effective. Also, we can see that, while the cooler stands quite tall at a mighty 155mm, there isn't very much clearance between the base and where the fins start, which may cause problems during installation.

Finally, we see a Zalman-esque installation mechanism here, which hooks one side and then pushes the other down, relying on the tension in the bracket to keep pressure on the cooler. I have always been a fan of this type of design, as it removes the need to fumble with springs and screws inside your case and especially takes away the risk of over-tightening screws and putting too much pressure on your CPU.

The base is the heart of the NQ-3360A, where we see the HDT “technology”. While the base doesn't reflect as well as any pure copper base, it is as flat as any HDT base and does a good job of minimizing the gaps between the aluminum fins and the copper heat-pipes.

Now that we've had a good look at the cooler, let's have a look at installation.

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