The Swiftech Polaris 120 fits a wide variety of CPU socket types, from Intel 775/1155/1156/1366 to AMD 754/939/940/AM2/+/3. Unlike some coolers that make older or less popular socket mounts optional, everything needed is included with the Polaris 120. All of the various brackets, clips and screws are labeled for quick identification, and the installation instructions have easy to understand and follow diagrams.
The included fan is a 4-pin PWM controlled unit that offers a wide range of speed, noise and airflow as indicated in the specifications above. Users can opt to let their motherboard BIOS presets control the fan based on processor temperature, or manually adjust its speed to suit their needs. There is no physical control mechanism, however most BIOS or motherboard software has the ability to adjust this as needed.
The Polaris 120 features 44 thin aluminum fins along with a top and bottom plate. Each plate has a serrated leading edge to increase contact area for the airflow, as well as closed sides that help direct the air through the cooler and increase velocity. Additionally each fin features a dimpled surface, has been stamped for holes where each heatpipe passes through, and has a large central column behind the fan hub to again help direct the airflow and increase velocity. Our review unit arrived with a slight bend in the lower left corner of the bottom plate that could not be straightened out.
The five copper 8mm heatpipes are packed closely together in the base and machined flat on the bottom where they contact the processor. Each heatpipe is U-shaped and extends out from the base and up into either side of the fin tower. Swiftech has also taken into consideration the placement of each pipe within the fins, such that the three center ones receive the bulk of the airflow.
Continue as we look at installation.