Author: Frank Stroupe
A Closer Look
As I mentioned, the Skalli, or TTC-NC05TZ/NPW (RB) as it is known on Titan’s website, has a small footprint. It is among the thinnest tower coolers I’ve seen, about the same size as the Cooler Master Hyper 212, another dual heatpipe cooler. The Skalli is shorter than the Hyper 212, which is a 120mm cooler. More fin area generally means better heat dissipation, but with the excellent performance of the Hyper 212, I can’t discount the Skalli merely due to radiator size.
Rather than a baseplate as most current coolers have, the Skalli has Intel pushpins. I have mixed feelings about pushpins…at one point I really disliked them, but I have decided that they aren’t that bad on a relatively light cooler. It is nice not to have to remove motherboard from the case to reapply thermal compound, change CPUs, change coolers, etc. Obviously others feel the same way, as there are cases out there now with openings in the motherboard tray to allow removal of cooler baseplates from the right side without removing the motherboard. More on the pushpins a little later.
The radiator consists of thin fins crimped onto the heatpipes, as most coolers do. The fins have indentions stamped into them to allow for some air turbulence between the fins, and also to increase the surface area. The heatpipes are covered with caps rather than left bare, as I’ve seen on a few other coolers. The Titan logo is screened onto the top of the cooler.
The fan is a non-standard 100mm PWM fan. The blades are chromed to add some shine to the inside of your rig. There is plenty of padding between the fan and radiator to cut down on rumble. The Skalli logo is a label on the center of the fan’s frame. If you didn’t know, Skalli is based on Skoll from Norse mythology. According to some translations, Skoll is the son of Fenrir, a ferocious wolf. That is very fitting, considering Titan also builds a larger CPU cooler called the Fenrir, a 120mm cooler sporting four heatpipes.
The Skalli utilizes the technology where an aluminum base is combined with exposed copper heatpipes. It is known by several names and Titan calls it “Heatpipe Direct Contact”. If I’m not mistaken this is the eighth cooler I’ve had using this technology, and I have found it very effective to lower the cost and weight of a CPU cooler while still allowing for excellent cooling performance.
An aluminum base holds the copper heatpipes, which have been flattened, against the CPU surface. This direct contact of the heatpipes gives the superior heat transfer properties of copper, while the aluminum base allows for less weight and lowered material cost.
I must point out that Titan’s machining has created the flattest base I’ve seen on an exposed heatpipe cooler. Every other one had distinct gaps between the aluminum base and copper pipe, enough that not only being very noticeable, the base would not spread the thermal compound across the CPU surface as does a normal cooler base. There is no noticeable gap between the pipes and base here.
The base is also very shiny. Though the machine marks are clearly shown on this photo taken in macro mode, they are not only not seen, the base has one of the best lapping jobs I’ve seen on an exposed heatpipe cooler. For some reason, none of my original photos depicting the lapping came out, but you can tell at least some in this poor photo that the base has been lapped.
Hardware is included for LGA 1366, LGA 1156, LGA 775, and AMD AM3, AM2+, AM2, and K8. Also included are instructions and thermal compound.
One interesting thing about the thermal compound’s container. Every other brand I’ve used has a small round hole for the compound to exit the tube through. That’s ok for those intended to be spread out by the cooler base, but many of them, including the old favorite, requires being spread out by a credit card or other thin, flat item. All exposed heatpipe coolers require the compound to be manually spread out on the CPU surface. Titan’s thermal compound has a flat-shaped tip that deposits a wide ribbon of compound onto the CPU surface, making it much easier to spread.
Not a huge deal, but if you have read many of my reviews, you know that I like attention to detail stuff, and I appreciate this.