Review of the Nexus FLC-3000 Heatsink

Summary: NEXUS is a company that continues to offer high-end cooling solutions to us lovers of silence. Today we will be taking a look at the NEXUS FLC-300 heatsink.


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In the past, we have tested some products from NEXUS, and generally, they all left us very satisfied. I especially think of the LOW-7000, a small heatsink that produced excellent performance. Therefore, it will be a please to see what the FLC-3000 can do compared to its older siblings.

 

 

INTRODUCTION


The FLC-3000 is based on the principles that we saw in the LOW-7000 but the 3000 has an increased overall cooling surface and also uses a different fan. Let’s take a look at the specifications:


NEXUS FLC-3000

Compatibility

Intel 1366 and 775, AMD AM3, AM2+ and AM2

Dimensions

128x105x119 mm (long wide x high x)

Materials

Base and heatpipes of copper, fins and SkiveTek of aluminum

Heatpipes

4 units of 6mm of diameter

Installed fans

1

Size of fan

92mm (25mm of width)

RPM

900-2500rpm

Illumination

2 LEDs oranges

Noise level

15-24dbA

Feeding

4 pin connector with regulation PWM




Simlar to what we saw on the LOW-7000, the FLC-3000 has heatpipes and a SkiveTek base, but the engineers have added a a 30 degree angle to the heatpipes which holds the heatsink itself in that angle. This fan also has two LEDs which glow in orange which we will show you a snapshot of later.




FIRST IMPRESSIONS


The FLC-3000 comes in a regular square cardboard box with some Nexus graphics on it. The box itself is very sturdy and the heatsink seems well protected. You can also have a glimpse of the heatsink itself through the plastic.


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On the below images you can have a more detailed look of the box and its contents. As you see, the contents are nothing in access of what you can expect; the bottom mounting plate and screws etc.



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The manual included comes in handy for beginners and it is very detailed which is a good thing, not everyone is an experienced modder. The mounting kit includes accessories for mounting the heatsink on both Intel and AMD sockets (Intel 1366 and 775, AMD AM3, AM2+ and AM2). Nexus also included a thermal paste and a little a trowel to apply the thermal paste without staining the hands to us.




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NEXUS FLC-3000 IN DETAIL


Perhaps the most eye catching feature of the FLC-3000, at least compared to the LOW- 7000, is the 30 degree angle of the heatsink itself, it really looks strange to the eye at first. However, it’s clear that the heatsink is suitable for cases of small dimensions, the size of the fins clearly suggests this and the height of 119mm is not that much compared to other heatsinks in the same category.




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The fan on the heatsink is a standard 92mm and is anchored directly to the fins of the FLC-3000. The air flow that it provides obviously cools the fins and the SkiveTek base, which absorbs great amount of the heat generated by the processor. The 4 pin power connector is of the standard type with PWM connectivity. It allowed us to regulate the fan speed between 900 and 2500 rpm by using a speed monitoring software compatible with PWM.



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For those of you who do not know what a SkiveTek base is, have a look at the image above and look for the aluminium part placed directly on top of the copper base. The SkiveTek base is considered to be a crucial part of the overall cooling performance of the FLC-3000.




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The copper base of the FLC-3000 is something extra. I believe that the images above speak for them selves. The base is extremely well polished and might as well be used as a mirror. We actually picked up the old magnifying glass and had a closer look at it. Still we couldn’t detect any defects on it. Nice.




INSTALLING NEXUS FLC-3000


The installation of this heatsink is really simple, although it seems to us that the mounting system for Intel is easier to use than the one for AMD. However both are perfectly safe and offer a controlled pressure on  the processor at all times. In order to install the anchorages we needed to slightly relax the 4 screws of the base, to introduce the anchorages and then we tightened the screws to fit the heatsink nicely to the motherboard.


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Above you can see the light that the LEDS produced when the NEXUS FLC-3000 was in operation. Personally I didn’t really like the color of the lights from the fan, but of course that’s my subjective opinion.




INSTALLATION AND TESTS


Because it is always relevant to compare the testing results with result from previous heatsink reviews, we resorted to the same system in which we tested the Cooler Masters Hyper N520:



Test equipment

Processor

AMD Phenom II 920

Heatsink

NEXUS FLC-3000

Motherboard

Sapphire PC-AM2RD790 – CrossFireX PUREE

Graphics card

Sapphire Radeon HD 2900XT

Soundcard

Auzen X-Fi Forte 7.1

Memory

Kingston HyperX DDR2 1066 2x2GB T1 Series

Hard disk

Samsgung SP2504C (SATA II, 7200rmp, 8MB)

Power supply

Nexus RX-8500

Case

Antec Skeleton


We tested the fan in two modes, “stock” and “overclock”. The only difference is that in the “overclock mode” we pushed the Phenom II  to 3500MHz (250×14). In both tests we used 1,4Volts to power the processor.


In order to realize the measurements we used the software OCCT 3.1.0. The tests were made in 30 minutes intervals. We noted the temperatures in full load and in idle mode, we also noted the surrounding air temperature in the case. These are the results we obtained:




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The temperatures that Nexus FLC-3000 produced seem very good to us. As we said above we think that the SkiveTek base plays a fundamental role in keeping the temperatures down and this is something we would like to see more of in the future when engineers are pushing the frontiers regarding the size of these types of heatsinks.


Thanks to the angle of the fan this heatsink really helps to keep the circulation of air going in the case and because it’s possible to place the fan in all directions (Intel platform) this comes real handy. With the AMD platform we had to to orient the fan towards either memories or the connectors of the mainboard.


As we hoped, NEXUS have included a very silent fan, it emits almost no noise at all, especially on the lowest RPM setting. When we turn it up to 2500 RPM, the noise becomes noticably higher but never so high it disturbs us.



CONCLUSIONS


Again, Nexus impresses us with a product of theirs. They have returned to the mainstream area with the FLC-3000 and gives us an excellent heatsink which excells on its low noise level. The cooling perfomance is not in any way exceptional, but it does its job well.


As usual the build quality and finish are both excellent, with a big plus for the polished copper base. The LEDs are a nice touch if you are into that kind of stuff, it gives the heatsink an edge in our view.




The price of around $50 bucks is not that high compared to similare heatsinks, it’s actually on the lower side of the median price for a high end heatsink cooler with LEDs. We have to give this heatsink good scores, the table of highs and lows below speaks for itself. We do believe the Nexus FLC-3000 to be a good buy especially if you are looking for a not too expensive cooler with great low noise features.


NEXUS FLC-3000
Strongpoints Weak points

General quality

No remarkable one

Excellent yield


Ventilator: quiet, regulated by means of PWM and with LEDs

Compatibility

System of anchorage


NEXUS FLC-3000

Packing

0,5/0,5

Accessories

1/1

Quality and finished

1,5/1,5

Yield

2,5/3

Loudness

3/3

Price

0,7/1

Total

9,2/10



The final score is 92 out of 100 owls, and we give the “Nexus FLC-3000” our Editor’s Choice Award.


TestSeek Labs Editor's Choice 2009 Award


Thanks to NEXUS for letting us test this product.

Author: Manuel González Fernández

Translator: Vince Emiloz Sanderson

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