What just happened? Tower-style CPU coolers with vertically-mounted fans are the cream of the crop among performance air coolers today. These designs evolved from top-down coolers with fans that pushed air downward, discarding heated exhaust directly into the CPU socket area. At least one manufacturer is going back to basics with a cooler design reminiscent of yesteryear.
The JF13K Diamond from Chinese cooler maker Jiushark is a low-ish profile heatsink that aims to exploit surface area for maximum cooling. According to the product listing on retailer JD.com, the cooler utilizes a pair of 120mm fans in a side by side configuration like you see on a 240mm AIO water cooler. A total of seven heatpipes can be gleaned from the hero shots. It looks more like an aftermarket GPU cooler than a CPU cooling solution.
A report from IT Home claims 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 managed to limit temperatures to 85c.
It has been a while since we’ve seen a major shakeup in the air cooling industry. Those with some years under their belt may recall a time when heatsink makers experimented with all sorts of radical designs. And yes, even this side-by-side fan design was tried at one point.
The example you see here was a prototype from Noctua that was showcased at Computex 2011. Noctua’s prototype also featured seven heatpipes and offered 20 percent more surface area than its NH-D14 tower cooler.
That said, there are probably plenty of reasons why the design has not found much traction up to this point. Motherboard compatibility and clearance around the CPU socket were a major hurdle and if memory serves me correctly, I do not recall these performing all that well either.
The Jiushark JF13K is offered in your choice of white or black over on JD.com for 269 Yuan, which works out to around $39, if you are interested in giving it a spin.