Recently I found myself facing a CPU cooler problem while building a Sandy Bridge-E rig with a friend. Having bought all the parts, we discovered that the Core i7-3820 processor didn't come with a cooler. Instead, Intel sells its heatsink/fan separately for $30. Although I knew we'd need a cooler, I wasn't prepared to answer my buddy's question when he asked which model to purchase.
It had been years since our last CPU cooler roundup so my knowledge was a little dated.
With the recent arrival of Ivy Bridge-E (see our Core i7-4960X review), I felt it was a good time to check out the latest aftermarket coolers. The new chip is fully compatible with Sandy Bridge-E/EP's LGA2011 socket. We contacted all the major players and received 10 heatsinks to test including units from Noctua, Thermalright, Xigmatek, Silverstone and Thermaltake.