Packaging: The cooler was shipped in a good box filled with packing peanuts, perfect. The cooler itself was housed in a black box with pictures and specifications on the outside. Internally it was sandwiched with molded plastic covers.
Heat Sink: 92 x 72 x 120 mm(LxWxH)
Fan Dimensions: 77 x 77 x 42 mm(LxWxH)
Rated Fan Speed: 2200 RPM
Air Flow: 32 CFM / 55 m³/h
Bearing: ARCTIC Ceramic Bearing Weight: 460 g
Thermal Resistance: 0.20 °C / Watt
Outlook, Installation, and Usage: Right out of the box I was astounded with the weight and size of the cooler, this thing is monstrous! It came with some thermal compound as well as a neat looking case badge as well, I will get into the thermal compound later in the review.
Let’s take a look at the cooler now. Starting at the bottom we see a squarish copper base. Four copper looking heatpipes are attached to this base and are soldered(I believe) for better heat transfer. The bottom of the base itself is fairly nondescript. Machining marks are visible but the base look relatively flat, which is all that matters. It is not highly reflective either, but that is not always the best way to gauge flatness.
Moving upwards the copper heatpipes go through the multitude of aluminum fins that dissipate the heat produced by the CPU. The fan is attached to the heatsink using 2 plastic supports and protrudes from the heatsink a good 5 cm’s, which can get in the way during installation. The fan cable is sleeved very nicely and aids in the overall look. The fan plugs into a motherboard header as well, allowing for speed monitoring.
At the very top of the cooler we see a nice sticker logo for the company that accents the cooler very well. If you have a case window this will be sure to stick out.
Moving onto installation, the instructions were very straight forward and easy to understand, unlike some instructions that are directly translated into broken english. I had no problem installing the cooler on my Chaintech ZNF3-150 Zenith board, although the fan pushed against the graphics card while installing. The instructions note to install with fan facing the bottom or back of case, which did not make complete sense to me. I installed with the fan on the south end, as facing it upwards would have hit the power supply. The fan seems to pull air through the fins and out the back, so installing with the fan towards the back makes the most sense, as any exhaust fan will let the heated air pass through the case. The way I currently have it has all the hot air coming off the heatsink and hitting the backside of the VGA card, which is probably not the best way to do it. It would have been nice to have the ability to switch the rotation of the fan, to blow air through the heatsink and up towards the PSU exhaust fan. All in all it was fairly uneventful. Now onto the temperatures.
Testing Equipment and Methodology:
Testing System: AMD 754 pin 3400+ “Clawhammer”
Chaintech ZNF3-150 Zenith
Arctic Cooling Stock Thermal Grease & Arctic Silver 5
The Arctic Cooling Thermal Interface Material(TIM) was extremely hard to apply. It came out almost solid and could not be spread, unlike AS5 which is very thick but easy to spread. I eventually gave up trying to spread it and put a good sized clump in the middle of the heatsink base. The pressure on the CPU spreads it out on its own and when turned on it should become more liquid and spread out. With Arctic Silver 5 I put a dot on the top of the CPU and then installed the cooler, relying on the socket pressure to spread the material. Temps were taken after a minimum of one hour in bios for idle and a minimum of 5 hours full load with Sisoft Sandra Burn in and Folding @ Home. It is given that with both TIM’s a recommended 100 or more hours for full thermal properties to show was not an option, but both were given time to break in. Temperatures were taken using Chaintech’s “DigiDoc”
Now some explanation. We can see that the Arctic Silver 5 did not produce better temperatures as I had originally hypothesized. This can be attributed to my applications skills as well as the room temperatures. Also, in Windows idle temperatures were read at 43 degrees Celsius, as well as all the other coolers producing much lower temperatures in Windows idle. I’m not sure if this can be applied or if my board is just screwy, but I did not put them in the graph.
Conclusion: Overall this is not a cooler for the performance individual. You will not get excellent temperatures that allow headroom for overclocking, but this is also being tested on a relatively hot testbed, A64’s are known to run warm. The big factor with this cooler is the silence. It cannot be heard. Throughout testing it was completely silent, turning down all of my fans it was the same, my video card fan on my 9800 pro is louder then this thing. This thing runs a full 1000 RPM’s lower then stock or the Foxconn cooler but keeps the same temperatures. This must mean something. For the price it isn’t bad either.
Not Good for overclocking
Overall: Very Good
Ease to install/perform: Excellent
(Ratings Possible: Terrible, Very Bad, Bad, Fair, Good, Very Good, Excellent)