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aghastpumpkin 18th April, 2006 10:16 AM

Heatsinks and CPU Cooling De-mystified
CPU Cooling. Ah, perhaps the modification second only to overclocking, CPU cooling is vitally important in helping you achieve those kick-ass HT frequencies and getting your Ram timings close to perfection.

Having had experience with a variety oc cooling systems, I thought I'd share my knowledge with you all.
I start off by mentioning Watercooling. It used to be that water cooling was the only way to get your CPU to sub-30 celsius temperatures, with cpu coolers being heavy, bulky and loud fans that blew more hot air than anything else. Kits such as the Asetek Waterchill and Zalman Reserator systems can cool you CPU to now un-beleiveable temperatures. But this all comes at a cost, with watercooling costing in excess of £100, even £200 pounds.
And I haven't even metioned phase change cooling.

However, Air Cooling has since moved on leaps and bounds, thanks to innovative products from Zalman, Thermaltake, Akasa and most importantly Arctic Cooling.
I start first off with the Zalman CNPS7000B Super Flower CPU Cooler. This interesting design, consisting of copper fins radiating out from a copper base with a 92mm fan is an effctive air mover. The heat from the CPU moves up the fins which spread the heat out. The fan blows air throguh these fins to take the heat away.
What is great about this cooler is the test CPU, a Pentium D, never went above 47 Celsius, which is considerably better than the reference Intel Heatsink. Not only this, but the Zalman achieves this with the minimum of fuss, noise levels were abrely audible when playing a game and the low noise will make the Zalman a fantastic solution for a Media Centre PC. The Zalman Superflower is available for all sockets (An adapter is needed for 775) and costs between £15 and £30 making this great value. It is very old now, having been around since 2004. However, Zalman have other more modern heatsinks that have even greater cooling ability.

The second Air cooler I tested was my own, an Akasa Evo 33. This heatsink and fan has been around for a while now, but it's cooling abilities are still superior even to it's successor, the Evo 120. The Evo 120 cools rather miserably in comparison to the cheaper Evo 33. The 33 is tall compared to the Zalman, standing at around 10cm. The black box and orange Amber fan gives the cooler an interesting sophisticated look. The Evo 33 also comes with a backplate mounted fan controller.
At full fan speed, the Akasa Evo 33 achieves some stunning results, cooling my AMD rig to a almost unbeleiveable 18 Celsius. This is the sort of temperature we only previously thought watercooling was capable of - and the great thing is, the Evo 33 costs just £18.
Of course, at full speed, the fan is noisy but even at the lowest speed it still cooled to a stunning 20 Celsius, with the temperature at a mere 35 Celsius on full load.

Last on test is the Gigagbyte G-Power Cooler Pro. This cpu cooler is one of Gigabytes first attempts, and I have to say I'm very impressed. The cooler uses the same heatpipe idea as the Evo 33, but instead of the Evo's single large pipe the Gigabyte has 4 pipes attached to a heatsink base. These pipes bend over onto another heatsink upon which the fan sits.
The G-Power is certainly attractive, although not as subtle as the Evo 33. It's cooling ability also matches the Evos good looks, cooling just 1 degree hotter than the Akasa and 2 degrees cooler under full load. This makes the G-Power very tempting, but at £35, it's hard to justify the extra £15 over the evo unless you prefer to have a front, 3.5" mounted fan controller.

All three of these coolers do wonderous things, their prices mean Watercooling no longer makes any sense and their quiet running means noise should also be a thing of the past.
My pick of the bunch? It really depends. For cooling, the Evo 33. But if you also like the sound of silence, the Zalman is a great buy. However, the Zalman and the Evo I have reviewed ehre are showing their age. You might want to look into the new Arctic Cooling Freezer 64 heatsinks or the newer Zalmans. But I hope this has helped!


raphael2040 18th April, 2006 11:03 AM

Nice review, Aghast! =D. Perhaps I could add to the review when I purchase my Thermaltake Tycoon, which is expected next week. ^^;

18 degrees, eh? Perhaps I'll purchase the Evo 33 just to test on my Opteron. My Evercoo Iceman heatsink keeps my Opteron at 32 degrees, which isn't bad, but I'd like it cooler.

Thanks for the review! =)

aghastpumpkin 18th April, 2006 11:35 AM

No problem! The Evo 33 was tested on my Venice 300, so I expect your Opteron temperatures would be similar!
Bare in mind my PC sits in a chilly attic room though, so for others it may be more like 22C. But still very chilly!
However, the Arctic Cooler 64 Freezer thingy cools even better and is only £15.....

raphael2040 18th April, 2006 11:57 AM

Has anyone tested the Thermaltake Typhoon yet? How does it cool?

Also, do you have any links to the Evo and Arctic Cooler, Aghast?

aghastpumpkin 18th April, 2006 02:07 PM

Akasa Evo 33

Arctic Cooler Freezer 64 Pro - Easily the best Air Cooler. Ever.

Favu 18th April, 2006 02:10 PM

I take issue with those links!

But only because I've had a bad time dealing with Eclipse Computers in the past :(

Otherwise, the Artic Cooling Freezer would get my money! :thumbsup:

You can pick it up here from Aria, with whom I've had a much better experience :)

Pitch 18th April, 2006 02:17 PM

Atleast he didn't link to OcUK.

aghastpumpkin 18th April, 2006 02:17 PM

Could an admin edit my post to include these images? Thank you!

This is the Akasa Evo 33. As you can see, it is very stylish.

The Zalmans unique design, which is still used in some of it's newer HSFs.

The Gigabyte G-Power Cooler Pro is expensive, but neatly designed to match the Gigabytes Aurora Chassis.

aghastpumpkin 18th April, 2006 02:19 PM


Originally Posted by Pitch
Atleast he didn't link to OcUK.

One of my pictures does though. Perhaps I'll move it on to my server, in case an ocUK "engineer" calls me and tells me he's going to sue me for copyright infringement.:banghead:

Gizmo 18th April, 2006 03:45 PM

Front page, AP! :thumbsup:

aghastpumpkin 18th April, 2006 04:11 PM

Gizmo, thank you for editing my post and putting me on frontpage! Much appreciated! I hope this article helps people make the right choice!

tiamat63 18th April, 2006 04:13 PM


Originally Posted by raphael2040
Has anyone tested the Thermaltake Typhoon yet? How does it cool?

Kicks my Zalman 7700 square in the ass thats all I know.

Idle temps average 3-5C lower (being 23-25C)
load temps average nearly 8C lower.

Need a review for the Typhoon as well?

Gizmo 18th April, 2006 04:19 PM

We can always use reviews, Seperah.

aghastpumpkin 18th April, 2006 04:36 PM

Feel free to add it, then it can become part of the article.:)

Got EpOx 18th April, 2006 05:24 PM

Anyone know of a good socket 478 cooler?

tiamat63 18th April, 2006 06:19 PM

Zalman 7700 LOL

raphael2040 18th April, 2006 07:29 PM

Somehow, I knew this was going to make the frontpage.

Nice going, Aghast! I'm actually in the process of looking for cooling equipment at the moment, and this review will help me somewhat. Thanks again!

tiamat63 18th April, 2006 08:22 PM

Well, if your in a hurry I'll have it ready either late tonight (if you'd prefer that I dont sleep) or I could have it to you around 4:00pm EST tommrrow.

aghastpumpkin 19th April, 2006 01:33 PM

No problem, take your time Seperah.

xmetrix 22nd April, 2006 11:06 PM

Weird, my cpu's both run between 27 and 28c on a stock heatsink and 1500rpm fans with an ambient room temp of 25c. Why is sub30 so hard to obtain ?

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