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Six New AMD Coolers: Cold Enough For You?

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April 25, 2006 10:50:45 AM

Since AMD's conversion to a 90 nm fabrication process, its Athlon 64 CPUs have developed into real power misers. Their modest power intake also reduces cooling requirements. To investigate this product area further, Tom's Hardware tested six current coolers for AMD CPUs.

More about : amd coolers cold

April 25, 2006 12:35:20 PM

While the AMD Boxed cooler did quite well in the tests, it was not the heatpipe version that AMD is currently shipping with their 4400+ (and above) CPUs. I suspect that the heatpipe would have faired even better than the one in the tests. I wonder why the disparity in this article?
April 25, 2006 1:20:29 PM

I have the 4 heat pipe version of the AMD cooler (it came with my Opteron 165) and I have replaced it with a CNPS 9500 LED. While the AMD cooler preformed well for a stock cooler it was much louder than the 9500 and the 9500 proved me with an almost 15 C drop in temp with my 20% OC. I am now running a pretty contant 35C with my 165 running at ~2400 MHz (from 1800 stock).
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April 25, 2006 1:38:14 PM

I've heard that the best 939 cooler to date is the Scythe Ninja. Then why THG didn't include this cooler to prove how good it is compare to other coolers?
April 25, 2006 1:55:13 PM

I would like to compair the CNPS9500 to the CNPS7700 (Zalmans large heatsink, which was the previous best heatsink ever =] ) and others. Any hope for a Thermal Resistance Benchmark on these coolers?

edit: For those wondering what thermal resitance is, (as i understand it) is a benchmark that shows the cooling ability of a heatsink independent of the system it is tested on, that way you can get a base number you can compair

example http://www.tomshardware.com/2005/06/07/10_mammoth_cpu_coolers/page30.html
April 25, 2006 2:06:59 PM

Never heard of that... interesting.

Interesting article, though the results weren't unexpected by any means. I have never heard anything bad about the recent Zalman heatsinks (other than are huge lol). Top notch cooling performance. If I were using air I would be all over that Zalman. But alas I am addicted to water.

What would be interesting to see is a CPU waterblock comparison to see if the more "advanced" blocks are worth their salt.
April 25, 2006 2:15:30 PM

I wonder how the ThermalTake Big Typhoon compares in this test. Currently I have a X2 3800+ hooked up to it overclocked to 2.6Ghz and I don't see temps higher than 50. Just as a note, summer has definitely hit here.

Here's a link to THG's old tests of "Mammoth CPU Coolers" but they used a p4 for their tests so I don't know if the heat disipation needed is the same or not.

http://www.tomshardware.com/2005/06/07/10_mammoth_cpu_c...
April 25, 2006 2:31:54 PM

I actually purchased the Scythe Ninja based on reading reviews. It posted in the top 5 on most review sites, and many gave it the number one spot.

However, after going through its installation I would not recommend this cooler to anyone.

The installation was horrific.

It does not fit in the Coolermaster CM830, which is a high end (and large) case, without remove the fan doors.

Nor does it work with the Asus A8N32-SLI, because of the proximity of CPU to RAM slots. The cooler is so large that it completely covered 1 of the ram slots, and partially covered another. So it was blocking the heat dissipation of the ram, causing the ram to overheat.

I wound up replacing it with the AMD stock cooler.

Dark Spider
April 25, 2006 3:12:31 PM

Quote:
I wonder how the ThermalTake Big Typhoon compares in this test.


All I know it is the best air cooling device I've purchased for a CPU period.
My temps idle around 24C and load around 36C...this was coming from a Fata1ity 7700 too

The only problem.....the physically size :roll:
April 25, 2006 3:43:02 PM

Quote:


What would be interesting to see is a CPU waterblock comparison to see if the more "advanced" blocks are worth their salt.


I second that motion.
April 25, 2006 4:23:35 PM

Is it just me, or did anyone else wonder how 2,250 RPM (i.e., 77% of the available RPM range from 1,200 to 2,500 RPM) was considered the medium fan speed for the Zalman CNPS9500 LED? 77% is medium?

The only other cooler to have all fan speeds stated (i.e., the Vapochill Micro with 1,200/1,650/2,250 RPM) used a mere 43% of the available RPM range for its medium speed. Also, while the low speed of the Gigabyte Rocket-Pro was not stated, it had a difference of 1,700 RPM between its full and medium speeds.

Why the (seemingly) large discrepancy for the Zalman?
Sure, the noise level appears to increase exponentially for this cooler, but you were testing the medium *fan speed*, not the medium *noise level*, no? Let the noise level graph indicate this interesting behaviour (as opposed to distorting the temperature graphs).
April 25, 2006 4:42:13 PM

Man no freezer 64 pro? What gives. It's a good little cooling solution, being easy to install and giving great performance for the dollar. Its half the price of the Zalman and gives approximately (within a few degrees) the same performance. No credit to the underdogs this time around.
April 25, 2006 5:35:40 PM

Frankly, from this review the only one that would really offer a significant benefit over the new heatpipe style stock cooler would be the Zalman. None the less, I've been running my 4400+ with the stock cooler at 2.5ghz with absolutely no problems and its the quietest component in my system. My HDD's are even noisier. I'm sure the new heatpipe design can beat the pants off more than a few of the coolers in this review.
April 25, 2006 5:57:05 PM

Quote:
Frankly, from this review the only one that would really offer a significant benefit over the new heatpipe style stock cooler would be the Zalman. None the less, I've been running my 4400+ with the stock cooler at 2.5ghz with absolutely no problems and its the quietest component in my system. My HDD's are even noisier. I'm sure the new heatpipe design can beat the pants off more than a few of the coolers in this review.


No doubt, alot of these coolers in the review just plain suck. I mean come on, we are all thinking it. I still give props to Zalman and VapoChill micro, but the rest of the coolers pretty much are a waste of tin (or whatever non copper element they are made of). Furthermore the Zalman's aren't that expensive. Most I've seen one run is about $60. So for roughly $20 more you can get a worth while cooler as opposed to some V8 POS that just looks like it should be placed in a sealed box and thrown in the ocean lol.

Good review, bad coolers :tongue:
a b à CPUs
April 25, 2006 6:39:23 PM

what happended to SI-120 i got onw with a panaflo 120mm on low (around 1000 rpm) and it cools it to 36-7 C under load and 36 idle, this is with around 1.482V and a newely applies AS5 (not cured)

granted this thing is only single core, but it is at 2.6 GHz

Edit: i goto update my sig... oh well
April 25, 2006 7:01:37 PM

what was the ambient room temperature for the test....I too have a 4800 with the new hsf and i think its pretty damn good
April 25, 2006 7:11:26 PM

I know, that the bad thing about the Scythe Ninja, the installation. Looking at the parts I wonder what kind of tools do you need to get this cooler attach to the mobo. Also the fan mount is horrible as well. As I have read it is very good air cooling but very poor on installation. I have a Thermaltake Big Typhoon cooling my Pentium D 840 oc to 3.8Ghz, and it is idling at 42c and around 58-60c at full load. This is at medium fan speed operation with no audible sound as I have replace the 120mm fan with the Silverstone FM121. It is fairly easy to install as well. :D 
April 26, 2006 2:20:12 AM

I say they should have included Thermaltake in the tests...ALL my cooling products are thermaltakes...
i know its not much for heat...
but i've got an Athlon XP 2800+ OC'd to 2.5GHz (500MHz+)
NEVER goes over 40C with my Thermaltake Venus 12
but then of course, it does run at 6700RPM...but i don't mind the noise.

:) :) 
my machine...
AMD Athlon XP 2800+ 2500MHz
AOpen AK77-600MAX w/VIA KT600
1536MB DDR RAM
524MHz 128MB AGP 8x RADEON 9600xt
Maxtor ATA133 120GB 8MB/B 7200RPM
Seagate ATA133 120GB 10MB/B 7200RPM
Western Digital ATA133 160GB 8MB/B 7200RPM
Sound Blaster Live! Platinum
Sony 48x24x48x CD-RW
NEC DVD-RW/RAM/DL
Thermaltake Volcano 12 Heatsink
Thermaltake PurePower 420W dual fan PSU
X-Dreamer II case
April 26, 2006 5:44:00 AM

Quote:
I know, that the bad thing about the Scythe Ninja, the installation. Looking at the parts I wonder what kind of tools do you need to get this cooler attach to the mobo. Also the fan mount is horrible as well.


I agree with this opinion. In my case, actually my friend hold the Scythe Ninja in position that I can use srewdriver to attach it to the mount base. Installing the 12cm fan is also a tricky process. This fan should blow the air upward that will be sucked to outside by fans in PSU.

After it sits properly in my Asus A8N5X mobo, the temp drop drastically from 40oC to 35oC in idle status. Also the fans is very quite with 1300RPM.
Scythe Ninja is definely not recommended for small cases. One should purchase it with prior knowledge.

In my opinion, Scythe Ninja, Big Typhoon and Zalman CNPS9500 should be in the same class. Purchasing one of them and you will never look back for CPU cooling solution.
April 26, 2006 8:21:14 AM

for those interested in seeing how the Zalman fares against other HSF, I've done a roundup with these:

# AMD’s new Heat pipe Stock cooling
# Thermalright HR-01
# Thermalright SI-120
# Thermaltake Big Typhoon
# Scythe NCU-2000 *
# Scythe Ninja *
# Thermalright XP-90C *
# Thermalright XP-90 *
# AMD Stock Cooling *
# Arctic Cooling Freezer 64 *
# Arctic Cooling Freezer 64 Pro *
# Asus X-Mars *
# Coolermaster Susurro *
# Noctua NH-U 12 *
# Noctua NH-U 9 *
# Sharkoon Red Shock *
# Silverstone NT02 *
# Scythe Samurai Z *
# Scythe Shogun *
# Thermalright XP-120 *
# Zalman CNPS9500CU *

the 9500CU, while doing okay, is bested by a few of the other hsf available
April 26, 2006 12:28:15 PM

what i want to know is why is this thread in the memory forum?

ive always had a thing for the zalman coolers, ever since first seeing them, and i must say i am very pleased with the 7000B-AlCus performance on my 3500+ sledgehammer core (130nm process, i know)

i get about 38C idle to 48C at heavy load, with the fanspeed at about 1900RPM, barely heard a thing from my box

when i upgrade cpu i will definately keep zalman in mind for cooling, imo not only are they a good choice for cooling but they are also very visually appealing if you have a side window, add that to the low noise and youre on to a winnar
a b à CPUs
April 26, 2006 1:05:56 PM

How come the cooler shown in the article is not a Retail boxed cooler from AMD. And how come the box shown in the article is that of a regular AMD Athlon64 and not an X2?

X2 boxes are blue/greenish and black in color.

the AMD boxed coolers don't sport the noticeable copper bottom and sport an AMD hologram sticker on the top.
April 26, 2006 1:47:57 PM

With the Big Typhoon spinning at just under 1300 RPM in my case I literally can't hear it at all. I hear my air conditioner in the other room before I hear it. I can turn off everything, radio, air conditioner and other fans and STILL have to put my ear about a foot away from it to hear the thing. This isn't a judgement on my hearing it's saying something about the fan attached to the BT.

Sure later on I'm going to put a different 120mm fan with a higher CFM, but hopefully not too much higher dB, rating. But that's just 'cause I like low low case temperatures. It's nice having it idle a degree above ambient!
April 26, 2006 5:22:01 PM

Finally! A HSF roundup. Ya'll need to do more of these. Great article!
April 26, 2006 7:30:51 PM

You know what, I'm betting whoever did the review screwed it up and just used a regular single core processor. That would explain the old HSF style and the wrong box.
April 26, 2006 7:44:04 PM

It would have been nice to include the different types of stock heatsinks AMD offers with its CPUs such as the heatpipe based one.
April 26, 2006 8:00:00 PM

Quote:
It would have been nice to include the different types of stock heatsinks AMD offers with its CPUs such as the heatpipe based one.


I didn't even know AMD had a heat pipe one until now. When I got my Venice it came with the cooler used in the review. So this is all news to me heh.
April 27, 2006 2:49:42 AM

Quote:
Frankly, from this review the only one that would really offer a significant benefit over the new heatpipe style stock cooler would be the Zalman. None the less, I've been running my 4400+ with the stock cooler at 2.5ghz with absolutely no problems and its the quietest component in my system. My HDD's are even noisier. I'm sure the new heatpipe design can beat the pants off more than a few of the coolers in this review.


2nd that. my 4400 is at 2.5....running all fans on low, and the old-style stock cooler on top....I just got mine a few weeks ago.

I'm happy with it..I wish it had shipped with the heat-pipe version, but what are you going to do.

Summer is upon us, though...so I'm considering buying something that will work better, not because I need it to, but because I want it to be quieter for the summer months
April 27, 2006 11:48:37 AM

Quote:
Anyone goes out and buy a Zalman 9500 over Tuniq Tower120 at NewEgg and I'll personally char-grill them to death.


Just wish that the "normal" stores I shop at had the Tuniq Tower120 for sale.


(Newegg, no, zipzoomfly, no.....unless I'm totally stupid and can't type, I didn't see them there....if you got a link.....)

what is the price difference between the two?
April 27, 2006 12:36:30 PM

should add Tuniq tower cooler on this list... it is quiet...cool and perfect for OC requirements...Zalman is fine , but more expensive... Newegg delivers Tuniq fast ( I got one in one unknow store with some doubts but the product arrived well) and now with Newegg ...no excuse to get other than tuniq cooler...
April 27, 2006 1:16:16 PM

Please link the newegg tuniq tower120.

I searched for "tuniq"
I searched for "tower120"
I searched with the other HSF's.....


I don't see this product with newegg......I'm stupid, I can't type, I'm an idiot.....help a guy out.
April 27, 2006 10:57:05 PM

Quote:
Also Thermalright SI-120 can be had for $45+fan from heatsinkfactory.com
Any but Zalman 9500. :twisted:


You really have it out for that Zalman.... what did it do? eat your dog? drink the last beer? 8O
April 27, 2006 11:17:14 PM

Its alright I feel ya. Sony has screwed me over 2 times and now I refuse to ever buy anything from them again. Course the last ASUS board I had didn't inspire confidence either. The infamous P4C800 deluxe vcore drop under load really pissed me off. And now koolance has pissed me off, so its on to swiftech and DFI lol :o 
April 29, 2006 2:24:09 AM

Quote:
And how come the box shown in the article is that of a regular AMD Athlon64 and not an X2?

X2 boxes are blue/greenish and black in color.

the AMD boxed coolers don't sport the noticeable copper bottom and sport an AMD hologram sticker on the top.


Agreed, this has been a very sloppily done article! The box pictured for the AMD stock cooler is for a single core processor. That is why it is not a heatpipe cooler, because it wasn't designed for dual-cores to begin with.

Secondly, why is this thread still stuck in the memory sub-form after 4 days when it was already mentioned above?

Third, the article itself contains numerous errors. Such as the same picture for the EKL V8 cooler is used in THREE wrong places, and the one place it belongs instead only displays a faulty html linking code to it!

Fourth, it does seem the article was biased towards the Zalman cooler, especially in how it was written and also in how the lack of any explanation for why the discrepancy in fan speeds was there between coolers. Which was also mentioned previously...

And lastly... THG mentions that they used the already applied thermal compound with the coolers, and even retested one cooler with the extra supplied thermal grease. So I would very much like to know what brand and sort of thermal compound was utilized for the remaining coolers that did not come with anything?? You can't expect anyone to believe none was used at all on that Zalman cooler... :wink:
a b } Memory
a c 100 à CPUs
April 30, 2006 7:25:25 AM

Your article is a great addition to this thread seeing as how the heatpipe AMD cooler was not in THGs article, and I'm presently looking for the best air cooling I can find for my present setup, seeing as how my Waterchill pump crapped out on me and I've got too much invested to risk watercooling at the moment anyway.
June 5, 2006 8:23:24 AM

Add another vote for the Arctic Cooler Freezer 64 Pro. It will drop your CPU temperature to with a degree or so of the much over-rated Zalman 9500, unlike the 9500 it fits on the standard 939 mount without any ridiculous farting around with backplates and what have you, and where I am it's half the price of the 9500. If you're obsessive about cpu cooling you can get better but you'll be paying a hefty premium. For cooling bang for buck the Freezer 64 Pro cannot be beaten.

Right now my X2 4200+ @2640Mhz is idling at 32C with QFan running and I'm not in an air-conditioned lab either. It actually idles cooler than my passively cooled Force4 chipset. It's never been above high 50s under 2x100% load even on the hottest days.
March 25, 2007 2:53:54 PM

I've just bought an Athlon 64 X2/4200 from Newegg. It comes with a worse heat sink than the one in the review or the heatpipe one. It's just a solid block of aluminum with fins machined into it and a 70mm fan on top. If I had the heatpipe version I'd keep the stock cooler.

I'm wondering if they're packaging these CPUs with this very cheap heat sink because they're dropping the prices? Also, many users are not using the box heat sink.

I bought a Cooler Master HyperTX from the Micro Center store. (about the same price as everywhere else)

The little 70mm fan looks like it might be handy to put some other place. It has a green thermistor on it, so apparently it regulates its' own RPM to some extent. I might just plop the whole thing on top of my aluminum USB hard drive enclosure to keep it cool. :lol: 
July 9, 2007 7:59:55 PM

Hi,

I have my fans running at max speed all the time because I want to keep my CPU <= 50 C when I play games. I can't stand the noise anymore. Is it safe for an Athlon FX to run at a temperature > 50 C? What would be the reasonable max? I see in the test that the AMD fan let the CPU go up to 63 C !? Can you leave tyour CPU at that temperature for hours?

Thanks,

E-k.
July 11, 2007 8:23:21 AM

You know, its gotten really bad for the over-priced, diminishing quality, name brands recently. And a lot of their supporters are seeing that revelation, and changing their minds. And Tom's is doing an upgrade and change the address of their websites around a bit. Make things new and uncomfortable for the established.

How bad is it? A Rosewill Z3 cooler is mentioned in comparison to several 'major' brands. 92mm fan and all.

f61
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