The Next Generation of Cool: AOpen's 37 Watt Pentium M Desktop PC

Cooling: Barely Worth Mentioning

As Yoda said: "Size matters not." Barely half an inch (13 mm) high and weighing less than three ounces (82 g,) this little cooler is sufficient to keep the CPU cool in any scenario.

The AOpen board can dynamically adjust the CPU's fan based on the processor's heat level. When the processor runs cool enough, the fan is shut off completely. Through the BIOS, users can set a threshold value at which the fan should spin up, choosing from temperatures between 30° C and 70°C. We set threshold to 60°C for our Pentium M running at 2.13 GHz. (As a side note, Intel's specifications say that a Pentium M can survive constant operation at temperatures as high as 90°C without being damaged.)

With our settings, the CPU fan was always off during normal Windows use. In fact, the processor never got any warmer than 43°C. Watching a DVD resulted in a system load of about 25%, but even this only increased the temperature by one degree.

The cooler is attached by screwing it into a metal plate on the back of the board using four screws that rest on little springs.

Take extra care when installing the cooler! Unlike the Pentium 4, the Pentium M - or more precisely, its die - is not protected by a heat spreader. Be very careful when positioning and installing the HSF unit. We recommend holding and steadying the cooler with one hand to prevent it from slipping and damaging the die.
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