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A Comparison of 34 Coolers for the AMD Athlon XP

Variable Cooling Capacity: Coolermaster HAC-V81 X-Dream

With its X-Dream, Coolermaster has embarked on a new course. Based on the motto "high performance, but only where necessary," this model was equipped with an adjustable ventilator that can be controlled via a potentiometer.

The potentiometer can be screwed onto the slot plate that comes with the cooler and can be inserted into an unoccupied PCI slot. Depending on the potentiometer setting and the power requirement, the ventilator rotates at speeds of between 2800 and 4500 rpm. The noise level varies accordingly, between 49 dB(A) and 65dB(A).

Inserted into the base of the aluminum heat sink is a solid copper core that serves to conduct away the heat as quickly as possible from the hot region above the die towards the heat sink. Depending on the ventilator speed, the thermal resistance of the X-Dream varies between 0.46 °C/W and 0.37 °C/W. The maximum die temperature of the Athlon XP 2400+ CPU used in the test stood at 50° Celsius at the lowest. At the lowest possible ventilator speed, temperatures of 55° Celsius were achieved.

Also worth mentioning is the ergonomic triple clip of the VAC-81, which makes it possible to install the unit easily without the use of tools. Those who opt for the VAC-81 should check beforehand whether there is sufficient space around the processor socket. Measuring 80 x 84 x 84 millimeters, this cooler counts among the more bulky candidates.