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A Comparison of 34 Coolers for the AMD Athlon XP

Pentalpha APSK0168-B, APSK0181-C & APSK0181-L

The models from Pentalpha can best be described by the three terms economy, performance and low noise. If they were all laid out on a table, you couldn't tell them apart with the naked eye. The coolers are not attached to the aluminum cooler profile with screws but with rebound clips; all models have a triple clip that keeps the cooler securely in position.

The Affordable: APSK0168-B

For the APSK0168-B, Pentalpha uses an aluminum heat sink and a fan that turns at 4,200rpm. Its dimensions are 80 x 55 x 60 millimeters (WxBxH).

The cooler is very neatly crafted; the contact surface is very smooth but not polished. Prior to delivery, the manufacturer applied a matching heat transfer grease. For an aluminium cooler, it has pretty good thermal resistance of 0.50°C/W (die temperature = 57°C). Acoustically, at almost 56dB(A), it is not the quietest, however. The manufacturer recommends use with up to an Athlon XP 2100+, but as our test shows, it can also be a 2400+.