A Comparison of 34 Coolers for the AMD Athlon XP

Conclusion: Not Much Innovation In The Cooler Market

A trend from our last test was confirmed: the tightened specifications from AMD are leading to what will likely be a quick death for aluminium-based coolers. The present and future quite clearly belong to composite coolers (aluminium in combination with copper) and copper-based coolers.

Anyone who was hoping to see some real innovations will be disappointed. The top cooling performance offered by the CAK4-86 from Global Win Technology or Swiftech's MCX-462U are still mitigated by a lot of racket and weight.

Still in the vanguard are cooling solutions with a temperature-regulated fan or manual fan control. Their cooling power, and, consequently, noise levels, can be adapted to the needs of the moment. Companies like Coolermaster, Global Win Technology, Thermaltake, Titan and Tiger Electronics offer such products. While they don't attain top values, they generally perform to a very high level.

With the Aeroflow VA4-C7040, Vantec proves that it is indeed possible to achieve very good cooling performance in connection with a moderate noise level even without control/ regulation. From the aluminium cooler camp, the JVC652A from Cooljag was a winner. Due to its folded fins, it offers astonishingly good cooling performance at a low weight.

With one exception, we found none of the products really disappointing. It remains to be seen if the manufacturers will direct their future development efforts more strongly in the direction of quiet and, of course, powerful cooling solutions.