Skip to main content

Overclocking On Air: 10 LGA 1156-Compatible Performance Coolers

Sunbeamtech Core-Contact Freezer

One of the oldest products in today’s comparison, Sunbeamtech’s highly-respected Core-Contact Freezer has recently been updated to support LGA 1156 processors. Priced at around $40 with an LGA 775 adapter and AMD clip, Sunbeamtech’s additional adapter brackets typically cost around $10.

The LGA 1156 adapter includes four mounting screws and a support plate. The long-present LGA 775 adapter still comes with the basic kit and AMD’s clip bracket is supported natively.

The Core-Contact Freezer gets its name from the four heat pipes that interface directly with the processor’s heat spreader, a popular design among several of today’s competitors. The design reduces both cooler weight and latent heat, although claims of better overall cooling are somewhat suspect. Like its competitors, Sunbeamtech sands the bottom of its pipes flat to minimize voids between its base and the processor, requiring a minimal amount of thermal compound to achieve excellent thermal transfer.

As an AMD-style clip-on cooler, the biggest hurdle for LGA motherboard compatibility is the clip itself. Minimal space between one of the adapter’s hooks and some voltage-regulator components forced us to tilt the cooler to install the top clip, before using the bottom clip in the conventional manner.

Because the Core-Contact Freezer uses an AMD-style clip, it can be installed in most recent AMD systems (939, AM2, AM2+, and AM3) without motherboard removal. Similarly, a push-pin style LGA 775 adapter bracket allows easy installation in those systems. LGA 1156 installation is less convenient but more secure, as the adapter’s support plate must be installed behind the motherboard to provide the threaded holes for its screws.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.