Socket A Cooler Roundup - September 2001 - Page I
By Michael "Hughesey" Hughes
First up I'd just like to apologize for the delayed posting of this roundup,
but many factors within my life have lead to a massive decrease in spare time.
I apologize to all companies involved (see conclusion) in this review and would
like to thank them once again for their support.
With the frequencies of todays processors rising at an incredible rate, so
must the cooling options available to them. This roundup covers a number of
Socket A (AMD Thunderbird and Duron) coolers from a variety of different manufacturers
with the intent of showing which cooling solution best suits both your budget,
your processor heat wise, and your ears due to the noise some of these solutions
The Alpha PAL6035
The ALPHA PAL6035 isn't a new cooler by any stretch of the imagination,
but its groundbreaking 'pin' design and copper inlay made it _THE_ cooler
to have in its day. While this cooler is slightly 'outdated' technology,
its performance is still on par with some of the newer models of heatsinks
from rivaling manufacturers, further proving the companies skill in this
The Thermaltake Mini Copper ORB
Thermaltake continue their orb range with the introduction of this
cooler. Its size and specifications are almost the same as its brother
the "Chrome ORB" with the added feature of a copper base.
The fan in this cooler is rated at 5500rpm pushing 23.1cfm at 29dB.
While these specifications are far behind the Delta or YS-TECH fans,
the sound compromise may be ideal for some users (note 29dB is slightly
louder than a whisper).
The Thermaltake Volcano II
Thermaltake have varied from their typical ORB range of coolers with
this product, opting for a more conventional approach. This heatsink
is very similar in design to that of the WBK38, except only slightly
smaller in width. The cooler is armed with a stock fan, which according
to the Thermaltake website pushes 36cfm at only 31.5dB, however since
the release of this cooler this CFM Rating has been proven wrong with
the convention being that this figure is a typo, meant to be 26cfm.
This cooler is rated up to 1.5GHZ.
The Thermosonic ThermoEngine
The design of this cooler is also away from the standard with the fins
originating from the centre of the heatsink. The fan this baby is equipped
with in its stock from is rated at 21.5cfm with a noise level of 36dB.
This is a rather odd sitation, whereby a fan with low CFM is raher noisy,
possibly removing it from the 'quit' range into the 'moderate range'.
This cooler is rated for AMD Athlon/Palomino up to 1.7GHz.
The Globalwin WBK38
As we can see from the picture to the left, this baby is meant for business.
Armed with the Delta black label fan, this baby is bound to cool your
cpu to shiveringly cold level, albeit with a fair amount of noise. As
it can be seen, this unit looks remarkably similar to the Thermaltake
Volcano II (heatsink wise) with its waved fin design. While only approved
by AMD up to their latest 1.4ghz cpu, im sure that this cooler reserves
the right to be certified for many more mhz to come.
The CPUfx CORE
Weighing in at an incredible 500grams, this cooler has to be one of
the biggest coolers i've ever seen. Its unique design and fan attatchment
allow for minimal air flow loss and targeted airflow direction. While
not being copper in any way, this baby should fair quite well against
the pack. This unit comes with some arctic silver 2, 2 copper shims
(one for intel cpus one for amd cpus) and 2 mounting methods, either
4 nylon screws or a spring clip method. CPUfx have come up with a very
interesting design with their CORE cooler and performance to match.
The OCZ Gladiator
This baby is our only all copper solution for this roundup, and coupled
with the all powerful Delta fan, this baby proved almost unstopable. Its
noise, and price, however may make it only an option for power users and
overclockers like ourselves ;). Die to teh fact that this heatsink is pure
copper, it weighs a proverbial tonne, so I strongly recommend the use of
a shim with this beast.