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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 can generate.

The Competitors

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 While this cooler is slightly 'outdated' technology, its performance is still on par with some of the newer models of heatsinks from rivaling manufacturers, further proving the companies skill in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 area.

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.

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.



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