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Boxed Cooler for Intel Core i7-980X Extreme Edition

He fourth participant of our today’s test session will be the so-called “boxed” cooler for the Intel Core i7-980X Extreme Edition processor. It is also accompanied with a small instructions sheet and a syringe with thick gray thermal compound.

Although we see all boxed coolers as a chunk of aluminum with a copper center and a buzzing fan, the new cooler looks very decent. It is a tower cooler with four copper heatpipes 6 mm in diameter:


The cooler measures 96 x 100 x 125 mm and weighs about 870 g. The design of the cooler is very illustratively depicted on the following schematic chart:

The heatsink array consists of 57 aluminum fins measuring 100x70 mm that are 0.35 mm thick:


Small inter-plate gaps of only 1.1~1.2 mm and no optimizations of any kind aimed at lowering the airflow resistance indicate potentially high dependence of the cooler efficiency on the fan rotation speed. At the same time, the heatsink is topped with a frameless fan that is way worse-suited for a heatsink of this density that fans that have a frame to them.

Heatpipes are soldered to the plates and the copper base that is perfectly finished:

The base surface is extremely flat, no complaints here, unlike the processor heat-spreader:

The rotation speed of the 100 mm fan is PWM controlled in two ranges, set using a small switch on top of the cooler:

In Quiet mode (“Q”) the speed is adjusted in the interval between 800 and 1800 W, and in maximum speed or performance mode (“P”) the supported range extends from 800 up to 2600 RPM. We don’t know what the declared airflow is, and the noise level should vary between 17 and 35 dBA for the corresponding speed ranges. The fan bearing should last 57,000 hours.

The cooler is only fit for the LGA1366 platform. It is installed using a backplate through the mainboard PCB and provides very high-pressure hold.

There are only 33 mm between the lowest heatsink plate and the cooler base, but the cooler is extremely compact, so it won’t interfere with any of the heatsinks on the mainboard voltage regulator components as well as with the tall memory heat-spreaders.

The fan features blue LEDs, which brightness depends on the fan rotation speed:

The cooler is priced at about $50, but we do not know whether they will be selling it separately, like the boxed cooler for LGA1156 platform.

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