Articles: Cooling

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Here are the top and bottom views of the heatsinks:


Now let’s compare the direct-touch technology implemented in the Alpenföhn Nordwand or IceHammer IH-4500 with the improved version of the same technology as it is implemented in the EVGA Superclock and Swiftech Polaris 120:

It’s clear that the new direct-touch should ensure a more uniform transfer of heat from the surface of the CPU despite the tiny gaps between the pipes.

The sole of each cooler is perfectly flat. Here are the imprints left on my LGA1366 CPU by the Swiftech Polaris 120:


…and by the EVGA Superclock:



To capture the last pair of photos I used a thermal interface material which was more viscous and fluid than Gelid GC-Extreme used for the first two pairs of photos. You can also note that the last pair of photos was shot with the cooler oriented in a different way. The difference in performance is small, about 1.5 to 2°C under peak load, but in favor of the first orientation variant.

Now I want to tell you about the coolers' fans. Both are designed in the same way. They have 7 blades and measure 120x120x25 millimeters. The Polaris 120's fan has a black frame and a white impeller whereas the Superclock’s fan has a translucent frame and impeller.



The fans have identical specs. Both are PWM-controlled within a speed range of 750 to 2500 RPM, producing an air flow of 26.56 to 83.32 CFM at 13.2 to 41.5 dBA of noise. The pressure is 1.74 to 4.85 millimeters of water. The fluid dynamic bearing is supposed to last for no less than 30,000 hours or 3.4 years of nonstop operation. The peak power consumption is 4 watts.

This is what's written in their specs but the fans turned out to have different electronics. For example, the Swiftech Polaris 120 had a startup voltage of 3.5 volts and consumed 4 watts per hour, just as specified, at its maximum speed. The Superclock’s fan could only start at a voltage of 6.5 volts and consumed over 5.2 watts. Moreover, this fan had a speed of 1760 RPM at 7 volts but slowed down suddenly to 1060 RPM at 6.7 volts. At 6.5 volts it had a speed of only 510 RPM! This fan would change its speed in leaps in PWM mode, switching from quiet to noisy in just a couple of seconds, which wasn't comfortable.

The fan of the EVGA Superclock has four red LEDs for highlighting:

The fan is secured on the heatsink with two wire clips:

The two coolers do not allow for the installation of a second fan.

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