The general principle used by Gigabyte engineers is basically the same as used by developers of the CoolerMaster Hyper 48 KHC-L91: copper base quickly conducts heat that is then transferred to upper side of the cooler by heat-pipes. The peculiarities of Gigabyte’s 3D Rocket PCU22-SE are different to almost any cooler available on the market: the copper base itself is very thin and fully depends on the efficiency of heat-pipes as only heat-pipes connect the base to the fins made of anodized aluminum.
Instead of typical fan Gigabyte uses blower – a type o fan that intakes air from upper side of the cooler and then exhausts the airflow through the fins on the lower side of the cooler. Gigabyte has, in fact, modified its 3D cooler’s design from the previous models: the 3D Rocket PCU22-SE has a special piece of film installed on top of the cooler to prevent air intake from the top inlet. The move can be logically explained: the company wanted fins on the top side of the cooler to be ventilated when the blower sucks in air from the case. The idea is understandable and is aimed to improve efficiency.
It may seem that the air that is sucked through relatively hot fins in to cool down the rest of the cooler will not be as cool as it would be in case it was taken in from the top side of the cooler. Nevertheless, our testing revealed that Gigabyte’s scheme is absolutely correct and the most efficient one for the particular case: the film definitely does its job well.
Another potential drawback is that the heat-pipes and fins of the 3D Rocket PCU22-SE are made from different materials – the former are made of copper, the latter are made of aluminum. Different materials that are mechanically, and not very precisely, connected to each other do not favour great heat transfer from one conductor to another.
A bright side of the 3D Rocket is relatively low weight – only about 490 grams.
We’ll find out whether the abovementioned fears have their impact on Gigabyte’s 3D Rocket PCU22-SE performance, but now let us take a look at retention mechanisms Gigabyte provides for its cooler.
Retention Mechanism, Installation Procedure
A good thing about Gigabyte’s 3D Rocket PCU22-SE is tremendous ease of installation. Only in case of Socket 775 systems it is required to use retention mechanism which installation obliges to fix certain screws from the backside of the mainboard. Other types of sockets, namely Socket 478, Socket A, Socket 754/939/940 use default retention brackets to mount the 3D Rocket PCU22-SE.
Still, we would like to point out that the bracket for Socket 775 is made of very soft plastic which deforms as screws are screwed in, which makes the installation a not that trivial task.
While the manual is not as good as the one provided by Zalman, the installation itself is pretty logical and even a simple guide by Gigabyte seems to be enough to set up the 3D Rocket PCU22-SE cooler pretty quickly.