Don’t you think that the potential of CPU air cooling solutions has been completely exhausted by now? We keep testing new CPU air-coolers, many of which demonstrate great cooling efficiency even for significantly overclocked quad-core CPUs on Kentsfield core. However, we haven’t seen any serious breakthrough in this field for quite some time already. Although we test new air coolers on a regular basis, all these solutions prove only efficient for their price range, but none managed to outperform the today’s undefeated leader – Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme yet. In other words, efficient processor cooling has become considerably more affordable and much easier to arrange these days, but that’s about it. Some of you may be more than satisfied with that, however, since we are working with new cooling solutions every day in our lab, we are hungry for a real breakthrough in this field. We would really want to see the processor peak temperatures go down and their overclocking potential go up more or less greatly, because fort the past year and a half all we dealt with were 0.5-1ºC differences or even failure to successfully compete with the recognized cooling efficiency leaders.
So where shall the well-known cooler makers direct their efforts? Shall they continue to increase the heatpipes diameter, make their coolers even larger or pack them with two or even three fans now? Shall they use more precious metals for their heatsinks, offer all sorts of modding add-ons or release limited edition solutions? How can they increase their products’ efficiency and attract potential customers? It is a pretty hard question to answer now. As we have seen recently, new Intel processors manufactured with 45nm process do not require expensive super-coolers for successful overclocking. As of today, overclocked 45nm processors do not necessarily require super-coolers.
Nevertheless, manufacturers continue announcing and releasing new cooling solutions that aim for the leading positions in this market. And today we are going to talk about two newcomers from XIGMATEK and Scythe: HDT-D1284 and ZIPANG:
New cooling systems have similar design principle (the fan is set on top of the heatsink), but are still very different from one another. That is why it will be especially interesting to take a look at two new products side by side and see how they compare against the well-known super-coolers in terms of their functionality, cooling efficiency and noise level. Let’s get started.