Articles: Cooling
 

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How do you measure the performance of an air cooler? In degrees of Celsius or Fahrenheit of the temperature of an overclocked processor? Today, I want to suggest to measure it in a different way, in millimeters! Yes, I’m going to use the measure that is usually applied to the length, width or height of a cooler or the size of its fan, but there is a reason for my doing that. In today’s review I will discuss two coolers that employ heat pipes measuring 8 millimeters in diameter rather than the typical 6mm.

There’s nothing new in the idea to use heat pipes with a larger diameter. Early this year we tested the Enzotech Ultra-X cooler that proved to be one of the best air coolers available. The 8mm pipes have a larger area of contact with the base as well as with the heatsink ribs, having a positive effect on the cooler’s overall performance. Of course, the cooler employs fewer pipes than if they were 6 millimeters in diameter. Despite that, the first cooler with 8mm pipes, the Enzotech Ultra-X, proved more efficient than its opponents.

After those tests I thought there would be a migration from 6mm to 8mm heat pipes. And that’s the way it goes now. More and more coolers with lager pipes are being announced these days. Ice Hammer said it would develop such a cooler by the end of 2007 while the yet obscure PC Cooler has already released the South China Sea. For this review I tested two coolers from Thermalright and Xigmatek that use four and three 8mm heat pipes, respectively. Let’s see how efficient these millimeters are.

Thermalright SI-128

Package and Accessories

Thermalright follows a rather ascetic approach to designing packages for its products. No transparent windows, no pretty wrappers or any other decorations. What we have here is a robust cardboard box with a single caption “Thermalright Inc” on its top:

You can find the cooler’s name on a side of the box.

The box is divided into two compartments, the larger of which contains a polyurethane-foam tray for the heatsink.

To the left of it there is a box with accessories that include:

  • Fastener for LGA775 mainboards
  • Fastening clip for Socket 754/939/940/AM2 mainboards
  • Installation manual
  • Plastic fastening frame for Socket 754/939/940/AM2
  • Thermalright Chill Factor thermal grease
  • Two wire brackets to install a fan on the heatsink
  • A couple of vibration-absorbing rubber strips with a gluey side
  • Thermalright sticker
 
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