The second cooling device aka Dual OTES serves to cool down the processor voltage regulator circuitry. The power converter on ABIT Fatal1ty AN8 is designed according to four-channel scheme. The MOSFETs of this converter are covered with two aluminum ribbed heatsinks with some weird rubber-like material serving as thermal interface. Then the entire circuitry is covered with a plastic casing leading to the mainboard back panel. At the output there are two 40-mm fans blowing warm air outside the case. Their minimal rotation speed is 4,800rpm.
Note that ABIT Fatal1ty AN8 mainboard doesn’t really need a powerful Dual OTES cooling system. MOSFETs used for the processor voltage regulator do not heat up that much. The use of this advanced solution seems to be aimed to making the board look more high-tech. at the same time, I wouldn’t call Dual OTES a useless feature as well. At least there appear two extra fans to cool down the CPU, which is important.
By the way, ABIT Fatal1ty AN8 mainboard was also developed keeping in mind the Bulletproof technology. It means that ABIT engineers learned their lesson from the past and use only high-end reliable components when assembling this mainboard modification. For instance, the processor voltage regulator uses high-quality capacitors from the Japanese SANYO and Rubycon companies.
However, let’s return back to the fans. The third device also featuring two 40-mm fans is the OTES RAMFlow for memory modules cooling, which is shipped together with the ABIT Fatal1ty AN8 mainboard. This device is installed on top of the DIMM slot clips after the memory modules have already been installed and blows the air streams onto the memory modules with the help of two fans. These fans rotate at the maximum speed o 4,100rpm. Unfortunately, the quality of these fans also leaves much to be desired: they are built on sleeve bearings and are very unlikely to have significant life time. However, you shouldn’t use OTES RAMFlow at all, if you don’t want to.
As for the acoustic characteristics of the cooling devices used on ABIT Fatal1ty AN8, it is no surprise at all that all the five small fans working at their maximum speed generate pretty unpleasant noise. However, ABIT engineers did their best to calm down this noisy chorus. For this purpose they introduced a special FanEQ technology, which serves to manage the fans rotation speeds depending on the temperature of the corresponding “hot spots” on the board. This technology made ABIT Fatal1ty AN8 the only NVIDIA nForce4 based mainboard for Athlon 64 (out of seven boards we have already tested in our lab), which allows to slow down interactively any of the fans in the system, and not just the CPU fan.
I have to stress that this feature of ABIT Fatal1ty AN8 is truly useful also because this board supports Cool’n’Quiet technology, which allows dropping down the working frequency and Vcore (and hence the heat dissipation) of the system CPU when it isn’t loaded heavily.