It is a wide known fact that coolers supplied with Intel Pentium 4 processors are often among the best solution for cooling these processors as they combine good cooling performance with relatively low noise. Some time ago Intel has made some changes to the stock cooler to address the raising heat dissipation of its processors. Particularly, heat-spreader material was changed from aluminum to copper. Quite recently Intel’s main competitor, AMD, also started to sell processor-in-a-box (PIB) packages with included coolers. Thermal performance of these solutions is rather satisfying, but the noise level is quite high. Additionally, frequencies and heat dissipation of processors has grown and now the company decided to make some changes to the design of PIB coolers to raise thermal performance and in the same time to make them quieter.
Sunnyvale-based processor maker announced the following future changes to the box coolers:
- Quieter fan with 2 ball bearing design. The noise level is claimed to be lower than 34dBA. For your reference - Thermaltake Volcano 7+ in "Medium" mode makes about 35dBA of noise;
- Improved heatsink with higher content of copper and high efficiency phase changing material;
- More secure 6-tab retaining clip, instead of 2-tab at the present time.
Regardless of all these improvements, the cooler weight will be lower: less than 300 grams. Unfortunately, there are no precise dates announced for the appearance of improved thermal solution, but I think AMD will start selling them quite soon.
There will be also some changes made to the processor pack. First of all, the clam shells of two processors will have the ability to be nested in pairs, thus, allowing more dense packing. Then, each CPU will have its own unique barcode number, visible through the clam shell, thus it can be easily scanned. In addition, on the new label of 10 processor box (AMD calls it "Smart Pack") all of 10 CPU’s barcodes will be printed. These measures will allow easier product tracking and replacement of the defective processors.