Part 1. AVC, Spire and GlacialTech coolers
The market (be it American, European or any other) does not offer a great variety of cooling systems for the Intel Pentium 4 platform. As for the Socket 423, it was clear from the very beginning that this socket would be just a buffer between the good old Socket 370 and Socket 478 which is going to occupy the market for a long good while. That is why a lot of major cooler makers didn't feel a desire to invest much into new models for Socket 423, that is why they brought on the market just one or two coolers.
However strange it may be, the Socket 478 is in the same situation. In spite of agressive promotion of the Pentium 4 platform and an increasing number of its followers among enthusiasts, as well as among corporate users and even economical customers, there is some shortage of quality and effective coolers. A lot of producers are still at the stage of marketing investigations and they do not pay due attention to an extension of the Socket 478 cooler range. But we shouldn't disregard box versions of processors which come with decent coolers and are offered at quite attractive prices. Probably this is why some cooler makers dislike the Pentium 4 platform. However, OEM processors also need efficient and quality cooling systems.
So, let's see what the market can offer us today. We will examine both traditional and new trade marks, study performance characteristics of their coolers and carry out a comparison analyses.
AVC 117141 (SunFlower)Produced in collaboration of Intel and AVC (Asia Vital Components), the SunFlower is one of the pioneers in the sector of Socket 478 processor cooling systems. Although the SunFlower is already a year old it is still able to cope with its mission of a reference cooling system for Pentium 4 Northwood processors.
It makes us believe in a good cooler's performance. And the test results of the SunFlower demonstrate really good effectiveness close to the leaders of our test, even despite a low-powerful fan measuring 70x70x15 mm with the impeller's speed being 3800 rpm. Such relatively weak fan is rather useful than harmful because the cooler's noise level doesn't exceed the sanitary level of 45 dBA.
The only drawback of the SunFlower is its fastening system. For flawless installation one has to demount a retention mechanism assembly of the mainboard and then install the cooler using its own mechanism. Such approach is not always convenient because if a board is already installed in the system unit it's necessary to demount it.
Spire 9T207B1H3G (IceStream) and Spire 9T207B1M3G (QuietStream)Spire coolers produced by the Dutch company Fanner Tech are known as solid effective cooling systems. And today we have two new coolers - IceStream and QuietStream.
The QuietStream cooler is identical to the IceStream in appearance and has all the same advantages. The only difference is a low-speed fan (only 3500 rpm). But this allows the cooler to maintain a low noise level, justifying its name. But the thermal efficiency is not much lower which means that this is a more optimal combination of a fan and a heatsink than in the IceStream.
The installation makes no problems. The IceStream and QuietStream have handy clips of a lever type that provides hold-down pressure of 14 kg which complies with the norms. The clips have rests for screw-drivers which come in useful for installation and deinstallation. In addition, both models come with the Stars 420 heat interface (which is a clone of the Dow Corning SH340 glue where zinc oxide is a basic component).
GlacialTech Igloo 4300, Igloo 4200 and Diamond 4000The GlacialTech coolers for Socket A processors reviewed in the GlacialTech Igloo 2310 and Igloo 2400 sport nice thermal efficiency and performance characteristics. New models of GlacialTech coolers for Socket 478 have also high quality and efficiency.
The Igloo 4200 cooler is a combination of an aluminum extrusion heatsink of 83x69x34 mm and a fan measuring 60x60x20 mm; it inherits all key features from the Igloo 2310 and Igloo 2400.
Well, the Igloo 4200 arises no doubts in its impeccable performance. Its overclocked modification - Igloo 4200 Pro (4800 rpm fan) goes into the leading group - it just lags behind the Volcano 7+ from Thermaltake but at the same time its noise level is still much lower (by 13 dBA). The standard modification of the cooler - Igloo 4200 (4200 rpm fan) doesn't make much noise either and performs very close to the leaders. The Igloo 4200 Light (3500 rpm fan) shows the lowest noise level today, but it also goes on a par with many other coolers in thermal efficiency, thus, taking the golden mean.
The most peculiar feature of the Igloo 4200 is not its high thermal efficiency coupled with a low noise level, but a handy fastening system (which is a subject to several patents, in particular, US6404633 and DE20115128). At the expense of the elaborated construction of this system installation/deinstallation of the cooler is very easy and takes only 10-15 sec. You don't need much force or screw-drivers - you just have to fix the special case in the RM module then easily lift the handle and that's all!
The Diamond 4000 cooler has the same dimensions and design as the Igloo 4200, as well as the "idea content" (advanced heatsink, shifted fan of 60x60x20 mm, handy mounting system); but it also has new features.
The last peculiarity is an altered design of the fastening case (its sides are made 5 mm shorter). According to the engineers from GlacialTech, it allows opening the heatsink entirely (from the aerodynamic standpoint), improving ventilation in the upper finned part (where a flow speed is usually very close to 0) and increasing the overall thermal efficiency.
Well, the Diamond 4000 is really optimized to its most degree - it inherits all the best from the Igloo 4200. Without unnecessary pomposity, this cooler combines a nice appearance and a pleasant filling, thus, providing an excellent combination of high efficiency and a low noise level in any conditions. In our today's rating the Diamond 4000 takes leading positions in many parameters easily outscoring not only its direct competitors but also its senior brothers.
As for the Igloo 4300, this model is very similar to the Igloo 4200 - it boasts of the same heatsink and a similar fastening system. The crucial difference is only one - it possesses a fan of 70x70x15 mm located right in the center of the heatsink.
Part 4. "Table of Ranks" (technical and economic assessment of the coolers and technical and economic ratings)
Vitaly Krinitsin (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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