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CPU Coolers

The other day I decided to change the CPU coolers in two of our Hi-Memory (1.5 Gb) PIII 800 MHz XP box and an Athlon 1.0 GHz machine - not just for kicks but because the CPU alarm has been sounding on the Athlon and the other box is on a lot. I could have bought a standard cooler but decided to look around and here's what I found:

Athlon - Coolermaster HHC-L61 Copper Heatpipe Heatsink


This is a big cooler that looks more like a radiator than a CPU cooler. It's easy to fit and comes with everything you need for the job.

The heatsink and fan are assembled ready to use and all you need to do is remove the old one, wipe off the thermal grease on the CPU, pop fresh thermal grease (provided) and plug the fan in and switch on - total time - 10 mins!

The difference was amazing - from a normal running temp of about 75 degrees C it dropped to an amazing 35 degrees C ... suffice to say I'm happy with that and everything is a lot quieter and a lot less vibration from the case!

PIII - Zalman CNPS6000-Cu Flower Heatsink


This thing is massive ... not just the size of the flower itself but it comes with a separate fan that is fixed using screws that hold the PCI cards in place - and the fan is 90mm in diameter!

It takes a bit longer to get this cooler in place simply because it's hard to get the heatsink clips in place ... there is a tool provided to allow you to push the clip into place but nevertheless, it's still a bit of a struggle because you have to hold the heatsink in place with one hand while getting the clip in place with the other ... and at 460 g (about 1 pound) it's a weighty piece of kit! 

Once you get the flower in place (not forgetting the thermal grease) you have to attach the fan to the bracket and attached that to the PCI rail ... not hard but fiddly! The advantages outweigh the hassle though .. . a big fan that you can run slower if you want (via a control box - supplied) to reduce on noise and vibration but that you can kick on full if you want maximum cooling. Also, it has the added advantage of cooling the board and RAM off at the same time!

This setup took the standard running temp of the PIII down from about 45C to about 33C.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes
Last updated: May 4th 2004
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