AMD Athlon XP Heatsink roundup Q4 2004

Cooling/CPU Cooling by jmke @ 2004-12-28

The Thermalright SI-97, Scythe Kamakiri and Spire VertiCool compared using a variety of fans and reference heatsinks. Does the new generation Athlon XP coolers deliver good value for money? Read on to find out.

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Spire Verticool

Spire VertiCool SPA49B0:
Sample supplier: Spire

Spire jumps on the heat pipe bandwagon with their VertiCool AXP cooler, 2 heat pipes loop through a copper base and dissipate heat through a series of aluminum fins

  • Can be installed on: Socket A/462

  • Heatsink specifications:
    - Length: 80mm
    - Width: 64mm
    - Height: 90mm
    - Material: Copper base / Aluminum fins
    - Weight: 333gr (with fan)

  • Included Fan: 80mm fan rated 2300rpm @ 25dBA, own dBA reading @ ~35cm: 41.8dBA
  • Supports Fan: 80mm

    Product pictures

    The VertiCool comes attractively packaged; the unit itself is build for functionality yet pleasing for the eye. The finishing is excellent overall, even the wires of the fan come sleeved!

    Madshrimps (c)Madshrimps (c)Madshrimps (c)

    The copper base is very smooth; no ridges could be detected by passing over it with my fingernail. A series of fins is soldered onto the base to increase heat dissipation

    Madshrimps (c)Madshrimps (c)


    Installation is very easy, no motherboard removal is required and the unit can be firmly attached by simply pushing the clip over the 3-lips of the socket at each side, completely tool-less. However on the Asus A7N8X-E I ran into a compatibility problem with the capacitors close to the socket, with fan installed using the 4 mounting screws, it prevented the heatsink from sitting flat on the CPU core.

    Madshrimps (c)Madshrimps (c)

    This translated in too high temperatures and eventually an unstable system. By removing the bottom 2 screws which hold the fan it its place it allowed for enough “play” to allow the heatsink to sit flat and the temperature obtained were on par with what was expected.

    Madshrimps (c)

    Performance versus Zalman CNPS7000Cu

    Spire’s VertiCool comes out head to head with Zalman’s offering as both are aimed at the same market segment. Let’s see how it does:

    Madshrimps (c)

    With the default fan the VertiCool is trailing the Zalman @ low speed with 11°C!, luckily switching to a higher output fan brings the performance on par with the Zalman @ High, however the noise generated is considerably higher.

    Pairing the VertiCool up with the extreme performance Vantec Tornado gives excellent performance, although you don’t want to be sitting next it.
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