Asus X-Mars Athlon 64 Heatsink Review

Cooling/CPU Cooling by jmke @ 2006-01-05

Asus send us their latest retail Athlon 64 cooler, it?s aimed at the budget minded people and comes with an autosensing fan and promises plug and play installation. Let?s take it for a test-drive.

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Intro & Specs

Asus X-Mars:
Supplied by: Asus

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Asus, best known for their high quality motherboards and video cards, have been adding CPU coolers to their product line-up. Today we take a closer look at the X-Mars. A compact cooler, made out of copper and aluminum and features 2 heat pipes.

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The photo above is from the backside of the packaging, it’s clearly visible that they compare the X-Mars with a stock Athlon 64 heatsink when they talk about an 27% increase in surface area.

The unit can be found priced as low as ~€30.

Specifications :

  • AMD: Athlon64/64+ Socket754/940/939

    Fan included: 70x70x15mm
    Fan Speed: 2000-5400rpm

    Heatsink + Fan Dimensions: 112x97x62mm
    Weight: 385gram

    In the Box :

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  • A descriptive installation and de-installation manual
  • A small bag of thermal goop

    The Thermal compound is included in case you want to install the unit on different systems, or if you upgrade your CPU. The X-Mars comes with pre-applied thermal compound on its base.

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    Construction :

    The X-Mars follows a compact, light-weight design; they chose for a copper/aluminum construction and a small 70mm fan which opens up to the top, to allow more air to be sucked in. The heat sink is giving a bit more “oomph” through the addition of 2 heat pipes.

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    You are probably wonder where the aluminum fins are, well, they come plated, so a bit harder to spot as these are electro-plated fins.

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    The base shows clear traces of machine lapping, performance might suffer slightly from the lack of a “mirror finish”.

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    The Smart Fan:

    A whole section about a fan? Well the X-Mars’ 70mm one deserves it, although it certainly has no unique features, we found the temperature regulated speed-o-meter to be very effectively implemented.

    In the photo below you see the make and model of the fan, but also a part of PCB sticking out. This is most likely a part of the “brain” of the Smart fan.

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    An even smaller PCB and temp sensor stick out at the other side:

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    In our performance tests we saw the fan speed increase/decrease keeping the CPU below critical temperatures, but we are running ahead of ourselves, let’s check out how to get the X-Mars installed ->
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