Sunbeamtech Core-Contact Freezer CPU Cooler Review

Cooling/CPU Cooling by jmke @ 2008-09-19

A new high end heatsink comes to the market, this direct touch heatpipe from Sunbeamtech is equipped with a 120mm fan and aims to deliver excellent price/performance balance. Let´s put it through our load test.

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Installation & Test Setup


Sunbeamtech approached the multi platform compatibility by providing a plastic bracket for Intel S775 , while the pre-installed metal clip is used for AM2 and S939.

This means that for S775 the HSF is only mounted at 2 points, taking the weight of the Core-Contact Freezer into account, this might not be the ideal solution.

The metal clip is screwed into the base at either side:

Madshrimps (c)

There seems to be another mounting kit for a very similar cooler on the market which allows it to be mounted using the 4 S775 mounting holes.

Unfortunately we don’t have this kit at our lab just yet, so we’re using the plastic clip provided by Sunbeamtech, 4 plastic pins need to be pushed down at each corner to secure it in place; afterwards you install the heatsink as if you have an AM2/S939 system.

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The included 120mm fan comes with 4 soft cushion pads to help reduce vibration noise:

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While they stay put when first installed, repeated fan installation made them come off quite easily; we suggest better glue or a rubber strip that attaches to the heatsink.

On our Asrock motherboard the Core-Contact Freezer barely fitted as the mounting clip was partially obstructed by the nothbridge heatsink, when we bend the fins of this heatsink sideways the HSF fitted nicely, other motherboard cooling solutions might not be customizable…

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Installed inside the Antec Sonata 2 case the Core-Contact Freezer lines up nicely with the rear exhaust fan.

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Test Setup and Competition

We build a S775 system with parts from, the CPU is one hot running Pentium 4 524, 3.06Ghz. It is mounted on a Swiss-army knife equivalent of motherboards: an Asrock 775Dual-VSTA.

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The mounting system on S775 is quite straight forward and well thought out, 4 holes around the socket serve as mounting points for the push pins on the standard Intel cooler. Installation is a snap, and removal is very easy too.

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With the stock cooling and at stock voltage the 3Ghz P4 was running stable at 3.68Ghz, quite a nice improvement from default speeds.

A Watt Meter recorded peak power consumption under heavy CPU load at 138W, which is less than our previous Athlon 64 setup which consumed up to 165W. The Asrock bios lacks CPU voltage manipulation, so at default voltage is seems this Prescott setup is more power friendly then the over-volted AMD system.

We’re using a compact Antec Sonata II mid tower case, swapped out the PSU for a passive model from FSP rated at 400W, the outside of the PSU case never went past 40°C during our stress tests,

Intel S775 Setup
CPU Pentium 4 524 @ 3628Mhz - 1.36v vcore
Mainboard Asrock 775Dual-VSTA
Memory 1 * 512Mb Mushkin PC3200 LVLII V2
  • Antec Sonata II with AcoustiFan DustPROOF 120mm @ 5v in the rear as outtake (mounted with soft-mounts)
  • ATI R9000 Passive Cooling
  • FSP ZEN 400W Passive Cooled PSU
  • Seagate 7200.8 200Gb HDD in Scythe Quiet Drive

  • in-take temperature was measured at 22°C for all tests, but temp fluctuations, different mounting and user error can account up to 1-3°C of inaccuracy in the obtained results. Please keep this in mind when looking at the results. Each heatsink was tested repeatedly; if we got questionable results the test was restarted.

    Madshrimps (c)
    example: dBA meter is placed right at the edge of the case - with side panel removed

  • Noise level of each HSF combo was recorded with SmartSensor SL4001A, the sensor was placed ~5cm away from the side of the case with panel removed. The lowest dBA reading in the test room was 36dBA! with system running without HSF fan.

  • System was stressed by running K7 CPU Burn for 30min (after Thermal Compound's burn-in); this application pushes the temperature higher than any other application or game we've yet encountered. Speedfan was used to log maximum obtained temperatures.
  • Arctic Silver kindly send us their “Lumière” thermal testing compound which has the same colour as Ceramique, but only a break in time of 30min!
  • Arctic Silver's ArctiClean was used to clean off thermal paste of the CPU and heatsink between tests

    Fans used for comparison

    Delta FFB1212VHE 120x38mm Very High Speed provided by Sidewinder Computers
    Madshrimps (c)
    151CFM – 3200RPM – 12V fan

    To eliminate as much variables in the tests we test each heatsink with a "reference" fan if it can be mounted.

  • GlobalWin NCB 120x120x25mm fan with 41.7CFM rating.
  • Delta NFB0912L 92x92x25mm fan with 42CFM rating.
  • Delta FFB1212VHE 120x120x38mm with 151CFM rating.

    The Competition

    These are the heatsinks we have tested so far on this platform and will compare the NH-U12P to:

  • Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro
  • Auras CTC-868
  • Auras GTO-990
  • Auras LPT-709
  • Auras TwinW SMF660
  • Coolermaster Vortex 752
  • Coolermaster Sphere
  • Coolermaster Hyper 212
  • Coolermaster Hyper Z600
  • Coolink Silentator
  • Coolermaster Eclipse
  • Coolermaster Hyper TX
  • Coolermaster GeminII
  • Coolermaster Mars
  • Evercool Buffalo
  • Noctua NH-U12
  • Noctua NH-U12P
  • OCZ Vendetta
  • Rosewill RCX-Z5-Ultra
  • Rosewill RCX-Z775-EX
  • Scythe ANDY Samurai Master
  • Scythe Kama Cross
  • Scythe Katana 2
  • Scythe Ninja
  • Scythe Ninja CU
  • Scythe Zipang 140mm CPU Cooler Review
  • Thermalright IFX-14
  • Thermalright SI-128
  • Thermalright Ultra-120 A
  • Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme
  • Titan Amanda TEC
  • TTIC NPH-1000
  • Tuniq Tower 120
  • Ultra ChillTec Thermo Electric CPU Cooler
  • Xigmatek HDT-S1283
  • Xigmatek HDT-S1283 “Red Scorpion”
  • ZEROTherm BTF90
  • Zalman CNPS9700LED
  • Zalman CNPS8700

    and four Intel stock heatsinks:

  • Intel Reference Alu (included with older Pentium 4 S775 and Intel E2xxx)
  • Intel Reference Alu/Cu (included with Core 2 Duo models)
  • Intel Reference Alu/Cu Big (included with Core 2 Quad models)
  • Intel Reference Extreme (included with Core 2 Quad Extreme Models)

    Onto the results ->
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