Date: September 21st, 2007
Article by: Karl Van der Walt (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Antazone
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PRODUCT COMPOSITION & WALKTHROUGH (cont'd)
On the top of the cooler is the Antazone label, neat and clean. It's nice to see an unobtrusive layout here, especially for those of you using windowed cases.
The base finish is very near mirror finish, always a good sign that gives a quality feel to a product and insures good thermal conductivity. You can also see that the base is made of two copper blocks soldered together as well as the heat pipe arrangement.
PRODUCT INSTALLATION AND TESTING
I tested the cooler against Intel's stock cooler that came with my Pentium D 805. This is one seriously hot running CPU and as a result is ideal for cooler testing. Testing specifications as follows:
CPU - Intel Pentium D 805 socket 775 (stock)
Motherboard - ASUS P5N-E SLI
RAM - 1gb PQI DDR2 533
GFX - 256mb ASUS EN8600GT
HDD1 - 200gb SATA Seagate Barracuda
HDD2 - 60gb Maxtor IDE
Optical - Aopen +/- DVD/RW
PSU - Nexus NX 8060 600W modular silent PSU
Case - Generic no name windowed case with all fans removed
Not only was the installation NOT easy, it was also very troubling. The cooler requires you to remove the motherboard AND the mounting brackets actually required me to bend some of my power CAPs to allow them to tighten down. Naturally I am not going to risk damage to my system for the sake of a poorly thought out mounting solution. So, I pulled out my saw and cut about 4mm off the edges of the two offending areas to enable me to continue this review. This does not in any way affect the integrity of the mounting solution, as there is a fair amount of useless metal beyond the screw holes. Definitely a very poor start for the AS-C1000.
Installing this cooler is almost a two-person job, you need one person to hold the motherboard and keep the mounting screws from falling out and the other to line up the screws and fit the cooler. I did manage to do it on my own, however, not without a few choice cuss words. I am seriously disappointed with the mounting system on this cooler. It is listed as supporting AMD socket A but I would be seriously leery about fitting this on my dear old Athlon XP 2800+ mobile (yes I'm sentimental). It would almost certainly crack the core with this mounting design.
On to the testing
For the testing phase I tested the AS-C1000 using its provided thermal compound against Intel's stocker using Intel's standard gray goop. Both coolers were subjected to an hour of looped 3Dmark 2006 CPU testing at the CPU's stock speed (2.66ghz) and voltage. Idle temps recorded after an hour of inactivity. Both coolers were tested in the same case at their maximum fan settings with Q Fan control turned off. I have not included overclock results for reasons you will see below.
At first I was quite impressed, a 6c drop in idle temps is nothing to sneeze at but once load testing got under way my initial impression was shattered. 63c is far too hot for me to consider overclocking with this cooler. I ran the tests several times after uninstalling and reinstalling the cooler thinking it may not have been sitting right but the results came back the same. I even allowed the thermal compound to cure for 100 hours (as per AS5) allowing the cooler to cool to room temperature several times during the process. The results above are slightly lower than the initial results I recorded however. This is clearly not as a result of poor thermal conduction.
How can the idle temps be lower than the stock cooler and load temps higher? Simple, the heat pipes simply can't cope with the higher thermal output at load. While at lower temperatures the three heat pipes are sufficient to transfer the heat to the fins, under load they just can't dissipate the heat through the fins fast enough; hence the drastic increase. The AS-C1000 strikes me as a cooler aimed at the old P4 Northwood core CPUs and their AMD equivalents; it's clearly not up to par with the Pentium D range of CPUs. Results may have been better on the lower watt Core 2s but the mounting system is still an issue, all the motherboards I have looked at have the power caps in the same, or close enough to the same place to be a problem.
As for how quiet the cooler is, well, its not. It's louder than my Zalman GFX card cooler at full fan speed and although a lot quieter than the stock cooler on max fan settings it's far from quiet enough to satisfy silent PC enthusiasts. There is a definite roar from the air passing through the fins.