Date: August 7th, 2004
Article by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner, Head Editor & Hardware Reviewer)
Product was donated by: CoolerMaster
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PRODUCT COMPOSITION (cont'd)
In addition, you will receive a universal retention module capable of housing either a A64 or any 478pin P4. Behind the retention module you will see that you have two options when installing the fan speed control. You have a choice of installing it in one of your external 3.5" front bays or the standard rear I/O card slots. Be the smart cat and install it in the front for easy adjustment.
In this photo you see the included 80mm adjustable fan and the installation manual. OK, let me get this straight, this is supposed to be a premium product with an equivalent pricetag right? Well, why in god's name are they including a cheap crappy SLEEVE bearing fan? Sleeve bearing fans are down right JUNK. Not only are they noisier in most cases, they have this tendency of living for about 3 months and then seizing up for no apparent reason. And guess what folks, it was a matter of five days before the fan started acting up. On the fifth day, a high pitch whine/drone started to emit from the fan. The closest thing I can reference the sound to is a quieter version of the wet finger going around the crystal wine glass. Grrrrrrrr......
*Editor's Addition: CoolerMaster wanted me to let the reader know that the sameple received was a first product run and the fan has been improved in the retail version. I also stressed to them that I had no idea this was an engineering sample and would like to have a retial version next time so I can review what my readership will be buying.
CoolerMaster & Tweaknews also talked about this fan and what would be a good alternative. I stressed to them that a ball bearing fan would be perfectly fine, would last longer, and would not have the whining noise while running. Hopefully they will use a ball bearing fan in the next product cycle.*
Next, we bring up the installation manual. I just can't hold myself back on this miserable piece of worthless paper they have included in this package. Ok, we all know this is not going to be a standard and straight forward install right? Any chance of an easy install went right through the door here.
Let me get this straight for you, on ONE sheet (yes, just one) of paper they have crammed in nine language's worth of installation instruction and photos for BOTH the A64 and the P4 install. The images are tiny and completely useless, the text will force you to practically press your nose on the paper to read, and the instructions themselves would force even Albert Einstein to go postal and head for the nearest bell tower for a little "target" practice.
Yes, I am 100% certified pissed off.
*Editor's Addition: Coolermaster was nice enough to call Tweaknews directly to let us know that this will be fixed for the next product model cycle. It's good to see they take constructive criticism seriously.*
Moving along, the noisy fan does have an adjustable speed control where you can adjust the fan speed through a personally recorded range of 1900-3000rpms. Although I was not able to find the actual air flow numbers, the low setting is between 25-30cfm whereas the high setting is around the 40cfm range.
And finally, you come face to face with this absolutely huge cooler. I won't dive to much into the features seeing that will be covered in the next section.