As processor technology evolves, the aftermarket responds with more advanced products to keep pace with advances in CPU design. Air-cooling is by far the most user friendly and cost effective solution and the PC enthusiast has a wide range of products to choose from in this arena. Over the past few years, we've seen quite a change in the way manufacturers use existing materials and technology in innovative ways to engineer better cooling solutions. The use of heatpipes, for instance, was a pretty radical departure from traditional cooling but is quite commonplace today. Spire is a company that has been in this game for 15 years or so, and we're going to take a look at one of their newer offerings in this review. The Fourier IV cooler makes use of copper fins as well as four copper heatpipes (hence the name) to move heat away from the processor. It has a unique look owing to the non-standard fan placement and Spire suggests that it can be used without the fan to cool the CPU passively. Let's put it through its paces and see how it does.
SPIRE CORPORATE PROFILE
Founded in 1991, Spire is a leading premier brand for computer thermal solutions, power supplies and pc cases. In order to meet the needs and demands of the global market, we have established our production facilities in China and corporate office located in the USA. Our overseas branches are located in The Netherlands, The U.K, Germany, France, Taiwan, Japan and Brazil. All locations are located strategically to better work with the customers we serve. Spire Products are dedicated to bringing you the latest technology in computer cooling as it becomes available and to offer a variety of solutions to combat the growing concern of overheating. With todays high-speed processors functioning at an unprecedented speed and output, the demand for better and more reliable cooling solutions has become one of the most important issues in the computer industry today. As a premier manufacturer of high quality cooling solutions, we are able to meet the demands of the computer industry by providing competitively priced products, next day delivery and lifetime warranty.
SMALL HEATPIPE TECHNOLOGY TUTORIAL
I am going to keep this as simple as possible to get the basic premise across to all of the Tweaknews readers. Please don't be insulted if this is too simple for your education level. I have to cater my writing to the least technical reader looking for information.
The basic idea behind heatpipe technology is really simple.
1.) With a tube containing a compressed fluid/gas, the fluid comes in contact with the heat source (the CPU core, in this case) which heats up the volatile fluid and turns it into a gas. The energy is absorbed in the gas production process and is ready for transportation.
2.) The heated gas now travels along the inner portion of the tube where it comes to the cooling portion of the heatsink in this example.
3.) The radiator, with or without a fan, will cool the liquid and transfer the energy (AKA heat) to the radiator to be dispersed to the surrounding air. With the heat removed, the vapor quickly condenses back to a fluid and runs along the inside surface of the pipe back down to the bottom where the process can be started all over again. For another example, you can consider a boiling pot of water with a glass lid as a very basic heatpipe. When the water boils, the water vapor comes in contact with the cooler glass pot lid which forces the vapor to condense back to water where it dribbles back down the inside of the lid back into the pot.