Friday, November 13, 2009

A First Look At AMD And Intel Stock Coolers

This is rundown of the stock coolers for the Intel i5 and AMD Phenom II processors that I have along with third party coolers.

Click to enlarge any of the following images.

On the left is the stock cooler for the Intel i5-750. On the right is the stock cooler for the AMD Phenom II X3 720. The Intel cooler weighs 250 grams while the AMD cooler weighs 280 grams.

The Intel cooler has a larger fan.

Both heatsinks are solid aluminum. You can see that that the AMD heatsink is taller.

On the left the AMD heatsink has the thermal paste removed down to bare metal. AMD has a solid aluminum heatsink while the Intel heatsink obviously has a copper core. Both processors are rated at 95 watts. The Intel processor probably draws a little more but the copper core and larger fan would take care of that.

The X3 720 cooler is on the left while on the right is the cooler for the AMD Phenom II X4 965. You can see that both fans are the same size. However, the X4 965 fan has deeper blades which probably help move air against higher back pressure caused by the closer spaceing on the cooling fins. The X4 965 cooler weighs 355 grams.

Here you can see that while the X3 720 heatsink is solid, the X4 965 heatsink uses two heatpipes on each side. This is necessary to cope with the greater 125 watt rating.

Update: I was not entirely happy with the stock HSF for PII 965. It is adequate at the stock speed of 3.4 Ghz and probably 3.6 Ghz. However, it does tend to blow hot air on both the motherboard chipset and the memory. And, with my particular case arrangement I have a large, 200mm fan right above the cooler that draws upward. However, because the fins run left and right this is no benefit.

Here you can see that the base of the X4 965 heatsink is all copper. On the right is a third party cooler. This is the Arctic Cooling Freezer 64 Pro. It weighs 530 grams. It has a copper base and three heatpipes on each side. The heatsink is obviously much larger. It also has the standard latching mechanism used on socket AM2/AM2+/AM3.

Update: The Freezer 64 seems much better. I was very concerned that the fan would not clear the DIMMs on the right side of the cpu socket. You can see this in the above picture. The problem with this is that it would have required me to turn the cooler around and then the fan would be blowing backwards. However, it does indeed clear the DIMMs.

Most people wouldn't have the very large fan right above the cooler; but you can see that even with the boxing effect of the video card, the air is directed properly toward the rear case fan. This is much better than the stock fan since it draws cooling air across the DIMMs and then blows cooling air across the chipset heatsinks behind the CPU socket. The air coming from this heatsink is much cooler than it was from the stock heatsink, presumably because of the increased airflow from the larger fan. There may also be some benefit from the vertical draw from the large fan since the fins are aligned vertically.

Here are the X3 720, X4 965, and third party Freezer 64 side by side. The Freezer 64 has a much larger 92mm fan.

On the right is the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro which can be used on both Intel and AMD sockets. It has the same size heatsink and same size fan as the Freezer 64.

A good thing to have handy for overclocking is a better case fan such as this Scythe unit.

Also good to have handy when swapping coolers is thermal compound cleaner and extra thermal compound such as these from Arctic Silver.

I'm current running my PII X4 965 at 3.8 Ghz with the NB at 2.6 Ghz. This seems pretty stable. I've been able to pass OCCT Linpack at about 60 C at 3.9 Ghz. I'm a bit disappointed that I couldn't get the NB up to 2.8 Ghz. I'm not sure how much of this is due to the BIOS. The version I'm using is the very first version that works with this processor.

My opinion so far is that if you have an X3 720 there is very little reason to replace the stock cooler, however I like the Freezer 64 much better than the stock cooler on the PII 965. The Freezer 64 matches the normal weight allowance of 500 grams and since it uses the same cam latch, it installs just like the stock unit. The extra airflow means that the exhaust air is much cooler and this is something I greatly prefer for the motherboard.

1 comment:

muziqaz said...

You should have asked us at the zone about the cpu fan and ram clearance. I was running setup like yours, so could have told you that it is ok. ;)

anyway, we need some test results, please :)