A while ago we took a look at the Speeze Big Rock HSF, which was one of the largest pieces of aluminum I'd ever seen strapped to a computer processor. Well, they've also put out another sink; only this one is along a very different line of thought than the big rock. This one is an extremely compact copper cooler. Apparently they're expecting the better metal to make this a better contender at a reduced size.
Does it work out like that? Or is this just another pipe dream? Lets see...
The Speeze cooler is one of the first coolers I've seen in a while that doesn't take some route that tries to make it stand out from the crowd. It's a square copper base, with thin copper fins folded and soldered onto the base. A copper plate is formed over the top of the fins, to both protect the fins and allow a strong mount point for the fan. It is somewhat reminiscent of the way the Vantec 6027 is designed, but it lacks the more refined look of the Vantec.
For people looking for a cooler that isn't rackmount (due to their obnoxious costs) but wants a relatively small copper cooler, this is a good choice for a non-obtrusive design.
The clip on this cooler is identical to the one on the aluminum Big rock, so I've got the same opinion on it as before. (What an idea!)
The installation of a HS is probably one of the most important parts to consider when either dealing with an AMD processor or if you're a weirdo like me and put it on and take it off all the time.
The clip on the cooler requires a flat-headed screwdriver to put on or remove, which is pretty common today. The actual install went pretty easily compared to some I've used, but at the same time, it wasn't the best. However this clip was a little on the unusual side for how it was made, it has a couple layers of metal folded over itself, and while it worked fine, I would question durability if a person installed and removed it frequently.
Now we get down to business here. Here's what I'm testing the cooler on:
Boot the computer with some normal background apps running (Instant messenger, thingies like that remaining idle) in order to get a normal operating temperature reading. Temperatures are measured from 4 places:
1) Motherboard CPU Probe, read thru Motherboard Monitor, the probe on the back of the CPU provides one reading.
2) Compunurse, a thermal probe glued to the side of the core provides a second (and more accurate) thermal reading.
3) Motherboard temp, taken from another thermistor on the board, this is for comparisons sake.
4) Room temp, using a radio shack indoor/outdoor thermometer, the ambient room temp is given.
Run 2 instances of prime 95 torture test to keep the CPU load at 100% until temps stabilize, then record results form the same 4 spots as the idle test.
Well, there's the hard numbers. I was pretty impressed to see that the copper cooler actually didn't win against the aluminum. Then I realized, there was a size advantage. The copper cooler was incredibly dwarfed by the sheer size of the aluminum. So, That would likely explain it for me.
Pros & Cons
Well, I obviously wasn't overly thrilled with this cooler. It's not a bad idea to start with; I personally don't really like the sheer size of some of the other coolers I've seen. Then there was the fan, it was quiet, while not silent, it didn't pound away at my poor eardrums like some other coolers have in the past. But, the clipping mechanism, and the rougher look of the cooler when compared to others I've used, detracted from a potentially nice design. The last straw was the mediocre performance. This cooler didn't really hold up that well in combat, especially considering an aluminum cooler beat it well.
This cooler is a not quite ready for prime time candidate. A solid design idea, with final product drawbacks. Maybe their next line will do a bit better around.