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Speeze BigRock Aluminum CPU Cooler
Author: Mike Kitchenman
Date Posted: December 5th, 2001
URL: http://www.slcentral.com/reviews/hardware/cooling/speeze/bigrock

Introduction

It seems like we're finding about 5 new heat sinks a month now, and its really kinda crazy. What can set all of these coolers apart? Well, Recently Speeze put out a new cooler set and is hoping to make a name for them. This is a really difficult thing to do today as we see cooler after cooler after cooler hitting the marketplace with any and all kinds of tricks and tweaks trying to make them stand out from the one next to it.

Speeze put out a cooler that, while not what people are used to seeing, really doesn't break any barriers down for innovation. The 'Big Rock' cooler, appropriately named, I might add, is simple an aluminum cooler with a fan strapped onto the top. Here's the catch though the cooler is a monster. It dwarfs pretty much every other cooler I've seen on my desk. Of course, this also means that they can use a larger fan on the top, as opposed to the common 60mm fans everyone else uses, which in theory means that a 70mm can move more air quieter than a 60mm does, with less noise too.

That is a pretty slick idea on their part, but now my thoughts are a little more skeptical, as I've seen a lot of coolers claim a lot of things. The final comment is, doe all these neat little features and ideas work for the HS, or is it just another random aluminum cooler that happens to dwarf all the others on the market.

Design/Construction

When you first get the Heat Sink, you'll find it packaged in a box like any other sink you buy. Inside the box is the Heat Sink, which has a pink thermal pad, applied to the bottom, with a protective cover on it to keep it from getting messed up too much. As everyone knows, thermal pads suck, and apparently the folks at Speeze knew that a lot of people don't like them, so they also included a small tube of silver thermal grease with the heat sink. Quite slick on their part, I might add.

The Heat sink itself is a very large cooler, with a row of 22 fins running across the heat sink. It comes pre-installed with a 70x70x15mm fan that moves 26 cfm at about 32 dBA, which thoroughly disappointed me there. The point of using a fan with a larger diameter is because they have more blade area and move more air efficiently. This 70mm fan should have been at least better than an average 60mm fan. I have a couple 60mm fans that move as much, if not more, air as this fan does at the same noise levels. However, its not that loud a fan and the 26cfm is actually better than what most coolers come equipped with (Delta equipped sinks not counting.)

Design: 1/2

Installation

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 Big Rock 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.

Installation: 1.5/3

Cooling Performance

Anyways; onto the important part of the test, the cooling tests. Once again here's the testbed:

  • Blizzard 280 case (Read our review) / Manuf's Site
  • Asus A7V
  • AMD Athlon Tbird 800 @ 1GHz (Blue Core 1.85V)
  • Arctic Silver 2
  • 256MB Crucial PC133 cas222 RAM
  • (Yes, there are other parts in it, but they're not important. If you have questions regarding them, e-mail tkitch@slcentral.com.)

The Candidates

These candidates were chosen carefully. The 6035D is my standard to test other heat sinks against, as it is a very good cooler and very well known by most people. The 62540D is the best aluminum cooler I have tested to date, and its only fair to bench an aluminum cooler against an aluminum cooler.

The Test

Idle temps are taken after I Start the computer with normal applications running in the background (no distributed clients are included, they use too many CPU cycles to make it count as idle), after about half an hour idle temps are recorded.

Load temps are taken after 2 instances of Prime 95 in torture test have run for half an hour. Prime 95 is a pure number crunching program that fully loads up your CPUs cycles.

The Results

There's the numbers, and needless to say I was pretty impressed here. The Speeze cooler went effectively nose-to-nose with both Vantec coolers, and came out in the thick of things. Considering it was fighting 2 coolers equipped with Delta fans, well, I'd say it works pretty well. Thumbs up for performance

Cooling Score: 4.5/5

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Easy clipping mechanism
  • Good cooler
  • Reasonably Quiet
  • Includes silver grease

Cons

  • Questionable clip durability
  • Fan hard to replace due to size
  • Conclusion

    Well, all in all the Big Rock is a well made cooler, The install wasn't terribly difficult and the overall performance was definitely up to spec against many other coolers. Would this be a recommended heat sink in my book? Probably would be, for most people.

    SLRating: 7/10

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