Gigabyte 3DCooler-Pro PCU21-VG P4/K7/K8 Heatsink Review
It's one thing for a motherboard manufacturer to enter networking
or optical drive markets, but it has been rare for one to release cooling products...
Take for example that up until now, the only motherboard company we are aware of
to make such a transition has been Aopen. Now Gigabyte, and even Asus have created, or are
creating cooling divisions, albeit
if in limited quantities compared to the Zalman's and Thermaltake's of the
The Gigabyte 3DCooler-Pro is an an all-in-one aluminum and
copper heatsink designed to support all processors currently available. In
other words it is a K7/K8/P4 heatsink - supporting the AMD AthlonXP, Athlon64 and
Intel Pentium 4 processors. Versatility means some sacrifices are made
to accommodate the different thermal requirements, and surface area of each CPU core, but
in general Gigabyte pull it together quite well. The draw for consumers is that
one heatsink can be used on any platform, and that means the 3DCooler-pro potentially pays
for itself in the future by not needing to be upgraded along with
other processor specific components.
The 3Dcooler-Pro as it's name
suggests, exhausts warm air in a 360 degree fashion from the central fan. The
blue two-tier squirrel cage fan is integrated into the body of the heatsink,
and intakes air from the blue LED illuminated opening at the top, and
another at the bottom. A series of 40-odd stacked aluminum fins connected
by two "U" shaped heatpipes to the forged copper base complete
the 430gram thermal design.
one of three included clips, the 3Dcooler-Pro attaches to an AMD AthlonXP, Athlon64,
or Intel Pentium4 with little fuss. It is important to consult the manual to ensure you have
the heatsink oriented properly when using the socket A clip especially. There
is a small tab that comes down, and if you have the heatsink
installed the wrong way, it could cause problems when you power up the
PC. The heatsink and power
hungry blue LEDs draw power from a standard molex pass through power
cable, and not the motherboard fan header. the molex power cable is long
enough that you can attach it to a drive or powersupply without worry
Additionally, the Gigabyte 3Dcooler-Pro heatsink comes with a
fan speed adaptor which mounts to a 3.5"
aluminum floppy drive bay cover or PCI bracket for quick access. The potentiometer allows
the user to adjust the 3Dcooler fan speed from a quiet 1000RPM to
a loud 4500RPM with ease, and plugs into the side of the heatsink with a
short 18" cable.
thermal testing FrostyTech has conducted
on the Pentium 4 and AthlonXP Synthetic temperature
test platforms, the 3Dcooler-Pro offers consumers pretty respectable lower-noise cooling, and
very impressive high end cooling for the P4 in particular
- that is if you don't mind the vacuum cleaner like noise levels of
upwards of 64 dBA (according to our real world sound measurements).