Asus Crux P4 XB7N Heatsink Review
Computex 2004 this June, FrostyTech.com met with representatives of Asus in Taipei, Taiwan to discuss some new products the company
was introducing. The discussions that followed did not revolve around videocards, motherboards, notebooks or cases,
but rather a new series of Asus heatsinks.
Up until this point, Asus had not sold heatsinks
under its brand name, and was known primarily as a videocard and motherboard
manufacturer. Yet making a good heatsink is a complex process, and with its many
resources, Asus is well positioned to entire the market strong against other
Tier One manufacturers like Gigabyte. That's assuming it can live up to the
expectations of its own brand name, and produce some quality coolers.
This is the question on our minds as we test out
the new Asus Crux P4
XB7N heatsink. The Crux P4 is the first Asus heatsink to be tested by
FrostyTech, and thanks to its thermally controlled fan, is also one of the quietest ones for its class. Our digital sound meter measured its lower-end noise output at a meager 38.5 dBA, excellent compared to most Pentium 4 coolers. When temperatures rise, expect sound levels to follow suit through to 52.9 dBA.
The speed of the Delta AFB0712VHB fan is controlled by a small thermistor which
sticks out from the side of the motor housing, facing downward. This places the
temperature sensor effectively in the path of the intake
air, so users of the Asus Crux P4 XB7N will really only hear
the heatsink speed up when case temperatures rise.
There are both benefits and failings to
this method of fan speed control, but since this cooler is geared towards
lower noise output it shouldn't cause problems in that regard.
For the purposes of FrostyTech's Synthetic
Temperature tests, we shorted out the thermistor contacts to force the
fan to spin at its full 5400RPM. A second set of tests were run without
modification to the thermistor, enabling us to acquire a set of
low fan speed temperature and noise test results.
Another variation of the Asus Crux P4 is the Delta
fan used here. It has a flared intake which widens at the mouth
to 80mm. The fan is just 16mm thick, and since the frame is flared
only on one side, it is still technically considered a 70mm fan. Additionally, small rubber
caps have been fitted into the screw holes of the fan frame... perhaps
to provide smoother air flow.
Once little tip, when installing the Crux P4 it is
easiest to thread the mounting clips onto the heatsink before attempting to install the
cooler. The extra size of the fan frame interferers with the clips, so
installation is a bit tricky.