The Spire VertiCool II SP601B3 heatsink is reminiscent of the Arctic Cooling Freezer 64 Pro, both are compact AMD Athlon64 coolers with heatpipes and a low noise signature. Spire's VertiCool II is not quite as finely crafted as the Arctic Cooling model, but it covers all the important bases.
Spire are a European company which leverage Asian manufacturing to deliver affordable heatsinks for mainstream cooling demands. The VertiCool II retails for in the neighbourhood of $34USD ($38CDN) and accomodates the full spectrum of AMD Athlon 64 and Intel Pentium dual and single-core processors. The heatsink ships with mounting hardware for both processor platforms, but the AMD hardware is a little convoluted to install. Twin copper heatpipes are the heart of this heatsink, and as you'll see in a moment it is capable of some surprisingly good thermal levels care of a fairly quiet 2300RPM vane axial fan.
and flashy chrome plated parts are absent on the Spire
VertiCool II SP601B3 save for a UV reactive "Spider-Fan" frame. The 80mm fan is
not self-illuminated by LED's or any other means, but according to the manufacturer
it will glow blue under UV case lighting should you have such accoutrements in your
A small tube
of Stars-420 white silicon thermal compound is included, along with screw-based AMD K8
and Intel LGA775 mounting brackets and rar PCB supports. There are no fan speed
A small tube of Stars-420 white silicon thermal compound is included, along with screw-based AMD K8 and Intel LGA775 mounting brackets and rar PCB supports. There are no fan speed control options.
The Spire VertiCool II heatsink arrived out of the box with its Intel LGA775 mounting hardware, so before we began testing the switch was made to the socket 939 socket hardware.
To do this, the Intel hardware was unscrewed from the copper block and the K8 clips slid in place and firmly screwed in. A steel cap on top of the copper is what actually keeps the clips in place when the heatsink is installed on the CPU, and the system seems pretty solid.
The catch is that the frame of the 80mm fan completely blocks one of the AMD K8 mounting screws. To get around this you'll first need to remove the fan, then install the Spire Verticool II onto the CPU, and then put the fan back on.
Depending on the orientation of the AMD processor socket on your motherboard this may become problematic...
FrostyTech's K8 Test Methodology is outlined in detail here if you care to know what equipment is used, and the parameters under which the tests are conducted. Now let's move forward and take a closer look at the Spire Verticool II SP601B3 heatsink, its acoustic characteristics, and of course it performance in the thermal tests!
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