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Gigabyte 3DCooler-Ultra PCU31-VH Heatsink Review
Gigabyte 3DCooler-Ultra PCU31-VH Heatsink Review
Abstract: Weighing in at 780 grams, the Gigabyte PCU31-VH 3DCooler-Ultra certainly lives up to its name, performing in the top percentile...

 Manufacturer  Category  Published  Author 
Gigabyte   Cooling / Heatsinks   Mar 26, 2004   Max Page  

Home > Reviews > Page: Closer Examination of the Heatsink

Gigabyte 3DCooler-Ultra Heatsink From All Angles
The Fan:
The blue squirrel cage fan is constructed of two 25mm tall sections placed together end to end. The top fan draws air in from the side which is visible in the picture to the left, and the opposite end draws air in under the copper fins. The fan works by exhausting that air out through the central cylinder of copper fins, to keep them cool. The translucent plastic cover protects the circuitry which controls fan speed, and also diffuses the bright blue LEDs soldered to the blue PCB. The Gigabyte 3DCooler-Ultra connects with a standard molex pass through cable, and an additional 3-pin motherboard fan header supplies an RPM signal to the operating system/BIOS.

Heatsink Top: The fan is firmly attached inside of the copper finned section, but we managed to remove it so you can get a better sense of how this heatsink is put together. Under the translucent plastic cap is the PCB and circuitry which controls fan speed, and the blue LEDs. A fan speed controller attaches to the PCB here, and connects to a PCI bracket or aluminum FDD bay bracket which can be placed at the front or rear of the case depending on your preference. Note how the heat pipes run down through the copper fins, and to the copper base.

Side A:
The entire 3Dcooler-Ultra heatsink stands about 92mm tall, making it one pretty big, and heavy heatsink. The forged copper base is about 6mm thick on average, and connected to the rest of the heatsink by four sections of 6mm diameter copper heatpipes. The cylindrical copper fin section measures 51mm tall by 83mm wide. Note the translucent plastic cap which protects the circuitry and diffuses the blue LED light when the heatsink is powered up.

Side B:
The 42 copper fins each measure 0.4mm thick, and are spaced approximately 0.8mm apart. The copper base is capped with a small section of stainless steel, and it is over this that the K7 and K8 clip mechanisms rest to hold the Gigabyte 3DCooler-Ultra in place. The socket 478 clips rest on the small copper tabs visible in the picture to the left. Installing the heatsink isn't all that complicated since it is a tool free unit, but it is vital to make sure the heatsink is oriented properly for each particular socket and processor.

Heatsink Base:

The copper of the 3DCooler-Ultra has been nicely machined from the granular casting, and measures 40x40mm. Being forged, the copper is a little more stiff than with a traditional punched sheet metal base, and takes the machining nicely. The surface finish is very smooth, and surface flatness is excellent according to our straight edge. The 3DCooler-Ultra even comes with a small syringe of ShinEtsu X-3-7762) thermal compound to make installation a breeze.

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Table of Contents:

 1:  Gigabyte 3DCooler-Ultra PCU31-VH Heatsink Review
 2: — Closer Examination of the Heatsink
 3:  Heatsink Thermal/Acoustic Test Parameters
 4:  Surface Roughness Comparison
 5:  Temperature Test Results
 6:  Final AthlonXP and Pentium4 Test Results

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