The AthlonXP does not use a heatspreader, and so a significantly smaller surface area is in direct contact with the base of any heatsink. In this example, the 3Dcooler-Ultra really seems to be limited by the surface area it is in contact with. There is virutally no benefit between the copper-based Gigabyte 3Dcooler-Ultra heatsink, and aluminum 3Dcooler-pro model. While the results show the 3Dcooler-pro running a little cooler, the difference is so small, that the two heatsinks are basically performing identically.
The Gigabyte 3DCooler-Ultra really is best suited to the Pentium 4 or Athlon64 processor, but should you be running the K7, I think you'll find this heatsink makes for a respectable low noise heatsink - assuming of course the fan is running at the quietest minimum speed (2000RPM).
On the Intel Pentium 4 socket 478 synthetic temperature test platform the final rise above ambient temperature results really speak for themselves; with the fan speed turned up, the Gigabyte 3Dcooler-Ultra PCU31-VH simply excels! Obviously, the design of this heatsink is geared towards larger heatspreader-capped processors, and in the case of the Pentium 4, the 3Dcooler-Ultra is able to outperform the 3Dcooler-Pro, and still come within the top five heatsinks of this reference list.
There are very few heatsinks which can mange such impressive cooling results, and given that Gigabyte are a brand new heatsink manufacturer, that certainly says plenty. The price for the 3Dcooler-pro model is about $50USD right now, so I would expect the 3Dcooler-Ultra to run in the $60USD region.
Silent cooling is still more popular than ever, and in that respect the 3Dcooler-Ultra again manages to increase its thermal performance over that of the aluminum-finned 3Dcooler-pro. The PCU31-VH is not the best low noise heatsink, Zalman's CNPS7000A-Cu currently holds that distinction, but it isn't all that bad either. Obviously, adjusting the 3Dcooler-Ultra's fan speed will net you results somewhere in between those we have illustrated.
One thing I can't over state is that the Gigabyte 3DCooler-Ultra is really best suited to the larger heatspreader-capped processors like the Athlon64 and Pentium4. It will still work nicely with an AthlonXP, but it won't deliver the same calibre of thermal performance.
If you are looking to upgrade from one platform in the near future, an all-in-one heatsink such as the 3Dcooler-Ultra is a good option for obvious reasons. Remembering the performance highs and lows of the Gigabyte 3DCooler-Ultra PCU31-VH heatsink, I think it is safe to end off on this point; the PCU31-VH is a damn fine high performance Pentium 4 heatsink when running at ear shattering RPM! Overclockers... start your computers!
Here are a few other articles that you might enjoy as well...
1. Thermaltake Silent
Boost A1889-01 Copper Heatsink
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