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Gigabyte 3DCooler-Pro PCU21-VG Heatsink Review
Gigabyte 3DCooler-Pro PCU21-VG Heatsink Review
  89%   
Abstract: The 3DCooler-Pro is an an all-in-one aluminum and copper heatsink designed to support all processors currently available.

 Company link  Category  Published  Author 
Gigabyte   Cooling / Heatsinks   Mar 02, 2004   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Page Title: Surface Roughness Comparison

Surface Roughness Comparator:

Surface finish is an important factor that we all look for when holding a new heatsink. Flipping a cooler over to see how well the base has been machined is a quick way to judge the attention to detail that was put into making it. The following FrostyTech Surface Roughness Comparator offers a concise cross section common machine surface finishes. Not every heatsink base will fit into the envelope of this gage, but it does offer a very handy set of representations.

This commercially available gage has 22 machined surfaces from 2 to 500 microinches; Lapped (2, 4, and 8 µ" RA), Ground (8, 16, 32, and 63 µ" RA), Blanchard Ground (16 and 32 µ" RA), Shape Turned (32, 63, 125, 250, and 500 µ" RA), Profiled (63, 125, 250, and 500 µ" RA), and Milled (63, 125, 250, and 500 µ" RA).

FrostyTech Surface Roughness Comparator
2L 4L 8L 8G 16G 16BL 32G 32BL 32ST 63G 63M 63P 63ST 125M 125P 125ST 250M 250P 250ST 500M 500P 500ST

The base of a heatsink plays an important role in how well the cooling apparatus interfaces with the processor. Poor surface roughness will affect a good heatsink just as much as a good surface finish will improve thermal conductivity. In an effort to put a more quantitative spin on the comments we provide about base finishes, FrostyTech has begun using a Surface Roughness Comparator.

Move your mouse over the image above to see an example at right. Numbers are in Microinches, and finishes from 2 microinches to 32 microinches are excellent-to-good.

Evaluation Notes:

The Gigabyte 3DCooler-Pro heatsink has a surface roughness of approximately 8M, which is very good. Move your mouse over the tabs above and look at 8G for an approximate example of what this surface finish looks like.

Acoustic Samples: Listen to this Heatsink!

With fan speed control at your finger tips, the Gigabyte 3DCooler-Pro can go from pretty quiet up to pretty darn noisy in just a second. The fan controller adjusts RPM from 2000-4000RPM, depending on the level of cooling you desire, and platform. In our tests, we found a much wider temperature response on the Intel test platform, and only a very minor change on the AthlonXP platform. Meaning, the Gigabyte 3DCooler-pro should makes a better low-noise heatsink for AthlonXP processors, and a better high-end cooler for Pentium4 processors. To listen to this heatsink for yourself in operation, be sure to click on the little headphones icon below and download the Acoustic Sample MP3 file.

(low) FrostyTech Acoustic Sampling Chamber

Standard Waveform view of a 10 second recording. Click on the headphones to listen to an MP3 recording of this heatsink in operation.
Listen to this Heatsink now.

(high) FrostyTech Acoustic Sampling Chamber

Standard Waveform view of a 10 second recording. Click on the headphones to listen to an MP3 recording of this heatsink in operation.
Listen to this Heatsink now.

Sound Level Measurements:

Listening to the actual noise a heatsink makes allows you to hear what pure numbers alone cannot get across. To further emphasize FrostyTech's reliance on cold hard facts when evaluating a heatsink, we also take Decibel readings with a sound level meter. These results may be higher than the manufacturer's listed specs, but then again these are real world measurements. Measurements are made on the dB (A) scale.

FrostyTech Sound Level Results
- Manufacturer Model Noise Level Scale
TS Heatronics NCU-1000 passive N/A
Verax P16 35.3 dB
Gigabyte (low) 3DCooler-pro 37.1 dB
Spire SP420B8 40.2 dB
Zalman CNPS7000-Cu 41.7 dB
ArcticCooling SuperSilent4 Pro 41.8 dB
Zalman CNPS6500-AlCu 47.4/28.9 dB
Zalman CNPS7000A-Cu 42.2 dB
Intel Socket 478 42.5 dB
CoolJag JVC661A 43.9 dB
Arkua 8456X-8T 46.5 dB
Evercool NW9F715CA 47.3 dB
Intel Stock 3.06GHz 47.5 dB
Aopen ACP4LC 48.7 dB
Arkua Q85X-7J 49.0 dB
Arkua 848X-6B 49.3 dB
Titan CW9TB/SC 50.5 dB
Taisol CEP426151A 50.7 dB
Scythe Kamakaze 51.0 dB
Arkua 838T-7G 51.7 dB
Jetart JAP416A 52.8 dB
Thermal Integration TI-RV108N 52.9 dB
JMC 401100 53.0 dB
Dynatron DC1207BMW 53.0 dB
Spire SP411C5 53.2 dB
Dynatron DC1207BMY 53.2 dB
Dynatron DC1207BMX 53.4 dB
Thermal Integration TI-RV104N 53.5 dB
Thermal Integration (high) TI-V7035TN 53.6 dB
Zalman CNPS5700D-Cu 53.8 dB
Globalwin VA476 54.2 dB
Thermal Integration TI-A8736N 54.8 dB
Dynatron DC1206BMV 55.1 dB
Jetart JAP407A 55.7 dB
AVC 117140 56.1 dB
Taisol CEP447181 56.8 dB
Taisol CCP445172 57.5 dB
Cooljag (high) CJC66IC-A 59.1 dB
Dynatron DC1U-B02 62.2 dB
Gigabyte (high) 3DCooler-pro 63.7 dB
Coolermaster IHC-H71 64.4 dB
Thermalright (high) SLK-900U 67.2 dB louder

According to our real world sound measurements with the Omega HHSL1 digital sound meter, at its lowest setting the Gigabyte 3DCooler-pro is very easy on the ears at about 37 dB. With the RPM's cranked all the way up, the 3DCooler is one of the loudest heatsinks we've tested, measuring in at nearly 64 dB! Up next, thermal results for the K7 and Pentium 4 platforms.



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Table of Contents:

 1:  Gigabyte 3DCooler-Pro PCU21-VG Heatsink Review
 2:  Closer Examination of the Heatsink
 3:  Heatsink Thermal/Acoustic Test Parameters
 4: — Surface Roughness Comparison
 5:  Initial Temperature Test Results
 6:  Final AthlonXP and Pentium4 Test Results

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