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Lasagna BGA cooler
Lasagna BGA cooler
Abstract: Lasagna coolers have been popping up on the finer BGA chipsets out there, too bad OEM's aren't taking notice. Any way, read our review and see if it right for you.

 Manufacturer  Category  Published  Author 
Tennmax   Cooling / Heatsinks   Jun 16, 2000   Max Page  

Home > Reviews > Page: Testing and Temperatures

Air is sucked into the small unit by the fan, then expelled between the layers of aluminum which make up the grill. Since in most cases a big hefty heatsink is directly above the BGA chipset, this type of cooling is ideal in terms of the space considerations. Plugging it in for a moment, the amount of air actually being forced between the small half millimeter openings seems trivial. That said, even a small amount of forced air is better then no air at all. So, with that in mind we stuck the Lasagna cooler onto the chipset from a ABit KA7, inserted a thermistor and proceeded to test the device.... in comparison to the cheap green heatsink that ABit seems content to ship with this board.

For our tests we used AOS HTC-60 non-silicon thermal compound. This stuff has one of the highest thermal conductivity's of a thermal compound we have seen so far (2.51 W/M*C). It basically looks like the same stuff that AMD squirts onto the L2 Cache of the Athlon. Grey in colour and somewhat doughy. Each temperature reading was taken after at least 10 minutes of the computer being on, and doing nothing in particular. Ambient temperature was 25.6 C.

BGA Heatsink Thermal Compound Temperature Processor
OEM Green AOS HTC-60 35.4 550Mhz
Lasagna AOS HTC-60 34.6 550Mhz
OEM Green AOS HTC-60 50.1 750Mhz
Lasagna AOS HTC-60 42.1 750Mhz
Lasagna AOS HTC-60 42.7 750@800Mhz
Lasagna AOS HTC-60 43.5 750@850Mhz

From our observations the cooler provides only a marginal decrease in temperature with the 550Mhz Athlon processor, somewhere on the order of a degree. Not much of a price/performance ratio there. Moving into the 750Mhz Athlon range, valuable differences in temperature suddenly arise. The Abit's cheap green heatsink sits at 50 degrees, which is just too damn hot for my liking. Forgoing further comparisons, our thermistor shows that steady increases in the Athlons Clock speed produce muted increases in temperature with the lasagna cooler. All of which sit well below the 50 degree mark the OEM heatsink started off with!

If I had the time to lap the BGA chipset (they are no way near flat, or even smooth for that matter) I'm sure further decreases in temperature would have been possible. The difference there between the Lasagna and the cheap green heatsink would have relied upon one thing in particular. The base of the Lasagna, which is not totally flat in and of itself, but at least has the distinction of being smooth. For some reason (undoubtedly tied to the manufacturing process) the green heatsinks are frosted, rough, whatever - just not smooth.

So, conclusions; the Lasagna cooler is bit expensive for what it is, and the overall effect it will have on overlclockability is up in the air. It will help to cool the BGA chipset a hell of a lot better then the cheap green heatsinks that ship with many of today's motherboards. However, worthwhile decreases in BGA chipset temperature apparently only surface with higher clock speeds, where the chipset runs just too damn hot.

Bottom line, if your BGA chipset is around the 35 degree mark this cooler probably won't do much to help out the situation. I say probably because different processor heatsinks will have an effect on the amount of air the cooler receives, and thus the level of performance it shoots out (we tested with the Taisol heatsink). Something, obviously, I can't guess at. If your chipset is currently too damn hot, then I would recommend this cooler. If it isn't I would have to say pass.

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Table of Contents:

 1:  Lasagna BGA cooler
 2: — Testing and Temperatures

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