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Mini HSF Roundup - Spire vs Thermal Integration vs OCZ - Spire FridgeRock

We recently got a new batch of coolers in for testing, so what better way to bring you what's hot than to let them all go head to head? So come join Mike "Darthtanion" Wright as he pits some of the market's newest coolers against one another. Some of the results may just surprise you a little!

By: | Cables & Accessories in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Mar 16, 2003 5:00 am

Spire FridgeRock



Where the CopperKing II is small, the FridgeRock model is just the opposite. There is no small footprint here. So what do you say, shall we dissect it now?



The sink in this model is made of aluminum with a copper insert for the base. We have seen some good results with this method as well as some bad ones. We'll let our testing later on determine how this one fared.


The sink itself measures in at 78mm x 73mm x 49mm and seemed a little on the light side. While it doesn't have a full shroud like many other coolers, the folks at Spire did add a top panel that allows you to attach the fan without having to bore into the fine. I have never seen the sense of that type of workmanship, so its good to see that it wasn't used here.





To this day, I still understand the reason for using these little horrors, but it still gets me to see them on a cooler that is being promoted to the enthusiast crowd. Oh well, out comes the straight edge so that I can remove the offending substance.



This looks better. The base didn't have the anodized coating that its smaller brother had, but it was very smooth to the touch. If you're the type that likes to lap the base of your cooler, the effort required here will be minimal.



The clip used in this model looks to be the same type used in the smaller CopperKing. It also has the same amount of required tension to attach it to the socket. While I didn't damage the processor with either of these coolers, it still seems close to the edge of the limit when hooking it into place.



The fan used for the FridgeRock cooler is another FTC branded model that measures in at 70mm x 70mm x 25mm in size. It spins at speeds between 3,500RPM and 4,200RPM and produces from 22-CFM to 27-CFM airflow with a maximum sound output rated at 36dBA. As you can probably tell by now, it is designed as a variable speed fan, so lets take a peek at the means of adjusting the speed.



The culprit in this case is a small thermal probe that is located on the corner of the fan by the power cables. While some folks like this type of control, I usually prefer something that I can control manually. My reasoning for this is that I have found cases with very good airflow (like mine) generally don't allow for these type fans to get up to speed. This means that you will never see the maximum cooling potential of the cooler due to the ample airflow going through the enclosure.



OK, I'm confused here. If you'll recall, we had that nasty chunk of thermal tape stuck to the bottom of the sink. BUT we also have a tube of thermal compound? I'm certainly not complaining about the addition of the goop, but it does seem rather redundant to me.


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