Evercool vs. GlobalWin -
Since Intel released the Pentium 4 processor, there has not been a huge demand for aftermarket heatsinks. The major reason was that the solution provided by Intel (in boxed CPU sets) was an excellent performer, and unlike the AMD Athlon there was not a huge overclocking market to cater for. It was only since the introduction of the Socket 478 Pentium 4 (and the corresponding price drops) that the platform was considered viable by many. Now there is an increasing trickle of aftermarket coolers for the Socket 478 Pentium 4 - let's have a look at contenders from Evercool and GlobalWin to see how they stack up against the reference Intel unit.
Evercool vs. GlobalWin -Evercool NW6-610
The above unit is the Evercool NW6-610. This arrived in the obligatory box, with a small blister pack of thermal compound and no grey mounting bracket (shown above). A small 60x60x10mm fan is included that looks like it would have a hard time keeping a Pentium III cool, let alone a Pentium 4. One advantage of the 60mm design is that a wide variety of other fans can be mounted on this heatsink, such as the 6800RPM Delta Black Label or the 4500RPM Y.S. Tech model. Here are the specs of the fan (according to Evercool's website):
One feature I was most impressed with was the rotation alarm mounted on the fan wiring. If the fan fails to spin up (due to failure or cable obstruction), then a piercing alarm sounds alerting you to the problem. This also is heard at system startup by a short chirp as the fan spins up. Good idea Evercool!
A total of 27 fins help radiate the heat away, but they are not ribbed for maximum dissipation. The cooler is also completely sealed on two sides (the longer sides) so that air is channelled in parallel to the orientation of the fins. This can cause the cooler to perform poorer than would be expected if the cooler was allowed to breathe on all four sides. The clipping mechanism is relatively straightforward, with extremely strong springs. I had to bend the springs slightly so that I could squeeze the clips into place. Apart from this, very easy to install.
Evercool vs. GlobalWin -GlobalWin WBW-76
This impressive looking lump of metal is GlobalWin's entry into the Socket 478 CPU Cooling market. It comes with thermal grease already applied, a welcome change from the thermal pads so commonly used. The retaining bracket is included, and actually needs to be installed for the clipping mechanism to work. Fortunately, the necessary screws, bolts and washers are supplied, and following the instructions is a no-brainer.
The fan is a 70x70x15mm unit that delivers over 50% more air than the Evercool unit. Unfortunately, because 70mm fans are rather hard to come by this limits the range that can be clipped on to the heatsink. The fan itself is held on by GlobalWin's usual wire clipping mechanism, which negates the need for screws. Here is the spec sheet on the unit (from GlobalWin's website):
One unusual thing I noticed was the fan disagreed with the specs above. Whilst the specs on the website state that there is one ball and one sleeve bearing, the unit supplied to me had "dual ball" written on the sticker. I certainly hope this is the case, as dual ball-bearing fans have a longer life expectancy than sleeve or sleeve/ball hybrids.
The clipping mechanism is something that GlobalWin should be commended on. Instead of the much criticized clips used on the FOP series of coolers, there are two nice clips with protective plastic pads to make installation a breeze. Unlike the Evercool unit, the clips are fixed to the retention mechanism, making installation of the retaining bracket essential.
Evercool vs. GlobalWin -The Shootout
Let me state this clearly, I have no formal testing facilities for heatsinks. Whilst my colleague (and usual heatsink reviewer) Mike "Darthtanion" Wright has a climate-controlled environment to test in, I don't have that luxury. Ambient room temperature is a constant 30 degrees Celsius (or very close to).
Idle temperatures were taken by switching on my system and leaving it run for 30 minutes with nothing processing in the background. Load temperatures were taken by letting United Devices' "Think" cancer research program run for 30 minutes. Temperatures were taken according to the Shuttle AV40R's onboard sensor, which makes contact with the base of the CPU. Arctic Silver II was used as the thermal interface for all heatsinks to ensure a level playing field. Just for comparison's sake, I threw in the default Intel heatsink and fan.
Processor: 1.7GHz Intel Pentium 4 processor
Motherboard: Shuttle AV40R VIA P4X266 motherboard
Memory: 256MB Apacer PC-2100 CAS-2 DDR SDRAM
Hard Drive: 15.3GB Western Digital 7200RPM Hard Drive; 2 x 6.4GB Quantum 5400RPM Hard Drives in RAID-0
Video Card: 32MB Prolink Pixelview GeForce2 MX
Sound Card: Creative SoundBlaster Live!
Case: 6x 80mm case fans in an AOpen H600A Midi-Tower case
Result - Idle
The GlobalWin WBW76 is clearly the leader here, coming in 3 degrees cooler than the Intel reference HSF. The Evercool unit doesn't perform too badly, just beating the Intel sink by 1 degree.
Results - Load
This really sorts out the men from the boys. A 1.7GHz "Willamette" Pentium 4 emits around 82 watts of heat under full load, besting even the "Thunderbird" Athlon. The WBW76 is once again the leader, with the NW6-610 coming in second.
Evercool vs. GlobalWin -Conclusion
GlobalWin have a winner on their hands with the WBW76. An inexpensive price, excellent cooling performance and easy installation make this a hard-to-beat product. The Evercool NW6-610 shouldn't be written off either. Its main constraint is the small fan. When I placed a 6800RPM Y.S. Tech model on top, the results beat even the GlobalWin unit. And the fan rotation alarm is a nice touch as well.
Consequently, I have no option but to award GlobalWin's unit the trophy. If Evercool released the same sink with a faster fan it may be in the running as well.
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