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Athlon XP HSF Mini-Roundup - Scythe vs. Vantec vs. Thermaltake

By: Mike Wright | CPU Air Coolers in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Mar 28, 2004 5:00 am

Thermaltake POLO 735



Last but not least in our mini-roundup is the newest Thermaltake cooler. For those who might have been sleeping for the past few years, Thermaltake has made a living out of enthusiast cooling. While they have branched out into other directions lately, their core product line almost always still revolves around cooling of some sort.


A quick glance makes you think of the recent Volcano 12 cooler (mainly due to the huge fan), but this isn't that model. Though very similar in design, the new POLO series is designed to be used on Athlon XP, Athlon 64, and Intel processors. It comes with all clips necessary to handle any or all of these cooling tasks.



The sink is the only all copper model in this roundup. But not only is it all copper, it is BIG! Measuring in at 82mm x 66mm x 49mm, it stands apart from most other coolers in its class. Of course cooper material and mass are two essential components in performance cooling, so we may just be onto something.


For those worried about weight, the entire cooler (fan included) weighs in at a massive 708 grams (that works out to just over a pound and a half for you non-metric types). While I had no problems with moving the system around in my test area, I would strongly recommend the removal of this cooler before taking it to your next LAN event. It is entirely possible you will end up about six lugs short on your socket!



Since the theme of this cooler seems to be BIG, it would be a shame if the fan didn't follow suit. Measuring in at 80mm x 80mm x 32mm, this behemoth spins at a maximum of 5500 RPM while putting out nearly 73 CFM airflow at a maximum sound level of about 48 dBA. Of course, with a fan this large you will find there are ways to keep the speed (and noise levels) lower when not needed.



As with most of the fans coming from Thermaltake these days, you have several choices for fan control. Above you will see this model comes with two different rheostat devices. You can either set one up in a vacant PCI slot on the back or give yourself control from the front by installing the 3.5" control panel in an empty floppy bay.


If you prefer to let the fan do the thinking for you, there is a thermal probe included that allows you to have the fan speed automatically controlled. While this science is getting better all the time, I still prefer to make adjustments myself when it comes to fan speeds; particularly when it comes to cooling the processor.


The final manner of fan speed control is no control at all. Place the included jumper on the fan and it will run at full speed at all times. This will be the setting used for our testing of this sink.



Moving to the base of the sink, we see it is basically the twin brother of the Volcano 12 model cooler. There are some light machine markings seen in the base, but the surface was smooth to the touch. Some lapping would do wonders, but as always, we'll test the cooler in the condition it comes to you.


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