IntroductionFor many companies, playing up a product is second nature; it doesn't matter if the product is breathtaking or average. GIGABYTE is a company that will let a mediocre product fall back into the shadows, but will promote their really good stuff. The GIGABYTE G-Power 2 Pro was first presented to me with a flash presentation detailing the functions and basically letting me know that it was not a mediocre product. From the start I was interested, and now that I am finished with my testing I can make you interested too. The G-Power 2 Pro is the third in a series of G-Power products. The first and second, the G-Power Pro and G-Power Lite were both good products, but when it came to design they followed in the footsteps of other traditional CPU heatsinks. The latest version, 2 Pro steps away from what's traditional and looks to prove that innovation leads to higher performance.
Specifications, Availability and Pricing
Specifications, Availability and Pricing
The specs themselves do not ring true on my previous statement about innovation. Here you see a low speed/low noise fan that is 120mm on top of a traditional enthusiast copper base with aluminum fins. You will have to wait for the product images as the innovation is really in the design and not in the specifications.Missing from the specification list is the 3-pin fan connector. The specs sheet states that the G-Power 2 Pro has a 4-pin but our sample came equipped with a 3-pin. After a quick search on Pricegrabber in the US I was unable to locate a G-Power 2 for sale. After a little fumbling around I was able to locate the G-Power 2 Pro at Newegg under its product ID of GH-PSU23-PB. Currently the product is selling for 59.99 USD, putting it in the pure enthusiast category with competitors such as the Noctua NH-12U and ASUS Silent Knight 2 that we previously tested.
GIGABYTE chose the informative road with their packaging. On the front we see buzz words like 8mm heatpipe and Quiet-Cool. There is a window on the front that allows us a glimpse of the fan and lets the retail consumer know how large the heatsink is.
On the back side we find a little information about the product, but none of it is in English. To be fair this sample was sent from Taiwan to my office in the US so I can't fault GIGABYTE for the lack of a language I can read on the rear of the packaging. I am sure the US packages will have English available.
On the side we found a lot of useful information for the shopper. This is where the buzz words come together with images of the product.
The other side lists possible applications and processor types. Every modern CPU configuration is listed from Intel to a couple of AMD mounting types.
Once opened, we found that the cooler wrapped in foam for protection.
The head-on image of the G-Power 2 Pro. Notice the extra large heatpipes coming from the base and the nine blades on the fan.
While the fan shroud is plastic, it looks metallic at first glance. Here we see the innovation in GIGABYTE's thinking. As air passes over the aluminium fins a portion of the air is diverted to the motherboard's VRM area. As most overclockers have learned over the last couple of years, modern motherboard voltage regulation modules get very hot and this can affect the life of a motherboard as well as your overclocking results.
Here we see the fins close up. The top fins are parallel with the motherboard allowing the air to flow quickly past while the bottom fins direct air back to the motherboard.
On the bottom of the heatsink where the base is located, GIGABYTE has chosen to add a little extra cooling. Notice the large fin area just above the heatpipes, this adds to the coolers effectiveness when pulling heat away from the processor.
Looking along the top, this is most likely what you will see when the cooler is installed in your system. I wouldn't mind it if the stickers were moved elsewhere, but that is something the end user can take care of if aesthetics are important.
The copper base of the G-Power 2 Pro comes with a reflective mirror-like surface.
The cable length for the unit was long enough for us to plug the cooler into any fan header on the motherboard.
I wanted to show the fin arrangement in a little more detail, and this image does a good job of showing how much the cooler directs the air.
Along the bottom of the fins a great deal of air is passed to the secondary cooling area that doubles as the mounting mechanism. Several companies try to smooth this area out and make it "pretty" but GIGABYTE has found a way to make it more functional.
Accessories and Documentation
Accessories and Documentation
Here we have everything needed to attach the G-Power 2 Pro to an Intel 775 or AMD based system.
GIGABYTE has thrown in a couple of extras adding to the value and usefulness of the product. When connecting the fan you can use this adapter to send the full 12 volts or drop it down to just 5 for truly silent operation. GIGABYTE has also included a microfiber towel to wipe finger prints off the fan shroud.
Newer motherboards can also make similar voltage changes so be sure to check your motherboard settings before taking the fan down to 5 volts.
I found the instructions for the cooler to be well written and informative. The guide will help newer users change their heatsink and provide much needed information of the process.
Test ResultsTweakTown uses a different method for testing CPU heatsinks which allows for an even playing field across all product tests. We feel that by using the same ambient temperature and strict lab-like testing procedures we are able to accurately compare one product to another. More information on our testing procedure can be found in the T.E.C.C. article here.
After testing the G-Power 2 Pro I was left with the need for more. I honestly thought that the unit would perform closer to the Noctua cooler. The G-Power 2 Pro is a very capable cooler and I would be the first to put it on the front line of a CPU overclocked system, but it was just shy of dethroning our current champ.
The cooler performed on par with other coolers in its class when it came to silent operation. At idle and mild use speeds the G-Power 2 Pro is silent. Even when the heat is on, the cooler is quiet outside of the case.
Final ThoughtsThe GIGABYTE G-Power 2 Pro is without a doubt a true performer that enthusiasts will love. Not only does it do a good job of reducing CPU temperatures but it will also work at cooling down your motherboard in a two birds with one stone fashion. Silent computing guys can take refuge with the G-Power 2 Pro also; the cooler is dead silent in most situations, and the only exception would be in the HTPC environment as the cooler is near but not totally silent when watching movies or crunching a heavy workload. The size of the cooler might be a limiting factor in some cases, mainly HTPC. Standing erect at 162mm tall from the base to the top of the fan shroud the G-Power 2 Pro is one of the taller heatsinks on the market. The good news is this usually equals good performance numbers and as we have seen in the testing results, the cooler backs up that theory.Mounting the cooler to the T.E.C.C. was very easy as was a full on motherboard installation. AMD owners will not need to remove the motherboard from their system to install the G-Power 2 Pro but Intel users will not be so lucky. In the future I would like to see GIGABYTE move to a push pin mounting system for their Intel installation like we are starting to see some of the other companies move to.
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Chris Ramseyer started his career as a LAN Party organizer in Midwest USA. After working with several computer companies he was asked to join the team at The Adrenaline Vault by fellow Midwest LAN Party legend Sean Aikins. After a series of shake ups at AVault, Chris eventually took over as Editor-in-Chief before leaving to start Real World Entertainment. Look for Chris to bring his unique methods of testing Hard Disk Drives, Solid State Drives as well as RAID controller and NAS boxes to TweakTown as he looks to provide an accurate test bed to make your purchasing decisions easier.
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