With so many folks today wanting less noise out of their heatsinks, it is becoming a growing trend for manufacturers to try to accomodate. Some succeed, and others fail. Come join Mike "Darthtanion" Wright as he takes a look at a newcomer in the performance cooling game. The Coolink H2T comes with two fans, but produces less noise than most others that are available. Come see if it can cool as well as remain silent.
IntroductionRecently, we took a look at a new company in the cooling arena. They had sent me a huge cooler with dual 60mm fans that was pretty impressive. But while it cools very well, the Coolink U1P2 was also very loud. With all the emphasis today on both performance and lower noise levels, more and more manufacturers are coming up with ideas to conquer this lofty goal.Which brings us to today's contestant, the Coolink H2T heatsink. It too is a dual fan model, but the fans make considerably less noise than its big brother. Of course, with less noise tends to come a decrease in cooling efficiency, so our goal today will be to take a look at both the volume and the performance. After all, we don't want something in our system that will degrade our capabilities to overclock, do we?So sit back and enjoy this little excursion into a cooler by a newcomer. We'll peek inside and also put it through the grinder to see how it fares against some pretty stiff competition.
Coolink H2T -
The heatsink isn't a huge monster, but it does still manage to carry a rather hefty footprint. Overall dimensions of the sink (without fans) are 76mm x 67mm x 74mm. Weight of the heatsink with fans is 440 grams. It's very close to being a brick!I've been noticing that aluminum seems to be making a rather large comeback in the heatsink market. I'm not sure why, but we'll have to see whether it makes a difference in the cooling prowess of this unit.Something to note on this heatsink design is the central wall that goes though the center of the cooler. This is a very important feature since the H2T uses two fans that sit exactly opposite each other. This central wall allows both fans to cool one half of the processor without fighting against each other. Without this wall, the two fans would just be throwing a mass of air into the center and creating a huge turbulence (remember the old Thermaltake Super Orb coolers?). It's good to see that manufacturers are using a little common sense in their ideas.The Base
The base of the H2T comes very smooth. It was machined down to a fine finish, but wasn't polished. This doesn't bother me too much, but if you're the sort who likes to see your face on the bottom of your sink, then just get out the brass polish and a clean rag and you'll be there in no time.
An improvement over the big brother is that this copper base has been attached more firmly to the heatsink itself. The pins above are forced into the unit to provide a more solid foundation for your cooling. The discoloration you see is nothing more than the milling of the base to make it smooth and level. This was a welcome improvement over the U1P2 model.The Fans
Coolink decided to go with the Innovative branded fans for this cooler. Each fan measures in at 70mm x 70mm x 15mm and spins at 4200-RPM. This creates an airflow rating of 32-CFM per fan at only about 35dBA of noise output. What all these fancy numbers and terms mean is that it manages to put out a total of 64-CFM airflow and creates very little noise.Power is fed to the fans by standard 3-pin connectors that can be hooked directly to the motherboard. Since these fans don't have the high RPM ratings, there will be no danger of frying a fan header on your mainboard. Plus, it allows you to monitor the fan speeds through BIOS or software utility.When testing this cooler, I wasn't able to hear the fans over the sound made by my case cooling fans. Sometimes I get used to the loud fans all over the place, and I don't realize how nice it is to have peace and quiet for a change.The Clipping Mechanism
The clip used on this model is identical to that used on its big brother. While the slot is very useful, and there isn't a lot of force needed to attach it to the socket, it does have the unique drawback that I noticed before. When you attach the rear of the clip to the back lugs of the socket, make sure that you move the whole heatsink back toward the rear before seating it atop the processor. When I first installed this cooler, I failed to remember this step and nearly had a heart attack when my initial boot-up temperatures shot up to over 50C! Though I wasn't in any danger of frying my core, I have my system set up to boot-failure at over 50C. Once I reinstalled the sink and pulled it back before setting it, then I was able to boot normally and get on with the testing. This is something to keep in mind if you're new to system building.Other than this, the clip works very well. It holds the sink firmly on the socket, and I noticed no movement during operation.
Coolink H2T -
TestingAs most of you know already, I recently went from the old Thunderbird to a newer Athlon XP processor. I have been running it at stock speeds during heatsink testing so that I can maintain a stable baseline for the coolers that come to TweakTown. So let's take a peek at the test system:Antec SX1030 Tower Case w/ 170-CFM airflowEPoX 8KHA+ MotherboardAMD Athlon XP 1800+ Processor512MB Crucial PC2100 DDR MemoryProlink XX-Player GeForce3Seagate Barracuda 40GB @ 7200-RPMArctic Silver IIThe Athlon XP processors have lower operating temperatures than the older Thunderbirds, so I have begun a new database of results. With all of the new coolers coming out, it won't take long to build up a large list again. Testing will consist of my usual battery of programs so that we can maintain some consistency in the results. This will include temperatures being taken at idle, after a grueling Quake III Arena Deathmatch, and after a continuous looping of the 3DMark2001 Demo.Voltages are set at 1.75v for the processor core, 2.6 for the DDR memory, and the ambient room temperature throughout testing was a stable 21.6C (about 71F). These conditions were constant with no fluctuating temperatures or voltages.During our tests, make sure to keep an eye on results comparing this cooler with the GlobalWin TAK68 model. They are similar in design, and both feature the thin fans in a side-mounted manner.Results - Idle
I tend to get higher temperatures from the thin-finned coolers, but our goal is to determine whether you can get acceptable cooling with less noise. Though the H2T was soundly beaten by the monster fan models, it did manage to beat out the GlobalWin TAK68 by a small margin.Results - Quake III Arena Deathmatch
Not too shabby here. The H2T again managed to beat out the GlobalWin unit by a bit and also managed to stay within only a degree and a half of the Dr Thermal model. To refresh your memory, the Dr Thermal cooler uses a 60mm 40-CFM YS Tech fan.Results - 3DMark2001 Demo Loop
This time we had a tie with the GlobalWin heatsink, and we again managed to stay within 1.5C of the Dr Thermal unit. Things are looking pretty good for this little gem. With performance numbers like these, there are probably a few heatsink manufacturers out there who should be getting a little nervous.
Coolink H2T -
ConclusionAfter running this mini-might through the gauntlet, I think that it managed to do a pretty good job. Even though it uses smaller fans, it still manages to give a very acceptable performance when it's put under pressure. It has found a very nice compromise between cooling and noise level.The only real drawback I can see to this HSF is the clipping mechanism. Though it does manage to keep the cooler firmly attached to the processor, the fact that there is enough play room makes it necessary to make a physical adjustment before seating the heatsink. I think that if the clip were just a bit narrower, then this wouldn't be an issue. It's a simple fix, but it still gnaws at me a bit.Bottom line...If you're the type of person who is sick and tired of the noise that comes from performance coolers, then take a look at this model. Though pricing isn't yet available, it is looking like it will be marketed at a very competitive price. It features a very nice performance/noise ratio, and will manage to look good in a windowed case too.- ProsDual fansVery smooth baseGood cooling performanceQUIET!- ConsClipping mechanismRating - 8.5/10
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