Alpha PAL8942 - Introduction
Alpha PAL8942 - The HeatsinkTaking A Closer Look- The HeatsinkThe PAL8942 has dimensions of 80mm x 90mm x 42mm, which is much larger than what we are used to. The reason for this being that it has to be mounted using holes in the motherboard which are placed quite far away from the CPU socket.
Alpha PAL8942 - The Fan- The FanAlpha usually ship their heatsinks off to resellers without a fan, so it is the reseller's job to supply a number of fans for the customer to choose from depending on what they intend to do with the heatsink. Obviously, people who want maximum cooling performance would benefit much more by having a larger, more powerful fan than a smaller, quieter fan.Our PAL8942 unit came from the kind folks at Coolerguys. Due to the fact that TweakTown is mainly directed at the hardware enthusiast or overclocking crowd, it is no surprise that our unit came with the largest, most powerful fan available. This was none other than the Delta 80mm x 80mm x 38mm Ultra High Speed Fan that pushes a massive 68CFM and runs at 4900RPM.
Alpha PAL8942 - InstallationInstallationThe PAL8942 is mounted differently than most Socket478 heatsink/fan units, in the sense that it does not make use of the conventional mounting mechanism provided with most motherboards. Instead, it is screwed directly into the motherboard using the four mounting holes around the CPU socket. While this is a great method of ensuring that the heatsink is seated correctly and will not fall off, it may become a hassle for some of you because you have to remove your whole motherboard (or motherboard tray) to install/uninstall the unit.The unit itself has to be manually assembled, however, this is not too difficult and shouldn't take any more than five minutes of your time. Firstly, you have to screw the provided standoffs into the four motherboard holes surrounding the CPU socket. Then you place four small springs into spaces in the heatsink and screw it (the heatsink) down onto the standoffs. After the heatsink is in place, the fan can be installed. All you need to do is place the fan shroud on top of the heatsink and then the fan itself goes on top of that. Then it's just a matter of screwing the fan into place, plugging it into your motherboard and you're ready to go.This may be difficult to understand in text, however, Alpha supplies a small booklet with the cooler that explains to you, with pictures, exactly how to install the unit.
Alpha PAL8942 - TestingTesting- Test SystemProcessor: Intel Pentium 4 2GHzMotherboard: DFI NS70-ELMemory: OCZ 256MB PC2100 DDR SDRAMVideo Card: Prolink Pixelview GeForce3 XX-PlayerHard Disk: Quantum Fireball Plus LM 15GB 7200RPMCase: Lian-Li PC65Operating System: Windows 2000 ProfessionalSoftware Used: Winbond Hardware Doctor- TemperaturesTo measure temperatures I used Winbond's Hardware Doctor application that comes bundled with most Abit motherboards. I measured idle and full load temperatures, and SiSoft Sandra's burn-in feature was used to make sure the processor was running at full load. I then compared these results to my stock Intel heatsink/fan unit that comes with the Pentium 4 processor.
Alpha PAL8942 - ConclusionConclusionOverall, I was very pleased with the Alpha PAL8942. It performed quite admirably and was a significant improvement over the stock Intel cooler. That said, this performance certainly does come at a cost. The fan supplied with the cooler was very loud and you should really hear it for yourself before purchasing the unit with such a large fan. Most resellers give you a wide variety of fans to choose from, however, the smaller, quieter fans will obviously give you slightly less performance.At a price of US$39.95, the Alpha PAL8942 is certainly one of the cheaper Socket478 coolers out there, with the reason for this being that it is made mostly out of aluminium. The bottom line is, if you're an overclocker and are looking for one of the best air-cooling solutions out there for your Pentium 4, you really can't go wrong with the Alpha PAL8942.- Pros* High performance* Relatively low cost* Copper insert in base* Fairly easy to install- Cons* Installation requires you to remove the motherboard* Fan is very loudRating - 9.5/10 and TweakTown's Editors Choice Award
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