CyberPower has built some pretty sleek computers that Chris has reviewed for us, like the Black Mamba Venom System and Black Pearl as examples. These PCs are assembled with all the latest hardware, cases and cooling systems. If the Asetek LCLC Liquid Cool CPU Cooler or the Cooler Master V8 aren't your cup of tea, or you are just short of the total funds needed for purchasing such a system, there are options to save on a few components and customize these systems to both your needs and credit limits.
Not only can you swap from many cool case choices, but cooling is one of the many optional parts of the CyberPower built computers. They offer quite a few reputable coolers in their choices already. But this wasn't good enough for CyberPower, so they and their sister company XtremeGear have developed a new product to include in their choices for air cooling solutions to be placed inside these "dream systems". With water cooling as well as a few of the most recognized coolers on the market today, XtremeGear has quite the task ahead to compete in the well established lineup.
XtremeGear has developed the Xtreme Cooler HP-1216 air cooling solution to add to CyberPower's lineup. Personally testing four of the optional choices, I already have a good idea of what the field has to offer, both in performance and pricing. Let's get down to business and see what XtremeGear has brought to CyberPower and how well it stacks up to the already reasonable air cooling choices available.
Specifications, Availability and Pricing
The HP-1216 uses 46 aluminum fins that are thicker than most, reminiscent of the fins on a Noctua tower cooler. These fins, however, are double stamped to create dimples and bumps on both sides of each individual fin in the arrangement. These fins surround five heatpipes that come into direct contact with the CPU that are aligned in two "V" shaped configurations as they pass through the fins. Once the heat has gotten into the fins from the heatpipe transfer, it's down to the fan to keep with the load the cooler is taking from the processor.
XtremeGear has equipped the HP-1216 with a clear 120mm blue LED 78.4 CFM fan that should be up to the task. XtremeGear offers a fan controller with this cooler as well. This will allow you to keep performance when needed, but will also allow you to run the cooler at near inaudible levels. The use of this controller will bring down the 2200 RPM, 78.4 CFM and the 37 dBA rating of the fan to your specific needs. The cooler is built to accept a push/pull method, but only ships with one fan included. The major plus to this cooler is that it's built ready to run on any socket from AMD AM2 and up, as well as both LGA775 and i7.
Availability is an odd thing to discuss with the HP-1216. While there are plans in the future to attempt to put the Xtreme Cooler HP-1216 on e-tailers shelves, the immediate use is strictly to stock CyberPower with an optional air cooling choice. I don't see stock being an issue while you are choosing directly from CyberPower, but I would assume they are still being manufactured in limited quantities, until it can make a name for itself. Once this happens I'm sure they will roll with it and make this cooler available to the masses.
While the cooler is made by XtremeGear, the cooler is only found at http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/ for those in the U.S. and http://www.cyberpowersystem.uk.co for those over the pond. I was told the HP-1216 will be released and ready to go into a CyberPower PC on July the 1st and has a MSRP of $29 U.S dollars. As I mentioned, the lineup that CyberPower already uses does really well to cool a processor, even under our rigorous testing, so XtremeGear has quite the task ahead of itself. If this cooler can handle itself and our testing, I think it only stands to reason; for $29, why would you choose another option?
After opening a nondescript brown box the HP-1216 shipped in, I was greeted with a white nondescript packaging for the cooler itself. This is due to the fact that at this time this cooler has no retail applications and is specifically designed for the sole use by CyberPower at this time.
Just to prove the point, this white package while having the attractive diamond shaped viewing window, seems to be a "re-box" just to get it safely to me in one piece.
Opening the outer white box, I found both the hardware box and the securely packaged HP-1216. This plastic, form fitting, snap together inner packaging did a fine job of getting me this sample in great condition, so if or when this product does go to retail markets, expect to get yours safely.
The XtremeGear Xtreme Cooler HP-1216 CPU Cooler
From the bottom up, the HP-1216 uses six 8mm diameter copper heatpipes that make direct contact to the CPU. Those pipes are surrounded in a multi-functional aluminium spacer plate. This plate holds the heatpipes in proper alignment, is drilled and tapped to accept the universal mounting plate and houses a 50 finned pre-cooler. The heatpipes are then elegantly bent into a "v" shaped configuration; then the 46 aluminium fins are pressed into place.
The side of the HP-1216 shows another feature of their build, the closed in sides. XtremeGear has incorporated a bend on the entire side edge of the fins. This allows for the air to be forced all the way through the cooler without loss out the sides and acts as a spacer also stabilizing the outer edges of the fins.
XtremeGear uses a nice scalloped edge on the front and back sides of the fins; not only is this for styling, but allows the needed space for the best efficiency from the fan. The fins of the HP-1216 are stamped with dimples, increasing performance of the fins efficiency to get the heat into the stream of air. The center of each fin is also stamped with the XtremeGear logo.
The universal mounting plate is something worth taking a closer look at. XtremeGear designed and built this cooler with the mount already in mind. You can see that the sides of the base protrude past the bottom edges of the mounting brace. The screw is more to hold the plate in place during transport, as the plate is supported by the lip in the base as tension is applied when mounting the cooler to the motherboard.
The bottom of the HP-1216 is where the magic happens. You can see by the milling marks that the pipes and the base were planed at the same time. While no mirror finish is present, the base is flat against a razors edge and only shows minute amounts of light along the sides of the heatpipes where they meet the aluminium spacers. One last thing to point out at the very top, you can see what I meant about how the base itself is under the mounting plate; no way this thing is coming loose.
The fan that accompanies the HP-1216, as you can see, is a clear seven bladed fan. It doesn't stop there. It also has really bright blue LED's, offers 78.4 CFM at around 2200RPM and all this at 37 dBA max. This fan is powered with a 3-pin motherboard connector, so no PWM features. You need to set the fans speed in the BIOS or software, right? Wrong! - XtremeGear includes a fan controller for customizable setting of the fan.
Turning the fan around doesn't show us much as far as rated information. It does however show what I assume to be a quality check sticker with a date of April of 2009 and possibly by inspector #16 or it was the 16th of April, not too sure.
With a few bits from the hardware box, I was easily able to mount the fan to show just how well this fan covers the fin area. With the unique fan mounting tabs, the fan can only securely seat fully centred.
From the side, even with the fan installed, the HP-1216 still keeps a slim profile. This cooler allows for unimpeded RAM slots by implementing this in the design.
These are the fan mounts that XtremeGear supplies to isolate and space the fan on the HP-1216. They work easiest by sliding them just past half way into the cooler and then pull the ends through to secure the fan to the cooler. The rubber that fits into the groove of the cooler fits snugly, so there were no issues with the fan vibrating down during operation.
Accessories and Documentation
Aside from the eight rubber fan mounts which XtremeGear includes for a push/pull set up, here is the full assortment. Standing alone at the top is the universal back plate for the HP-1216. This plate is plastic coated on the reverse side which isolates it from any motherboard grounding. If you look closely the holes in the plate each contain a key way; these key ways accept the long bolts on the left that have a key at the head to lock then into place. Under the mounting bolts are the thumb screws used at the top to tension the cooler into place. The four nuts below these are to screw all the way down the bolts and secure the back plate to the motherboard before you set the HP-1216 into place.
Inside the bag is the AMD mounting "wings" that secure to the top plate on the cooler prior to installation (see instructions below). Continuing to the right, there is the twist dial fan speed controller, with a supplied tube of thermal compound they have included. On the extreme right side there is a bit of included double sided foam tape which is to mount the fan controller and a set of washers for Intel mounting. The AMD washers are a bit different and the set is included inside the bag.
Since this cooler would most likely come installed on your rig when you purchase it from CyberPower, the instructions are of little use, but there is always the aspect of maintenance so it's good to know how everything works. These instructions start off with a full list of all the included hardware for reference. And just below there is even a list of "special hardware". The instructions are very clear and the cooler was a privilege to install, both for testing and everyday use.
Flipping the included instructions around shows the final steps for installation, but as you can see the instructions aren't exactly specific to this cooler. The HP-1216 did not come with an "Air Guide", but the rest of the instructions apply directly to the application of the HP-1216.
Test System & Testing Results
Test System & Test Results
TweakTown 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.
With most five-pipe cooler configuration coolers, when tested on smaller LGA775 and, as in our case, a socket 939 IHS, the contact pad doesn't always utilize the outer two heatpipes, depending on the spacing within the base. Even with our smaller 939 IHS I was still able to get contact on the majority of the outer two heatpipes. When using an i7 the contact patch would only be better allowing the outer two pipes to take a bit more of the load off the centre three.
Comparing the HP-1216 with a maximum temperature of 57.9 Celsius, XtremeGear has done quite a good job in their design and implementation of a good partnering fan. The HP-1216 can hang with both the Xigmatek Thor's Hammer, which CyberPower currently offers, as well as the Noctua NH-U12, both with a single fan.
The noise levels aren't great, comparable to both dual fan set ups on the list. Once inside the case during daily use, the noise is less pronounced. I run my fan directly off the motherboard header and apply 12V constant to it; during games this fan is often eclipsed by my graphics card's fan ramping via its own BIOS settings.
In the end I am left with a "kick ass" cooler that isn't going to be available retail for the masses to enjoy, yet! - However, for those who are looking into a CyberPower PC purchase, they are in luck. XtremeGear unleashed a stylish tower cooler with many included features that allow this cooler to play ball with the other choices already in CyberPowers lineup. The noise level to me is acceptable; once the case door is on I don't hear much more than a slight hum. I would much rather have a cooler temperature in lieu of less noise and higher temperatures.
Pricing of the HP-1216 is projected to have a MSRP of $29 when it's released to CyberPower on July 1st. For that price it makes the XtremeGear five heatpipe entry, the HP-1216, the best bang for the buck air cooling offering that CyberPower will offer in their builds. It really is a shame that theHP-1216 won't be ready to ship to places like Newegg for some time. I was however lead to believe it is in the plans to put the HP-1216 on the retail scene. I hope it comes sooner than later as XtremeGear has quite a product to offer.
During my time with the HP-1216, which includes testing and a bit of use on my gaming rig, I have to say it has been a pleasure all the way around. As with every review I am always on the lookout for the obvious things that go wrong during build, testing, or the install. I was only able to find one with the HP-1216 and it was more of a board specific issue. The top mounting plate actually ran into my PWM cooler on my DFI P35 DK and wouldn't allow the cooler to properly seat on my board. With a quick trip to the basement to grab my Dremel tool, I removed a bit of the bracket that was causing the issue and it fits snug as a bug now. With that minor inconvenience being my only complaint, it leaves me only hoping for you and pleading with XtremeGear to get these coolers out on the market and allow everyone a crack at their coolers.
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