IntroductionThe Cooler Guys recently sent me some HSF units to test out, so I though that I would just pick the one that I have heard the most good things about and find out just what makes it so good. The GlobalWin FOP 38 HSF has been touted as one of the all-time best heatsinks available, with the exception of the high-end Alpha units. I have heard again and again that these particular devices are just unbeatable in terms of price vs. performance.They are also reputed to be rather loud. Would this be an annoyance that got in the way of my computing and gaming? Would the FOP-38 live up to it's reputation of a top quality cooler? Would the large heatsink have any troubles fitting onto my Abit KT7 motherboard?I asked these questions and also found some answers. let's see if all this talk is valid...
GlobalWin FOP-38 -
The FanThe fan used for the FOP-38 unit is a very solid Delta fan that measures in at 60mm x 60mm x 23mm. It is rated at 6800 rpm and cranks out an impressive 38-CFM airflow rate. Cooler Guys claims a noise rating of 42.5 dba, but to be honest, I think that it's probably closer to 46-48 dba. To put it plainly, this is one loud fan, but not like normal fans are loud. The sound is more like a high pitched whine that you hear in the background. it's not annoying to me, but if you have sensitive ears, then it may get on your nerves.The fan connects to the system by means of a 3-pin connection, but Cooler Guys have added a nice feature...a 3 pin to 4-pin converter. This allows the fan to be hooked up directly to a spare line that comes straight from the power supply. I have always had very good stability from the fans that hook up to the power supply. I also don't have a lot of faith in the motherboard being able to provide a smooth flow of power to everything on the board PLUS the fan headers as well. Fans take up a good chunk of power, so a stronger source is always a good thing to keep things cool under the hood.Another nice feature is the addition of a simple fan grill. I have stated before that it isn't the finger chewing that concerns me, but the sick feeling you get to your stomach when that little monster of a fan sucks up a couple of wires within your system. The sound of the fan blades grinding something to bits isn't a good one.
The HeatsinkThe heatsink is an anodized aluminum block that measures 75mm x 68mm x 42mm. It is rather large, but is compact enough that it should fit on just about any motherboard around. It fit with no problems at all onto my Abit KT7 board, which is also known as a tight fit for larger heatsinks. It consists of a split design and has 20 fins that go through the entire unit. The larger base will allow for more dissipation of heat, which will help out considerably when you start overclocking.One feature that GlobalWin is notorious for, and which also annoys me to no end, is the addition of some cheesy thermal tape to the base of the heatsink. Thermal tape is next to useless, is messy, and is a royal pain to clean off the processor core after it has heated up. it's just my opinion, but it seems to me that the people who are likely to buy this type of performance heatsink are people who push their systems to the limit. I have yet to meet an avid overclocker who uses thermal tape. They ALWAYS use a thermal compound of some sort because it is inherently a much better interface for mating the core to the sink.The heatsink also did not come lapped. It had noticeable ridges in the base that had to be sanded off before it could be used. I normally don't polish my bases, but I do sand them until they are smooth, then clean them thoroughly with some Isopropyl alcohol and a lint free cloth.Even with the minor quirks noted above, there are no complaints when it comes to cooling performance. The large heatsink working in conjunction with the Delta fan is a very solid combination. How good? let's just see...
GlobalWin FOP-38 -
TestingI ran a small series of tests on the unit to see how well it performed on both a standard speed system and an overclocked one. The base system consisted of:- Antec SX1030 Tower Case- Abit KT7 (non-RAID)- Thunderbird 1000- Arctic Silver Thermal Compound- 256MB PC133 CAS2 SDRAM- Creative Annihilator2 GTS w/ 32MB- Sound Blaster Live- Western Digital 20.5GB @ 7200 rpmI ran the tests with the processor clocked to 1000MHz and then again at 1100MHz. The overclocking was done by FSB settings to try to create a hotter processor. This gave results that showed how well it performs under both normal and excessive conditions. The testing itself consisted of monitoring the processor temperatures when the system was idle, after a heavy deathmatch of Quake3, and then after a looping of the demo included in 3dMark2001.- 1000MHz
Remember that I always want to keep temperatures under 50C, and prefer to keep them under 45C. As you can see, this unit was able to keep pace with that preference with no problems at all. Since the entire AMD line of processors like to run hot, it's up to you to keep them at a reasonable level.ConclusionAfter running the tests, I finally realized why everyone has such a high regard for these units. They are just awesome coolers...period! I tried everything that I could to get it to read at 50C or higher and failed. I even pushed the speed up some more just to try to find something that was substandard about it's performance and failed again. Then I cranked up the FSB even more to really strain it's abilities (and trying to hit that 50C mark)...and failed yet once again.Folks, if you are in the market for a performance cooling solution, then please allow me to introduce you to the GlobalWin FOP-38. It is an outstanding heatsink/fan combination that is absolutely out of this world. Even when I went above and beyond in an attempt to hit this unit's boiling point, it held it's own and performed flawlessly. Yes, it has a few little annoyances like the thermal tape and the base not being lapped, but in terms of sheer cooling, this unit is a definite winner.Rating - 9/10
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