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Review: Four Intel coolers go head-to-head. Xigmatek vs. Cooler Master vs. Akasa.

by Michael Harries on 15 September 2008, 09:48

Tags: Akasa, Cooler Master, Xigmatek

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qapa3

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AK-965 - Installation and performance

Installation

Installation of the AK-965 is incredibly simple. As the cooler is specifically for LGA 775 CPUs you don't have to worry about installing the correct retention mechanism.

The cooler, whilst certainly substantial, is not so bulky as to obstruct access to the push-pins for installation or removal, and thermal compound is pre-applied, meaning you simply have to align the push-pins with mounting holes on the motherboard and press them firmly down to lock into place.

Whilst some will undoubtedly bemoan the use of the push-pin mounting mechanism, the ease and speed of installation certainly weigh in its favour.

Performance

In order to offer as real-world results as possible, we tested in an Antec P180 case, with the top chamber equipped with a single 120mm front-mounted intake fan and single 120mm rear-mounted exhaust fan, both set to medium speed.

The test system included the toasty Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6850 CPU, an eVGA NVIDIA 680i SLI motherboard, and NVIDIA GeForce 8800 Ultra graphics card.

Temperature readings for the components were taken from the on-board sensors, logged using NVIDIA system tools, while ambient and case temperatures were be measured using an Oregon Scientific dual-temperature probe.

In addition we ran the coolers with the system in both tower and desktop configurations, to see if performance varied.

Akasa AK-965 Tower Configuration
  Idle Load
Ambient room temp
23.6°C 23.6°C
Case Temp
27.5°C 27.5°C
CPU Temp
38°C 60°C
System (NB) temp
40°C 42°C
GPU temp
70°C 73°C
CPU/Room Delta T
14.4°C 36.4°C
CPU/Case Delta T
10.5°C 32.5°C


Akasa AK-965 Desktop Configuration
  Idle Load
Ambient room temp 22.5°C 22.5°C
Case Temp 27°C 27°C
CPU Temp 39°C 60°C
System (NB) temp 39°C 41°C
GPU temp 69°C 71°C
CPU/Room Delta T 16.5°C 37.5°C
CPU/Case Delta T 12°C 33°C

Summary

The AK-965 is a very competent all-round package, combining ease of use, quiet operation and good performance in both desktop and tower configurations - which is all the more surprising given the modest cost.

Akasa certainly seems to be onto a winner with the AK-965.