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3DFXCOOL Alpha 1HO-FAN


These days there are many different kinds cooling products available on the market, starting from simple passive heatsinks and graduating up to active thermal cooling, such as what
Kryotech offers. The most popular and least expensive method to cool your hardware is the good ol' standard heatsink. It's the standard and generally fills the needs of the average user. A few years ago as you may noticed, the "overclocking craze" began. There are 3 kinds of peoples when talking about overcloking, the ones that do it, the ones that never heard about it, and the ones that arent interested. It really depends of what kind of person you are. In my case, I want to get the maximum performance out of my system for the least possible expenditure. This is when overclocking generally comes to mind. Any CPU can be overclocked, but there is a catch-well let's call that a requirement, good cooling. That is why I decided to write a review on the Alpha Cooler from 3dfxcool.

Installation

Installing it wasn't a big challenge although it took more time than a standard heatsink setup. Everything is ready to assemble in the kit and they even included step-by-step instructions, which makes the process even easier. Honestly, not everybody will even need them; it's very simple. Just by looking at the parts, you are set to go. The first step consists of applying thermal grease behind the heatsink (little slice). The second step will focus on mounting the heatsink on the CPU. You will need the 4 silver bolts that screw into the 4 holes of the magnesium CPU rear or use the adapter that came in the kit for Celeron users. The third step will consist of mounting the fan support on the heatsink. You will need 4 screws for that as well. The Fifth and last step will be mounting the fans on the fan support. Nothing complicated here, just nab the 8 big screws, 4 for each fan. Screw them into the aluminum fan holder (platform), and there you go! You should get something similar to this monster.

Technical Information: Choosing A Heat Sink (Alpha.inc)

The values typically used to express heat sink efficiency are "thermal resistance" and "pressure drop." Thermal resistance is expressed as the rise in temperature per watt (C/W)-the lower the value, the higher the thermal performance. Pressure drop is the resistance to the air moving through the heat sink, expressed in units of mmH2O, and ideally should be as low as possible. For example, the heat dissipation requirements for a computer using a 30-watt CPU can be considered as follows. If the maximum operating temperature of this CPU is 75 C, and the airflow in the case is 1.5m/s, and the temperature of the air is 45 C, then a heat sink with thermal resistance of 1 C/W or less is required. The reason for this is that in order to keep the CPU within its maximum operating temperature of 75 C, the elevation of the CPU's temperature must be kept below 30 C. To hold the temperature rise for 30W to within 30 C, the heat must be dissipated using a heat sink with thermal resistance of 1 C/W (30 C / 30W) or less. While this offers a rough standard for choosing a heat sink, in reality other factors must be considered, including heat radiated to the heat sink from other parts, the amount of pressure drop, and the surface area of the heat source touching the heat sink.

Will The Heat Sink Work Without The Fans?

The cooling capacity of a heat sink varies depending on the condition of the air surrounding it (in the machine). The speed of the airflow and the force with which it flows at the heat sink are important points in determining heat sink performance. In selecting a heat sink, various factors such as space limitations and airflow need to be considered.


About Alpha

Alpha Company Ltd. was founded in 1972 and they have produced cold-forged parts in a wide range of fields, including electronics components and automobile parts. In the process, they have constantly striven to develop new concepts for original technology and techniques, which have earned their well-deserved reputation. In 1989, they began to apply their technology to heat sinks. Since then, they have developed high performance heat sinks, previously thought impossible to make and at the same time developed MicroForging, a new technology surpassing any other forging techniques. Their customers include SUN Microsystems, Silicon Graphics, Toshiba, Fujitsu and NEC. They also serve many domestic and overseas electronics manufacturers.

What We Have To Say

The technical support they have is pretty nice. I had some questions to ask them and received a reply in a few minutes. The other day I had something to say, and received a reply in the next few minutes again. I was amazed that those guys are sitting in front of their PCs 24 hours a day, which is a nice feature :-). The shipping was pretty fast too, as the order was placed on November the 6th and the unit arrived on the 10th, which is 4 days, from US to Canada.

The Competition

Since 1996, 3dfxcool was and still is selling the highest quality PC cooling products available. Since that time, many companies started making similar products and selling them for similar or in some cases lower prices. Those companies are probably selling products as good as 3dfxcool but here again, I would rather pay the extra buck for the optional services and deal with a company that has been in the business for a longer time. But that will be up to you. They are also the largest distributor of Alpha heatsinks in the US and the second biggest reseller of GlobalWin products in the US. Many of their products come from one of these two fine manufacturers.

The Overclocking Results

System used:
Pentium II 400MHz ( SL2S7 )
Asus P3B-F
2 x 64Mb (PC100)
3D Blaster Banshee 3DFX
Quantum Fireball EL 7.6GB ( UDMA33/ON )
WINDOWS 2000 PRO RC2

The Results


I tried 2.0, 2.05, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, and even 2.4 volts on some bus speeds but I still didnt have much luck. The stability was always hovering around 433 to 480 MHz. Ill try to get a peltier element on it and re-test the unit again. I'm confident it could do better.

The results weren't that bad for a Pentium II, but as we already know the Pentium II isn't the perfect CPU to overclock because of it's hot L2 cache. The max it could go (stable) was 448 MHz (112 x4.0) using a cheap AAVID Heatsink. And with that, we got a nice 480 MHz (stable) using 120x4.0. It's really not bad for a P2, but if you are a Celeron user then you're in luck, because it's the perfect companion! Many people have obtained similarly impressive results. Check out some of the testimonials here.

Shots

Conclusion

This is the most powerful and most competitive cooler available in today's market. It takes two hands to hold this sucker and be careful because it will bust your glass coffee table top if you drop it. You can always use it as a boat anchor in the future! This cooler really kicks butt, the price is 50.00/USD, wich is pretty high for a cooler, but its really the top, I couldnt give you a good reason to buy this unit if you are not a overclocker, but if you are, dont look further. *Special thanks to Alpha.ltd and
William Yaple here at Target PC.

Oleg Mitskaniouk
oleg@targetpc.com
99/11/20
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