OCZ has released many products over the past few months, one being a new CPU cooler. It may not be much to look at, but the design promises great heat dissipation. If you are looking for a low profile air cooler that glows, read on…
The previous cooling in the machine was the Corsair Nautilus 500 water kit, so it’s obvious that it will beat out the Tempest easy. However, it’s primarily there for comparison… just to give an idea. The only previous air cooler I have had for the AM2 was the stock cooler, which I promptly threw out due to it being garbage ;-)
To effectively stress the CPU, I ran an instance of Prime95s Small FFT test on each core in addition to a Super Pi 32M run. After 15 minutes of this, I went on to another setting. All of the results were recorded with Everest Ultimate Edition. Because this is a dual core CPU, Everest notes that each core has a different temperature. So I have included all of the results. Note: During all of the testing, the room temperature was 80°F. This is a little warm, so if your room is kept cooler, than you can expect lower results.
At stock speed, the cooler did quite well. Granted, it hit 57°C, but this is a dual core, so they run hotter. With the stock cooler at stock cpu speed, I hit 63°C, so this is a nice improvement. Of course, it has nothing on water though. 2.75GHz was on the iffy side though… which always hovered above 60°C. I would never personally run a PC that hot for a long period of time (Unless it’s an Intel maybe), so that’s a little high. Though I didn’t test it at 2.60GHz, I believe that would be the best possible setting with this CPU and cooler. The heat was generated from the 1.45v that 2.75GHz requires, while 2.60GHz can run stable on 1.25v.
So how does OCZs low profile cooler fare? Though the results are nothing amazing, I am going to award the Tempest an 8 out of 10. First thing to note is that this cooler is not going to be recommended for Dual Core systems, unless you are running an HTPC or something similar. Even still, you would want to run it at 2.5GHz to retain decent temperatures.
Dual Cores obviously run much hotter than single cores, so I would be quick to recommend this cooler if you had such a CPU. The reason I like the cooler the most is that it’s smaller than most others out there, but that in turn takes away from some of the cooling ability. But again, that would make this a perfect cooler for an HTPC setup, since those PCs lack more room than standard cases. The included fan also looks -very- cool… it’s by far one of the best looking LED fans I have seen. Even though I will not continue using this cooler, I am going to use the fan elsewhere :-)
That being said though… due to it’s profile, quiet fan and decent cooling ability… it just seems like this was designed for an HTPC. What about those who have a stock cooler and want to upgrade? If you don’t care about price, then the Tempest is a good choice. However, if you want better cooling ability, you would be better to look at something like Zalmans 9500LED. It costs $15 more, but should cool better especially if you have a dual core. It’s also much larger than the Tempest, though.
I am not usually a ‘fan’ of CPU coolers as I mentioned in the intro, but I have enjoyed using the Tempest. It looks great, cools decent, and won’t clog up the inside of your case. It’s definitely a noble first attempt from OCZ. In the future should OCZ release more coolers, I would love to see a more capable fan, and even the addition of a small fan controller. For such a small cooler, 2500RPM, 44CFM is not that great. 4000RPM and 60CFM would be more along the road of better cooling, and would have proven more capable of handling my hot Dual Core.
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