Date: February 11, 2008
Author(s): William Kelley
Having the ability to overclock a Quad-Core processor while keeping your machine quiet used to be a pipe-dream, until CoolIT’s latest CPU cooler came into the picture. With the PURE, we managed a nice 3.67GHz clock on our QX6850, all while being able to hear our hard drives over the cooler.
Enthusiasts are always looking for better ways to cool their PC’s. Lately, it seems that companies are releasing new products every single day, to help people in their search. One of those companies being CoolIT. Today we are taking a look at their latest release, the PURE CPU cooler.
CoolIT is well known for their TEC based cooling solutions, but with this new unit, they have taken a step away from the TEC and produced a simple water-cooling only based design. Wrapped up in a neat package, the PURE is a noticeably well-thought-out all-in-one water cooler for your processor.
Silence has also become something enthusiasts are demanding in their PC’s. Gone are the days of the enthusiast happily running multiple 100CFM + fans at 50dB+ to get the most out of their PC.
With the latest processors, this has become unnecessary. Water-cooling has long been known for its ability to cool your super-hot overclocked CPU rather quietly. The only problem has been the long build time, setup times and the high costs associated with it. All that being said, it is time for us to see just how well CoolIT has done with this simple, yet elegant solution.
With multi-core CPU’s become the norm, we will forever be striving to find better and cheaper ways to cool down our processors. Since overclocking has become so mainstream, the need for the removal of the extra heat created has become a huge business. CoolIT is a rather new company in the fray, but have quickly become a trusted source of efficient products, so we were looking forward to getting our hands on the PURE, as soon as we learned of it.
As beautiful as the box is, does the protection inside hold up to the same standards? As you can see, the well-thought-out foam encasement is more than up to the roughest treatment by your favorite shipping company.
Out of the foam, shown below is everything you get with your PURE. Plenty of hardware for pretty much every CPU socket out there – there is even a fancy plastic adapter to help you get it fitted into even the trickiest case.
Here is a close-up shot of the bracket mount. One thing to remember, is that the bracket could be mounted in 4 different ways to help accommodate the offset required by your particular case.
This is s nice close-up of the CPU block. Normally, you would see thermal paste that CoolIT pre-applies to their blocks. I just included a picture with the paste removed, because I am very impressed at the mirror finish they have taken the trouble to put onto the mounting surface.
Time to get this installed and tested to see if it can withstand the heat of a highly overclocked Quad-Core processor!
If you read my review of CoolIT’s Freezone Elite in late January, you may already be familiar with my testing machine. For those who aren’t, all of its specs are as follows:
Installation is simple and straight-forward. For most applications, you will be required to remove the motherboard to install the standoffs. The included hardware also makes this a simple task.
The next step is to find a good spot to place the unit for installation. I would recommend using a soft cloth or something similar to lay it on since it would be easy to scratch on the rough edges of your case.
Here is a close up shot of the mounted CPU water block.
And here is the money shot of it installed into my chassis. Note the scratch my careless installation practice caused. I cannot stress enough that you should lie something in your case for the unit to rest on during installation so you do not make the same mistake I did.
Now that all the work is done, time to light the fire and see just how well this baby does!
I used standard methodology of testing for the PURE. All tests were done 3 times to ensure accuracy. I used Windows XP Professional as the OS, while Prime95 was used to fully stress the CPU during testing. The latest version of CPU-Z was also used to verify processor frequencies as well.
All system drivers were updated to the latest as was Windows. All testing was done with everything installed in case and side panels fully attached. No special added cooling was used and the configuration was kept uniform during all testing. Ambient temperature was also kept nearly constant at 65°F (18°C) during the entire testing process.
One thing I want to mention right away is the sound levels, or should I say lack of sound levels. The PURE is one quiet cooler. It was easy to hear any other noise producing system component over the PURE – even the hard drives.
Enough talk. Here’s the down and dirty on the results.
Stock CPU speed @ idle:
Stock CPU speed @ full system load:
As you can see from my results, the PURE is quite capable of keeping your CPU temperatures well in line. If you consider the heat load of a Quad-Core processor running 3.0GHz, these results are very good. The noise level was also near silent. So of course, time for overclocking!
CPU set to 3.67GHz @ idle:
CPU set to 3.67GHz @ full system load:
As you can see, the PURE had no problem keeping the fully loaded Quad-Core well under the 100C throttle point.
I had my honest doubts that the PURE was going to be overwhelmed by the Quad-Core. You may look at this result and think that 85°C is much too hot to be running your processor at. Purists are quick to state that you need to keep it at a much lower temperature. The truth is, Intel’s Quad-Cores are designed to withstand near 100°C temperatures for extended periods of time.
At 3.67GHz, I let it run for nearly 2 hours before settling on a load temperature. The results were the highest recorded temperature throughout all of the stressing. Considering the small tube size of ¼” and the near silence of the fan, I am definitely impressed with my results.
Most people will never run a Quad-Core fully loaded. Even if they did, chances are they will not have it there for hours on end. The fringe group that does run them full throttle all the time would hardly bat an eyelash at the thought of warming it up. I personally was fully comfortable running it at these temperatures.
Considering the relatively low cost of the PURE, I would have to say that my results were very good, when compared to air. I would have liked to see the load temperatures stay under the 80°C mark but I feel this type of cooler, no matter who produces it, would have the same heat load issues the PURE did – and they would have been much louder in the process.
After taking everything into consideration, I am awarding the PURE an 8 out of 10. It met every expectation that I had, and even exceeded my expectation in regard to the full load of the overclocked CPU. I watched the needle climb past the 80°C mark with my finger on my power switch. I kept waiting for it to just become overwhelmed with the heat load and burst over the 100°C safety threshold.
Seconds turned into minutes and minutes into hours. When all was said and done, the PURE did its job and did it well. I ran the load test for over 8 hours and the temps never exceeded 84°C. In fact, they would fluctuate between 79°C and 84°C at any given time.
If you demand lower temperatures, be prepared for the sound of a jet engine since any cooler out there will require high CFM fans and superb airflow. If you want quiet, then this is one of the lowest price viable options out there.
For those that will invariably compare this product to a full blown custom water cooling loop remember the main point behind a product like this, the cost. You simply cannot build a custom water cooling solution for the same cost and get any better results. I will agree that you can spend double and warrant better performance, but there goes the budget. Overall, I enjoyed my time with the PURE and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone who is looking for an efficient solution that is also extremely quiet.
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