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Spire VertiCool II and DiamondCool II

Spire VertiCool II and DiamondCool II Article Author : Silverstrand
Date :
 

Introduction


The VertiCool II and the DiamondCool II both make use of heatpipe technology and both promise quiet operation. But will Spire succeed in building up their name with these new coolers? Read on to find out!

Before I get to the review, I would like to provide some background on Spire.


For the last thirteen years, Spire has been both recognized and respected as the #1 manufacturer of computer thermal solutions in Europe. The quality and reliability of our products has earned us the loyalty of many well known manufacturers and distributors throughout the world and we have maintained close business ties with international names in the computer industry. In July of 2001, Spire opened its first office in Pennsylvania to bring Spire¡¦s success in Europe over to the American market.

Spire products have acquired approvals and recommendations from trusted household names Advanced Micro Devices, Intel, and VIA. We are also recognized by the International Standard Commission for Quality Assurance in 1999 against ISO 9001 & ISO 9002 (No.Q16437). Other achievements include approval certification from CE, UR and CSA in 1998.
Features and Specifications of the VertiCool II


Features:
* Supports all new Intel & AMD micro-processors
* All new UV-reactant 80mm Spider-Fan design
* Amazingly silent at just 19.0 dBA
* 2 Thermally improved heat-pipes
* All copper base
* 45 stamped Aluminum Micro-Fin's
* Dual-Core ready for both Intel & AMD!

Specifications:
Socket 754 / 940 / 775 / 939 Cooling kit
Dimensions:
Heat sink : 95x65x100 mm (l x w x h)
12VDC Fan : 80x80x25 mm (l x w x h)
Bearing:
Ball bearing
Rated speed:
2300 RPM +/-10%
Rated power:
1.56 W
Noise level:
19.0 dBA
Air flow:
25.78 CFM at 2,300 RPM
Current:
0.13 A
Life hours:
Ball: 50.000
Features:
Blue transparent spider fan, 2 heat-pipes, Aluminum Micro-Fin, Copper base
Connector:
3 pin, mainboard
Application
Intel :
Celeron D ~ 2.93 GHz (340J)
Pentium 4 ~ 3.73 GHz (775 Prescott)
Pentium D ~ 3.4 GHz (775 Dual-Core)
Pentium EE ~ 3.73 GHz (775 Dual-Core)
AMD :
Athlon 64 ~ 4800+ (K8)
Athlon 64 FX-51 (K8)
Athlon 64 FX-53 (K8)
Athlon 64 FX-55 (K8)
Athlon 64 FX-60 (K8)
Opteron ~ 2.6 (K8)
Sempron ~ 3300+ (K8)
Thermal resistance:
0.21 (AMD) & 0.23 (INTEL) ¢XC/W
Thermal type:
Stars-420 white grease (Injection tube)

*All Spire CPU cooling products come with thermal compound either pre-applied onto the cooler or in an injection tube. The compound will begin to function at its optimum potential, after a gradual increase in heat-dissipation, approximately 168 hours (7days) after initial application.


Packaging and Contents


The package for the Verticool II is a blue/white themed box with pictures and specificaions. Inside the box you'll find the Intel retention mechanism pre-installed complete with a black plastic X-bracket that serves as the backing plate for this application. Next to that are the AMD socket 754/939/940 brackets. Both retention designs feature captive screws and springs. Also included is a steel backplate with an adhesive pad applied and a syringe of thermal paste. A quite complete package that will serve a lot of buyers who are looking for a high quality cooling solution. Also, there is an installation manual.

A Closer Look


When you pull the Verticool II out from the box, the first thing likely to be noticed is the weight. But the second thing to be noticed is how big and shiny the heatsink is.

The Verticool II is compatible with many different processors, mainly AMD's K8 (sockets 754, 939, 940) and Intel's LGA 775, as well as 478. These include the Pentium Ds, Celeron Ds, the FX-57, Athlon 64 4800+, and a few other models.

Looking at the front of the VertiCool II, we see the 80mm UV reactive spider fan, rated to run at 2300RPM at a low noise level of 19dBA, delivering 25.78CFM of air flow. Behind the fan are the two heatpipes. At the bottom are the socket 775 mounting brackets, which come installed by default.


The bottom of the Verticool II is protected by a sticker so that the copper does not get scratched en route or prior to installation. Once the sticker is removed, the very smooth copper base is visible. Yet, it is not perfectly flat. There is some slight waviness, most likely due to the polishing operation, but nothing that a little thermal compound can't deal with.

Installation

I noticed that one of the screws sits tight against the fan guard. This makes installation a bit harder, as you will either have to remove the fan, remove your motherboard, install the heatsink, reattach the fan, and reinstall the motherboard, or attempt to use screwy angles, and awkward tension, to get this cooler installed. This design flaw could be mended by simply rotating the fan guard by half an inch.

Acoustics

I have no way to measure the actual sound output of this cooler. I can, however, tell you that it is indeed a fairly quiet cpu cooler. With the case side panel on, this cooler is inaudible from four feet or further away, and produces only a slight "whoosh" noise if closer. No high pitched whines, merely the sound of air moving.

Features and Specifications of the DiamondCool II

Features

• All new UV-reactant 90mm Spider-Fan design
• Amazingly silent at just 21.0 dBA
• 4 Thermally improved heat-pipes
• All copper 55 stamped Micro-Fin heat-sink design
• Supports all new AMD K8 micro-processors
• Dual-Core (M2) & FX-60 ready!

Specifications
Socket 754 / 940 / 939 Cooling kit
Dimensions Heat sink : 89×80×53 mm (l × w × h)
12VDC Fan : 90×90×25 mm
Bearing Ball bearing
Rated speed 2400 RPM +/-10%
Rated power 2.40 W
Noise level 21.0 dBA
Air flow 41.15 CFM at 2,400 RPM
Current 0.20 A
Life hours Ball: 50.000
Features Blue transparent spider-fan, 4 heat-pipes, all copper stamped fin technology
Connector 3 pin, mainboard
Application AMD : Athlon 64 ~ 4800+ (K8)
Athlon 64 FX-51 (K8)
Athlon 64 FX-53 (K8)
Athlon 64 FX-55 (K8)
Athlon 64 FX-60 (K8)
Opteron ~ 2.6 (K8)
Sempron ~ 3300+ (K8)

Thermal resistance 0.285 °C/W
Thermal type Stars-420 white grease (Injection tube)

*All Spire CPU cooling products come with thermal compound either pre-applied onto the cooler or in an injection tube. Compound will begin to function at its optimum potential, after a gradual increase in heat-dissipation, approximately 168 hours (7days) after initial application.


Packaging and Contents


The package for the DiamondCool II is a blue/white themed box with pictures and specificaions, just like the VertiCool II. Inside the box you'll find the eye catching opper cooler. Also included is a steel backplate with an adhesive pad applied and a syringe of thermal paste. Also, there is an installation manual.

A Closer Look


When you pull the DiamondCool II out from the box, the first thing likely to be noticed is all the copper. It just screams "heat dispersion!" For cooling, Spire has chosen to use their UV reactive 90mm spider fan, rated to run at 2400RPM, at a noise level of 21dBA, delivering 41.14CFM of airflow.


Looking at the side, we see the four heatpipes, which attach to the base, curve, and then run through the 55 copper fins. It is an interesting design as the copper fins contact the heatpipes at both the bottom of the fins and in the middle of the fins. All other designs I've seen have the heatpipes attached to the cooler base, which then run upwards and have the fins mounted off of them.

Looking at the base, we see that it is not as nice as the base on the VertiCool II. It's still a flat and smooth base; it could just use a minor lapping job to polish it up.

Installation

Seeing as how the DiamondCool II is ready for socket 939 right out of the box, there is nothing to change around. Unlike the VertiCool II, the screws are both easily accessible.

Installation involved nothing more than removing the previous heatsink, cleaning the CPU with rubbing alcohol and cotton balls, and placing the DiamondCool II in place and screwing it down. This is assuming that you have the stock mounting bracket off and a decent backplate, as discussed in the previous page.

Acoustics

Like the VertiCool II, the DiamondCool II is respectably quiet and is inaudible from 4+ feet away when within a closed case. Without equipment to measure the actual sound output, I would have to say that both coolers are equally quiet.
Testing





As we can see, both coolers performed better than the stock cooler. However, the VertiCool II pulled ahead of the DiamondCool II. I found this interesting, as I had initially thought that the DiamondCool II would be the better of the two. Why is this not the case? I think that the reason is surface area. Heatsink performance depends on, among other things, surface area. While the VertiCool II had a fair amount of surface area, the DiamondCool II had... well, less. Going along with this idea, having heatpipes that attach to the base and bottom of the fins, and then curve slightly and go back into the fins doesn't provide much extra surface area either.

Regardless, both units run cooler than the stock equipment while producing less noise, which is something that we can all respect. But in the end, the VertiCool II is the better performer, and thus, the better cooler.
Conclusion

So how do we classify these new coolers from Spire? Considering that the cost for either CPU Cooler is around $32, I think that one word sums it up: balance.

Consider the VertiCool II, it remains a quiet cooler while still offering decent cooling capabilites. Even though it is a larger cooler, it still remains lightweight, and it has been designed in such a way that spacing should not be an issue. Those who can't bear ears will also enjoy this cooler, as its acoustic toll is low. Overall, it is a well rounded heatsink, excelling in several areas, yet a slight irritation for the AMD user.

As for the DiamondCool II, I'd like to think of it as a younger sibling to the VertiCool II. While it shares many of the same traits as its older sibling, it does so on a smaller scale, meaning it also delivers performance on a smaller scale. This in and of itself is not a bad thing; not all coolers are equal. But considering that both coolers are available for purchase at the same price just doesn't make sense. If the DiamondCool II were cheaper than the VertiCool II, I would have no problem recommending either one, depending on your budget. But since they both cost the same, I can only recommend one: the VertiCool II.

Advantages (VertiCool II)
  • Decent Performance
  • Polished Base
  • Lightweight
  • Quiet
Disadvantages (VertiCool II)
  • Installation
  • Not for the enthusiast overclocker.
Advantages (DiamondCool II)
  • Quiet
  • Easy Installation
Disadvantages (DiamondCool II)
  • Performs worse than the VertiCool II
  • Not for the enthusiast overclocker.


 



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