Since fitting an XP3200 to my machine, Iíve suffered cooling problems. At full load the CPU would peak at 65C with case temp hovering around 42C - which is obviously unacceptable.
After searching for an alternative, I found the Gigabyte 3D Rocket Pro Cooler in an attempt to solve my cooling problems. This particular cooler also comes with a fan speed module, allowing you to change the RPM of the fan. The cooler even comes fitted with 4 Blue LEDs which light up when in use, making this particularly attractive to case modders.
Gigabyte 3D Rocket Pro Cooler
I was previously using a Thermalright SLK-800 cooler, Pabst medium-flow 80mm fan and Arctic Silver 5. If I left the side of the case off, temperatures were 62C and 40C respectively. A little better but still not good, as I wanted to fit the case side anyway.
Lian Li PC-61 Black aluminium Case
Gigabyte GA700N Pro 2 Motherboard
2 x 512Mb Crucial PC3200, dual memory mode
2 x Western Digital 35Gb Raptor drives in RAID 0
2 x Western Digital 80Gb 8Mb cache IDE drives
Sony Black floppy drive
ATI 9800 Pro 128Mb Video card
Antec Truepower 430W PSU
The Lian Li's original fans have been replaced with 2 x 80mm Vantec Stealth fans to the front (blowing inwards) and 2 x 80mm Pabst medium-flow fans at the rear and roof of the case, exhausting.
Two Vantec Stealths blow air directly over 2 x Western Digital Raptors mounted on their sides and so contribute little to case cooling. The two Pabst fans seem to do a good job with an acceptable noise level.
First, out of curiosity, I tried the stock AMD cooler that came with the XP3200 (aluminium fins and 60mm fan). I was surprised, it gave me exactly the same temperatures as the SLK-800.
It is worth pointing out that the Gigabyte motherboard does not have four mounting holes around the CPU socket, so a bolt through cooler was not an option, I was restricted to clip on devices.
Next up, I tried using 3 x 80mm Vantec Tornado fans, two at the front of the case and one on the Thermalright SLK-800 for the CPU.
That worked quite well, with case side on, CPU temp was 58C at full load and case temp was 36C. But the noise! It sounded like a power station turbine on full tilt! I managed to stand that for half an hour, then took out the Vantec Tornados and put things back as they were.
I spotted the Gigabyte 3D Rocket Pro Cooler whilst browsing different Supplierís cooling solutions. It looked interesting, cost £30.00, which seemed reasonable, so I thought Iíd give it a go.
When it arrived, I was amazed at how huge it was, it resembled a motor cycle engine cylinder and seemed massive. But I noted it was actually quite light. It also looked quite unlike any other cooler Iíve ever seen.