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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [02.20.03]
Manufactured by: Cooler Master 

Est. Street Price: $35

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A New Home

As you may know, we recently relocated our main office to Hong Kong.  This allows us to keep in touch with Asian companies more regularly.  We now have the opportunity to check out manufacturing plants, offices, and meet up with PR personnel on a more consisten basis, rather than once or twice a year at exhibitions.

I brought with me a Pentium 4 2.8 CPU w/ stock cooler with an Intel 845PE chipset and Radeon 9700.  Bringing the bare necessities allowed for a lot less packing; all I had to do was buy a case and monitor upon arrival and I would be good to go! I heard of the many computer malls in Hong Kong, offering TONS of choices on where to buy my parts... If you haven't been to or heard of a HK Computer Mall, check this out:

Here's a small taste of what you see - A crowded mall filled with rows upon rows of tiny, cramped computer stores.  The selection is boggling, and the prices are excellent.  There are stores specializing in different components - you'll find stores that sell pretty much just cases, ones with monitors, ones with hardware peripherals, software stores, etc.

So after some shopping around, I picked up a 'basic' tower to tide me over until a new case comes in for review (price: $20 including PSU). and a nice little ProView 15" LCD monitor (price: $260 brand new, and there's no tax here).

The Problem

There's one thing I neglected to consider however.  I'm sure some astute readers are now thinking, "What is he thinking using a cheap case and stock cooling in a warm country like Hong Kong!".  You would be exactly right - one thing Canadians don't usually consider is that the ambient temperature can really help with hardware temperatures.  I was going from mid winter Canada to mid winter Hong Kong.  Mind you, the weather in Hong Kong during winder isn't exactly up to normal blistering subtropical standards - the temperature barely goes over the mid-20's - but in a small room things can get hot pretty quick.

And if you've read our original P4 2.8 review, you know that it is the hottest Intel CPU since switching over to a 0.13 micron process.  In my experience, it's even hotter than the 3.06! This led to problems - under full load case temperature was reaching high 40's, and the CPU was scorching hot.  So much so that the built in overheat protection on the Intel motherboard would shut down on me (unfortunately there is no way to adjust the overheat settings on Intel motherboards; something I'll surely look for in our next review).

The Answer

Luckily the very first company I've met since moving here happened to be Cooler Master, also based in Hong Kong.  During lunch I explained my conundrum to them, and knowing how I am so particular about system noise, they had the perfect solution for me: Fujiyama.

The Cooler Master IHC-L71, also known as Fujiyama, is a 'Silent' Heat Pipe solution for Intel CPU's.  With a 70mm fan spinning at 2500 RPM, I'd rather describe it as being "Quiet".  Silent is reserved for products such as Zalman's Heatpipe Video Cooler, or the products used in our How to Build a DEAD SILENT PC article.  Nonetheless, the IHC-L71 has some very interesting aspect which we'll get into now.

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