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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [04.06.03]
Manufactured by: CpuMate

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The Problem

As you can see, the retention module is not designed to spec.  If it had been, we should not have run into this problem with our reference Intel motherboard.  I am not going to dwell on this for a long time however, as this problem will likely rarely show up for most of our readers.  From what I've seen, Intel is the only mobo manufacturer to solder their heatsinks to the motherboards, rather than use push pins.  And how many of you actually use Intel boards?

Still, I wish CpuMate had gone to spec when they had the chance - what is the point of using standard retention clips when you are using an RM that is non-standard? For the rest of this review, we will be looking at the previous model cooler, which is identical in every other way.


Looking at the older retention mechanism, you can see that it is indeed unlike most you've likely seen on a P4 cooler.  Installing this is not as difficult as having to uninstall the motherboard and insterting custom pegs, but it is definitely more laborous than simply clipping some clips into the RM and calling it a day.

You'll first have to uninstall your current RM, which shouldn't produce too many problems.  Uninstall your video card and ram, and get under the pushpins with a knife and wedge them out.  Place the CpuMate RM in, then replace the pushpins.  It is keyed so the heatsink only fits one way, so make sure you have it pointing the right way so the fan doesn't end up blowing the wrong way!

After installing your thermal paste, place the heatsink on top (again it will only go one way, and your fan should be blowing toward the back of the case).  Place the top bracket (which is also keyed) and push the lever down.  The cam places a lot of pressure on the heatsink, so you will get a very tight installation.

"Free To Overclocking" ... ?

The first thing you likely would have noticed when you saw this cooler was the dinky 15mm tall fan used.  Although CpuMate insists on their retail box that their coolers are "Free to overclocking", using a 70x70x15 fan does NOT scream high performance to me.  Stock replacement is the phrase that comes to my mind.

This speedy little fan was required to again necessitate the side mounted design.  A taller fan would simply have gotten in the way of any capacitors or other objects that may have been installed around the CPU.  This was indeed the case on our Intel motherboard. 

To get around this, CpuMate cranks it to 5000 RPM, but of course that introduces quite a lot of noise.  Not nearly as much noise as, say, a Tornado 7200 RPM screamer, but definitely louder than stock.  Of course, this heatsink is intended to be more than simply "stock replacement" so we'll definitely have to look at performance later on.


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