Reviewed: November 20, 2004
Type: CPU Fan
Perhaps the single most important piece of cooling equipment you can have in your PC is the CPU cooler. Gone are the days where you can rely on that generic fan and heatsink that ships with your retail version of a processor. We’re now seeing liquid-cooled systems, heat pipes, and other high-tech ways to keep your over-clocked CPU running at non-lethal temperatures.
Thermaltake, the experts on keeping your computer cool, have a great solution for your cooling needs at a price that can’t be beat. The Volcano Silent Boost A1889 Cooler is a complete package that includes a massive heatsink with 41 copper fins and an aluminum fan attachment.
The 80x80x25mm fan spins at 2,450 RPM and only generates 21dBA of noise, which is barely detectable assuming it was the only thing making noise in the room. Much of this silence can be attributed to Thermaltake’s new “Hydro Wave Bearing” technology that make it spin longer and quieter. Rated at 50,000 hours, even if you’re like me and never turn your computer off, this fan is good for nearly 6 years.
Installation is a snap using the standard 3-notch clamp that fits over your CPU socket. Thermaltake even provides a packet of thermal paste to give you maximum heat transference between the chip and the heatsink. To further assist in the cooling, the fan has slits around the outer casing allowing for even greater airflow. The fan uses a standard 3-pin plug that attaches to the motherboard next to the CPU socket.
Numbers speak louder than words. Using the thermal node on my Thermaltake Xaser III case and multi-fan control system I was able to monitor the temperature of the CPU under a variety of conditions, both before and after installing the Silent Boost A1889. Naturally, temperatures will vary based on your operating conditions and system configuration. Here are my stats:
For less than $40 the Volcano Silent Boost A1889 Cooler is probably the best proactive purchase you can make for your PC to guarantee a long, happy, quiet, and cool life. If you are still using the factory heatsink that came with your processor it’s time to upgrade, and this is what you need. And if you are just looking to add some extra protection, this is probably one of your best alternatives next to a liquid-cooled system.