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Appeared on: Monday, December 08, 2008
Sunbeam Core-Contact Freezer


1. Features

 

Manufacturer
SunbeamTech
Model
Price 

$40

Category
Power users

Sunbeamtech has introduced a new cooler compatible with both Intel/AMD sockets, easy installation and an affordable retail price. The SunbeamTech Core-Contact Freezer is a big-sized cpu cooler with an 120mm fan included and at the same time, it comes with the Tuniq TX-2 thermal paste, which we used in all of our cpu cooler tests.

Today we will compare the performance of the SunbeamTech Core-Contact Freezer i with some other cpu coolers.

- Features

- Specifications

Part number: CR-CCTF
Dimensions(mm): 125(L) × 104(W) × 155(H)
Weight: 590g
Bearing Type: MFDB
Rated Voltage: 12V DC
Rated Current: 0.16A
Air Flow: 90.65 CFM (Max)
Noise: 16~20 +/- 10%
Speed: 1,000~2,000 RPM+/- 10%
Life: 50,000 hours
Thermal Resistance 0.092 (℃ / W)

2. Inside the package

The Sunbeamtech Core-Contact Freezer came into a medium sized box.

Inside the box you will find the cooler as well as plenty of accessories. The black plastic secure shell has standard "pop on/off" clips, while the included printed manual includes information about the installation procedure.

Four plastic screws are provided in order to use them to secure the plastic shell. A PCI fan controller can be installed and use it to control the rotation speed of the fan. Two metal clips are available that will help you secure the 120mm rotating fan, while the essential Tuniq TX-2 thermal past ensures efficient thermal conduction.

The Core Contact Freezer is a massive cpu cooler made of a mix of aluminum and copper. Four copper heatpipes are running through the heatsink up to the aluminum fins - a typical design for CPU coolers.

Top view

Below you can see the cooler's base. The heatpipes have been flattened to create a surface that will hopefully enable efficient dissipation of the produced heat.

The installation clips clips can be used to secure the cpu cooler installed on both AMD and Intel systems (with the included base).

The 120mm fan has also a backlight:

The other side of the fan has four rubber pads that absorb the vibration and obviously reduce the operation noise.


3. Installation

The installation process is easy provided that you taken a few minutes to read the printed instructions. The black plastic base must be placed on the four holes of your 775 motherboard, and then be secured using the four (4) black plastic screws, as you can see at the following picture. For AMD users there procedure is even easier - just press and clip.

Make sure that the orientation of the plastic base is like above so that the produced hot air "escapes" the case via the case fan, otherwise performance would be degraded. An obvious problem we encountered is that the plastic base is very close to the motherboard's copper heatsinks. In our case we didn't have much trouble to slightly bend them and secure it, but if your motherboard includes bigger heatsinks you may have problems here.

The next step is to place the cooler on the CPU.

The next step is to install the included 120mm fan. Not much to say here, you should just bend the included clips and secure it on the side of the cooler:

Before installing the cooler make sure that it would fit inside it in case your PC case is small. We did not have any problems with that with our Thermaltake Soprano Case:


4. Test methodology

We have chosen to to test the cooler inside a computer case, since this is the scenario that matches a typical real life use. The cooler was installed on a motherboard that has many heatpipes. This allowed us to identify whether the size of the cooler could be an issue during installation. A quick look at the available motherboards in our labs and we chose the Blitz Extreme.

The testbed configuration is the following:

In the following page we compare the cooling performance of the new Sunbeam Core-Contact Freezer with other CPU coolers we have tested in the past.

For our tests, we produced the highest possible temperature using the OCCT v2.0.1 software. Our previous reviews included Intel's Thermal Analysis Tool (TAT) that offered higher thermal production, but unfortunately it doesn't work with the latest processors.

We left both cores of our CPU running at full load for about 30 minutes. All temperatures were logged via CoreTemp 0.99.3 and the software itself. In order to get realistic numbers, we followed two overclocking scenarios:

We measured the produced noise of all the coolers with the Precision Gold N09AQ Environment Meter. We decided to measure the noise with two system 120mm fans installed (by Thermaltake) and of course the noise that the power supply produces. All measurements were made just outside the case, mostly near the side and the front sides of the PC case. Remember that higher rpm means more noise, so we lowered the rpm either via the BIOS smartfan or via the 3pin controller. This way we tested all the coolers either at full or low rpm speeds.

For all the coolers we used the same thermal compound from Tuniq, the TX-2. We tried to apply the same amount of thermal paste in the same way in all the coolers. All in all we tried to have the exactly same environment conditions for all the tested coolers. Due to Vdroop (Vcore variations), a difference of 1-2 degrees Celsius in performance may be reported among PC different systems.

Finally, all tests were performed with the front PC panel closed, which is the worst case scenario in terms of internal air flow and ventilation.


5. Results

In the following charts you can see the results if the various CPU coolers. The Sunbeamtech Core-Contact Freezer has to compete with many other models from various vendors, different price range and features. Getting the first series of tests with our CPU running at 3.80GHz , we were impressed to see that the Sunbeamtech Core-Contact Freezer performed very well, probably due to the high speed rotating speed of its 120mm fan. The cooler kept the temperature at 53 degrees (average).

Pushing the Intel E8600 CPU at 4.3GHz produced even more heat making cooling harder for all the devices of the test. This time, the SunbeamTech Core-Contact Freezer got an average ranking with 72 degrees Celsius.

Sunbeamtech Core-Contact Freezer seems to perform quite well, at least for its price. But still, there must be a catch. Well, we should note that the Sunbeamtech Core-Contact Freezer is one of the noisiest CPU coolers we have ever tested. An that because of its very high rotating speed. Of course the product includes a PCI slot fan controller that can be used to adjust the rotating speed, with a trade off in performance of course.

Last but not least, the retail price of each tested product is presented below. The Core-contact Freezer product is retails for just $40.


6. Final words

After spending some hours with the Sunbeamtech Core-Contact Freezer, we can safely say that it is a very good product. The cooler comes in a complete retail package, it includes a full tube of Tuniq TX2 thermal paste, a PCI slot fan controller and it costs below $40 ($29.99 after rebate to be exact).

The installation process is easy to get, even with a motherboard armed with many onboard passive heatsinks, where you may have some issues with the installation.

In terms of performance, the results speak for themselves. The cooler performed better than other popular and higher-priced products. On the negative side, the cooler produces some annoying noise at full fan speed. You may slow down the fan easily by using the provided fan controller, with a trade-off in the cooling performance of course.

What we would like to see from this product is the support of an additional rotating fan that could further improve the cooler's efficiency. Maybe Sunbeamtech has now an idea about he Core-Contact Freezer Vol2 product? ;-)

Retail package
Design
Motherboard compatibility
Installation time
Copper Base quality

Pros:

+ Great performance
+ Complete retail package
+ Works with both AMD/Intel platforms
+ Includes Tuniq TX2 thermal paste
+ Low Price ($29.99 after rebate)
+ Replaceable Fan
+ Great Design

Cons:

- Large Size
- Might not be compatible with all motherboards due to mounting mechanism
- Fins seem to bend very easily, be careful!
- Stock fan produces high noise at full speed



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