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Appeared on: Thursday, October 15, 2009
Sunbeamtech Core-Contact Freezer LGA1366


1. Features
Manufacturer
Sunbeamtech
Model
Price 

$32

Category
Power users

The Sunbeamtech Core-Contact Freezer is a product we have already tested in past, but it was the version equipped with a 120mm fan. This time, we are testing another version that carries a smaller 92mm fan and it is also compatible with the LGA1366 socket.

The Sunbeam CPU cooler utilizes the proprietary Core-Contact technology, which places the four heat-pipes in direct contact with the CPU for more efficient heat conduction. The four thick 6mm heat-pipes combined with the TX-2 thermal paste, and the ultra-silent, ultra long life MFDB (Magnetic Fluid Dynamic Bearing) cooling fan with speed control promise to offer a great value and increased cooling performance.

- Product features

Dimensions(mm):

95 (L) ×80 (W) ×155 (H)

Weight:

272g

Bearing Type:

MFDB

Rated Voltage: 12V DC
Rated Current: 0.17A (Max)
Air Flow: 30.5~40.5 CFM
Noise: ≦27dBA
Speed: 1200~2200 RPM
Life: 50,000 hours
Thermal Resistance 0.092 (℃ / W)

2. Retail package, installation

Here is the retail box of the Sunbeamtech Core-Contact Freezer:

The product retails for about $32, as found at several online stores. The LGA1366 retention bracket would probably cost you more bucks, but nevertheless it's needed if you decide to use it with a Core i7 processor. Out of the box, the cooler can be installed in 775 & AMD2 sockets.

The retail package includes the CPU cooler, mounting clips for socket LGA 775/AM2, a fan controller, a Tuniq TX2 thermal paste and several mounting clips for the base. We can say that the retail package is complete..

We have to do with a medium-sized cpu cooler with U-shape design and featuring the core-contact technology as found in most Xigmatek products. The 92mm fan is already pre-installed and of course, you can add an extra one using the available holes on the the aluminum fins.

Four 6mm full copper heatpipes connect the base with the fins.

The LGA1366 retention bracket is useful for Core i7 users

In order to install the cooler to the motherboard you should remove the motherboard from the PC case first, especially if you are using the LGA1366 kit. The procedure is simple: You place the backplate on the motherboard and then you mount the plastic base at the backplate using the long screws found in the package. This is how your motherboard should look like after the installation of the base:

The next step is to place the cooler on the plastic base. Gently push the one side of the cooler to the retention bracket and then apply some extra force to get the cooler secured. Nothing hard to accomplish but just be careful:

As you can see in the picture below, there is enough free space left at the rear side of the cooler, allowing you to possibly add another 92mm rotating fan there:-)


3. How we test

For our tests we used an open air testbed with the following configuration:

We tried to produce the the highest possible temperature inside our test PC using the OCCT v2.0.1 software with a custom 30mins (mixed) operation.

We left both CPU cores running at full load for ~30 minutes. All temperatures were logged using the CoreTemp 0.99.3 and the software. We also followed two overclocking scenarios:

We measured the produced noise with a Precision Gold N09AQ Environment Meter. All measurements were made at a distance of 30cm away from the cpu cooler running at full speed. For all the coolers we used the same thermal compound from Tuniq, the TX-2.


4. Results

Even at stock speed and voltages, the Intel Core i7-920 processor produces enough heat. Intel's stock cpu cooler gave around 58 degrees C under full load, while the Core-Contact Freezer 92mm kept the CPU cooler by 7 degrees C:

Pushing the Intel Core-i7 920 to work at 3.60GHz requires higher voltage producing even more heat. Here is a strong test that any product has to pass in order to justify its retail price. The Intel stock cooler gave around 90 degrees C. The Sunbeamtech Core-Contact Freezer managed to get the cpu temperature down to 72 degrees C improving the overall performance. Very impressive!

Operation noise is also an important factor when you choose a cooler for your CPU.The Intel stock cooler is very quiet as everyone could realize, with 37dB. At full speed, the Sunbeamtech cooler produced 43dB. Lowering the rotation speed at the minimums gave around 39dB.

Lastly, lets look at the product's retail price compared with other cpu coolers. Priced at ~$33, the Core-Contact Freezer would cost you a little bit more than some other solutions:


5. Final words

The Sunbeamtech Core-Contact Freezer 92mm is an interesting solution since it packs small dimensions with good performance, even when you use it with your e Core i7 processor. The retail package is complete offering the appropriate tools to make the cooler compatible with with Socket 775 & AM2 systems, the Tuniq TX2 thermal paste (very good choice) and a fan controller for the already 92mm silent fan. It's hard to find so many goodies in a CPU cooler package.

The cooler's design is rather simple with core-contact base with four 6mm heatpipes - a proven solution that works anyway.

Our findings in the tests are also decent. Compared to an Intel stock CPU cooler, the Sunbeamtech Core-Contact Freezer 92mm lowered the temperatures of the Core i7-920 by 18 degrees C, with the processor overclocked. The difference when the processor was running at stock voltages was 7 degrees C.

Regarding the noise levels, the cooler was slightly noisier than the Intel stock cooler at full speed.

So we have to do with an affordable, decent performer here. Its compact size offers easy installation which is always a plus for such products. Its retail price ( ~$32) classifies it somewhere in the middle compared with other solutions.

Retail package
Design
Motherboard compatibility
Installation time
Copper Base quality

Pros:

+ Great retail package
+ Works Intel LGA 775 and AM2 platforms
+ Good retail price
+ Supports installing a second fan
+ Will lower the temperatures of your processor compared with the stock cooler
+ Good noise level when fan is operating at low speed

Cons:

- LGA 1366 kit costs more
- Used 92mm rotating fan is noiseless but not so powerful



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