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Aerocool HT-101 HSF Aerocool HT-101 HSF: We take look at Aerocool's latest heatpipe solution and see if it's performance is as impressive as it's looks.
Date: March 12, 2004
Manufacturer:
Written By:
Price:

 

A potential issue we see given the heatsink's installation method is other than having problems with smaller cases (the PSU issue mentioned earlier), large North Bridge (NB) heatsinks may interfere with the HT-101's installation. Due to the vertical method of fan installation, it passes near our NB cooler. Large NB coolers may not allow 80mm fan installation on the left side. Our Albatron didn't have this problem, though if you use an aftermarket chipset cooler, just be aware of this potential problem.

Test Setup - Athlon XP 2195MHz

Albatron KX600S Pro: Athlon XP TBred (10.5x209) @ 1.95v, 2 x 512MB Kingston HyperX PC4000 (2.5-3-3-6), AIW Radeon 9800 Pro, 120GB Western Digital SE 8MB Cache, Windows XP SP1, VIA Hyperion 4in1 drivers 4.51, ATI Catalyst 4.2.

Going up against the Aerocool HT-101 will be the Aerocool DP-102. We decided against comparing it against other coolers because we felt that since both heatsinks offer a "dual fan" option, it would be best to compare apples to apples. We did compare the Swiftech MCX462-V in the past against the DP-102, so I encourage you to read that review for comparison numbers. Arctic Silver 5 is the thermal compound used for both coolers.

Test results will be given for the lone quad blue UV LED fan, a dual quad blue UV LED fan setup, and a dual Vantec Tornado setup. Aerocool recommends a "blow, suck" setup with dual fans, so we wil be testing that, as well as a "blow, blow" install.

Note that due to the size of the HT-101 w/dual Tornados, we are moving from our Cooler Master case to a Lian Li PC65. All three case fans in the Lian Li are Panaflow 22cfm fans operating at full speed. Tests were done in a "closed case" environment.

To load up the system, we run Prime95 run for 20 minutes, with Folding @ Home running in the background. Ambient room temperature is maintained at ~23°C/74°F. Temperatures were gathered using Motherboard Monitor.

Dual and Single UV LED Fan

Coolers @ Full Load
Temp (°C)
Aerocool HT-101 (Blow, Blow)
42.5
Aerocool HT-101 (Blow, Suck)
40.5
Aerocool HT-101 (Single)
43

Aerocool DP-102 (Blow, Blow)
41.5
Aerocool DP-102 (Blow, Suck)
40
Aerocool DP-102 (Single)
44

Dual and Single Tornado Fan

Coolers @ Full Load
Temp (°C)
Aerocool HT-101 (Blow, Blow)
40
Aerocool HT-101 (Blow, Suck)
37.5
Aerocool HT-101 (Single)
41

Aerocool DP-102 (Blow, Blow)
39
Aerocool DP-102 (Blow, Suck)
38.5
Aerocool DP-102 (Single)
41

Much like Craig discovered in his DP-102 review, I found performance was not as good in a "blow, blow" setup as it was in a "blow, suck". A problem I see is in a "blow, blow", there is too much random turbulance, especially when the air movement is hitting the same fins at the same time. I'm no heatsink engineer, but if Aerocool can somehow direct the airflow to separate fins, this may help.

In a "blow, suck" setup, performance was excellent. The Tornado fans obviously gave the best performance, but the noise is certainly something most people will not be able to deal with. The dual UV fans wasn't as bad, and the performance was still very good.

The single fan performance is slightly better (1-2°C) than I've seen with a Thermalright SLK-800 and Swiftech MCX462+ using Delta 68cfm fans. The superconductor tubes are for real, and likely the major reason why we see the HT-101 do so well today.

Final Words

When I received the DP-102 shortly after Craig's review, I was quite impressed with the performance of the cooler. When the HT-101 arrived, the aesthetics certainly impressed me, but it was the cooling ability that was important and the HT-101 didn't let me down. Whether you go with a dual or single fan setup, the Aerocool's performance should do the job.

I haven't had the chance to extensively test the Pentium 4 performance, but after a week or so, our Pentium 4 2.8B (21x160) @ 1.8v averaged about 51°C with a single Tornado fan. This isn't too bad, and although we haven't had the chance to try out a Prescott, the HT-101 is certainly on my list as heatsinks I would trust for that hot CPU.

The size of the HT-101 was certainly a factor with the performance we've seen today, but it can also cause problems for those of you who have smaller cases. Depending on the layout, you may not be able to do a dual fan setup if your PSU doesn't allow the clearance for it. The HT-101 is about the same height as an AGP card, so if your side panel has any mods going into the case around the CPU area, you may have problems.

At about , the HT-101 does fall in the upper range of pricing, but they do include a fan. By adding a fan to other high performance coolers, the price gap narrows, but as of today, we have not seen a better air cooler.

Pros: Great performance, excellent quality, superconductor tubes, nice aesthetics.

Cons: Large size will cause problems in small cases.

Bottom Line: The Aerocool HT-101 has set the scale very high for future heatsinks we'll be reviewing as we move through 2004. Though the performance is close to it's predecessor, it's performance is enough to take the spot as our baseline cooler.

If you have any comments, be sure to hit us up in our forums.

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