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PolarFLO TT Water Block Cooler Master Hyper 48: Whether you have an AMD K8 or Intel LGA775, Cooler Master's latest has you covered.
Date: November 15, 2004
Written By:

Comparing the heat output between the Athlon 64 and Intel Prescott is like night and day. While the temperatures on the Athlon 64 are fairly manageable on the Athlon 64, it's a different story over with Intel. With the stock cooler for the Intel LGA775 560, temperatures easily hit the mid-60s under full load, which makes overclocking a tediuos affair unless you have the right cooler to back it up.

The initial problem with the LGA775 was the lack of performance air coolers when it was released. Compatible water cooling blocks have also been fairly scarce, but in both cases, it's looking like things are beginning to even out now. That being said, a water cooling setup, regardless of platform, is more complicated and expensive compared to traditional air cooling. While performance is generally better, not everyone wants to spend the money or take the risks that are normally associated with liquid cooling.

Today, we'll be looking at Cooler Master's latest Hyper series air cooler, the Hyper 48. The "4" in the name designates P4 support and the "8" represents K8 support. Other than the pre-assembled heatsink and fan, you also have an installation sheet, screws, thermal paste, and all the installation brackets included with the package. Before continuing, below are the specifications.

Socket Type Socket 478/754/940/939/LGA775
Heat Sink Dimension 105x94x70 mm
Heat Sink Material 100% Copper and 4 heat-pipes
Fan Dimension 92X92X25mm
Fan Speed 1400 rpm
Fan Life Expectance 80,000hrs
Bearing Type Ball Bearing
Voltage Rating 12V
Noise Level 18.5dB
Connector 4 Pin(PWM) / 3 Pin
Weight 864g
Thermal Resistance Rja 0.36 C/W
Application P4 all frequencies and K8

Like the Hyper 6 before it, the Hyper 48 is a massive cooler, weighing in at a hefty 864g. This exceeds both AMD and Intel's specifications, and although the actual installation is fairly secure, I'd think twice about tossing your PC into the back seat like a bag of potatoes with this installed. The heatsink is constructed out of copper, and feature 4 heatpipes, which according to the box, are filled with water. Like the Hyper 6, this cooler is close to universal, compatible with AMD's entire Athlon 64/FX line, and Intel's Socket 478 and LGA775.

A Delta (#NFB0912L) 92mm fan ships with the Hyper 48, and is rated at 1400rpm. While the speed is on the low end of the scale, keep in mind that given the larger size, it can move a fair amount of air at less volume (rated at 18.5dB) than an equivalent 80mm fan.

The heatsink itself is well constructed with the heatpipes passing through the cooling fins. There is an aluminum shroud that secures the fan to the heatsink, and also helps direct airflow over the fins. The base is well finished, though not a mirror shine. A raised circular slug protruding from the base makes direct contact with the CPU.

Installation Notes

Installation of the Hyper 48, regardless of the platform, is a bit tedious, but not terribly complicated. It is likely you'll need to remove the motherboard for both AMD and Intel applications, with the exception of the Socket 478 where you can most likely use the heatsink retention bracket if one is already installed.

For the Athlon 64, you'll need to install a universal retention bracket, though if your retention bracket backplate is already secured to the back of your motherboard, you do not need to remove your motherboard from the case. Install the new bracket and clip the heatsink into place. This installation process is the same for Socket 478 Pentium 4 CPUs.

Note that along with the weight specifications, the Hyper 48 violates AMD's clearance specifications, and it is very possible that the heatsink may not fit in all setups. As you can see above, with some Corsair Pro Series, the heatpipes press against the ram, thus the heatsink will not fit this way. Turning the heatsink 180° solved this problem. In our ABIT KV8-MAX3 motherboard, there are no worries about the OTES cooling causing problems as the heatsink retention bracket forces installation as described above.

For LGA775 setups, motherboard removal is a certainty as you'll need to install the support bracket under the board. Once that is done, you'll need to use four screws (included) and install the kit needed to adapt the Hyper 48 for the platform. Once that is done, line up the heatsink with the four motherboard holes and screw in four more screws to secure the heatsink. The screws need for this step are "keyed" in that once they are thumb tight, the heatsink is secure.


MSI 915P Neo2: Pentium 4 560, 2 x 512MB Corsair TWINX DDR2, ASUS Extreme X800XT, 120GB SATA Seagate, Lian Li V1000.

All tests were done with the V1000 Case opened and stock 120mm fans configured at full speed. We will also be outfitting the Hyper 48 with a Vantec Tornado 92x38 119cfm fan to maximize the cooling, though it will certainly be much noisier. Going up against the Hyper 48 for our Pentium 4 tests will be the stock Intel heatsink and a PolarFLO TT water block setup with an asetek Waterchill kit (Hydor L20 pump, 120mm radiator). Arctic Silver 5 is the thermal compound used for all the coolers.

Prime95 was run for six hours, with Folding @ Home running in the background everyday for seven days to allow the thermal paste to even out. During the actual tests, we ran Prime95 run for 15 minutes, with Folding @ Home running in the background. Readings were taken every minute until the test period ended using Motherboard Monitor.

Ambient room temperature was maintained at 23°C/74°F.

Hyper 48 w/Tornado
Hyper 48 w/Stock
Intel Stock

As expected, water cooling is still the way to go if you're looking to keep things cool without resorting to a more expensive phase change solution. Air cooling is something that we think is going to be a problem when it comes to cooling the Prescott, especially at 3.6GHz. We were a little disappointed we did not get better performance from the Hyper 48, and in its stock form, it was 4°C cooler than Intel's stock cooler.

Due to some problems rounding up coolers, we did not do extensive Athlon 64 (10x209) @ 1.95v testing, but did test the Hyper 48 against the Hyper 6 (in a dual fan config). Results were very close, with the Hyper 6 running at 53.5°C, and the Hyper 48 close behind at 55.5°C. Keep in mind we were using the stock Hyper 48 fan, and therefore ran a much quieter setup than the Hyper 6.

Final Words

While liquid cooling will generally net the best results, the cost of such a setup and the extra work for most of these kits may be too much for most users. Let's face it, despite the amount of press dedicated to the latest and greatest in alternative cooling, enthusiasts are indeed a minority when it comes to the combined sales of all computer equipment. Generally, simpler solutions are preferred.

While the Hyper 48 was easier to setup than our ensemble P4 water cooling, there is more work involved when compared to installing the stock coolers for AMD and Intel. In most cases, removal of the motherboard is required, though once the backplates are in, the rest is a snap to do. Also keep in mind that the size of the heatsink can cause some problems, and it would be a good idea to check with Cooler Master to make sure it can fit.

As with many of their products, the Hyper 48 features excellent build quality and is well designed. The Delta fan used by the Hyper 48 did its job of keeping the volume down, and aiding the Hyper 48 in beating the stock Intel cooler in the cooling department. That being said, the difference in performance was not as much as we had hoped, and using a much more powerful aftermarket fan improved cooling significantly. This performance has a price though, and that's added noise. Unfortunently, those looking into maximizing their Prescott overclocks without anything other than air will most certainly have to consider replacing Cooler Master's fan choice.

Pros: Near silent, solid design, good build quality.

Cons: Some elbow work needed for installation. Large size may cause issues with installation. Stock setup only marginally better than Intel's.

Bottom Line: Cooler Master's Hyper 48 can lay claim as being the best air cooler for the Pentium 4 LGA775 platform in our labs today, but that claim is much like a dry 90°F is cooler than 90°F with humidity. If overclocking the Prescott is in your plans, air cooling is probably not the way to go.

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


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