|Full Product Review|
With the increasing amounts of power demanded of today's computers, heat has been a major problem. Of course most CPUs now require some form of active cooling, but an increasing amount of video cards and motherboards are now also facing large amounts of heat that need to be removed in order for them to run properly. As heat builds up on these components, their performance can degrade and damage can even be done to these parts. The solution for some manufacturers has been to add active cooling solutions, but most still use the passive heatsink to help reduce heat.
The Vantec ICEBERQ CCB-A1C cooling solution is a dual-purpose product. The active heatsink can be used on many current video cards as well as certain motherboard chipsets. For the purposes of this review, it was installed on an nForce2 based motherboard chipset to decrease chipset temperatures.
Specifications and Package
Below are the product specifications for the Vantec ICEBERQ CCB-A1C:
Included in the package are the active copper heatsink, passive southbridge heatsink, 3 to 4 pin power adapter cable, three pieces of thermal tape, and a small tube of thermal grease. Most notably is the lack of installation instructions for the product. The only instructions were two graphics on the back of the package showing the "installation" of the product but no details. (For instructions on installation, see my Installing a Chipset Cooler tutorial.)
Testing was conducted for one week for each configuration with temperatures of the chipset recorded by Motherboard Monitor 5. Usage was mixed between idle, office applications, gaming and benchmarks to try and simulate a good overall mix of computing tasks. The first week's recordings were done with the motherboards original passive heatsink on the nForce2 northbridge. The heatsink was then removed and replaced with the Vantec ICEBERQ CCB-A1C on the northbridge and the additional passive heatsink installed on the southbridge. The highest temperature was recorded for each day over the course of the week for each configuration and was then averaged to give the final result temperature.
Overall, the active cooling solution of the Vantec ICEBERQ CCB-A1C was an improvement over the original OEM heatsink included with the ASUS motherboard. The difference in temperature is a fairly small 5 degrees Farenheit (about 3 degrees Celsius). Overall this is not going to make a huge difference in the overall performance of the motherboard. Theoretically, this difference could allow the CPU and motherboard to provide a more stable overclocking, but not for extreme levels.
Some individuals may be concerned that the addition of the active heatsink to the chipset would increase the noise generated within the computer. While the speed of the fan is fairly high, overall noise for the heatsink is still much lower than that generated by the fan located on the CPU heatsink or even the power supply.
Individuals looking to get a bit of an edge on overclocking their computer system or afraid of the heat generated by either a video card or the motherboard chipset will get some benefit from the Vantec ICEBERQ CCB-A1C cooler, but the overall performance is not stellar. Those looking to really overclock their computer would be better served by more extreme cooling solutions such as liquid cooling or even more powerful chipset/VGA coolers. The solution provided by Vantec may have worked well several years ago, but it is now showing its age.
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