This weekend I decided enough was enough and a computer upgrade was needed.
The old steam engine of a computer that I have was becoming unbearable for noise. We have an open plan lounge/diner and the old beast is located in the middle. It sounded like a hair-drier on idle and a jet aircraft at take off when asked to do something. I'd been tracking the CPU temperatures and it was idling around 45°C and under pressure it was nearly maxing out at 82°C (85 is the max temp for the dual core E6400).
I'd been looking around at alternative cooling solutions, including the liquid cooling system, but in the end I plumbed for the Akasa X4 AK-968 Multi-Platform CPU Cooler. The reason I went for non-liquid cooling option was purely price driven. I felt for such an old computer (2008) the £50-£60 price tag for liquid cooling was too much.
I'd researched the Akasa X4 AK-968 by reading a few reviews and on the most part were promising. I bought the CPU cooler for £25 locally because I wanted it on the day, otherwise I'd have bought it slightly cheaper from Amazon. On getting the Akasa home and unplugged the computer and laid it down on the kitchen table to begin work. I removed the old fan and put them next to each other. As you can see there is quite a difference.
Fitting the new CPU heatsink and fan was pretty simple after I'd work out how the locking mechanism functioned. I'd recommend just spending a minute or two doing this as the instructions weren't all that clear about this. Basically the locking feet need to be in 'release' position before it's fitted to the main motherboard.
The socket on my motherboard is a LGA775, although this particular fan handles many more types than that. The locking feet move to accommodate the different sizes of socket. I had to push the feet in to the smallest size.
I followed the rest of the instructions which seemed pretty clear, hearing the definite click when the CPU cooler was in place. Before you fit the cooler make sure you have it the correct way around to allow you to plug it in to the main board because the cable supplied is quite short.
I was ready to go, so I started the machine to just bios with just the power cable plugged in and the side panel off to make sure the fan was turning. It was so immediately switched off and put the side panel back on, and the rest of the cables in the back of the machine.
The noise level change is unbelievable compared to the stock CPU fan, I can hardly hear this one. In fact the HDDs are producing most of the noise now. Idle temperatures are between 26-31 degrees Celsius. High load and the chip gets to 40 degrees Celsius. This a is significant difference!
In addition to the original plan of reducing noise levels I've noticed performance of the computer increase dramatically. Windows and programs open much faster, the fan doesn't even change speed. I can only assume that the CPU was in fact overheating with the old fan and causing errors.
I'd thoroughly recommend the Akasa X4 AK-968 Multi-Platform CPU Cooler to anyone with a noisy computer and you may also increase your systems performance too. As I said before it is compatible with a number of CPU socket sizes (I've listed these below). I've provided a link to Amazon UK listing below so that you can view the product there.
Product Specification for Akasa X4 AK-968 Multi-Platform CPU Cooler:
- Socket type Intel LGA775, LGA115X, LGA1366, AMD Socket 939, AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1 & FM2
- Cooler dimension 135 (H) x 109 (W) x 90 (D) mm
- Heatsink material Aluminium and copper
- Heatpipe 6mm x 3
- Weight 458g
- Installation Push pins (Intel)
- Cam-lever clip (AMD)
- Fan dimension ∅92 x 25 mm
- Fan speed 600 - 2500 RPM (PWM controlled)
- Max airflow 47.68 CFM (80.82 m³/h)
- Max air pressure 2.56mm H2O
- Noise level 17.0 - 29.5 dB(A)
- Current rating 0.21A
- Voltage rating 12V DC
- Bearing type Sleeve
- Fan life expectancy 30,000 hours
- Fan connector 4pin PWM
- Product code AK-968
- Category: Technology & Gadget Reviews