And Now For Something Completely Different

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Using a Millennium Glaciator for an Intel SECC2 CPU.–Bryan Berryman

Sinks

John Cleese (of Monty Python fame) has always been one of my favorite comedic actors, and it’s only fitting that I use this line of his here. This truly is “something completely different”. What I’ve done for this test is to modify Millennium’s Glaciator, which is designed for AMD Socket “A” applications, to run on an Intel SECC2 (Slot 1) CPU.

AMD chips are notorious for running much hotter than Intel processors do, so the reasoning is that if the Glaciator will keep an AMD chip cool, it should work very well with an Intel processor. To give an idea of how well it would work, I’ve matched it up against Alpha’s P3125 HSF, which has been referred to as one of the best Slot 1 coolers available.

Plus, I happen to have one to test with.

The Alpha mounts to the SECC2 chips using a flat spacer plate, a spring type spacer plate, and four screws. When I first got the idea to attempt this, I had intended on using all of the hardware directly from the P3125. After considerable searching, I could not locate the proper tap to cut threads that the Alpha’s mount screws use [ed note: I believe they are metric].

I eventually decided to go with a commonly available sized screw which I could find a tap for. These screws are a 4-40, N.C. thread. I got the screws at Radio Shack (Cat # 64-3011). This bag of screws includes three different lengths – I used the ¾” long screws. Most hardware store would have the appropriate tap for cutting threads this size; I got the taps necessary for this at Sears (Craftsman 4-40 Tap P/N 952721)

I used the faceplate from the Intel processor as a template for laying out the hole spacing, lining the plate up against the Glaciator as shown here:

Faceplate

Careful marking, center punching, and drilling put the four holes right where they needed to be:

Base

In doing this project, I found that copper isn’t the easiest of materials to work with. I broke two drills and one tap in the process of modifying this HSF. The holes need to be drilled just barely through the base, into the cooling fin area, and it’s quite easy to have the drill get stuck between the fins and snap off [ed note: use thin oil to avoid this, e.g., Marvel Mystery Oil].

I also found that while the tap package recommends using a # 43 drill, a #42 worked better. Careful, slow drilling and tapping of the threads yielded four serviceable holes.

After the “machining” was completed, I took the time to “lap” the base of the Glaciator smooth for better contact with the CPU die. A progression of 400, 600 and finally 1000 grit automotive “wet/dry” sandpaper gave these results (I also “lapped” the P3125):

Lap

At this point, I’ll run through the system specs as tested. They are:

  • 4Q Full tower case
  • Asus P3C2000 motherboard
  • Intel P/// 600E (cB0) CPU
  • 256MB PC133 SDRAM
  • 400W PSU
  • PNY Verto GeForce 2 MX400 (64MB) video card
  • Sound Blaster Live! Value sound card
  • AMD 10/100 Ethernet card
  • Adaptec 2940AU SCSI adapter card
  • Maxtor 30GB ATA100 7200 rpm hard drive
  • 52X I/O Magic CD-ROM
  • Generic floppy drive
  • Rounded IDE/floppy cables
  • 120mm 69 cfm intake fan, lower front
  • Three fan CD bay mounted “hard drive cooler”, intake, top of case (no drive mounted in it)
  • 42 cfm “slot” fan, mounted in bottom most expansion card slot (exhaust)
  • Two 80mm fans upper rear (exhaust)
  • CompuNurse, with temp probe located in the top half of case

PC

I set up the Alpha P3125 HSF on the P/// 600E first. I’ve had this combination run very stably at 159MHz FSB at 1.95v, which works out to a 954MHz CPU speed. Using this combo, I have never hit 40 degrees Celsius. Ever. While this setup yields good results, the physical size of the P3125 can be a problem.

On this particular motherboard, this very large HSF doesn’t have any clearance issues, but on some (Soyo and Abit boards notably), this HSF blocks one or more of the DIMM slots. The P3125 was tested here using a pair of YS Tech 60x60x25mm 27cfm fans

Sinks

I used the same testing procedure as when I compared the Glaciator to another Alpha product, the PEP66T. I let the system idle for five minutes to let the temperature stabilize and then ran Prime95 CPU Torture Test for 30 minutes. Temperatures were measured using the CompuNurse for case air temps and the Asus Probe for motherboard and CPU temps. I set the Asus Probe up to read the temp changes every two seconds. The temps fluctuated slightly during testing.

Test results, Intel P/// 600E @ 954MHz, Alpha P3125 HSF

  • CompuNurse case temp, start of test: 21.9c end of test: 24.3c
  • Motherboard temp, start: 24c end: 25c
  • CPU temp, IDLE, 21-22c
  • CPU temp, LOAD, 34-37c

Now it was time to set up the Glaciator on the 600E. As this HSF was designed for socket use, it comes with a clip attached. I used a rubber band to hold the clip up off of the CPU. On went a fresh coat of Arctic Silver, and the combo was ready to go.

Assemble 1

Assemble 2

Assemble 3

Assemble 4

One thing that struck me as I was installing this combo on the motherboard was its size. While the Glaciator is a heavier unit than the Alpha, physically it’s substantially smaller. This opens up the top half of the motherboard, allowing more air to flow though this area.

I also had another thought: After I ran the following test, I then mounted this combo on the Abit BE6 II motherboard I just bought and was in the process of setting up. The 600E with the Glaciator attached does not block ANY DIMM slots on the BE6 II or the Soyo 6BA+III motherboard I had just replaced with the Abit.

Very interesting indeed – better airflow, and no blocked slots. Here’s a shot of the combo on the Asus. If you look at this picture, and the one with the P3125, notice the fan on the Northbridge chip. The Alpha covers more than 1/3 of this, where the Glaciator doesn’t cover it at all.

Sinks

Test results: Intel P/// 600E @ 954MHz, Millennium Glaciator HSF

  • CompuNurse case temp, start of test: 22.3c end of test: 24.0
  • Motherboard temp, start: 24c end: 24c
  • CPU temp, IDLE, 21-22c
  • CPU temp, LOAD, 32-35c

Despite its smaller size and having one fan compared to the two fans on the P3125, the Glaciator kept the temperature roughly two degrees cooler than the Alpha. The case temps stayed a bit lower, I believe due to the better airflow achieved with the smaller HSF in place. It’s also noticeably quieter than the Alpha, with its twin fan setup.

While this heatsink/fan was designed with the AMD Socket “A” in mind, it works quite well with Intel’s CPU’s. I have replaced the Celeron 600 I ran in my previous test with a P/// 700E FC-PGA chip, and the Glaciator keeps this running very cool as well.

 Two Sinks

This modification is not the easiest to perform.

Extreme care is required to get the holes lined up properly (too high and the HSF will hit the slot connector before the CPU seats; too low and there’s not enough material to drill and tap into) and the copper is difficult to cut threads into.

Was it worthwhile? I think so.

With a couple of modifications, this HSF could be used on several different platforms (AMD Socket “A”, Intel Socket 370 and Slot 1). A note to Intel SECC users: The spacing of the mounting screws for the first generation Slot 1 chips is wider than the Glaciator’s base, which prohibits this modification for those CPU’s.

I’d like to thank Andrew Lemont of Millennium Thermal Solutions for providing me with the Glaciator used in this test.

Brian

Brian Berryman

Aka “Mr B” “Learn to overclock @ Overclockers.com”

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