ICEe Cube Cooler

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An aluminum extrusion with an 80mm fan – an OK but not great cooler. — Joe

SUMMARY: Does an OK job for if you’re not pushing things too far.

ICEe

Dimensions: 80 x 80 x 70mm tall, with fan; Base 52 x 61 mm; Weight – 300 grams.

The good guys at ICEe Computers sent a sample of their ICEe Cube Cooler our way to test out. This is an aluminum extrusion with an 80 mm fan, the Sanyo DC Petit Ace #109P0812A201, rated at 53 cfm, 45 dBA, 4600 rpm, 0.56 amp. It was fairly quiet – I measured it at 62 dBA 8″ from the fan’s intake, although it had a touch of high pitched whine.

The pyramid-like design does a couple of things – helps to clear capacitors around the socket while allowing for an 80mm fan, and also pushes a fair amount of cooling air onto the motherboard.

Peering down into the ICEe Cooler

Top

shows the relatively uncomplicated design.

Looking at the fins

Edge

shows the serrated edges to them – an increase in surface area and perhaps to create some turbulence, both attempts at increasing cooling efficiency.

The base

Base

shows some light polishing marks and might benefit some from lapping.

The clip is not indexed and requires a screwdriver to mount on the socket. I would strongly recommend that you take the fan off, mount it and then screw the fan back on – you’ll have more clearance this way than with the fan on, reducing the possibility of a disastrous slip onto the motherboard with the screwdriver’s tip. Also make very sure that the tip fits into the clip’s screwdriver tab – a loose fit can be a costly slip.

THE TEST

I prepared the ICEe Cooler by boring a hole completely through the base so I could epoxy a thermocouple above the CPU. The thermocouple is attached to an Omega HH23 Digital Thermometer. Ambient temps were measured with a thermocouple placed about 1 inch from the fan’s intake. I used Prime 95 to stress the CPU on an Iwill KK266+, Iwill BD133u (MBM temps are on-die) and Abit KT7. Arctic Silver grease was used in all tests. CPU Case Temp is the temp at that point where the CPU contacts the heatsink, CPU Back Temps are measured by a thermocouple on the center back of the CPU.

The ICEe Cooler was also tested on the CPU Die Simulator which gives results that are unaffected by motherboard influences.

TEST RESULTS – CPU Simulator
CPU Die Simulator

CPU Die Temp

CPU Case Temp

Ambient Temp

Delta Die

Delta Case

C/W Die

C/W Case

101.4 Watts

65.7 C

55.8 C

21.4

44.3

34.4

0.44

0.34

TEST RESULTS – Motherboards
CPU/Motherboard

CPU Case Temp

Ambient Temp

Delta

C/W

MBM Temp

CPU Back Temp

T-Bird @ 1400/Iwill KK266+, 72 watts

45.8 C

21.6 C

24.2

0.34

35 C

46.0 C

Duron @ 1000/ABIT KT7, 63 watts

44.8 C

22.0 C

22.8

0.36

40 C

43.9 C

Cel @ 1600/Iwill BD133u, Stock Fan (42 watts)

33.3 C

21.6 C

11.7

0.28

43 C

NA

Delta = CPU temp – Ambient Temp
C/W = Delta / CPU Watts

Interpreting C/W: For every watt the CPU radiates, the heatsink will cool the core by the (C/W x watts) plus ambient temp. For example, at an ambient temp of 25 C, a C/W of 0.25 with a CPU radiating 50 watts means that the CPU temp will be 50 x 0.25 = 12.5 C over ambient temp, or 37.5 C. The lower the C/W, the better.

The CPU Die Simulator places the ICEe Cube Cooler just outside of the upper range for “performance” heatsinks (C/W of 0.32 or better). Of particular interest are the Celeron 1.2 GHz @ 1.6 GHz results; there is one more thermal interface between the die and heatsink (die to thermal cap), and the difference between the heatsink and on-die temps is about 5C higher than we’ve seen for flipchips.

More typical of what to expect for flipchips are the T-Bird and Duron results.

CONCLUSIONS

The ICEe Cube Cooler just about misses the “acceptable” list – heatsinks with C/Ws of 0.32 or less – for AMD CPUs, although it does a nice job on heat-capped Celerons. This heatsink could be a decent price/performance buy.

Thanks again to ICEe Computers for sending the ICEe Cube Cooler our way.

Email Joe

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