The Net-N-Dude folks were kind enough to send me a Glacier 4500C with the Arctic Cap for a review; after this review, if they send me anything again I may have to have the bomb squad check it first.
I’ve been comparison testing CPU Coolers to measure different coolers against each other; so when I do fan testing I run these test against a bunch of different fans to compare relative performance. I think this is a better approach than relying on advertising claims. I also then have the luxury of switching fans etc among the units and trying different tweaks on them to see if performance gains are possible. It also allows me to directly compare units against each other physically.
So, I look at the Net-N-Dude Glacier 4500C (MSRP $35) and guess what? It’s a Cofan* USA KC266 (markings on heatsink) with three fans! So of course a test against each other is needed and as expected the 3 fan unit outperforms the one fan unit – but not by very much; it scores 74.2% compared to 67.4% for the Cofan one fan unit. The noise is due to the interference among the three fans – if you shut the center fan down it’s a lot quieter (obviously not as effective).
The Glacier 4500 requires 3 connectors – 2 3 pin fan connectors and one 4 pin hard drive connector.
Now, Net-N-Dude also offers the “Arctic Cap” (MSRP $12). This is a socket 7 cooler with a clip which allows you to attach it to the back of a Slot 1 CPU – in effect a poor-man’s celery sandwich. The Arctic Cap requires a 4 pin hard drive connector. Now, a word of caution here: An anodized heatsink will not conduct electricity as long as you don’t scratch the back – so make sure you put thermal grease on it and don’t grind it around the back too much. Me, I’m leery of doing this but I tested the back of the Arctic Cap with a circuit tester and it does not conduct electricity – as long as you don’t see any bright spots you should be OK.
No question it will add addition cooling to a Slot 1 CPU; no question it will make little or no difference in getting a stubborn 300a to 504. The Net-N Dude press release states “The Glacier Arctic Cap allows most 300 MHz CPU’s to run at 500 MHz.” This bit of puffery is OK as far as it goes, but it does not say “all” and you can drive a truck through the “most” qualifier.
I tested the Arctic Cap and found it to be a so-so Socket 7 performer – the PC Power and Cooling Z1, for example, outperforms the Arctic Cap by about ten degrees in my peltier test rig. The Z1 scored 71.6% compared to the Arctic Cap 59.1%; this compares to a generic Socket 7 cooler at 35.0% (NEVER use a generic cooler).
Now accepting that the Arctic Cap indeed does some good and only costs $12, if you have a Glacier 4500 go ahead and add the Arctic Cap – cooler is better. Better yet, if you have a Global Fab24, add the Arctic Cap and get a better cooling solution compared to the Glacier 4500 C/Arctic Cap combo (MSRP $45). The Global FAB 24 (soon to be succeeded by the FAB 28 – faster fans – about $25) outperforms the Glacier 4500 (FAB24 81.5% vs Net-N-Dude 74.2%) and by adjusting the Arctic Cap’s holder slightly you can make it fit the Global 24. If you have a Cofan KC266 already, add it for better cooling (performance will be slightly less than the Net-N-Dude combo).
Net-N-Dude’s Arctic Cap is an acceptable way to get a poor-man’s celery sandwich if you have the Glacier 4500 or Global FAB24/28. The Glacier 4500 by itself is not a stand-out performer compared to either the Global FAB 24 or TennMax TF. Adding the Arctic Cap to the Cofan KC266 (Street price about $15) can’t hurt either. It’s about $10 cheaper to buy the Arctic Cap and add it or buy either the Global FAB24/28 for a total of $37 or the Cofan KC266 for a total of $27. The Glacier 4500 C at $35 is quite pricey considering Net-N-Dude adds 3 fans on the Cofan USA heatsink which you can buy for about $15 with a single fan.
Go HERE for CPU Cooler Database Comparison Tests.
*Cofan USA is kind of pissed that Net-N-Dude in doing this: “My name is David Demos and I am General Manager of Cofan USA the manufacturer of the KC-266 heat sink and coreless motor ball bearing fans. I have finally confirmed that someone is modifying our product by putting three fans on it and marketing it under their name (called Net-N-Dude and got some reluctance to discuss the matter). I just wanted to get Cofan some recognition for the heat sink design.”
Excerpt from Heatsink Guide’s Cofan Review.