SUMMARY: Very quiet, but very subdued performance; Lasagnas are great coolers for GPUs and Northbridge chips but needs serious steroids to be of real interest as a CPU overclocking cooler.
TennMax makes a great little CPU/chip cooler called the TennMax Lasagna BGA Cooler . I have used these for about two years now, replacing all the “greenies” used for Northbridge cooling with Lasagnas. More recently, I used this on the Iwill KK266 with good results; it’s just common sense that with electronics, cooler is better.
TennMax recently introduced a new Lasagna (P/N 50FP-11-2B-C2-3P) designed for use as a CPU cooler and they were every nice to send us one to test. Now, we’ve done some work recently (with much help from Andy Lemont) on using the “eyeball” test to estimate a heatsink’s performance based on its cubic volume. The best Socket A heatsinks we recently tested (HERE) ranged in volume from about 7 to 12 cubic inches (not including the fan).
The TennMax Lasagna CPU Cooler measures 2″ square by 13/32″ high; that’s about 1.6 cubic inches.
Now you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to see what’s coming: I love Lasagna, but it has a definite place in my diet. The Lasagna I use for chip cooling have worked flawlessly and I highly recommend them. However, a 1.6 cubic inch Lasagna CPU cooler is an oxymoron for overclockers.
I did test it out on my Duron 800 running on an ABIT KT7 at 550 MHz, 1.6 volts, 25.3 watts. I could not drill a hole and mount a thermocouple in the Lasagna’s base – just not enough meat to work with – so instead I placed the thermocouple next to the CPU core’s side. I used the Omega HH23 Digital Thermometer to take temps, running Prime 95 to stress the CPU.
|TennMax Lasagna CPU Cooler|
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.
Compared to C/Ws in the 0.3 range for “serious” heatsinks, the Lasagna falls off the curve. Now I don’t doubt that for some applications, the Lasagna is a good solution; according to TennMax:
“Of course the Lasagna cooler will not compete with the BIG ones. However, it does provide effective cooling for many advanced processors. Intel in Europe has tested and are very happy with the results on P3 FCPGA for 1U server applications. We also have quite a few large accounts currently using this and a similar cooler for SBC and 1U server products.”
Now I did find the Lasagna to be extremely quiet – in fact, ABIT’s Northbridge fan made more noise than the Lasagna! Also no doubt that the P3s run cooler than Durons; for example, a P3 550 at 1.6 volts radiates 13.6 watts compared to the Duron’s 25.3 watts at the same speed/voltage. Cooling 13.6 watts should be easier than 25.3.
To test out the Lasagna on a P3, I used Iwill’s VD133 Pro with a P3 700 @ 700, 1.7 volts; this radiates 19.6 watts. Note also that the footprint of the P3 core is larger than the Duron’s, so the cooling task should be a little easier.
|TennMax Lasagna CPU Cooler|
A little worse than the Duron – I think the capacitors close to the socket are holding more motherboard heat than on the ABIT KT7. All told, though, performance is not markedly different.
For “normal” CPU Cooling, the TennMax Lasagna CPU Cooler does OK – neither system crashed due to heat while running Prime 95 for well over an hour. Super quiet, I can see using a Lasagna for your mom’s computer. TennMax may have some larger versions in the works, but until we see something like a Lasagna cube (3 inches each side?), I don’t think the Lasagna will be an overclocker’s CPU cooling solution.
Many thanks to TennMax for sending the CPU Lasagna our way – an interesting experience!