I did a test of the best of the best heatsinks over the last week – Alpha vs Global Win vs Vantec. What follows is a ranking of the best performing heatsinks on the market today for PII, Celeron and Socket 7 CPU cooling.
The Top Guns
This test compared the performance of the following heatsinks: Alpha P125, P3 and Socket 7, Global Win FDP32 and the Vantec P3D 5030 (Note: this is a modified unit – I am running this with 10,000 rpm fans instead of the Vantec’s which are about half this speed). I picked these heatsinks because they are the best of breed – you can’t go wrong with any of these for CPU cooling. I also included the Global Win FEP 32, the little brother to the Global Win FDP 32. I would not put this model in the same class as its big brother – it is not “best of breed”.
Now I test heatsinks in a very simple but fiendishly clever way: I use a 40 watt peltier to simulate a CPU which generates 40 watts of heat. I have a little test rig which places a thermal probe on the peltier’s cold side, giving me its temperature. I measure the ambient temperature, then subtract the cold side temperature from the ambient to give me a reading of how much heat is being dissipated by the heatsink. Notice: No system variables, no CPU variables, no case variables – just the heatsink and heat. I use 2 power supplies – one just for the peltier and one for the fans.
Alpha P3: 70.2 F
Alpha P125: 68.7 F
Alpha S 7: 65.1 F
Global Win FDP 32: 61.7 F
Vantec P3D 5030: 60.8 F
Global Win FEP 32: 51.1 F
The Alpha P3 is the king of the hill – since it is also usable for Celerons as well, it is a double winner. By far it is the single best air-cooled heatsink available today. The inclusion of the copper strip in its base accounts for the increased performance level compared to the Alpha P125. The P125 represents the best PII cooling solution available. The Alpha Socket 7 beats out the Global Win FDP32 but not by much. The Global Win FEP32, the emasculated brother to the larger FDP32, does hot hold up to the Alpha Socket 7 – if the FDP32 won’t fit on your motherboard, the Alpha is the best way to go.
The Alpha P125 and P3 are big – weighing in at about a pound, they are effective but massive. In addition, coupled with the YS Tech 26 cfm fans, they are noisy. Alpha sells them with quieter 20 cfm fans but don’t expect the same performance. For a P3, if you can’t abide hanging all this metal in your case, go with the Vantec P3D 5030 – it is an outstanding design and solid performer. For Socket 7s, the Alpha and the Global Win FDP 32 are clear winners – the baby brother Global Win FEP 32, in my book, is inferior to the Alpha in “space challenged” situations.
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