line of coolers APACK ZEROtherm for cooling central processors
In a recent article on testing cooling systems for video cards, we promised to introduce you to coolers for central processors from a Korean company.
… Promises must be kept, so today we present to your attention a detailed review and testing of five cooler models at once. ZEROtherm for cooling overclocked processors
Coolers ZEROtherm, twice noticed by our regular readers in the test system unit when testing other components, aroused genuine interest among overclockers. And this is despite the fact that currently, APACK products are not officially supplied to Russia. Nevertheless, the permanent development of online commerce already today allows you to purchase almost any component of the system unit, including exclusive models, anywhere in the world. At the same time, of course, the question of cost remains open, but here the approach is purely subjective, so we will not waste time on abstract topics and immediately proceed to study the cooling systems provided to us for testing.
ZEROtherm BTF80 / BTF90 / BTF92 O.E.
In this subsection of the article, we will immediately consider three APACK ZEROtherm coolers, which are very close to each other in design. Two models – ZEROtherm BTF80 and ZEROtherm BTF90 – are practically twins and differ only in the material of the radiator fins (the BTF80 has aluminum fins, and the BTF90 has copper fins), so here we will only study the BTF80. In turn, the BTF92 OE cooler, although similar in design to this pair, is still somewhat different. We will start the study of new products traditionally with their packaging.
Mostly silver boxes of coolers are made of thick cardboard and equipped with plastic carrying handles, and on the front and back sides they have cutouts in the cardboard through which the fans and, in part, the coolers’ radiators are visible:
announcements and advertisements
In addition to the key features of cooling systems, the front side of their packages contains information about the processor sockets supported by the coolers. On the back and sides, you can find technical characteristics, as well as diagrams for comparing coolers with models from other manufacturers, however, which ones are not indicated:
It is also noted there that APACK ZEROtherm coolers are produced in Korea.
In the upper part of the package there is a small cardboard box with the accessories of the delivery set:
Inside it is a standard set of components for each cooler, which includes the following components:
- cooler mounting frame for motherboards with LGA 775 socket;
- clip frame for attaching the cooler to motherboards with Socket 754/939/940 and Socket AM2 connectors;
- ZEROtherm ZT100 thermal paste;
- backplate for motherboards with LGA 775 socket;
- fastening screws;
- instructions for installing the cooler on all supported platforms in several languages.
In addition, the BTF92 OE cooler comes with a speed regulator and four adhesive pads for fixing it inside the case of the system unit:
Coolers look very nice. However, see for yourself:
The design of the BTF80 / 90 and BTF92 OE cooling systems is the same. It is based on four copper heat pipes with a diameter of 6 mm, each of which comes out of the copper base and, making a loop in the aluminum or copper fins of the radiator, returns to it (base).
The dimensions of the BTF80 / 90 models are the same and are 100 x 94 x 77 mm and weigh 458 and 678 grams, respectively, but the BTF92 OE is slightly larger – its dimensions are 108 x 81 x 128 mm and weighs 638 grams.
However, coolers differ not only in size and weight. The fact is that, despite the reduced dimensions, the BTF80 / 90 models have 46 radiator fins, while the BTF92 OE has 5 fewer of them (41 pieces). As a result, according to the specifications, the heat dissipation area of the BTF80 / 90 coolers is 4 400 cm2, while that of the BTF92 OE is smaller at 3 624 cm2.
The density of the plates strung on the tubes is higher for the BTF80 / 90:
When looking at the coolers from above, it becomes clear that the shape of the stamped radiator fins is the same for them, and with a plastic insert it even resembles a butterfly in some way:
I wonder what is the exact purpose of the holes of different diameters at the ends of the ribs at the outlet of the air stream? Although, most likely, they perform a decorative function, rather than somehow affect the turbulence of the air flow in this area or reduce the noise level.
Cooler radiators are cooled by impellers from 92 x 25 mm fans mounted on a removable plastic stand:
The BTF80 / 90 models use the same fan with support for pulse width modulation (PWM) speed control. Thus, the speed is automatically adjusted in the range of 750 ~ 2,500 (± 10%) rpm with a maximum noise level of 27 dBA and an air flow of 42.8 CFM. The BTF92 OE cooler model got its name from the “OE” (OverClocker Edition) add-on not only due to a slightly increased size, but also a strengthened (according to the manufacturer) fan, the rotation speed of which is varied by means of the included speed controller in the range 1000 ~ 2 300 ± 10%) rpm. As it turned out in practice, the upper limit of the fan speed is much higher than the 2300 rpm specified in the specifications and amounts to ~ 3060 rpm.
On the base of the coolers, polyethylene films are glued to protect the surface of the copper plate from scratches and other accidental troubles:
And there is something to defend here. The evenness of the copper plate and the quality of its polishing are at the highest level:
Now about the pipes in the radiator. First, they are arranged in the ribs nonlinearly, but with a pairwise displacement relative to each other, more evenly distributing the heat flux along the ribs of the radiator:
Secondly, as you remember, there are four heat pipes in each cooler, but each pipe comes out of the base and, making a loop in the heatsink, returns to it:
That is, the copper plate at the base is in immediate contact with eight heat pipes, and this we have never seen before (maximum – 6). Here I will add that each tube is laid in a groove specially molded for this. The contact of the heat pipe with the base is made by soldering. In general, here I would also like to note the very high-quality assembly of coolers, the reliability of the entire structure and the articulation of its elements.
Installation of all three models of ZEROtherm cooling systems considered in this subsection of the article is carried out using two fasteners of different types, which are screwed with four screws to the base of the cooler:
To install coolers on motherboards for AMD processors of the K8 / K10 families, you don’t have to remove the board from the case, since the mount is attached to the standard plastic frame of the socket. But on LGA 775 the cooler is inserted through the board and screwed to the backplate. Interestingly, in this case, you will have to remove the plastic core with the fan, since there is no other way to screw the fastening screws on one side with a screwdriver:
The backplate has an adhesive backing around its center. That is, first we just glue the backplate to the back of the motherboard, and then we put the cooler on the processor and tighten it to the backplate with screws:
All three models under consideration are quite compact in their base, therefore, they will not create interference with the elements of the near-socket space and high heatsinks on the chipset, as well as the power elements of the board:
And in general, inside the case of the system unit, each cooler is compact …
… and aesthetic:
In addition, the fan of the aluminum model of the cooler is equipped with a red fan illumination, and the copper ones – blue:
The recommended cost of coolers, taking into account the current discounts, is: BTF80 / 90 – 30.99/31.99 US dollars, and BTF92 OE – 35.99 US dollars.
The following model stands out in the ZEROtherm line of coolers, even if it comes in a box with a similar design:
The accessories are all in the same box, located on top of the plastic packaging of the cooler, and they themselves are exactly the same:
Even from the inscriptions on the cooler packaging (and by its name), it is easy to guess that the ZEROtherm BTF95 is a passive CO model, that is, a cooler not equipped with a fan:
A very beautiful radiator of exactly the same design as in the above systems, differs from them in a smaller number of copper radiator fins (32 pieces) and, as a consequence, in an increased intercostal distance:
Such a constructive change is quite logical, because in the absence of a cooler fan, the fins will be cooled only by the air flow from the case fans, if, of course, there are any.
And if the shape of the ribs in the form of a butterfly was not a key difference in the three previous coolers, then in the ZEROtherm BTF95 Fanless version the upper rib cover is a proprietary “feature” of the passive cooling system:
As for the rest, in terms of size, shape, number of tubes and quality of base processing, we have the same BTF92 OE:
The weight, of course, is slightly less than that of the BTF92 OE and amounts to 510 grams. To mount the cooler, the same types of frames are used, screwed to the base.
Since there are no other differences between the ZEROtherm BTF95 Fanless cooler, and inside the case of the system unit it only externally differs from previous models, I will just add here that its recommended cost is 33.99 US dollars.