testing Ice Hammer IH-4401 A and IH-4405 CPU coolers

testing Ice Hammer IH-4401 A and IH-4405 CPU coolers

It just so happened that manufacturers of cooling systems for PC components, for the most part, rarely listen to the opinions of users of their products, repeating old mistakes in new coolers and not eliminating previous flaws. At least, I was able to recall only one case when our criticism regarding the non-versatility of the Cooler Master Hyper TX cooler was received with understanding by the manufacturer, after which the same, but universal cooler appeared. At the same time, it seems to me that closer contact between users (overclockers, as a matter of priority) and companies producing cooling systems would allow raising the efficiency of existing coolers to a new level.

As it turned out, one such company was found. Chinese
Ice Hammer Electronics
, well remembered by our regular readers for the article “Heatpipe Direct Attacks: Tests of New Ice Hammer Coolers with HTD Technology”, did not stop there, and taking into account the comments and suggestions made by me in that article (and then in a letter to Ice Hammer) , as well as by the participants of our conference, started to refine the coolers of the IH-4400 series. A little more than half a year passed and three new improved models were born: IH-4401 A, IH-4401 B and IH-4405. We were the first to receive the long-awaited samples of coolers for testing, so today we will acquaint you with their differences from the previous model and evaluate the effectiveness of the new products.

  • packaging and equipment

The packaging of the new coolers has undergone dramatic changes. The size of the box has been reduced, the color scheme has been changed, and there is now a cutout on the front side in the cardboard of the box, through which part of the cooler is visible:

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The boxes contain comprehensive information about both the technologies used in the updated cooling systems and their technical characteristics:





announcements and advertisements

Note that the boxes contain both English and Russian versions of the specifications. Inside each box there is a transparent plastic shell, molded to the size of the cooler, in which the latter is fixed:



The strong plastic of this shell protects the soft aluminum plates from deformation and reliably fixes the entire structure. On top of this shell is a small box with accessories included in the package. Among them, you can find the following components:

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  • plastic frame for attaching the cooler to motherboards with an LGA 775 socket;
  • clips for the plastic frame;
  • stepless fan speed controller;
  • double-sided tape for installing the regulator in a convenient place inside the case of the system unit;
  • regulator cable;
  • thermal paste with a content of silver particles (at least 25%);
  • holographic sticker Ice Hammer;
  • instructions for assembling and installing the cooler;
  • 8 (!) Silicone expansion joints for installation on the fan radiator.

Now let’s move on to a detailed study of the differences between the new products and their predecessor.

  • design features

Since the radiators of both coolers are identical to each other, let’s take a quick look at one of them, noting, of course, the differences. So, Ice Hammer IH-4401/4405 represent a further development of the design incorporated in the models of the IH-4400 line:



Tower radiator, made of 56 aluminum plates 0.2 ~ 0.25 mm thick with an intercostal distance of ~ 2 mm. It is easy to see that the intercostal distance remained the same, but the slightly modified plates in contact with the heat pipes by means of hot melt glue have become a little thinner:

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The dimensions of the IH-4401 A model are 125 x 105 x 154.5 mm (almost the same as the IH-4400 A) with a weight of 820 grams, which is 39 grams more than the IH-4400 A. But the reason is a slight increase in weight lies not in the radiator at all, but in the new fan, which we will consider below. And here is the IH-4405 4.5 mm model. lower than the IH-4400 and weighs only 798 grams, which is 17 grams more than the IH-4400 A.

The first most noticeable change is the shape of the fins and the closed sides of the cooler radiators:



Moreover, the manufacturer managed to drown out these sides quite easily, simply bending the edges of the ribs down. The sides themselves are made in the form of a semicircle:



Thus, the airflow from the fan (s) must be concentrated on the heat pipes. It is difficult to say whether this focusing will improve cooling efficiency, but it is safe to say that airflow losses will now be minimal. The radiator area of ​​the new products is slightly smaller than that of the IH-4400.

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On the bases of the coolers, the same protective film is glued, and the universal fastening clip has not undergone any changes:



The processing quality of the cooler base is maximum for this type of construction, although there is no polishing here:



All the bases of the coolers are even – the imprint of thermal paste both on the glass and on the processor’s heat spreader turned out to be uniform. The gaps between the heat pipes and the copper plate pressing them are about 1 mm.

These photos show the differences between the models IH-4401 A (the model with the letter “B” has an aluminum insert in the base) and the IH-4405. The first one is equipped with four copper heat pipes with a diameter of 8 mm, and the second with five heat pipes, but with a diameter of 6 mm:





Thus, the heat spreader of Intel Core 2 processors on the IH-4401 A model contacts two central heat pipes and 1/2 of the outer tubes, and on the IH-4405 model with three central and 1/2 outer tubes:

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Ice Hammer IH-4401 A


Ice Hammer IH-4405


Taking into account the low efficiency of the IH-4400 series on 45-nm processors, the contact area of ​​which is smaller, the IH-4405 model was just released in order to close this “gap”. Let’s check what happened in practice.

The second distinctive feature is the equipping of new products with new fans. Now, instead of the usual seven-blade fan, there is a nine-blade fan with a shape like the Scythe Minebea Silent IC we tested earlier:




As a rule, the blades of this shape develop more pressure than the blades of the previous fan, which, taking into account the small intercostal distance, should be a good help in increasing the efficiency of the cooler. The fan speed can be varied by the included regulator from 1000 to 2000 rpm, with an airflow of 55.6 ~ 80.1 CFM and a noise level of 19 ~ 32 dBA. In practice, it turned out that the fan speed varies in the range from ~ 800 to ~ 1700 rpm (for both coolers). And even when connected directly to the motherboard (without a speed controller in the circuit), the maximum rotation speed was ~ 1700 rpm, and not ~ 2000 rpm declared in the characteristics.

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In addition, the fan is now attached to the radiator not with wire brackets through silicone strips, but suspended using silicone pins inserted into the slots in the radiator:



What is especially useful for overclockers, the slots in the heatsink are made symmetrically on both sides of the aluminum fins, and there are eight studs in the kit. Thus, in order to install an additional blowing fan on the Ice Hammer 4401/4405 radiator, you only need a fan and nothing more.



The studs themselves are designed to dampen vibrations from the fan and reduce the noise level of the cooler as a whole:


In addition, the kit includes a new thermal paste, which, according to the manufacturer, contains 25% silver:



The thermal conductivity of the new thermal paste is more than 7.5 W / m * K, and the thermal resistance is 0.06 C / W. The cost of the new thermal interface, again, according to Ice Hammer representatives, is 20 times higher than the cost of the thermal paste supplied with the IH-4400 series models. The thermal interface is gray, of medium density. It is not too easy to apply and distribute over the surface of the heat spreader, since it is quite viscous in consistency. The effectiveness of the new thermal interface was tested in comparison with the high-performance thermal paste Arctic Silver 5, and it turned out that the thermal paste of Ice Hammer IH-4401/4405 coolers is not inferior to one of the recognized leaders among thermal pastes, and is ~ 4 degrees higher than the SilMore thermal paste of the IH-4400 … Impressive performance considering the relatively low cost of the new coolers.

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