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 Intel P4 “East vs West” Budget Heatsink Showdown - Page 1 of 2

Posted:  February 29, 2004
Author:  Jason Kohrs
Manufacturer:  Evercool and Speeze
Source:  Evercool and Speeze

Cooling solutions for Intel Pentium 4 processors come in all shapes, sizes, and price ranges.  This review will pit two ‘budget’ devices head-to-head to see just what you can achieve fro under $20 (US). The competitors hail from two manufacturers representing different ends of the world...  The LeopardClaw is an aluminum heatsink with a copper base that was provided by Speeze, which is based in the Netherlands. The CUW8-715 is an all aluminum heatsink that was provided by Evercool, which is based in Taiwan. Now that the introductions are complete, let the East vs West Budget Heatsink Showdown begin!

Both coolers ship in plastic “blister” packaging as shown below. The Speeze LeopardClaw is shown on the below left, sporting the purple decoration that is common on Speeze products.  The Evercool CUW8-715 is sold in the packaging shown on the below right.  The Speeze package contains only the heatsink with thermal paste pre-installed (yes, thermal paste... not a thermal pad).  The Evercool device includes the heatsink, two required mounting clips, and a syringe of generic (white) thermal paste.

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(FYI...  For the balance of the review, the LeopardClaw images/details will appear on the left and the CUW8-715 will appear on the right.)

Compiled from the respective websites, the following table lists the key specifications of the two coolers.  As you can see, air flow, fan speed, size, and noise are all fairly close to each other. On paper, this looks like a fair fight... but that’s the point of testing, confirming the claims of the manufacturer.

Removed from the packaging, we have our first looks at the heatsinks below.  First impressions based on style alone give the Evercool CUW8-715 the early lead.  The Speeze design is uninspired, and looks not much different from many coolers I’ve seen through the years. The Speeze device is a large block of aluminum with relatively thick fins, topped off with a purple 70mm fan mounted to a plastic shroud. The handle protruding above the fan is used to lock the mounting clips into place.  The Evercool device features a solid copper base with paper thin fins of copper soldered to it. A black metal shroud featuring a unique pattern printed on it holds the golden bladed 70mm fan in place.

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Each fan is powered by a 3-pin power lead, and Speeze adds a nice touch by sheathing the wires in a clear plastic tube.  This looks cool, plus it keeps the three wires together, keeping your case looking neat.

Another look at the profiles of the two coolers is provided in the below left image, and shows just how much bigger the LeopardClaw is than the CUW8-715.  As mentioned, the Speeze device comes with no accessories, but the below right image shows the two mounting clips required for the Evercool CUW8-715, as well as the syringe of thermal paste.

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A look at the top of the LeopardClaw (below left image) continues to detail the uninspired design. The fan may be purple, but its just a typical 70x70x25mm device with a boring wire fan grill.  The below right image shows the CUW8-715, which looks particularly sharp.  The blades on the 70x70x15mm slim fan are all finished in a brilliant gold, and the black plastic fan grill features a unique pattern.  The Evercool fan grill is elevated above the fan and appears to be designed to allow full airflow, which is always a concern when manufacturers get creative with fan grills.

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The images below provide a look at the bases of the two coolers. The below left image shows the copper insert found on the aluminum Speeze LeopardClaw, once the pre-installed thermal paste was wiped clean. The below right image shows the machined copper surface of the Evercool CUW8-715.  Both coolers have flat surfaces for contacting the CPU core, but neither seems particularly smooth.  Machining marks are visible on either device, and can be felt by dragging a fingernail across them.  In my opinion, the copper on the Evercool heatsink seems to be of a higher quality, as the Speeze core just strikes me as being ‘soft’.

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The two images below provide a look at the heatsink fins as well as the relative thickness of each cooler’s base.  In addition to highlighting the thick base and fins, the below left image shows the relatively wimpy clipped used to secure the LeopardClaw to the motherboard. The clips seemed flimsy, and I was concerned that they may not hold the cooler in place very well.  The below right image shows the thin fins of the CUW8-715, which are quite delicate, and can be pushed out of shape with the slightest pressure.

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Please read on to page two for more... Next

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