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 Speeze Vulturespin and Owlstream Heatsink Review - Page 1 of 2

Posted:  July 28, 2003
Author:  Jason Kohrs
Manufacturer:  Speeze
Source:  Speeze

Speeze is a well known manufacturer of “thermal and silent computer solutions” that has been in the business of keeping processors cool since 1991.  They are continually developing new products to meet the thermal demands that processors create as the speeds climb increasingly faster.  Two of the newest coolers from Speeze are the Owlstream and Vulturespin Socket A/370 processor coolers, which Speeze has provided to BigBruin.Com for this review.  These two coolers are so new, that at the time this review is being published, the Owlstream is still about 1-2 weeks away from being available commercially, and the Vulturespin is still about 3-4 weeks away.

Click Image For Larger ViewEach of Speeze’s new coolers comes in identical packaging as pictured in the image on the left. Not visible in the picture is a small sticker that identifies which unit is the Vulturespin and which is the Owlstream, which is helpful since they are fairly similar in appearance.  Each uses the same aluminum base, as well as a purple 80mm fan with 3-pin power connector and steel fan grill pre-installed.  The physical differences are more apparent once the packaging is opened, revealing: 1) the Owlstream’s aluminum base has a black coating, where the Vulturespin is the natural aluminum color, 2) the Vulturespin has a copper core inserted into the base that the Owlstream does not, and 3) the Vulturespin utilizes a 3-lug mounting clip, while the Owlstream utilizes a 1-lug mounting clip.

The coloring of the cooler bases is part of a new plan developed by Speeze to make it easier to distinguish their units with copper inserts (aluminum colored bases) from their all aluminum bases (black colored bases).  Its come in handy for me!

Taking a look at the official specs reveals a few other differences:

Owlstream Specifications

Owlstream Specs

Vulturespin Specifications

Vulturespin Specs

The two coolers are each rated for use on the same AMD processors, and even though the fans may appear to be the same, checking the specifications indicate that the Vulturespin’s is actually rated for less airflow and lower speed. This is no accident, the Vulturespin is being marketed for use in low noise applications, and its noise level rating of 21.0 dBA should help accomplish that nicely.

Now that the two units have been checked out on paper, let’s take a look at what we really have... In the series of pictures below you can see that the design of the cooler base is identical on each unit, except for the paint job, and that the purple 80mm fans also appear to be identical (although my camera has made the purple look more like blue).

As pictured in the two images below, you can see that Speeze has provided a nice touch with the fan power leads sheathed in clear tubing, and pre-installed fan grills are always a nice safety feature.

Owlstream Profile

Vulturespin Profile

Click Image For Larger View

Click Image For Larger View

The side view reveals no physical differences, other than the paint job. Each cooler has 18 rows of thin aluminum fins sandwiched between slightly thicker rows on either end that incorporate “towers” in each corner to provide the mounts for the 80mm fan.

Owlstream Side View

Vulturespin Side View

Click Image For Larger View

Click Image For Larger View

Taking a look at the side where the mounting clip is located reveals that the Owlstream utilizes a 1-lug clip, whereas the Vulturespin utilizes a 3-lug clip. In general, mounting a heatsink using the 3 lugs on either side of the socket will provide a much more secure connection.  I would personally like to see the 3-lug clips used more often, as they do provide that added confidence and can’t possibly cost that much more to manufacture.

Owlstream Clip Side View

Vulturespin Clip Side View

Click Image For Larger View

Click Image For Larger View

Taking a closer look at the mounting clips shows that a fairly standard slot is provided to accept a small screwdriver for installation on either unit...

Owlstream Clip Detail

Vulturespin Clip Detail

The bottom of each heatsink is prepared with a white thermal paste, as pictured below. I inititally assumed that it was some sort of thermal pad, and proceeded to touch the bottom of the Owlstream...  In the below left image you can see my finger print, proving that it is a fairly fluid paste, and not the typical thermal pad. The packaging for each cooler incorporates a plastic “cradle” which keeps the thermal paste from coming into contact with anything, but it is otherwise unprotected from the atmosphere. Although this pre-installed paste strikes me as a step up from a thermal pad, I would generally prefer to use my own thermal paste. It does, however, provide a convenient solution for those who are perhaps a bit less obsessive than me about things like this...

Owlstream Bottom

Vulturespin Bottom

Click Image For Larger View

Click Image For Larger View

Click Image For Larger ViewNot visible in the above image of the Vulturespin, is the copper insert provided to increase the cooling ability of the Vulturespin. After cleaning the thermal paste off, you are left with the base as pictured in the image on the right. Although there are machining marks visible, the surface is very smooth to the touch, and the fit of the copper core appears to be very tight. Both of these features should allow for good heat transfer between the processor and the copper core, and then from the copper core to the aluminum base of the heatsink.

Please read on to page 2 for the installation, testing, and conclusion... Next

Page 1 | Page 2 | Review Index


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