Cooler Master Aero 7+ Plus Heatsink ReviewFormer staff writer - November 2, 2003
Temperatures for the testing were taken via a CompU Nurse thermal probe located next to the CPU die. Céramique (by Arctic Silver) thermal compound was applied to the CPU and each heat sink according to the directions located on Arctic Silver's web site. The compound was given 100 hours of use before testing was done on any of the heat sinks. To achieve the "idle temperature" reading, the computer was allowed to set idle for 15 minutes, and then the reading was taken. To achieve the "load temperature" CPU Burn-In was run for 15 minutes and then a reading was taken. The overclocked temperature readings were done in the same fashion, except that the system FSB had been increase from 133 to 145 giving a 138Mhz overclock. In addition to testing the different fans, the Aero 7+ was also tested with the blower running at full speed (~3750 RPM), medium speed (~2163 RPM), and low speed (~1776 RPM).
The difference in fan speed is really amazing, with the Tornado literally blowing everything else away. But is the fan speed enough to make up for the "blind spot"?
We can see that in addition to having more RPM than anything else, we can see that the Vantec Tornado fan also has a higher noise level than any of the other fans. Higher in this graph is worse. For those of you who have never owned a Tornado fan, you can't even imagine how loud these things are. Let's just say it got its name for a reason. :) I don't have the tools available to accurately measure sound levels, so I've only provided the information that the companies have made available on their product web sites.
We can see that the MCX-462 with the tornado is clearly the best temperature here, followed by the Aero base with the Tornado fan. The Aero 7+ was 5.8°C warmer than the MCX-462. You can also see even at load when the Aero 7+ blower speed was turned down, the temperature changed 3.1°C from High to Medium, and then 1.7°C from Medium to Low, or 4.8°C from High to Low. Using the Antec fan produced a result almost equal to the Aero 7+ on the medium setting.
When we cranked the system up to a "load" condition, you can see that the Aero 7+ was still behind the MCX-462 by 4.9°C, and there was a difference of 7°C between the Aero 7+ high and low settings.
Again, with the CPU overclocked, and the system setting at idle, there was a 4.3°C difference in the Temperature of the Aero 7+ and the MCX-462.
The last reading taken was the CPU overclocked, and the system under a "load" condition. This time a differance of 5.8°C was seen between the MCX-462 and the Aero 7+.
The results clearly show that the Aero 7+ was no match for a high powered fan like the Tornado, even when on the same heat sink, however when put up against a more normal, or quiet fan like the Antec 80mm fan, the Aero 7+ preformed quite well. This shows that while traditional fans may produce a "blind spot", high CFM fans will more than make up for it.Conclusion
I'll give the Aero 7+ its credit, it preforms great, however it's no match for the high powered Swiftech & Tornado combination (or any other high end combo like the Thermalright SLK900), however for those of you who want a reasonable sound level the Aero 7+ is perfict for you. Good performance and low noise is a combination that can't be beat. In adition to that, the Aero 7+ has an awsome look to it, and can really impress those friends of yours who have only ever seen standard fans. I'm willing to bet before to long, we see the blower fans with LEDs, and maybe fan guards. Which for those of you that didn't notice, the Aero 7+ has no fan guard. For those of you who like the fan, but want a different look, ThermalTake has a blower (the XBlower) that is orange and black. The heat sink itself cost about $39.00, which isn't to bad considering the price of some heat sinks today. If you already have a heat sink, you can purchase the blower from a Cooler Master reseller for about $12.00
Thanks to Cooler Master for sending this to us to review!