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Cooler Master Aero 7 Lite CPU Cooler Review

Former staff writer    -   October 9, 2003


Testing
So let's get going on the good parts: What type of performance will this HSF give you.

Testing Setup
Abit NF7-S v2.0
AMD Athlon XP 2500+ (Barton) (1.83GHz)
Kingston Hyper-X 256M PC3200 (DDR400) CAS 2
Antec 1040BII tower w/ 2 exhaust fans
Arctic Silver Ceramique Thermal Compound

Testing Method

Temperatures were recorded from the onboard thermal probe on the motherboard. Ceramique was applied to the heatsink according to the directions available at Arctic Silver's website. The compound was given 3 days (72 hours) to set before any testing was done. The idle temperature was recorded after 15 minutes of inactivity. The load temperature was taken after running CPU Burn-In for 15 minutes. Temperatures were taken at High (~3500RPM), Medium (~2100RPM) and Low (~1725RPM) fan settings, as well as at stock speeds ([email protected] 1.83Mhz) and overclocked speeds ([email protected] 2200Mhz).

Testing Results



At idle, the Aero 7 Lite performs very well in the AL-Cu hybrid class. At the lowest fan speed, there is only a 6*C difference between Non-OC and OC. And at 46.5*C, your PC is still in the green. At the highest fan speed, the gap is closed to 4.5*C, displaying the benefits of the blower fan, with the pressure hitting that copper slug in the center of the heatsink.



Under load, the temperature invariably rised. However, it isn't that dramatic and the Aero7 Lite still keeps the CPU at a healthy temperature, even at the lowest fan speed. Again we see the 6*C difference between the Non-OC and the OC temps. At High fan speed, the gap remains similar, with the Non-OC temp at 41*C and the OC temp at 46*C.



For the comparison we'll be using the stock HSF that is included with the AMD CPU. Why? Because everyone has one, so everyone can understand the benefits of this fan. At idle temps, the Aero 7 outclasses the stock heatsink by 6*C when Non-OC, and by a full 9.5*C when the CPU has been overclocked.



Under load, again the Aero 7 keeps the gap clear when not overclocked. However, we finally see the true use of this fan when we get to the overclocked temperatures. At a full 10*C lower then the stock AMD fan, the Aero 7 Lite keeps your CPU in the green at 46*C, as opposed to a dangerous 56*C.


Conclusion
The Aero 7 Lite is a well performing fan in its group of Al-Cu hybrids. On top of that, the unique look will spruce up the insides of any case. At a mere $21US/$29CAN this heatsink is an extremely good performer for the money invested. As blower fans become more popular, I'm sure (like every other fan) we'll see new ones with LEDs and UV reactive casings soon to hit the market. Even so, the Aero 7 Lite is a great looking fan, at an extremely affordable price. It was a shame to see that a) no instruction manual was included and b) there was a thermal pad, but overall this was an easy-to-install, highly functional heatsink. Despite all its misgivings, the Aero 7 Lite was definately a winner.

Pros

  • Very attractive
  • Adjustable
  • Extremely good performance to noise levels
  • Sturdy CPU clips
  • Very well built

Cons

  • No Instructions?!?
  • Brackets only come in silver
  • Screwdriver clip assembly
  • Thermal Pad (Boooo)
  • Poor base machining/lapping
  • Can't remove blower fan


Thanks to Cooler Master for sending us this product to review.

 

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  1. Introduction & Specifications
  2. Closer Look
  3. Closer Look Continued & Installation
  4. Testing & Conclusion
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