Coolink Corator DS Review

ccokeman - 2010-03-06 20:59:21 in CPU Cooling
Category: CPU Cooling
Reviewed by: ccokeman   
Reviewed on: May 2, 2010
Price: $59

Introduction:

When it comes down to it, we are all enthusiasts in one way or another. We all want to get the highest performance and clock speeds from the hardware we have at the lowest possible temperatures. This is something the stock cooling solution will rarely allow (the Intel 980x stock cooling solution not withstanding). There reaches a point where the temperatures of the CPU reach a level you are not comfortable with and that time brings with it the realization that you need to do something about the cooling solution. There are a myriad of heatsinks on the market, from mild to wild, that run the gamut from a simple upgrade, to a full on refrigeration system in a case. Somewhere in the middle, is usually the solution for the masses.

That brings us to today with the Corator DS from Coolink. Never heard of them? They are the retail arm of Kolink that is involved with the R&D work with Noctua, so the technology behind the brand is solid. This heatsink is a dual tower design that uses Gapless Direct Touch technology with four large 8mm heat-pipes carrying the load to the aluminum fins. I am curious as to how this design will compare with some of the other high-end cooling solutions on the market and more specifically the king of the hill NH-D14 from Noctua. Let's move on a dig into the Coolink Corator DS.

Closer Look:

The Corator DS from Coolink comes packaged much like many heatsinks on the market. The box contains a wealth of information on all four sides much the way its sister company Noctua does. The front panel shows a picture of the Corator DS. The right side gets into detail on the features of the Corator including the dual fin stacks, Gapless Direct Touch technology and the SecuFirm2 mounting hardware. The rear panel shows detail shots of the Corator while the left side lists the specifications and contains a few technical drawings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opening the packaging you get a surprise of inner boxes housing the accessories and the Corator DS cooler itself. Once you break through all of the layers, you are presented with the cooler and the items needed for installation and operation. Included with the Coolink Corator DS are the mounting brackets, thermal grease, case badge, instructions, and a fan to provide the cooling airflow to keep your components as cool as possible. If the mounting hardware looks vaguely familiar, it should, as it is Noctua's SecuFirm2 mounting system.

 

 

 

To facilitate mounting the Corator DS onto the motherboard of your choosing, Coolink has included Noctua's SecuFirm2 mounting hardware as well as detailed instructions on how to complete the installation. You get hardware for both AMD and Intel with compatibility for sockets 775,1156 and 1366 on the Intel side and AM3, AM2, AM2+ on the AMD side of the fence. This heatsink is a bolt-in design, so if you already have your system installed, you will need to remove it to install the Corator DS.

 

 

To mount the AMD hardware you just have to unscrew the existing bracket on the motherboard and screw in the hardware. The Intel mounting is a little more complex, but with the assembled shot it won't be that difficult to install. The rear bracket for the Intel installations is a universal bracket with mounting holes for socket 775,1156 and 1366. You just have to insert the bolt into the correct set of holes. The bracket is insulated on the contact surface to prevent any short circuits and provides the correct stand-off spacing from the board, so you don't tweak the board out of shape.

 

 

 

With just a preliminary look at the Corator DS and its bundle of accessories, it may well provide some competition to the NH-D14 based on its construction alone.

Closer Look:

The Corator DS is a large (155mm x 140mm x 121mm) heatsink that uses two symmetrical tower fin arrays that are interconnected via a series of four 8mm copper heat-pipes. These heat-pipes run along the contact surface of the heatsink to gain the most efficiency possible from the heat-pipes. Coolink has called this Gapless Direct Touch technology. The Gapless part comes from the fact that the gaps between the heat-pipes are filled with copper so you have a single surface. Much like the Noctua NH-D14, this cooler uses a fan in between the towers, but in this instance you only have a single fan dissipation heat. When you look at the top of the fin arrays you can see dimples all the way around the fins which can serve as a way to break up airflow for more turbulence to increase cooling capacity, or can be purely for looks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Gapless Direct Touch Technology has the spaces between the heat-pipes filled with copper instead of aluminum to provide the same thermal conductivity across the contact patch. This design has its merits, but was a little rough in the execution. A little bit of a lap job to clean it up would surely pay cooling dividends. Sticking out like wings are the mounting screws. These are locked into a single plate that screws into the top of the heatsink base.

 


The SWiF2-120P fan mounts in the center of the two towers of the Corator DS and is held in place by a series of clips. These attach on the outside of the heatsink and then swing in to latch into the screw holes on the fan. This arrangement is fairly easy to use and securely mounts the fan. Coolink has taken a page out of the Noctua book by including vibration dampening strips mounted to the tower to keep the vibration from the fan in check.

 

 

Coolink has included a single SWiF2-120P fan. This fan is a PWM controlled fan that runs from 800 to 1700 RPM pushing between 37 and 75 CFM. For those flow numbers you really don't have to pay a noise penalty with the maximum acoustical noise coming in at 27.1 dBA. The SWiF2-120P fan uses a hydrodynamic bearing to keep actual fan noise down as well as improve the life span of the fan.

 

 

Looking at the specs and features of this heatsink from Coolink, I have got to say it looks like it should have the ability to keep an overclocked 920 in check. Let's see if it can.

Specifications:

Product
Corator DS (CPU-Cooler)
Material
Copper (base and heat-pipes),
aluminium (cooling fins)
Size incl. Fan
155 x 140 x 121 mm
Weight incl. Fan
1040 g
Fan Size
 120x120x25mm
Fan
Coolink SWiF2-120P
Bearing Type
high-performance
hydro-dynamic bearing
Rotational Speed
(+/- 10%) 800-1700 RPM
Airflow
60.4-127.6 m³/h
Acoustical Noise
8.5-27.1 dB/A
Socket Compatibility
Intel LGA1366, LGA1156, LGA775 &
AMD AM2, AM2+, AM3
(backplate required)

 

Features:

 

 

All information courtesy of Coolink @ http://www.coolink-europe.com/en/categories/15_32.html

Testing:

To find out the level of performance that the Coolink Corator DS delivers, I will be making a comparison of the temperatures at idle and under load. Both will be made while the CPU is at the stock voltages and clock speeds, as well as when the CPU is overclocked and 'over-volted'. This will help to show what kind of cooling performance that this cooling solution has to offer, when compared to other socket 1366 compatible high-performance cooling solutions. These cooling systems will be tested head-to-head as they are delivered from the manufacturer. I could throw in a bunch of testing variables, but it is not what the products are capable of as delivered. To test the idle temperatures, I will allow the computer to stay in an idle state for 30 minutes and take the idle temperature at this point. For the load testing, I will use Prime95 version 25.11 and choose the blend testing and allow the processor and memory controller to heat up to the maximum temperatures. The time frame is a four-hour run, to allow the temperature to peak - usually at or around the 14K test. I will use Real temp 3.0 to take the high and low temperatures and average the temperatures generated over the four cores as my reported temperatures.

Testing Setup:

 

Comparison Heat sinks:

 

 

 

 

 

 

From a results perspective, the Corator DS delivers results right on par with the Noctua NH-C12P SE-14 when overclocked, and was within just two degrees Celsius of the Thermalright TRUE and Noctua NH-U12P SE 1366 at stock speeds and voltages. I was expecting performance similar to that of the NH-D14 from Noctua, but the single fan in the dual tower design just did not help the Corator DS in that respect.


 

Conclusion:

The Coolink Corator DS is a heatsink that delivers respectable performance. At stock speeds and voltages, the Corator DS was within two degrees Celsius of the TRUE and Noctua NH-U12P SE 1366 - two high-end coolers in their own right. When compared to the NH-D14 from Noctua, it fell six degrees short. When the CPU is overclocked and over-volted, the gap was five degrees against the NH-U12P, four degrees against the TRUE and then nine degrees against the NH-D14. When you look at performance the Corator DS falls short of the temperatures reached by some of the high-end heatsinks it is compared to.

I think one of the things that really holds this heatsink back is the use of a single fan. The NH-D14 shows off its cooling prowess with the use of a second fan and I have no doubt that the Corator DS would show an improvement with an additional fan. This on the other hand, drives up the the noise and costs. As a larger two-tower design heatsink, I really expected a higher level of cooling performance with the use of GDT (Gapless Direct Touch) technology and use of large 8mm heat-pipes. However, it uses only four of these 8mm copper heat pipes, when the rest of the high-end heatsinks are using six to transfer the thermal load up to the fin array. That, combined with the use of only one fan, is most likely is the reason for the gap in performance.

The performance is good, just not what my expectations were hoping for, based on the size and construction of this cooler. Installing the Corator DS is as easy as mounting Noctua heatsinks, thanks to the use of Noctua's SecuFirm 2 mounting kit. Coolink and Noctua fall under the same corporate umbrella, so why not use a tried and proven mounting system? There is no need to reinvent the wheel, when you have already reached the top rung of the evolutionary ladder.

You can install this heatsink on any current popular socket style, from AM2 upwards for the AMD crowd and Socket 775 upwards for Intel systems. The single SWiF2-120P fan, while a detriment for the cooling, was a boon for the level of noise that the Corator DS made. At no point in the testing did the level of noise reach a level that I could hear above the rest of the background noise in the test environment. The SWiF2-120P fan is a PWM controlled fan that uses a hydrodynamic bearing and moves a maximum of 74CFM at 27 dBA. The Coolink Corator DS is large enough to keep your CPU cool and quiet enough to keep your ears from for begging for mercy. It does a respectable job of keeping CPU temperatures under control with an easy to use mounting system, included thermal paste and a five-year warranty, all for a price that won't break the bank.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: