DEEPCOOL Ice Wind Pro Reviewairman -
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The contrast between the aluminum and copper has always appealed to me, but is also the easiest look to achieve on a heat sink since it requires no coatings, paint, or plating. The Ice Wind Pro stands at 157 mm tall (from base to top of fan), 83 mm thick (with fan), and weighs only 650 g in total. Its lightweight construction would be perfect for someone who may move their machine a lot or at the minimum, someone who may be concerned with their cooler's weight. The DEEPCOOL Ice Matrix Pro has something that the other DEEPCOOL coolers have had, which is a unique fin shape that differs it from a plain, "symmetric" design. The fin sizes and shapes vary as they travel up the heat pipes, giving it a dynamic look that sets it apart from other medium-range coolers. The heat pipes protrude from the top and are mostly uniform (about as uniform as you can make heat pipes). To have so many bends and be so uniform, I'd say whoever operating or programming the heat pipe bender is a master of the art! The base itself is clearly aluminum and has a grooved pattern on its top. Two notches on either side hold the two clamping arms in place, which are used to clamp the heat sink to the CPU.
The base itself is protected with a plastic film that has a clear warning label on it to ensure the user removes this before installation. On the underside of the first fin is a sticker with a bar code on it, as well as "warranty void if removed", signifying that these heat sinks are serialized – usually, this means a better end-product for the customer. Upon the removal of this plastic film, a very well-polished base is exposed, containing only very small gaps between the heat pipes and aluminum base material. With the heat sink using a direct contact base, it is important to minimize these gaps as they can trap air. A high-quality base with very small gaps denotes a well-designed and thought-out cooler, and typically implies a high-quality product! Its reflectivity is high as well; another highly sought after characteristic.
The fan itself is a 4-pin, PWM, 120 mm fan with rubber anti-vibration pads already in place. Its housing is made of black, high-gloss plastic, and its blades are made of a blue plastic, with a silver DEEPCOOL center cap. There is only a plain white sticker on its backside where the manufacturer and general information can be found – however, the white sticker provides no data. Luckily, the box tells us that it runs on 12 V and pulls ~0.13 A, making it a 1.56 W fan that operates between 500~1500 RPM at 17.8~27.6 dBA and has a maximum airflow of 66.3 CFM. These specifications are rather standard and do not signify what OEM may have provided this fan.
Attaching the fan to the cooler is rather self-explanatory; there are slits at each edge of the cooler for the fan clips to grab onto. The other ends of the clips then hook into each of the fan's four screw holes. Since two clips are required per fan, we have another pair left over in case we want to install a secondary fan for a push/pull setup.
Now, to the part I've been interested in since I first opened the box. As I suspected, the cooler itself is natively configured to clip directly to an AMD heat sink bracket without any modifications. However, for us Intel folks, we will need to install the provided mounting bracket that mimics this AMD-style mounting. The push pins are placed in each of the four corners of the bracket that correspond to the correct socket (i.e. LGA 775, 1156, and 1366). Once the bracket is in place, one side of the heat sink's clip can be hooked around the bracket, with the other side requiring a little bit of force to move into place. A small workout is needed (that's an exaggeration), though anybody can do it. This process makes the installation completely tool-free. It is nice not to have to hunt for a screwdriver, although you may need one to remove your previous cooler!
With an easy, tool-free installation, the cooler is now ready to be put on the hot seat for some time on the test bench!