Evercool HPL-815 and Transformer 3 Reviewairman - October 20, 2011
Category: CPU Cooling
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Evercool is a very well-known manufacturer of computer/processor cooling products and has been for almost two decades. Since the days of the 386 processor, Evercool has been part of the game developing cooling for products for our beloved computers, keeping them cool and in good health. Since starting out in OEM coolers for Intel, Evercool progressed into developing its own product line for retail sales in the enthusiast market — how we know the company today. Since jumping into the retail side of things, Evercool now manufacturers not only CPU coolers and case fans, but also laptop cooling pads, fan filters, grills, and more. In this review, we will be taking a look at some of Evercool's latest additions to its product lineup.
The two heatsinks in the spotlight today are the Tranformer 3 and the low profile, super short HPL-815. Both coolers have completely separate features for two highly different needs, but that alone showcases the wide variety of coolers offered by Evercool. Surfing over to its website, you'll find these two coolers mixed in with a plethora of other coolers varying in size, shape, color, compatibility, and more. Many, like the HPL-315, are suited for use in 2U server cases, and more on top of those are suited for even 1U server boxes. The HPL-815 is a perfect fit for something in a small HTPC (Home Theater PC) or other tight spaces with someone who doesn't require a huge heat load from overclocking or extensive gaming. Small coolers can only be pushed so far, but they also have their advantages. On the other hand, the Transformer 3 is meant for heavy duty work. It employs three copper 6mm direct contact heatpipes on an aluminum, tower-style heatsink with a chromed-out fan. The plastic/chrome look reminds me of the T-1000 from the Terminator movies. It does appear that Evercool's naming scheme for the Transformer line pulled a bit of a "Star Wars", in which it started with number 4 and a 6 several years ago, and now we're down to 3. The numbers don't have anything to do with chronological order, but rather the amount of heatpipes on the product!
Anyways, enough of the silly anecdotes — it's time to get started on testing these two heatsinks. In this review, I will provide a full overview of the two Evercool heatsinks: the low profile, space-saving HPL-815, and the low-cost, performance-style Transformer 3. I will start with unboxing the heatsinks, taking a very close look at their features and construction, and then going through a rigorous testing session to see how they compare to some of the latest hardware when subjected to high heat loads. Without further ado, let's get started.
The two coolers are packaged slightly differently from the other. The Transformer 3 is in a black cardboard box with a window on the front showing off the chrome, reflective fan and a little bit of the heatsink itself on the other side of the blades. The Evercool logo appears in the top-left corner and an isometric view of the cooler appears in the bottom right. The low profile, HPL-815 is packaged in a plastic clamshell-like package, with the black and red fan showing through on the front. The back of the HPL-815 is hidden behind a black piece of glossy paper giving an introduction to the cooler and lists some features.
The Transformer 3 cooler reminds me a lot of some other heatsinks that I have had my hands on, mainly due to its slender but tall form. It's only about 30-35mm thick without the fan, which is also slim for a fan at only about 15mm thick. Having such narrow dimensions this way, it will leave a lot of room around the CPU socket for access to memory, plugs, etc. Looking at the HPL-815, my first thoughts on this is that it's incredibly tiny! It wouldn't quite fit in a 1U setup, but I could see it working in a 1.5U and a 2U setup as well as in mini-ITX or micro-ATX form factor cases. Neither are supplied with a lot of accessories, but they are simple enough to not require a substantial amount of hardware. The mounting hardware between the two coolers are very similar, but not interchangeable. The Transformer 3's hardware includes a universal Intel bracket and supporting hardware, an AMD socket hold-down clamp and hardware, thermal paste, rubber fan clips and a user's manual. The HPL-815's hardware is the same, with both AMD and Intel hardware, thermal paste and user's manual, but doesn't include the rubber fan clips since the fan is already attached to the cooler. With both coolers out of the box, it's now time to take a closer look at the individual coolers and offer my thoughts on each.