Evercool HPL-815 and Transformer 3 Reviewairman - October 20, 2011
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So we see here that the Evercool Transformer 3 actually does quite well in a stock scenario and actually matching the performance from that of a Corsair H60. The high-quality, direct contact base is probably to thank for that since it helps the heat from the processor to be removed quickly, and then the rest is the easy job of the fins being cooled by the fan. On the other hand, the higher-load performance didn't correlate to what we saw in the Stock testing, and that's most likely due to it's lower weight. Lower weight directly means a lower heat capacity, so as soon as the fins and fans cannot keep up, the temperature increases until it reaches a higher equilibrium. For stock situations, this cooler does very well. As far as noise goes, I can't say that I really noticed anything louder than other coolers.
We know that the HPL-815, on the other hand, is meant for a very space-saving purpose. Therefore, it is very small and very light. Even though it's noticeably shorter than the stock Intel unit, I'm going to consider it being what the Intel unit is — but with heatpipes. That being said, it does a better job at cooling a stock i7 in both idle and load testing by 11°C. Even at overclocked idle, it still has an 11°C over what the Intel unit can do. However, once loaded, the temperatures rapidly climbed past 70°, 80°, 90°. The rate of the increasing temperature was leveling off, but once it passed 100°C on the processor, I pulled the plug on the test since that is the TJ Max of the i7 920. I did remove the cooler, reapply thermal paste and reseat it, but the same result occurred. My only explanation to why this happens is because of how small it is. However, this cooler is not meant to be a heavy breather and big performer like the $70 and $80 coolers that are out on the market. When it comes to cost, it's more of a particular "need" type of thing where a small cooler is not an option. At about the same price as the Transformer 3, it'd only be a reasonable move if space limitations were great. For noise on this one, it's certainly noticeable especially at full speed. It's understandable though, an 80mm fan can only do so much before its easily detected by its noise.
To conclude this review, I will make it clear that these two coolers have two completely different purposes. The Transformer 3 is a budget, tower cooler that is compatible with pretty much everything that's still laying around today, and does a pretty good job at cooling for what it's worth. On the other side, the HPL-815 is a very low profile, space saving design where its overall application is not going to be overclocked very much, if at all. This is a cooler that I would put into a 1.5U or 2U rackmount if I still wanted slightly lower temperatures, or an HTPC that I have in a mini-ITX case that's literally not much bigger than a DVD ROM drive. Even though the HPL-815 "failed" the overclocked load test, it'd still be something good to have if it's ever needed.
Pros: (Transformer 3)
- Simple installation
- Rubber fan mounts for quiet operation
- Higher quality direct contact base
- Some may like the "chromed" fan
- Extremely small, will fit anywhere
- Installation is easy and fast
- Decent quality base
Cons: (Transformer 3)
- Low level of mass doesn't handle heavy loads well
- Price to overall performance is high