Evercool Transformer 4 Review

RHKCommander959 - 2009-06-05 02:40:41 in CPU Cooling
Category: CPU Cooling
Reviewed by: RHKCommander959   
Reviewed on: June 21, 2009
Price: TBD

Introduction:

With the increased thermal output of Intel's Core i7 CPUs, larger heat sinks are becoming very popular. Another trend is direct heat pipe contact with the CPU heat spreader, allowing the heat pipes to wisk away heat from the CPU to the fins faster than when the heat must travel through a base plate. Evercool has a new direct heat pipe heat sink called the Transformer 4, which is very similar to the design of another heat sink I recently reviewed, the Titan Fenrir, which will be the main item to compare to in terms of design. The Transformer 4 HPJ-12025 can be used with either one fan or both of the included fans. The included clips can also allow larger fans to be mounted to the heat sink.

The Transformer 4 packs in four large heat pipes and is actively cooled by two 120mm silent fans with low decibels of <21dBA and rotation speed of ~1000RPM. The heat sink comes ready to mount to Intel LGA 1366, LGA 775, and AMD 754/939/940/AM2. This beast weighs in at 843.5g and measures in at 130x122x160mm. This heat sink is definitely big!

 

Closer Look:

The front of the box reveals the beast immediately, with the Evercool logo and model number HPJ-12025 in the top corners. It also shows stickers for Core i7 LGA 1366, P4 LGA775, and AMD K8/AM2, with the quote "Free collocation makes much colder and quieter". The package features an angled shot of the heat sink, with the name and type of heat sink under it - Transformer 4, Heat Pipe CPU Cooler, www.evercool.com.tw. Rotating to the back shows the specifications and features of the heat sink, with pictures of different motherboard mounting. Another angled build picture of the Transformer 4 with semi-transparent fans and also a picture demonstrating the "Free Collocation" decorate part of the back. The clamshell package is fairly sturdy and should protect the heat sink well from abuse during shipping.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first side reveals many of the AMD processors supported by the heat sink. The most glaring omission is the Phenom 2, although it will work with that too. Below that are six icons showing the features of the heat sink. The opposite side shows the Intel processors that the Transformer 4 directly supports, and five pictures of itself at a few different angles.

 

 

Cutting open the clamshell packaging and removing the insert shows the protective plastic form that holds the Transformer 4 in place. The form fits tightly in place, with a compartment underneath for the cardboard box containing the various accessories.

 

 

Both fans are painted chrome, and have a holographic Evercool sticker on them. The paint is soft and chips off easily. According to Evercool's website, these fans draw 0.16 A, run at 1400 RPM, pump out 53.4 CFM maximum with 0.07 Inch H20, at <28.3 dBA. The fans have an estimated lifespan of 40,000 hours.

 

 

The inside of the insert contains the instructions, featuring plenty of pictures to guide people through installation on an AMD or Intel system. The small white box contains the mounting brackets, bolts, washers, and thermal paste to get the heat sink installed. The mounting plate has holes for other sockets that the box did not list.

 

 

With everything unpacked, let's get a better look at the Evercool Transformer 4!

Closer Look:

The fins are in pretty good shape here on the Transformer 4, as the fans helped protect them. Some are askew, but easy enough to bend back into place. The fins are not soldered into place along the heat pipes, and start shortly from the base of the heat sink, lowering the clearance and posing a possible problem with motherboards that have tall chipset heat sinks, capacitors, etc. The fans are painted silver, and have a holographic Evercool sticker on them. The paint chips off easily, so be careful with them or it will look terrible once they are installed. The fins have a pair of channels cut into them to allow the wire fan clips to snap onto the heat sink (the fan clips can be used with larger fans also). The fin design is I-shaped, and is fed by four heat pipes that spread away from the base to better dissipate heat into the fins. The fin design allows for air to escape through the sides and top/bottom of the fans, effectively diminishing the low-powered fans' effectiveness to blow heat away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adorning the top of the heat sink is the Transformer 4 logo, along with "EVERCOOL IDEAL COO ING"... looks like an "L" got lost. At least the typo is small and not in the name. The heat pipes are capped off by these fancy covers and the top looks pretty good aside from the typo.

 

 

The fins are cut with a groove to hold the fan clips in place. Each clip is hooked to be able to grab onto the fan holes, allowing any 120mm fan to be used with the Transformer 4. The silver paint chips easily, exposing the black body underneath. These seven-bladed fans from Evercool operate very quietly.

 

 

Attaching the mounting bracket to the heat sink is easy; just line up the cross-shaped center with the center of the heat sink base with notches to lock it into place. The bottom of the heat sink base is protected from dirt and scratches by a sticker that must be removed before installation!

 

 

With the sticker removed the machining grooves are readily apparent. Unavoidably heat sinks that use exposed heat pipes will have grooves where the heat pipes and base meet, which most users fill with thermal paste. Luckily, Evercool already filled them in somewhat with paste. The base is pretty flat.

 

 

With the behemoth installed, I noticed that a RAM slot was covered by the intake fan, while the exhaust fan nearly lined up with the case fan. A tight squeeze, but it fit just fine once it was in. However, if this case had a fan on the side panel, it would have had to been removed.

 

With the fan installed it's time to read details on the heat sink and then test it!

Specifications:

Brand
Evercool Transformer 4
Model
HPJ-12025
Overall Dimension:
130 x 122 x 160 mm
Fan Size:
120 x 120 x 25 mm
Heat Sink Material:
Aluminum Fin + Heat-Pipes
Bearing Type:
Ever Lubricate bearing type (Long life design)
Rated Speed:
1000 +/- 10% RPM
Noise Level:
<21 dBA
Rated Voltage:
DC 12 V
Weight:
843.5 g

 

Features:

 

All information courtesy of Evercool @ http://www.evercool.com.tw/products/hpj.htm

Testing:

The Transformer 4 was tested with half-hour intervals using Prime95 for the load results, and sitting in Vista doing nothing for the idle results. The CPU is then overclocked to a moderate 166x20 (3.33GHz) and tested again to see how well it can handle an overclocked (hotter) processor. Real Temp 3.00 is used to see how hot the processor gets. Voltage is set at 1.25V and the ambient temperature was right at 20C, with the hardware installed into a case for more realistic results. Let's see how the Transformer 4 stacks up against the competition, especially to the similarly-designed Titan Fenrir!

Testing System:

 

Comparison Heat sinks:

 

 

 

 

 

 

The idle temperatures of the Transformer 4 are higher than the competition, but at load it doesn't do bad at all! The similarly-designed Titan Fenrir beats it in load by only two degrees stock and five degrees in overclocked, beating the stock Intel heat sink by 19C. Possible reasons for the worse performance are that the included thermal paste may be holding the heat sink back, the heat pipes aren't as efficient, or the low pressure fans aren't passing enough air through the fins. It is hard to tell, but it did pretty good nonetheless, and still had some room for overclocking.

Conclusion

The Evercool Transformer 4 (HPJ-12025) performed fairly well in testing, chasing after the similar, albeit single-fanned, Titan Fenrir by a couple degrees in each test. The hardware needed to install the Transformer 4 was included and the instructions were somewhat difficult to read or understand due to typos and poor grammar, but it had plenty of pictures that made it easy to infer the general idea. The art and design of the packaging looks good, as does the heat sink itself.

The included thermal paste worked well enough, and felt similar to Shin-Etsu. The performance with the CPU overclocked allowed for more headroom and beat the stock Intel offering hands down. During testing, the fans operated very quietly and kept temperatures in the safe-zone. Clearance and size weren't an issue with my setup, but there were a few close calls; users should make sure that this heat sink will fit their system before purchasing. Finding the grooves filled with thermal paste was an added bonus, as some companies do not do this.

The performance in comparison to the very similar Titan Fenrir are a put-off, as are the typos and mistakes, especially on the heat sink itself where it reads "Evercool Ideal Coo ing". The fans may be holding the heat sink back, especially due to the design of the fins allowing air to escape all around. Overlooking these flaws, the Transformer 4 is a very nice and massive heat sink that could excel if in the right price-point.

 

Pros:

Cons: