Spire Whisper Rock IV Heat Sink Review

Admin - 2007-02-22 21:01:01 in CPU Cooling
Category: CPU Cooling
Reviewed by: Admin   
Reviewed on: December 11, 2003
Spire Coolers
Spire Coolers
Price: $15.00 USD
Introduction
Today we’ll be taking a look at one of spire’s latest heat sinks, the WhisperRockIV. The WhisperRockIV is a silent cooling solution, for the AMD socket a platform. This cooler is targeted towards the mainstream user, looking for a silient CPU cooler. Today, we're going to be comparing it against two other heat sinks, one tough competitor being the Coolermaster Areo 7+. Founded in 1991, the company gained AMD and VIA approvals along with recognition by International Standard Commission for Quality Assurance in 1999 against ISO-9002 and ISO-9001.




Specifications

Bearing:

Ball bearing

Rated speed:

2300 RPM +/-10%

Rated power:

1.08 W

Noise level:

25 dBA

Air flow:

28 CFM at 2,300 RPM

Current:

0.09 A

Life hours:

Ball: 50.000

Connector:

3 Pin, mainboard


In-Depth Look
 

The WhisperRockIV is an aluminum/copper hybrid heat sink. Copper is better than aluminum at removing heat from a source, but it cannot get rid of the heat as fast as aluminum. This is why many heat sink manufactures have opted to use a copper core insert with the fins and the rest of the heat sink being aluminum. Spire is all about making a quiet cooler, and the WhisperRockIV is no exception.



The blue 80mm fan is rated at 25 dba while pushing out 28 CFM. The fan is rather slow, spinning only at 2300 RPM at most. The fan has no fancy LED lights or anything of that nature, but it does include a standard fan grill. The base of the heat sink came in a protective cover to prevent scratches to the core. Beneath the protective cover there was thermal paste covered by plastic film. Of course we will be removing their thermal paste and replacing it with our "AS 5" In-Depth Look


The WhisperRockIV looks a lot like the older heat sinks used on AMD T-Birds (Thunderbirds), back in the day. The only noticeable difference is that the Whisper Rock IV has the copper core insert. The core does not appear to of been lapped. When running my fingers across the base I could feel the ridges from the base not being lapped, or lapped well. Lapping would have greatly helped to take the ridges off the base, and would have given it a much better surface contact area and finish.



The WhisperRockIV takes advantage of the 3 lug type, these types of clips will prevent your motherboard ZIF socket from breaking, and it also provides greater stability for the heat sink. Older and sometimes cheaper heat sinks will use a cheap clipping mechanism like a 1 lug type. Even if one of the Ziff sockets 6 brackets break, you can still use a 3 lug clip to use on the heat sink. The three lug clip is a must for people who frequent lans. You don’t want to show up with your heat sink off, and Ziff sockets broken bracket using a 1 lug clip would be a no lanning day.


Installation
Well I would of liked to of seen the installation go smoother than it did. Upon trying to install the heat sink with the fan mounted on the heat sink was a hassle, after removing the fan things went much smoother, but the bottom clip kept coming undone from the lug when trying to fasten the top clip. I had to hold the bottom clip in place to secure the top clip to the sockets lugs. Testing Method
Temperatures for the testing were taken via a CompU Nurse thermal probe located next to the CPU die. Artic Silver 5 (thermal compound) was applied to the cpu and each heat sink according to the directions located on Arctic Silver's web site. The compound was given 72 hours of use before the testing was done on any of the heat sinks. To achieve the "idle temperature" reading, the computer was allowed to set idle for 15 minutes then the reading was taken. To achieve the "load temperature" Prime95 was run for 15 minutes and then the reading was taken. The overclocked temperature readings were done in the same manner, except the multiplier was increased from 11 to 12.5 giving an overclock of 253 MHz. The three heat sinks tested, the Aero7+ fan was run at 50% 2200rpm since it was the only one of the bunch that has a fan control, and to keep the noise level around the same for all the heat sinks.

Testing Setup
  • AMD Athlon XP 2500+ 11x166 / overclocked to 2800+ 12.5x166
  • ASUS A7N8X-DLX Rev 2.0 (nforce2 ultra chipset)
  • 1x512 Hyperx pc3500 cas2 2-2-11
  • Chieftec Dragon case, 5 80x80x25mm Antec fans 7volt mod
  • Artic Silver 5 thermal compound
  • Running windows XP pro service pack 1

    Testing Results
    There really isn’t much of a diff in fan speed, other than the Skivestream2.


  • Even between the 900rpm difference, of the skivestreamII and whisperrockIV they have the same noise level. But the skivestreamII has a little more pitch being a 70mm fan. The blower type fan the aero7+ uses, even at 2200rpm has a much higher noise level, than the whisperrockIV and the skivestreamII.



    We can see here that the aero7+ with its blower type fan clearly has the best temps although not by much.



    When fully loading the Cpu to 100% the Aero7+ has a 8.2c lead over the whisperrockIV.

    Testing
    With the Cpu overclocked we see a less of a difference in temps, but the Aero7+ still beats the WhisperRockIV by 1.2c



    For the last reading taken was with the system under load. The Aero7+ is the clear winner here, with a 7.8c lower temp over the WhisperRockIV.



    The results clearly show that with the, aero7+ blower type fan witch eliminates the dead spots caused by traditional axial fans, combined with a skived fin solid copper block is on top of things. I have to give credit to the WhisperRockIV for holding its own in the other test, not to mention the WhisperRockIV is an aluminum heat sink with a copper core and can be found for less than the aero7+.


    Conclusion
    Ill give credit to the WhisperRockIV for its low noise, price, and and it can be found on the net for only $9 dollars. On the other hand this is not a cooler for an extreme overclocker, but will fit quite nicely for the mainstream users, looking for better cooling than what the amd stock heat sink has to offer for a great price. One of the great things about this cooler is its silence; it’s not audible at all when on, unless of course you put your ear right next to it hehe. Given the lack luster Cpu load performance, lapping would greatly improve the temps. Overall I would recommend this heat sink to any one wanting a silent and good cooler with some mild overclockabilty.

    Pros

    Cons