ThermoLab Baram 2010 Review

ajmatson - 2010-03-30 17:25:21 in CPU Cooling
Category: CPU Cooling
Reviewed by: ajmatson   
Reviewed on: June 14, 2010
Price: $40.00

Introduction:

Cooling is a big issue to consider when running a high end system. With the speeds of today's processors, a system builder needs to choose the correct cooling solution based on their system needs and the point to which they want to push their computers. There are many different cooling methods in use today such as water cooling, phase change, and the tried but true air cooling. Air coolers used to be frowned upon when overclocking a computer to the extremes but as times have changed so has the design and the shape of these copper and aluminum monstrosities.

With many models and manufacturers of air coolers it is hard to choose which one is right. There are so many factors you need to consider including thermal design, shape, and socket compatibility to name a few. One manufacturer that is in the business of keeping your components cool is ThermoLab and they are bringing to the table a redesign of one of their popular coolers the Baram 2010. Baram in Korean means "airflow" which is what this cooler is designed for, to maximize the airflow and in turn increasing efficiency. Without wasting any more time let's get a good look into the design of this air cooler.

 

Closer Look:

The ThermoLab Baram 2010 comes packaged in a black box with a picture of the cooler on the front allowing you to see what you are buying without having to open it. Also on the front for quick view is a list of the sockets that the Baram supports. If you flip the package to the left side there is a list of the features and specifications for the Baram cooler which we will show you later in the review.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opening the box gives you a view of how well the Baram is packed up to keep it safe. ThermoLab uses a large cardboard cutout that wraps around the cooler keeping it still during movement. This package design makes protecting the cooler the top priority and does away with the need for foam which costs more and is harder to recycle than the cardboard. Once everything is removed from the box we can see what is included. In addition to the cooler there is an installation guide, the retention brackets, and some thermal paste. The Baram 2010 supports a wide array of CPU platforms including Intel's socket 775, 1156, 1366 and AMD's socket AM2, AM2+ and AM3.

 

 

Now that everything is out of the box we can get a close look at the cooler itself.

Closer Look:

The ThermoLab Baram 2010 employs an aluminum fin design with five copper heatpipes to maximize heat transfer that keeps your processor operating as cool as possible. There are a total of 64 fins on the Baram 2010 which is 10 more than the previous model Baram heatsink. The fins alternate direction one by one through the structure causing the airflow to compress as it enters allowing for the maximum amount of surface area to transfer the heat. The Baram 2010 measures 160mm high and 132mm wide with a depth of only 67mm. The total weight without the fans is 625g which gives it a hefty build and claims to be able to handle a TDP of up to 250 watts which is more than enough for any processor on the market today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The copper heatpipes are designed in a staggered "X" pattern so that the heat is evenly distributed throughout the fins allowing the airflow to transfer the heat to the case. If you look close at the fins you can see that they go in alternating patterns which cause more static pressure between them allowing for the maximum amount of heat to be transferred away from the critical components. The base is made of copper and is very flat and reflective. Any imperfections to the machining that might exist are not visible to the naked eye and unless you are extremely overclocking no lapping should be necessary.

 

 

Adding the dual fans changes the sleekness of the Baram 2010 into a bulky heat busting machine. For boards that populate the closest memory slots to the processor having both fans on will cause some issues if you have tall memory. The fans attach via two wire clips one each side. This attachment system keeps the fans close to the heatsink and allows for constant airflow but leaves the cooler open to noise vibration which I will be listening for during the testing phase.

 

 

To install the cooler to the board there are four arms that need to be mounted to the base of the cooler. Once the arms are installed you then place the padding on the back of the motherboard and secure the back plate to the padding using the adhesive. Place the screws through the back plate and carefully flip the board over. Line up the cooler to the screws and tighten the thumb screws down to finish the installation.

 

 

 

Now that we have the cooler assembled we can move on to the testing part of the review.

Specifications:

Manufacturer
Thermolab
Model
Baram 2010
Dimensions
67 × 132 × 160 (L x W x H)mm
Weight
625g without fans
Heatsink Material Pure Copper, Aluminum
Disapation Area
7,580 cm²

 

Features:

 

All information courtesy of Thermolab @ http://thermolab.co.kr/baram_eng

Testing:

Since the ThermoLab Baram 2010 did not come with any fans in the package I used two identical 120mm fans that I had on hand, which were two Scythe Slipstream 1900RPM fans which are rated at 110CFM at full speed. The tests will be run both at stock speeds and overclocked at 4.1GHz. First, using only one mounted fan and then again using dual mounted fans. All additional hardware will be run at the same speeds, timings, latencies, and voltages to ensure that no variables will throw off the comparison scores. One item of note is that the CPU would not remain stable enough to complete the load testing with the stock AMD cooling solution so there will be no score for it in the overclocked results. To monitor the temperatures I used the AMD Overdrive utility which shows the temperatures from the sensors in the CPU. To simulate the load I ran Prime95 for 30 minutes then took the temperature. For the idle temperatures the system sat at the desktop with nothing running for 30 minutes.

 

 

 

Testing Setup AMD Six Core:

 

Comparison Heat sinks:

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the one fan attached the Baram 2010 performed better than the Thermaltake and stock AMD coolers. When the second fan was added in a push pull design it showed its true colors doing what it was designed for.

Conclusion:

When it comes down to the bottom line the ThermoLab Baram 2010 cooler does the job it is designed to do with a bit of help. I say this because the cooler is specifically designed to be used with two 120mm cooling fans but none are included in the box. For the price that it currently is selling and to remain completely competitive, some sort of active cooling fan should have been included. When paired with the right set of fans then the BARAM 2010 does do a really good job of keeping your hardware as cool as can be. With a maximum thermal dissipation point of 250 watts this air based cooler can handle any current processor on the market including the new six core beasts from AMD and Intel. The Baram 2010 supports every current socket so comparability will not be an issue either.

Everything about the ThermoLab Baram 2010 was a breeze. Installation is a snap with the included hardware and thermal paste. The unique design dissipates heat quickly. The only noise from the cooler was made by the cooling fans, which were high speed so this was normal, and there were no vibrations from the fan mounts like I feared there would be. All in all, this is a decent cooler for a good price just be ready to shell out more bucks to purchase the fans needed to run this beast.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: