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CoolerMaster X-Dream (HAC-V81) CPU Cooler Review

Former staff writer    -   January 28, 2003


A Closer Look

Included in the package was:

  • 1x Heat Sink
  • 1x Fan w/ Black Fan Guard
  • 3x Screws to mount the fan (?? Shouldn't there be 4?)
  • 1x Controller Knob
  • 1x PCI Bracket Cover w/ Hole
  • 1x Thing of Thermal Goup (Silicone Compound)
  • 1x Instructions (Located on back of package)
  • 1x Package of Silicagel to keep things dry...

Coming from the fan, we have a black wire that connects to the rheostat (turn knob) that will be used to adjust the fan's speed, by lowering/increasing voltage to the fan. We have the normal yellow wire, which will connect to the motherboard and give us the fan's RPM speed. And to power it, we have a split large 4-pin molex connector.



Here is a look at the controller for the fan, completely put together. Rheostat -> PCI bracket -> Knob
Though, this picture shows the rheo together outside of my case, if you plan on putting this in a PCI slot, put the knob on last otherwise it won't fit.

Now that we've seen what controls the fan... here's the fan. I think it's kind cool looking with the black base, blue fan blades, and hologram cooler master logo. The black Fan guard is a nice touch as well.

The heat sink itself is Aluminum with a copper plug. We've seen this design and ones similar to it before used in the Thermaltake Volcano 9 and Volcano 7 heat sinks, as well as in the Zalman CPN6000-CU. It may not be revolutionary, but it works for others, so why not go with what ya know works?





The fins of the heat sink, are also made of Aluminum. If you look close at the 2nd picture, you can see that the copper plug comes slightly above the Aluminum base.





The thing I loved most about this heat sink, is the socket clip. The six holes allow the heat sink to secure to the socket and keeps it in place, better than the old heat sink we use to see that only used two holes. For someone like me, and others who are always removing the HSF, this clip is a godsend. Most heat sinks today fasten through the motherboard which means you have to completely disassemble you computer just to remove the HSF. With this, you don't. Since I already had my computer apart to remove the Swiftech MCX462 HSF I had, installing the X-Dream was a snap... Literally.

However, I did notice once I started putting my computer together again, there was a slight problem with the clip.

 

It gets in the way. I actually had to press up on my Lian Li PC70 PSU bay to get the HSF in so the motherboard could be secured back into place. While I was able to get everything back in, with out much of a problem, it would appears as if one of our forums readers didn't have as much luck. Bab, writes in this thread:

QUOTE (Bab @ Jan 17 2003, 06:48 PM)
After having read various positive reviews on the new Coolermaster Xdream heatsink (HAC-V81), I've decided to buy it, mainly because of the "great" handy clip that requires no tool.
Well, after installing it with no problem, I found out that the clip actually sticks out so much of the motherboard frame (it is the Epox EP-8RDA+ based on the nForce 2 chipset) that I can't fit the motherboard anymore in my case
I looked at pictures of other nForce2 motherboards and they all seem to have the socket 462 at the top, just on the edge so I came to the conclusion that it is not the Epox that has a design problem but rather the heatsink.
Anybody has experienced the same problem with that heatsink, or others such as the Coolermaster HCC-001 or 002? Anyone has found a way around it?

This is something most people should probably consider if they are looking at getting the X-Dream. Of course, a little work with the dremmel would fix things right up.

Another nice thing about the X-Dream is the fan clip that is used to mount the fan to the heat sink, will work with just about any 80mm fan. In the image below, I have my 80 mm Vantec Tornado attached.




  1. Introduction & Specifications
  2. A Closer Look
  3. Testing & Conclusion
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