ZEROtherm Core 92 ReviewRHKCommander959 - July 20, 2009
Category: CPU Cooling
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During a computer build, users might need a heat sink if they buy their CPU OEM, or simply opt for a better heat sink than the one that Intel and AMD provide with its CPUs. Some want more overclocking headroom, while others just want a better cooler – especially with the hot i7 CPUs – to keep the temperatures lower. No matter the reasoning, third party cooling can bring many improvements to the table that the stock cooler leaves to be desired. ZEROtherm has released a new heat sink called the Core 92 that is intended to cool both Core i7 and Core 2 processors in one package. The cooler attaches to motherboards with regular push-pin mounts like the ones found on the stock Intel heat sinks. The push-pins slide into place for either LGA775 or LGA1336 and the package is cooled by a PWM 92mm fan. This looks to be a compact, flashy and well performing heat sink from ZEROtherm.
The box art is elegant and flows well with no noticeable grammar or spelling problems on the front. The background is a butterfly, with a window cut in the same shape as the heat sink fins from a top view. The key features are highlighted with pictures and small captions, along with Core 2 and Core i7 badges in the corner. The rear shows the two hypothetical installations possible, along with an angled shot of the heat sink as well as the clearance available with respect to the motherboard components.
One side of the packaging shows the compatible Intel processors and their respective socket type, ranging from the high end Core i7 Extreme to the low end Pentium and Celeron brands. This heat sink claims to be able to dissipate up to 130W of heat or more. A pair of barcodes fill the left side while the APACK logo, ZEROtherm and APACK website addresses fill the lower right corner. Another note is that this heat sink is Intel only – no AMD support – and only supports the Intel LGA775 and LGA1366 sockets. The opposite side of the box shows an angled view of the heat sink, side view facing the fan, and an angled view with the fan partially removed. Underneath are the specifications of the heat sink and fan. The fan operates at a noise level under 29.5 dBA with up to 56.7 CFM and the heat sink can cool over 130W of heat.
The top reiterates the features shown on the front of the box, and has a pair of stickers to keep it shut. All around the box is background artwork that makes the box look better than plain boxes.
Opening the box, we find a cardboard tray that holds the heat sink safely and is angled slightly, making it easier to pull out of the box. The heat sink fits snuggly in its tray with some room on the sides, which should be adequate protection when shipped in a bigger box.
The 92x92x25mm fan is produced by Power Logic for ZEROtherm, and is a typical 12V PWM fan with sleeve bearings, rated for medium speed operation. ZEROtherm has placed its sticker on the impellers hub, while the back retains the Power Logic sticker. The fan is held in place on the heat sink with four fan push-pins that attach to the face-plate of the heat sink and the top four fan mount holes. The black push-pins are much easier to install versus screws, and the whole faceplate is held in by two screws that thread into the fins of the heat sink.
Inside the box is a small bag containing a manual and thermal paste. The user manual shows a five step process for installing the heat sink, along with pictures to help users understand how to operate the push-pins, as well as how to place them for their motherboard type (LGA775 or LGA1366 spacing). The other side shows the specifications as listed on the box, precautions, and two-year warranty/disclaimer information in the major international languages.
1.8g of thermal paste is included with the heat sink, and is fairly thick - it warns to keep away from the body, eyes, and children.
With the heat sink out, let's get a better look at it!