Coolermaster HAC-V81 XDream cooler
Coolermaster introduced many new products recently and this manually adjustable cooler is one of them. Coolermaster states that this product has been put together with their 10-year know how so we know we can expect something really nice. I personally prefer air cooled systems so I know that having a efficient cooling and low noise system is quite difficult. Let see if this cooler can help us.
|Size:||80 x 80 x 25 mm|
|Rotation speed:||2500 - 4800 rpm|
|Bearing Type:||Rifle bearing (patented)|
|Input current:||0.66 A|
|Input voltage:||7 - 13.2 V|
|Air flow:||31.4 - 62.8 CFM|
|Acoustical Noise:||25.0 - 46 dB(A)|
|Size:||80 x 69 x 45 mm|
|Material:||Aluminum with copper base|
As you can see from the specs the fan gets really loud with the full speed. On the other hand it is pushing 62.8 CFM of air at the same time. Not every user need to run the fan with maximum setting but it is good to know that there are more juice stored if needed.
Cooler is compatible with Socket A, 370 and 462. With Intel platform it can be used with P3 CuMine up 1.13 GHz and Celeron to 1.6 GHz. Duron is supported to 1.7 GHz and Athlons up to 2800+ and higher.
What is inside?
Package of this cooler follows the same guidelines as all Coolermaster's packages. Clear plastic with white/green/black color theme on printed covers. On the backside of the package are all the needed instructions how to install the cooler and all technical specifications.
Fan being so powerfull it is powered via a molex splitter. Taking 0.66 amps directly from motherboard isn't a good idea. Three pin header is provided for rpm monitoring only. Some motherboards won't start if there isn't a fan connected to their CPU fan socket so this wire is necessary even if you are not interested seeing those rpm values yourself.
By adding a potentiometer (rheostat) Coolermaster made this cooler/fan to be manually adjusted. With the lowest setting the fan will be rotating around 2500 rpm and with the highest setting 4800 rpm. There are many automatic systems available these days but for some users fully manual system is the best. There are differences between cases so with manual setting you can adjust the speed of fan to best suit your needs.
Lets start with the clip. Coolermaster uses their Tool-less clip that utilizes all three hooks on both sides of the socket. Like the name says you don't need to use any toold to install this cooler. Just press the clip with your thumb and it should slide to its place. Fast and simple.
With my Soyo Dragon KT333 board I wasn't able to use this cooler at first. As you can see from the image the socket is rotated 90 degrees and this causes some probles. Clip is blocked by memory modules. I had to take couple of pliers and bend that clip so it doesn't touch those modules. Not a big thing but may cause problems for some users.
Fan uses patented Rifle bearing and this makes it quiet and reliable in long term. Fan blades are green-blue and this makes the fan stand out more from the all-black models. Fan measurements are the same as Coolermaster's Neon Led Fan TLF-R82 so you can replace this adjustable fan with something more flashy if you like.
Now this is interesting. Coolermaster replaced the ordinary fan grills with something more innovative. This design reduces the noise caused by fan grills and also impoves the efficiency.
Base of the cooler isn't smoothest I've seen. There are parallel scratches all around the base. They are not deep but might affect the cooling. You should use fine grid sanding paper to smooth the marks and then polish the base to get maximal efficiency. Too bad that Coolermaster didn't do that for us at the factory. :)
For adjusting the fan speed there is a rheostat. There is a back plate shipped with the package with predrilled hole so you don't have to do this yourself. Just attach the rheo to the back plate and then press the knob on to rheo. Back plate naturally takes up one PCI-slot. This may not be a problem for most of us. If it is a problem, you just take your drill and drill a hole to an empty 5.25" bay cover and attach the rheostat there. Just use your imagination. :)
I tested the cooler by letting the system run idle for 10 minutes and took the readings and after that 10 minutes with full load with help of CPUBurn and again recorded the readings. Cpu temperatures were recorded by using socket's own thermal sensor and software was Motherboard Monitor 126.96.36.199. Side panel was open and ambient temperature inside the room was 22.1°C. Thermal grease was Arctic Silver 3.
|CPU:||AMD Athlon xp1800+|
|Motherboard:||Soyo Dragon Ultra platinum edition|
|Memory:||2x256MB Kingston PC2700|
|Hard drives:||30GB 5400 rpm Maxtor Ata100|
40GB 5400 rpm Samsung Ata100
|Power supply:||Hec 300 W|
|Display adapter:||Albatron GF4 Ti4400|
Compared to Thermalright's SK-6 cooler XDream does fine job. Even with the lowest rpm setting XDream is bit more powerfull. SK-6 uses 60x60 fan so the noise from XDream's 80x80 fan is much lower pitched and not so noticable. With the fastest setting XDream really makes a awesome job. Too bad that the noise is too much for my ears. I don't have meters to test that acustic noise but don't think that it is far from ~50 dB.
You have to remember that this cooler is made from alloy. This means that the price will be a lot cheaper than other coolers in this power group. Most of the competition will be from all copper coolers so if you want to save some money this cooler would be ideal choice. This cooler is also lighter than most of its competition so it won't strain cpu socket that much. With its added manual adjustment for the fan speed this cooler really feels that it is made with high quality and usability in mind. One just wishes that Coolermaster starts to sell these fans separately too because they could be perfect companions for other coolers too.
Pros and Cons