In the good old days, some of the Pentium 3 servers and workstations used RDRAM; this relatively new RAM was the first to incorporate heat spreaders. The heat spreaders were originally there because the way RDRAM works, all ram activity can be focused on one RAM IC at a single time, the heat spreaders would even out the heat. Fast-forward to today. Even though SDRAM (including DDR SDRAM) focuses the heat output evenly across all ram ICs, some people still don't understand and they put these shiny copper or aluminum coolers on their RAM in the hope of achieving a higher overclock. When overclocking, extra speed and stability can't be attained from cooling RAM like it can with CPUs. In some rare cases, you might get an extra 1MHz out of your RAM. In this review, we'll take a closer look at the Prime Cooler Memory Cooler PC-MHSI that can significantly improve most of all the looks of your memory and secondly perhaps lengthen the life of your ram modules, due to a drop in operating temperature.
Application for both DDR and SDRAM memory modules, reduced the temperature of the memory by up to 35%, high conductivity thermal pad, great for high performance or overclocked systems, easily installs with the provided Spring Clips
|Dimensions:||128 x 18 x 8mm|
On our initial inspection of the package, we noticed that the only things included are the two halves of the cooler and the two individual spring clips to hold the cooler on the RAM module. They were packaged separately and securely. We opened the package carefully, pulling the two sections apart. We were satisfied with the ease of unpacking and wished all products came this easy to open. There were no clear instructions on the front or back of the package to indicate to us how to install this product; however, it wasn't difficult to figure out how to install the cooler.
This particular cooler is made entirely of copper, making it a great thermal conductor for removing heat from our test RAM module. We also admired the mirror finish on the exterior of the halves.
Turning the two sides of the cooler over revealed the thermal pads, protected by a long sticker, keeping any dirt and particles from disrupting the heat transfer once the coolers are installed. The stickers removed easily and had little impact on the tape. The surface of the thermal tape was clean and clear of any particles. The thermal tape "pads" that were on each half of the memory cooler were extremely sticky and held in place well. However, we found that when we went to remove the cooler from our RAM module, it was a pain to get the halves separated away from the module. We had to dangerously bend the RAM to get the thermal pad to unstick on one end. When we actually got down to installing the product, we found it to be a bit challenging. With a bit of muscle and some precise placement of the RAM, we eventually got the module seated on the thermal tape and the two halves pressed together. This cooler is designed to work with double-sided RAM, but will also work with single sided memory modules. We finally got the clips on, which held the cooler securely in place. Now it was time for some testing.
The testbed for the Prime Cooler RAM cooler consisted of:
|Processor:||AMD Athlon XP Barton 2500+ @ 2.25GHz|
|Memory:||2 x 256MB Buffalo PC2700|
|Graphics Card:||ATI 9000 64MB|
|Hard Drives:||Western Digital 80GB 7200RPM|
|Cooling:||4 x 80mm case fans|
|Case:||Chieftec Server Chassis|
|Operating System:||Ubuntu 4.10|
Before we assembled the memory cooler around our module, we first tested the temperature using an Enermax fan controller during idle and load environments. We then assembled the cooler and replaced the RAM, testing the same idle and load environments. Here's what we came up with. For our idle, we let the system run with no active processes for 30 minutes, while under load we ran CPU Burn-in v1.00 Linux for the same amount of time. Ambient temperature was maintained at 22°C.
Obviously, the results show that with the Prime Cooler Memory Cooler installed, you can expect to see a significant drop in memory temperatures. Overall, we were very satisfied with the Prime Cooler Memory Cooler PC-MHSI. A RAM module that makes less heat is often more stable. Of course, we here at Phoronix love stable systems, as with most all computer enthusiasts, especially when we're overclocking. Aside from a little difficultly in assembling it, and a lack of clear instructions, we are extremely pleased with Prime Cooler and hope to see many more good things from them.
· Significant temperature drop
· Very stylish
· Made entirely from copper
· Highly conductive thermal tape
· Slightly difficult to assemble
· No clear instructions for assembly