AMD, Business, Companies, CPU, Hardware, Intel

Akasa’s little “Made in Europe” cooler is absolutely brilliant

Long time ago, I received Akasa REVO Cooler. This cooler is based on new concept, and it is not “yet another heatpipe cooler”. Instead, REVO is designed around concept called “bubble-pump” – dual-component coolant that circles in hermetically sealed environment. All in all, product that should be compared to water-cooling products, not heat-pipe or vapor chamber ones.

Due to its size, REVO will not obstruct large DIMM modules such as Corsair Dominators or OCZ Reapers

Due to its size, REVO leaves plenty of space for additional cooling of VRM or Northbridge.

The downfall of the part was its unattractive looks, because performance-wise, this baby packs some serious punch. When I spoke to Adrian and Caterina, they were quite cautious about the performance, claiming the part was oriented towards silent computing, and not enthusiasts.
While this may be true, this cooler showed a lot of cooling potential. I installed REVO on AMD Phenom 9950 Black Edition, continuously clocked at 3.2 GHz. Since this processor was the reason motherboard makers were putting “Support 140W CPU” stickers on their products, this model was considered as a beast to cool. Truth to be told, it really was. My previous cooler was dual-fan, quad heat-pipe monster from Auras and AMD Overdrive was constantly showing temperatures in 80-90degC range.
Replacing the cooler with Akasa one is similar to David vs. Goliath challenge, since REVO is a tiny product, compared to different cooling monsters. I felt weird replacing the cooler without the need to remove the motherboard first.

The part is also very, very light – it stays well inside AMD’s and Intel’s weight boundaries. Thus, it passed OEM qualification and end up integrated in pre-assembled machines. REVO weighs only 330 grams, bringing the memories of light coolers such as Zalman’s 7000AlCu and others.

Phenom 9950BE on SB750-equipped motherboard works happily at 3.2 GHz. The question is, can you cool it?

Phenom 9950BE on SB750-equipped motherboard works happily at 3.2 GHz. The question is, can you cool it?

Maximum specified TDP was 120W, or 20W less than our stock-clocked Phenom (2.6 GHz). At 3.2 GHz, it is safe to say that the CPU is eating all available juice 😉 Auras cooler barely held it together at 90degC under load, while Akasa showed temperatures in the range of 46-50. After several hours of playing Fallout 3 with Phenom 9950+ATI Radeon 4870X2 and Folding with two GPUs on 9800GX2 board (yes, both cards work in the same system), the core temperatures did not exceed 65 degrees.
The only negative side of the cooler is that you have to disable any sort of smart fan monitoring, such as ASUS Q-Fan. On our ASUS M3A78-T motherboard, fan was spinning at 400rpm, which was enough to send AMD Overdrive (v2.1.4) into a “CPU Cooler Failure” frenzy and downclocked the cores to 1 GHz each. After visiting the BIOS and disabling the Q-Fan feature, system returned to normal and continued to work at 3.2 GHz.

Overdrive goes into panic mode after seeing 3.2 GHz clock and 300 rpm cooler at the same time.

Overdrive goes into panic mode after seeing 3.2 GHz clock and 300 rpm cooler at the same time.

At 1GHz per core, temperatures dipped to as low as 29 degrees, but that was expected. It was quite funny to see Northbridge operating at higher clock than CPU cores themselves. Then again, it is understandable why monitoring software went into “panic mode”. Seeing 350-460 rpm in BIOS is definitely something we’re not accustomed to. Sadly for me, now I want to silence the rest of the system, since the CPU cooler is more silent than graphics cards (4870X2/9800GX2) and even the PSU (excellent Antec Quattro 850W – capable of handling three 9800GX2’s with no problem).
I definitely hope Akasa will release LGA-1366 adapter, since I would love to try this product with Core i7 processors. Combination of i7 920 and this cooler warrants a dead-night silent setup.

Conclusion: In short, REVO showed that it can punch far above its weight. This silent cooler is capable of handling overclocked CPUs with ease, and if you want to build a silent, yet powerful system, REVO should be something worth considering.