Wednesday 20 February 2008

Intel QX9650 Quad Core Extreme has a new cooling solution

We are in the process of putting a system together based on the following high performance components: We just received the QX9650 CPU from our supplier.

We were surprised by the size of the box: It is at least twice the size of a regular Core 2 CPU box. Not only that, it weighs less than the standard Core 2 CPU box too.

Core 2 Extreme QX9650 Packaging

Once we had the packinging open, the tray holding everything has changed.

The reason for this packaging change?

Intel is trying to give Zalman a run for their money! ;)

But seriously folks, Intel is packaging a new CPU cooler for their new 45nm Extreme processors.

Here are a number of screenshots:

Intel QX9650 CPU Cooler - Top

Intel QX9650 CPU Cooler - Side

Intel QX9650 CPU Cooler - Top - No Fan

Intel QX9650 CPU Cooler - Bottom

The cooler unit itself is very light. It looks as though there is a single heat pipe within the large hollow barrel below the fan motor.

While it is a huge step in the right direction for Intel CPU cooling in that it is light weight, capable of greater cooling due to the heat pipe, and quieter because of the larger fan it will not discourage avid users from purchasing a product like the Zalman.

This is one area where Intel should learn a lesson from AMD: Package the Extreme series processor in a small environmentally friendly box and leave the CPU cooler up to us.

This way costs for packaging the CPU go down significantly and those savings can be passed along to us in the form of a price reduction on the CPU.

For the Extreme series CPU purchaser, it is pretty much a given that they already have a cooling method in mind from a good air based cooler such as the Zalman, to a water based method, or the exteme of liquid nitrogen (Live search).

UPDATE: Missed this one in the inital post:

Intel Core 2 Extreme Processor Cooling Solution

This little sheet came with the processor in the box.

Note their qualifier under Thermal performance to spare:
Designed to meet and exceed thermal performance needs for the Intel Core 2 Extreme Edition processors under normal user conditions.
This further reaffirms the need for an aftermarket CPU cooling product for those who are looking to tweak their CPU performance or are looking for optimal thermal qualities in a CPU cooler.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists

*All Mac on SBS posts are posted on our in-house iMac via the Safari Web browser.


stryqx said...

Hi Philip,

Have you actually hooked up the Intel-supplied fan to the QX9650?

When I built a box around the QX9650 last year, I got everything with 19dBA fans, got a CoolerMaster soundproof case and Samsung SpinPoint fluid-bearing drives (I suffer from tinnitus, aggravated by white noise from fans - sucky when you work with computers all day! One reason why I like laptops).

The box is quiet, quiet, quiet! Even under full CPU and disk load, there's no fan ramp-up noise.

Just wondering what the Intel-supplied fan was like re noise.

The biggest problem with putting the box together was finding dBA ratings for PSUs and heatsinks.

Philip Elder Cluster MVP said...

I haven't hooked the fan up yet.

The little yellow sheet indicates that the fan is 35 dBA when in quiet mode.

We have a system with the 9500 series Zalman on it and not once has it spooled up. The loudest item in the box is the X1900 ATI video cards. All in all, the unit is quite quiet.

I can relate on the tinnitus. I did a deep dive a couple years back and managed to whack something in my right ear as I couldn't seem to get the pressure to normalize in it. I came straight back up but it was too late.

So, fans, and ongoing noise like in a resteraunt can be a real challenge.

I had no plans to fire it up at all, but if you are interested, I can set it up temporarily to take some sound measurements.

Thanks for the comment,


stryqx said...

From memory 35dBA is around the quiet room/quiet conversation mark.

I went for a Gigabyte Volar cooler with a noise rating of 18-23 dBA.

I know what you mean re restaurants. I can get to the point where I have to leave to avoid getting a massive headache + increased tinnitus noise.

No need to hook the fan up. Just curious if you were using it was all.

Thanks for the posts!