I would like to thank Sunbeamtech for supplying the review sample.
- Core-Contact Technology
- TX-2 Thermal Grease Included
- 4 pcs High Performance 8mm U-shaped Heatpipes
- Light Weight (590g without the Fan)
- Fan Controller Included
- Easy Installation
- Bent Fins Design Helps to Cool the Components on the Motherboard
- Universal Clip Design
- Silent 120mm Fan MFDB ( Magnetic Fluid Dynamic Bearing)
- Ultra-Silent Low-Noise Level (16db)
- Outstanding Long Life of 50,000 Hours
- Intel LGA775
- AMD 754/939/940/AM2/AM2+
|Dimensions:||125mm(L) × 104mm(W) × 155mm(H)
|Heatsink Material:||Aluminium Fins and Copper Heat pipes
|Heatpipe:||4x 80mm Copper heat pipes
|Fan Dimension:||120mm x 120mm x 25mm
|Fan Speed:||1,000~2,000 RPM+/- 10%
|Maximum Air Flow:||90.65 CFM
|Noise:||16~20 dBA +/- 10%
|Weight:|| 590g (without fan)
Packaging and Contents
The Sunbeamtech Core Contact Freezer comes in a very clear and concise box. The theme of the box is black and blue, matching their website. Sunbeamtech’s logo appears on the top of the packaging multiple times whilst their website and company name appear on the bottom. On the front there is a large image of the heatsink, along with “Core-Contact Freezer” in large letters and a couple of images of the base/fan/included thermal grease. Towards one side of the package are the specifications and CPU compatibility/support list of the cooler while the other side simply has four pictures of the cooler and included thermal grease. The back of the box has a list of the features of the heatsink itself, features of the included fan and features of the included thermal grease. Furthermore, the back also contains “Core-Contact Freezer” in large letters (as on the front) and two images (one of the heatsink and one of a performance graph). On the top of the packaging is a simple yet very practical plastic handle, which enhances the portability of the unit.
The Core Contact Freezer comes with many accessories. The actual cooler is packaged within a secure plastic shell, held together by standard “pop on/off” clips. The manual is placed outside of the plastic shell, sitting towards the side of the box. On top of the plastic shell sits a plain white box with a hole in it, containing the accessories. Upon opening this white box you will find a small plastic bag coupled with a retention bracket (for Socket 775 based installations) and two steel brackets (to attach the fan onto the heatsink). In the plastic bag is an originally packed tube of Tuniq TX-2 thermal grease, a small package containing four plastic clips as well as another package containing a PCI slot fan controller (with the necessary screw to secure it to the PCI slot).
A closer look
The Core Contact Freezer is made from a mix of both aluminium and copper. The heat pipes of the cooler are all just pure copper, with no nickel coating. These four copper heat pipes run throughout the heatsink and appear on both sides, giving the impression that there are eight heat pipes. The heat pipes run throughout a block of aluminium fins. This design is very similar to many other DHT coolers. The design of each fin is unique; they are pointed in such a way that the cooler can cool the motherboard as well as the CPU.
The 120mm fan that comes with the Core Contact Freezer is a high performance fan, rated at 90.56 CFM. It is totally black but features no LED lights. In the middle is simply Sunbeamtech’s sticker. The fan does not come attached to the heatsink; the user must attach it themselves (via the given instructions on the manual). This is both an advantage and a disadvantage, it is good as users can choose another 120mm fan and attach that (i.e., an LED fan) or they can simply use the cooler without a fan (for complete silence). The downfall, though, is the fact that users must take an extra step when installing the heatsink.
The cooler has a standard 3 pin power connector which can be plugged straight into the motherboard (which will run the fan at full speed). Alternatively, the fan can be plugged into the supplied fan controller. The controller accepts a 3 pin connection and then outputs a 3 pin connection. A four pin PWM controller is not required, simply due to the fact that the fan controller will control the speed of the fan, not the motherboard.
The heat pipes are made of pure copper, and have no nickel plated coating (hence the bronze colour of the pipes). Towards the bottom of the heatsink, these pipes actually form the base of the heatsink, as they are what connects to the CPU (direct heat pipe contact). This allows the heat from the CPU to transfer straight into the heat pipes and then into the aluminium block of fins. Towards the upper end of the cooler where the fins are located, all four pipes run throughout the block twice. They are designed in a U shape. They each run down the block of fins into the base, and then go back up into the block of fins on the other side. As it is shown, the pipes run straight through the aluminium block of fins and are capped off on the other side, showing that the heat is distributed equally throughout the entire block of fins.
As mentioned, the base is made up of the actual heat pipes. These pipes have been shaved down to create a flat surface, and are wedged between aluminium fins. Sunbeamtech have not included a pre-applied thermal compound yet do supply thermal compound in a separate tube. The compound is their famous, high performing Tuniq TX-2. The cooler has an attached bracket and supplied clips, making installation tool-free. These clips latch on to the supplied base for Intel Socket 775 based installations or into the standard AMD retention bracket.
Before attempting to install the Core Contact freezer onto the motherboard, the fan must be attached to the heatsink. As detailed in the manual, it is a very simple task that will take less than sixty seconds. The fan must be placed on top of the heatsink (on the appropriate side), one of the clips must be placed in the fan holes on its appropriate side, then the user simply has to place the steel clip underneath part of the heatsink into a small slot in the aluminium fins. This must then be done with the second clip on the other side. Only a small amount of pressure is required and the fan remains relatively secure once attached. This process is completely tool-less.
For all Intel Socket 775 based installations, the user must install the supplied bracket. This is a very simplistic task and does not require the motherboard to be removed from its tray or even the case. All the user has to do is simply align the bracket up to the Socket 775 installation holes and then push supplied clips into the holes. Again, installation of this bracket is tool-less. Once completed, all that needs to be done is the cooler needs to be clipped onto the board. AMD based sockets feature a simplified process as the heatsink takes advantage of the AMD retention bracket.
The Tuniq TX-2 thermal paste was applied according to the manufacturers specifications. Once applied, the thermal compound spread evenly among both the CPU and base of the cooler, as shown in the images.
The heatsink was positioned in such a way that the fan would blow hot air straight into the rear of the case (generally where an exhaust fan is). This allows all heat to be blown straight out of the case and not towards the RAM modules.
Once the retention bracket was installed, the smaller clip was attached to the bracket on its respective side. Once it was clipped securely, the other side of the heatsink was gently but firmly pressed down and the clip on the other side was attached. This completely tool-less process was very simplistic to achieve outside of the computer case, or in a motherboard tray. Installation may be harder when installing within the case, especially for those with larger hands.
The 3-pin connection was connected to the input of the fan controller. The output 3-pin connection from the fan controller was then connected to the motherboard’s CPU fan plug. The fan controller was placed in an empty PCI bracket and then screwed in with the supplied screw.
Once the clips were attached, the cooler does not move very much and is firmly attached to the motherboard. There were no problems or compatibility issues with the physical size of the cooler when used on the ASUS P5B Deluxe and Thermaltake Soprano case (with 90 mm side case fan attached), although there is literally no space between the side panel fan and top of cooler. This can cause problems when installed on any case smaller than the Thermaltake Soprano that have a side panel fan or relatively any ATX case with a side panel vent. It can also affect cases which have 120mm or larger fans on their side panel.
| CPU:|| Intel E6750 Core2 Duo
| Clock speed:|| 8 x 333 MHz = 2.6 GHz, Memory at DDR2-800
| Motherboard: ||ASUS P5B Deluxe
| Memory: || 2 x 2GB Corsair XMS
| Video Card:|| Sapphire HD 3850 256mb PCI-e
| Harddisk:|| 2 x 320 GB Western Digital SE16 7200 Raid 0
| Power Supply:|| Atrix 600W Blue LED
| Case:|| Thermaltake Soprano
|| Software:|| Windows Vista SP1, Catalyst 8.5
Idle refers to the computer sitting at desktop for 30 minutes.
Load refers to the CPU running two threads of Prime95's "In-place large FFTs" stress test for 15 minutes.
Temperatures have been taken via RealTemp
. RealTemp takes the TjMax value of the CPU into account, providing very accurate results. Read all about it here
At stock clocks, when idling, the Core Contact Freezer performs better than everything except the Gyre. Under load temperatures, the Core Contact Freezer runs cooler than most other heatsinks, only being slighly warmer than both the Gyre and G-Power at a high setting. None the less, it beats the stock cooler by 8 degrees Celsius at a low setting, and 9 degrees at high. From this test it is shown that the fan running at either high or low does not make much of a difference. This is actually suprising as the fan pushes a lot more air when at full speed, as compared to when it is at a low speed.
Once overclocked, the Core Contact Freezer again runs a lot cooler than the Intel stock cooler when idling. Under load temperatures, the Core Contact Freezer almost performs better than all other coolers, running equal to the Gyre at a high fan setting and only one degree warmer at a low setting. It still runs a whole 14°C (at high) and 13°C (at low) cooler than the stock cooler. Again though, the fan being from high to low makes no difference at idle and only performs one degree better at load.
At its low setting, the Core Contact Freezer is almost totally silent. It is not audible at all over standard case fans once the case is closed, and only a whisper can be heard when the case is open. Yet, this silence only remains when the fan controller is set to low. Once the knob on the fan controller is turned all the way up, the fan can be heard clearly over all other case fans, even when the case is closed. Barring the serious overclocker, having the fan set to anything other than "low" is not needed, as tests conclude there is not much of an increase in cooling performance. That being said, the fan controller is not totally a waste, as if the user attaches a very low RPM fan to the heatsink and needs it to run faster, they will have that option.
The Intel stock cooler is marginally louder at stock, but a lot louder when under load or when overclocked. The Core Contact Freezer (when the fan is set to low) is noticeably a lot quieter than the Intel stock cooler when running at higher speeds. When the Core Contact freezer has its fans set to 100% it produces the same noise levels as the stock cooler. The fan controller does help a lot, as if the fan was running at 100% all the time it would be too noisy.
Value and Conclusion
- The Sunbeamtech Core Contact Freezer has an RRP of $36 USD, but is listed on Newegg for $39.99 USD.
- Cheap for what you get
- Great performance
- Tool-less installation
- Supports Intel and AMD
- Included Fan controller
- User can choose their own fan or used supplied fan
- Large tube of Tuniq TX-2 grease included
- Very easy to install, more so for AMD users
- Very large
- Fan can get loud at full speed
- No LED's on supplied fan
The Core Contact Freezer is an excellent cooler for value. It's intention is not to look pretty but rather to perform well. It features four copper heat pipes running through a block of aluminium fins with an interchangeable 120mm fan blowing air straight to the exhaust of the case. This fan is silent when set at a low setting but can get noisy when running at high. The cooler has a very simple installation mechanism for AMD based installations. For Intel based installations it is only slightly harder, where the user has to put a plate on the front of their motherboard (not requiring the motherboard to be taken out of a case or motherboard tray though). Installation is also completely tool-free, another added bonus. A large tube of Sunbeamtech's famous Tuniq TX-2 has come with the cooler which the user must apply themselves. There is also a PCI fan controller included which is very easy to install.
The cooler performed very well. The only downfall was that there was not much of a performance increase when the fan was set to its highest speed, yet it was a lot noisier. The Intel stock cooler was beaten in every test by a large margin.
Overall, the Sunbeamtech Core Contact Freezer is a very large heatsink which is relatively silent and performs very well. At $36 USD, it is very well priced, considering you get a fan controller and large tube of Tuniq TX-2. It meets its requirement as a high performing heatsink that is great value for its money and is very easy to install.