Thermolab Baram Blows In

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Thermolab Baram Blows In

December 10, 2008 by Mike Chin

LGA775/K8/S478 CPU Cooler

Applying the lessons from your predecessors is considered sagely advice the world over. It's how human beings naturally work and improve. In some ways, the patent is an artificial and unhelpful wrench in the natural development process of the species. Competition is as much about working together to achieve higher goals as it is about beating out the rest. The computer industry, despite the endless roster of patents it has registered, is rife with copies of copies of copies. This is perfectly normal in any human sphere. A "new" obviously derivative tech product is praised when it performs well. It's only when a derivative product fails to perform well that you hear snarly snickers from reviewers and forum surfers.

The Thermolab Baram is a perfect example of a derivative product. It is a new combination of many ideas and practices that have been used in some of the best CPU coolers over the last few years. Is it original? No. Will anyone care? Only if it doesn't work well. Or only by the companies who think Thermolab has managed to transgress one of their patents. Does it work well? That's what you're here to find out, isn't it?

Thermolab is a relatively new Korean company. The about / history page of the company web site identifies March 2004 as its inception. It has been involved in IT thermal management products since then. Its first retail products were released in March of this year, a couple of low profile CPU coolers for small cases. We received samples of the Thermolab Nano Silencer and Micro Silencer, but chose not to review them because they did not fit on out test motherboard. We expect that fit is an issue with these coolers on many motherboards... but perhaps not the smallest, latest ones. Admittedly, our test motherboard is a couple of years old; we keep using it for consistency in our test results.

The Baram is a much more ambitious product. The name itself is the Korean word for "wind". Thermolab says it is "for a cooling mania (sic) who is expecting to have a supreme cooling performance."

It's housed in a plain unbleached cardboard box like the ones Thermalright uses. This is imitation we gladly accept for both the sensible tidy appearance and the minimalist green aspects.

Contents: The big cooler, bolt-through mounting kits with backplates for both AMD and Intel processors, thermal interface material, and two pairs of wire clips for 120mm fans.

The Baram bears strong resemblance to both Thermalright and Scythe coolers.

This is the point in most of our reviews where we insert a table showing the Feature Highlights and our (occasionally snide) Comments about those highlights. This time, we can't do it. Thermolab's marketing has not reached typical PC industry levels of verbosity, and the features are summed up in just four lines and four illustrations. We should enjoy the relative silence while it lasts. Here, then, is Thermolab's description of the Baram's strengths:

The emphasis is on the staggered, interleaved design of the fins and heatpipes to maximize even distribution of heat and airflow through the structure. It all looks good at face value, and it will make more sense as the details are examined more closely.

Thermolab Baram Specifications
(from the product web page)
Name Baram
Dimensions 67 × 132 × 160 mm (LxWxH)
Weight 625 grams
Material Pure Copper, Aluminum
Dissipation Area 7,580 cm²

The spec for Dissipation Area is a good one that another Korean heatsink company, Zalman, likes to use. It's interesting to note that the biggest cooler in Zalman's range, the CNPS9700, is reported to have a dissipation area of 5,490 cm².

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