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 Post subject: Coolink SWAP (first impressions)
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 7:41 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 1:25 pm
Posts: 628
Location: Finland
THE PROBLEM
So I've the ASUS EN8400GS SILENT/HTP/256M, which is a NVIDIA GeForce 8400GS using G98 core with sexy blue PCB and passive cooler. I've restricted the air intake a lot now to keep noise level of fans more down by undervolting and as a result everything works perfectly, that is, everything except the NVIDIA. It reaches 75C IDLE and at load goes up to 80C. This is totally unacceptable and has caused a crash twice (the desktop just "freezes" in the middle of something e.g. a movie).

THE COOLINK SWAP?
This NVIDIA is a low profile graphics card and I needed to replace the cooler with something that can cool the G98 core a bit and is also quiet (HTPC being the primary use). In another thread I asked about low profile graphics coolers and no one seemed to have a real answer. That is till I found out about the Coolink SWAP. On the website they say it is silent (19dBA) and has great cooling performance. Well it was my only choice and it didn't cost much so I wasn't taking a big risk (~16€ incl. shipping).

INSTALLATION
...was rather easy! The included RAM sinks were pretty big though and didn't fit on the VRAMs after installing the cooler itself so I bought a pack of ZALMAN VGA RAM HEATSINKS which have done the job well on my previous NVIDIA cards. They're small and nice and fit the NVIDIA; there's just slight bit of clearance between the RAM sinks and the cooler. I didn't use the included thermal paste and instead used this lovely ZALMAN Super Thermal Grease (as you might notice I'm a ZALMAN fan :D ). The cooler fit perfectly in my low profile case, in fact it was a pretty tight fit as there is very little clearance between the Coolink SWAP and my low profile case. So then just plug in that 3 pin connector and boot up!

NOISE
It actually IS quite quiet. Not silent but let's say at 12V it's quiet enough that my ZALMAN CNPS-7000C drowns it out at 5.5V which is impressive! There are a few problems with the Coolink though. Apart from regular fan noise there seems to be a slight high pitched sound which is not noticeable from a distance, but can annoy in the event if I'm watching a tragic movie scene and need to come very near to the TV to wait for the climax and then get my pants wet ;) This noise goes away though if I undervolt the Coolink, but it doesn't like undervolting much so 7V was the lowest I could get to.

TEMPERATURES
Previously with ASUS' passive heat sink IDLE temp was 75C and load temp over 80C. Now with the Coolink SWAP the IDLE temp is 45 and load temp under 47C. ULTRA IMPRESSIVE. 30C improvement and system noise level didn't change much! I mean DAMN it's VERY small, but does its job astonishingly well!

CONS / PROS
+ VERY SUPER DUPER UBER CHEAP!
+ Excellent cooling performance!
+ VERY quiet, perfect for HTPC!
+ Good packaging, lots of stuff included
+/- Included thermal paste?
- Doesn't undervolt well
- Slight high pitched sound @12V
- Included RAM sinks bit too big.
- Included push pins SUCK. Get screws.

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