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Gigabyte G-Power BL Heatsink

Gigabyte G-Power BL Heatsink

Supplied by Gigabyte


Gigabyte continue to introduce new heatsink products into the marketplace and each new release gets better and better. The Gigabyte G-Power BL is by far the best we’ve worked with yet.

Many may wonder why there is a such a great amount of choices when it comes to cooling a heatsink. Three reasons in the forefront are aesthetic appeal, performance and price. Consumers may shop by what product catches their eye. Others may shop by trying to achieve the lowest CPU temperature. Price has a large bearing on a decision to purchase. A heatsink that is overpriced may not sell no matter its appeal. Usually the PC enthusiasts shops around for a heatsink. They have a good idea of what they want and have read a few reviews and gotten input from friends or forums.

PC buyers who purchase a “box” typically don’t know or don’t care at the time of the purchase. They are buying a complete PC on a budget. Their priorities centre around getting the most CPU, RAM and video card for the buck. It’s afterwards that they begin to be annoyed by the noise from the heatsink fan that the OEM builder installed. This happened just the other day as a neighbour asked for my opinion. He showed me his 6 month old PC and asked if the noise was normal. That noise was the heatsink fan spinning away at over 40 dBA and it was very intrusive in the home office. My neighbour had just put up with it as he thought that was the way it was supposed to be.

The PC doesn’t have to be a noisy and perpetual annoyance akin to the whine of a travel hairdryer.

Gigabyte have taken an aggressive step into the heatsink arena with near to a dozen models to suit the wide range of needs, tastes and price ranges. All of them will be quieter than some of the inexpensive heatsinks that OEM system builders stick a buyer with. The Gigabyte G-Power BL (Blue LED) is the latest and it’s a quiet but impressive heatsink.

cooler_ws

Specifications

Dimension 110 x 110 x 109 mm.
Heatpipe 4
Base Material Cooper w/ Nickel coating
Fin Material Aluminum
Power 12V, 0.13A
Fan Speed 2000 rpm (default), 1700 rpm (lowest)
Airflow 42.5 CFM
Noise
  • 24.5 dBA at 2000 rpm
  • 21.3 dBA at 1700 rpm
Bearing Type Ball Bearing
Life Expectancy 50,000 hr
Weight 430g
Compatible CPU
  • Intel ® Pentium ® 4 Processor 870/670/570 (3.8GHz)
  • Intel ® Pentium ® 4 Processor 478 (3.4GHz)
  • AMD Athlon TM FX 55 (939/754)
  • AMD Athlon TM 64 4000+ (939/754)
  • AMD Athlon TM XP 3200+ (Socket A)

The Gigabyte G-Power BL incorporates heatpipe technology to cool a processor. A heatpipe is quite simply a cylindrical tube partially filled with liquid that can vaporize. The heat from a processor transfers through the heatsink plate to the pipe. The liquid inside the pipe absorbs the heat and vaporizes. The heat in the vapor is carried away to the cooling fins and as the vapor cools it condenses and returns back to liquid form. The cycle of heat absorbed into the liquid turning it to vapor to be cooled and condense is continual and much more efficient than standard solid fin heatsinks. The heatpipe heatsink blends traditional fin cooling and heatsink technology to produce a more efficient cooling process.

There are four heatpipes with the Gigabyte G-Power BL.

heatpipes

The heatpipes are embedded into the nickel coated copper plate that is the contact surface to the processor.

cpu_connect

Standard heatsinks are a usually a solid piece of aluminum and often have a copper core as the contact surface to the processor. Copper conducts heat more efficiently but is more expensive to machine. The fins are either machined into the aluminum heatsink or tacked on. The heatpipe changes the design and the contact plate looks more like a foot rather than a heatsink block. Remember that the plate is only the transfer point to the heatpipes which carry the heat away from the processor.

It’s rather a unique design and here’s why. A heatsink block will warm up to a certain balance point between the processor heat from the bottom and the fan cooling the fins on top. That heat stays in the entire block and the cooling fan either blows air into the fins that must do a right angle to exit out the sides.

The Gigabyte G-Power BL eliminates the right angle airflow resistance and, in effect, does two cooling jobs.

cooler_profile

The cooling fan atop the fins can blow straight through all the fins. The airflow is, more or less, a straight line which is cooling job number one; to dissipate the heat coming from the heatpipe radiating to the fins. The second effect is that the air washes down onto the foot and socket area which provides a lesser cooling effect to that area.

Gigabyte have done well with the fin design.

fins_ws

There are a lot of fins and each fin is a much thinner plate than a most solid block heatsinks. Thin metal does absorb heat faster but, more importantly, it loses heat faster. The four pipes can be seen in the previous image running horizontally through the fins.

fins_cu

The base is protected by a shipping sticker. It’s a nickel coated copper heatsink foot that is machined polished. It could be easily brought to a mirror finish by a little wet and dry sanding but only the very picky enthusiast would find it necessary.

heatsink_base_02

heatsink_reflection

Gigabyte does supply a tube of thermal paste as noted in the previous image. The EVERFLOW fan spins at 2000 RPM producing 24.5 dBA and 42.5 CFM (model F129025DL).

fan

The fan incorporates Gigabyte’s Quad-Way Airflow design. That’s a fancy combination of words that mean the fan box has slits.

fan_grills

These slits allegedly direct some airflow out the sides of the fan to wash over the immediate surroundings the socket area. It would be interesting to determine if these slits reduced the overall dBA versus a traditional solid box fan.

The fan is removable which is a considerate design inclusion. There would be nothing worse than a fan breakdown and no replacement fan. Know that the fan is rated for 50,000 hours which is over 5 years running 24 hours a day. Chances are the PC will be replaced before then. There are four posts that have a spring clip.

fangrills_02

fanclip_closed

The clip lifts and the post can be removed. It just pops off.

fanclip_open

fanclip

The clips can be a bit tricky to get back on. There are two clips and a tab. The tab slides into the line indentation seen running horizontally across the fins in the following image. The clips sandwich the fan box holding it in place.

fancorner_no_fanclip

The fan also has four blue LEDs. The LEDs could feasibly be changed out to a different color if the user was careful with a soldering iron and the correct LED voltage.

fan_serial

The Gigabyte G-Power BL is pretty interesting as far as heatsinks go and there’s more than just the heatsink. The package includes a manual which could use larger images.

manual

The Gigabyte G-Power BL is compatible with

  • Intel ® Pentium ® 4 Processor Socket 870/670/570 (up to 3.8GHz)
  • Intel ® Pentium ® 4 Processor Socket 478 (up to 3.4GHz)
  • AMD Athlon Socket 939/754 up to FX55 and Athlon 64 4000+
  • AMD Athlon Socket A up to XP 3200+

through the included clips and mounts.

clips

intel_heatsink_mount

parts

There is also a voltage step-down connector which will reduce the fan speed approximately 300 RPM from a default of 2000 RPM to 1700 RPM. This effectively reduces the fan dBA from 24.5 to 21.3.

power_stepdown

Installation

Socket 939/754 installation is just too easy. The clip can be slid into place once the heatsink is placed onto the processor.

installed_off_ws

installed_cu_clip

It’s important to note that the heatsink is to be mounted with the “c” of the thermal pipes open to the backplane (rear of the case) and that the pipes be horizontal. The fan does, of course, glow blue.

installed_on_ws

Benchmarks

The test system

  • AMD Athlon 64 4000+ Processor (32-bit mode)
  • Gigabyte GA-K8N Ultra SLI motherboard
  • Gigabyte GV-NX66128D Video Card
  • 2 x 512 MB Corsair CM512-3200XL TwinX DDR RAM
  • LG 8x DVD+/-RW.
  • 120 GB Seagate SATA Hard Drive
  • Samsung 950p 19″ Monitors
  • Generic keyboard and mouse
  • Retail HSF
  • AMK PC67 PC case (window, fans, cables, loom)
  • FSP Blue Storm PSU
  • Windows XP Professional Service Pack SP2 slipstreamed updated

Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 2, Post SP2 updates, WMP 10 and SATA drivers slipstreamed was used for operating system installation. Windows visual effects was set to ADJUST FOR BEST PERFORMANCE and system restore set to disabled. Pagefile set to 1024 MB fixed on a separate partition. The test system sat operationally idle for a period of 30 minutes in a 23 +/- 0.5 degrees Celsius room to obtain idle temperatures prior to running SiSoft Sandra CPU Burn-in (CPU arithmetic and multimedia test only) 25 consecutive times to obtain peak load temperature. Motherboard Monitor recorded results with secondary confirmation using Everest Home Edition.

Individual performance will vary with any particular or specific timings or tweaks enabled by you. Your own mileage may very.

It’s an all Gigabyte competition which demonstrates the wide variety of coolers that Gigabyte has available. Each has its unique visual appeal and each has a different price. The point is that there is a Gigabyte cooler to fit everyone’s needs.

high_low_temperatures

The 3D Rocket Pro reigns supreme but not by much. The story become more interesting when fan dBA comparisons are made.

fan_dba

Now the true winner emerges. There is only a 1 to 2 degree difference in temperatures between the 3D Rocket Pro and the G-Power BL but over a 10 dBA difference at stock fan settings. The Gigabyte G-Power BL proves to be a better heatsink at both high and low RPM speeds as well.

Conclusion

installed_on

The Gigabyte G-Power BL is a winner plain and simple. It is very efficient and very quiet. The cooler has good points through every phase of the design. It is easy to install. It supports both AMD and INTEL platforms. It is quiet. It is a high performer and very low noise levels thanks to the four heatpipes and dense fin design.

cooler_ws

And it also has a cool blue glow. The only hesitation at the time of the review is that the Gigabyte G-Power BL isn’t readily available nor does it have a North American street price. The G-Power also comes in a “Pro” variety.

installed_on_ws

Our thanks to Gigabyte for
their support of this and many other sites.

Scores Breakdown
Attribute Score Comments
Bonus items & software 9.5 Fits Socket A/939/754 and Intel Socket 478/870/670/570
Design & layout 9.5 Love that heatpipe technology and the sheer amount of cooling fins.
Documentation 8 Pictures in the manual could be larger.
Overclocking features 9.5 Matches within a degree heatsinks with 10 dBA noiser fans
Presentation 9.5 The packaging certainly outclasses any competition in a cardboard box.
Total score 46/50 92%

Comments

  1. Unregistered
    Unregistered Great review, this looks like a really nice cooler. I think I still might go for the AKASA (Evo 33) AK-913, it cooled an overclocked and over volted FX-55 to 16 degrees below the reference cooler on high and 14 on low! You can't beat the blue glow on this one though :)
  2. GHoosdum
    GHoosdum Doug, you mentioned that the heatpipes have a certain orientation they have to be in... does this mean that this cooler would only work properly in a tower case?
  3. Thrax
    Thrax The temps blow. :\
  4. MediaMan
    MediaMan
    GHoosdum wrote:
    Doug, you mentioned that the heatpipes have a certain orientation they have to be in... does this mean that this cooler would only work properly in a tower case?

    The orientation specification in the manual stated the cooler (socket 939/754) should be this way but no specific reason was given. I would assume the cooler would work horizontal or vertically mounted...else it'd be a pretty poor product.

    Thrax wrote:
    The temps blow. :\


    Alright my wise and mighty Thrax. What temps wouldn't blow at 23 dBA using that processor on that motherboard which has been known to run hotter than other motherboards?

    Hmmm? And just don't give me a number in a reply. :)
  5. TheLostSwede
    TheLostSwede Considering Mediaman's got just about the warmest cpu out there (Clawhammer 1mb cache, same as FX), and a fan under 20dba, the temperatures is actually rather good.

    One thing i noticed though...i can bet a sour Budweiser on that this cooler is made by Thermalright, or the company that produces Thermalright.
  6. Thrax
    Thrax The problem is, MM, is that you're concerned with dBA/temp.. whereas I'm not. So it's really apples/oranges. The only matter that concerns me with HSFs is weight, dimensions, and temperature.

    I don't care if it sounds like a Vantec Tornado. I really don't.
  7. primesuspect
    primesuspect Right but then there are many people to whom noise IS important, so your blanket statement of "the temps blow" is too general. I could say "Cars suck" because I prefer trucks, but then what kind of reaction would that get?
  8. Thrax
    Thrax You seem to be under the impression that I was referring to anyone's priorities other than my own when I said the temperatures blow. That's not the case. I was expressing <b><u><i>my</b></i></u> displeasure with the temperatures, so I fail to see where the argument is.
  9. Animal
    Animal shouldn't the point be that if you took the fan off this heatsink and put it on a different one, would you get the same temperature results? maybe a direct comparison between this headsink and then another one using the same rated fan would be the way to go seeing as that would be the only way to find out if really the temps did "blow". (sorry if i have missed the mark, its late and i am tired)
  10. primesuspect
    primesuspect Okay, I guess I fail to grasp the point or intent of your post, then. :-/
  11. Thrax
    Thrax
    -animal- wrote:
    shouldn't the point be that if you took the fan off this heatsink and put it on a different one, would you get the same temperature results? maybe a direct comparison between this headsink and then another one using the same rated fan would be the way to go seeing as that would be the only way to find out if really the temps did "blow". (sorry if i have missed the mark, its late and i am tired)

    If only it were so easy. It looks like the fan is proprietary.
  12. Animal
    Animal yeah it does looks a weird shape, what happens when the fan dies? Obviously this would be rare however if it were out of wwarranty surely you would be screwed...
  13. MediaMan
    MediaMan /me sighs...."nobody reads my reviews"


    The fan is an 80mm. fan if memory serves correct and the clips will hold another 80mm. fan. Thrax's priority is basement temperatures regardless of noise. So for him the temps aren't good enough.

    My point of view is that the temperatures are very good when you consider that the fan runs 21-24 dBA which is very quiet.
  14. Gargoyle
    Gargoyle Great article MM. Looks like heatpipe HSF designs have finally matured. The only other thing that would have been nice to see in the article is a comparison to a more common heatsink, like somethink from Thermalright. To me, a SLK-800 is the baseline for cooling, just like Quake 3 was for so many years for graphics benchmarks. Or maybe to a Zalmn HSF, since the objective of quiet cooling is the same.
  15. Jeff34Buff
    Jeff34Buff Not as universal or easy to install as claimed. I read this review, found one at New Egg that arrived today. The little plastic bracket (LG775-RM) screws are too big for the holes that go through my ASUS PTG1-LA motherboard. There is an "X" shaped metal bracket that has threaded sleeves going through the holes. The stock HSF screwed from the top down into the board, threading into these sleeves. The "X" bracket appears to be glued to the motherboard - I'm chicken to pry it off, although that looks like the only way to solve they problem.

    HP/Compaq LGA-77 owners beware!

    This problem doesn't become readily apparent until after you've moved the motherboard and flipped it over!
  16. Foxymike
    Foxymike I bought this cooler for my gaming PC and i have found it works excellently in comparison to any stock cooler. My CPU has dropped temp by upto 18c an the 110mm fan blows outward as well as down so it cools my MOBO too !! This is even at less than 1200rpm !!! The fans speed is adjustable upto 3500Rpm but it gets a bit noisy. Between 1200-2200rpm it is will run quietly. Installation on the 754 athlon socket is easy. Hope this helps anyone thinking of buying one :)
  17. davey
    davey Hi I have this fan and its phenomenal with dual core cpus I had the Amd phenom ii x2 2.8ghz but I have just upgraded to the Amd phenom ii quad core 3.2 ghz and the stock fan is busted plus this one goes with the aesthetics of my design my question is will it be adequate for the stated cpu?
  18. BuddyJ
    BuddyJ Nope. Get a better, more modern design.
  19. Cliff_Forster
    Cliff_Forster Well...... It depends, will it work fine for most usage scenarios? I would say, yes, it should cool a 125W thermal load without causing blue screens, but if you value overclocking headroom, and know you are getting better temps, it's worth the investment to get something new.

    What I would say is this. As long as you can clean the surface of the cooler nicely and it does not look worn, there is no harm in testing it, its going to be at least as good as a stock cooler. You should be able to check your temps and stress the cores with AMD overdrive to confirm performance. I would not be afraid to at least test it.

    If you like a downdraft cooler with a blue LED fan, I have used the Zalman CNPS 8700 LED with success on CPU's with a 140 watt load (My son's system runs an original 965 BE with this cooler) It's a case of form over function, but its adequate, and you can even overclock a bit with it. I'm willing to bet the cooler you have will perform similar.

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