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Gigabyte Neon 8-BL Heatsink

Gigabyte Neon 8-BL Heatsink

Supplied by Gigabyte


Gigabyte continues their advance into the arena of PC cooling with the Neon 8-BL. Their latest heatsink is a variation of the Neon Cooler 8-PRO offering the same heatsink without some of the features. The Neon 8-BL answers the call for quiet cooling of the PC.

ws_cooler

 

Fan Dimension 94 x 94 x 25mm
Heat Sink Dimension 95 x 97 x 68 mm
Bearing Ball Bearing
Net Weight 450 g
Rated Voltage 12 V DC
Start Voltage 5 V DC
Current 0.1 Amp
Rated Speed 2000 RPM (+-50 RPM)
Airflow Max. 33.15 CFM
Static Pressure Max. 1.41 mmH2O
Noise 21.4 dBA

The Neon 8-BL (blue light) supports AMD Athlon processors up to the FX55 and Athlon 64 4000+. The goal of suppliers and manufacturers is now to market a heatsink that can do the job at a low noise level. Most users dislike high dBa fans that sound like a travel hairdryer resides within the PC case. Some will avoid using the PC altogether due to the intrusive sound.

The principle of a heatsink is quite simple; to provide a contact surface next to the processor core that will transfer heat to cooling fins that radiate heat to the surrounding air which is pushed away by the cooling fan. There are a myriad of designs but all are the same in what they do. The Neon 8-BL is a simplistic approach and there are no additions such as heat pipe technology, extremely thin copper fins or radical fin designs.

ms_base

However, the Neon 8-BL does have an interesting feature incorporated into the fan box.

fan_grill_ms

The fan box has been fabricated to resemble a grill allowing airflow through the sides. It is thought, presumably, that a solid fan box will contain the back flow of the fan blades and thus add to the overall dBA noise level of the fan. This design allows for the back flow pressure to be released thus reducing the overall noise level. The majority of the airflow is still directed into the fins maintaining cooling efficiency. Noise level is somewhat subjective. This fan is indeed quiet but does produce a higher pitch sound audible at close proximity. The overall sound level will be very “soft” and very quiet at more than 2 feet away.

fan_grill_cu

The Gigabyte Neon 8-BL arrives with a protective patch on the heatsink base.

base_w_sticker

The patch covers a solid copper core. There are two reasons for this. Copper is a more efficient conductor of heat than aluminum but more expensive to fabricate. The middle ground has been made between cost and efficiency.

base

The face of the copper core is a more polished surface than the rest of the heatsink. There is no need to polish the aluminum surround it.

reflection

The fin design is common and is not radically different from heatsinks of 2 and 3 years ago; the Globalwin WBK-32 and 38 for example.

fins

There will always be opinions on which is better for fin design; thin or thick.

fins_cu

The Evercool fan pushes 33 CFM at 2000 RPM producing a little more than 21 dBa which is similar to that of a whisper from a few feet away.

fan

fan_label_cu

The fan features 4 LED lights.

cu_lights

Installation

The Gigabyte Neon 8-BL is a medium-sized heatsink and users should not encounter installation problems on Socket 775, 939 and 940-pin motherboards.

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The LED fan does make for “pretty blue lighting” when the PC is operational. Those without a side window would not benefit from the effect.

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The K8 clip design has made heatsink installation easy. Gone are the days of using a screwdriver to attach a heatsink and the desperate fear of crushing a processor core. At 460 grams this heatsink isn’t heavy.

installed_on_ws

Hot or cold?

Testing was conducted in a LIAN LI PC67 mid-tower case with only the PSU and heatsink fan operational. The system sat operationally idle for 1 hour prior to running CPU Burn-In 25 consecutive times (Only arithmetic and multi-media ticked). Motherboard Monitor recorded CPU temperature results. Your own mileage may very.

 

Heatsink Contenders and Comparison

Gigabyte Neon 8-BL

Gigabyte 3D Rocket Pro

Ajigo MF043-044

Freezer 64
Fan Dimension

94 x 94 x 25

105 x 105 x 119

70 x 70 x 15

77 x 77 x 42
Heat Sink Dimension (mm.)

95 x 97 x 68

105 x 105 x 116

68 x 77 x 55

92 x 72 x 120

Net Weight (Grams)


450

490

450

460
Rated Speed (RPM)

2000 RPM

3000

3050~6000

2200
Airflow Max. (CFM)

33.15


21~41

32
Noise (dBa)

21.4

  • 23.7 dBA @ 2500 RPM
  • 26.3 dBA @ 3000 RPM


28~46

29

The test system

  • AMD Athlon 64 4000+ Processor (32-bit mode)
  • Gigabyte GA-K8N Ultra SLI motherboard
  • Gigabyte GeForce 6600 PCI-E 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
  • USB Keyboard and MX700 Optical Mouse
  • AMK PC67 PC case (window, fans, cables, loom)
  • FSP Blue Storm PSU
  • Windows XP Professional Service Pack SP 2 slipstreamed updated

 

test_results
 
Low
High
Ambient
Heatsink
Degrees Celsius
Freezer64
50
55
26.5
Gigabyte 3D Rocket Pro
29
44
24.2
Ajigo MF043-044A
45
51
23.9
Gigabyte Neon 8-BL

32

51

23.5

 

The Gigabyte Neon 8-BL keeps admirable idle temperatures but loses ground under load. The important consideration is noise level. The Neon 8-BL is the most quiet of the four tested heatsinks and ranks second best. Only the Rocket PRO, Gigabyte’s big daddy of heatsinks, tops the charts for cooling efficiency. As expected the Neon 8-BL will take longer to dissipate heat after load cutoff than the more powerful, and noisier, coolers.

 

Heatsink Contenders dBa Comparison

Gigabyte Neon 8-BL

Gigabyte 3D Rocket Pro

Ajigo MF043-044

Freezer 64
Noise (dBa)

21.4

  • 23.7 dBA @ 2500 RPM
  • 26.3 dBA @ 3000 RPM


28~46

29

 

Conclusion

installed_on_02

The Gigabyte Neon 8-BL does extremely well at idle temperatures and does so at an extremely low noise threshold. Load temperatures were “average” and overclocker’s or cooling addicts would be looking to more expensive, and noisier, heatsinks.

The Gigabyte Neon 8-BL is nearly the same heatsink as the Neon Cooler 8-PRO. The sink is the same but the PRO version comes with a PCI slot fan speed control and a different fan. Gigabyte would do well to include the option of a front mounted or PCI slot mounted fan speed control unit. It’s better to have a fan control unit placed where it is most easily accessible. This would be the advantage of the more expensive Rocket Pro series.

The Neon 8-BL can easily accommodate other 80 x 80 x 25mm. fans with the mounting screws. A thicker fan box would require different screws. Those that may want to use the heatsink but add on a more powerful fan could easily do so. Then again, the Neon Cooler 8-PRO does exactly that by including a 1700-3500 RPM fan which delivers a maximum of 64.85 CFM. Remember that more CFM will produce more noise.

The AMD Socket 939 family provides an important upgrade path for consumers as new AMD processors enter the market. Beyond the benchmarks is AMD’s benefit of Cool’n'Quiet technology. Cool ‘n’ Quiet will further reduce idle temperatures without impacting system performance. Anyone would be remiss by not enabling this feature.

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The Neon 8-BL, like some other Gigabyte heatsinks, is not widely available in North America and pricing was not available at the time of publication. The expected range would be between $30 and $35 USD as the 3D Rocket Pro sits at just over $40 USD. Less efficient and noisier fans typically range from $12 to $20 USD. Preferable choices range between $30 and $50 USD and high-end coolers can go up from there. If the Gigabyte Neon 8-BL does price out between $30 and $35 USD then it will be a good deal for a very quiet heatsink for a family PC.

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

Highs

  • Quiet
  • Very good idle temps
  • Blue LED fan
  • Easy to install

Lows

  • Not for overclockers but does compete well for load temperatures considering the very low noise level.

Scores Breakdown
Attribute Score Comments
Bonus items & software 6 It’s a no frills package. The PRO version comes with a PCI slot fan controller and a higher RPM fan.
Design & layout 8 It is easy to install and does not interfere with surrounding components. It looks simple and what not designed to be a modder’s heatink.
Modding possibilities 8 The 80 x 80 x 25mm. fan could easily be replaced with a higher RPM fan of the same size. The stock fan is equipped with blue LEDs which are either on or off. It’s what it is…a pretty blue fan. At least it doesn’t pulsate or flash which would be too “disco-ee”
Overclocking features 6 Not an overclocker’s heatsink.
Performance & stability 8.5 The test system was stable through all tests.
Price / value 8 Unknown at time of review. Estimated at $30-$35 USD which makes it a good price for a quiet and efficient cooler for the family PC.
Total score 44.5/60 74.2%

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