It's oh so quiet

At last a way to silence Sheena Easton

Review When we mentioned in passing that we were having problems getting our hands on a fan for our 800MHz FC-PGA Pentium III last week, the nice folks at Quiet PC took pity on us and sent us one of their new extra-quiet radial fin heatsinks to try.

Because the heatsink's fins have a very large surface area, less air needs to be shifted to produce a given rate of cooling. Therefore the fan can run slower (3500rpm) and thus produces much less motor bearing and wind noise.

And because the fins are located perpendicular to the direction of airflow, minimal obstruction is caused to air being moved through the cooler and this reduces wind noise even further. The cooler is recommended for processors running at up to 1GHz.

Now we've upgraded our Intel Easton mobo with a 1GHz Pentium III, we've tried the new cooler and were immediately impressed with how quiet it is compared with the standard issue EKL sink. Quiet PC claims the fan generates just 22.12 dB(A), but our extremely scientific RegNoise™ test of stopping the fan with a finger and then letting it go again revealed that we couldn't hear the thing at all over the hard disk and power supply fan - that's quiet enough for us.

In comparison, plugging the Intel-recommended EKL sink into another fan header created the usual fair impression of a hovercraft taking off.

We were a mite concerned with the amount of pressure that needed to be exerted to get the mounting clip to locate on the PGA370 socket, but it eventually connected with a satisfying SNAP - this was satisfying in the sense that it wasn't the processor or the mobo snapping in half. But we'd rather have a tight fit than a sloppy one any day.

But there is a problem with the cooler in the Intel D815EEA Easton as there's a large red plastic knob on the locating clip that obscures the first DIMM slot, rendering it unusable. The Easton has 3 slots so we were still able to use 256Mb of RAM, but users wanting to go above this would have to go with a different cooling solution. Quiet PC says they haven't experienced this problem with any other Socket 370 mobo.

At £17 (around $25), this is one quiet fan, and with the caveat of the DIMM slot issue with the Easton mobo, we have no hesitation in recommending it. It's also available in a Slot One variant for SECC2 Pentium IIIs and Celerons at the same price. ®

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