With all the Thermalright’s and Noctua’s of the world you’d think that no one would dare challenge their supremacy in air cooling. But we humans are known to be ignorant. And this very characteristic is what drives us to compete against impossible odds and at times come up surprise wins.
Glacialtech, a Taiwanese company, is an “umbrella” for many companies including Glacialtech (yes there is a Glacialtech within a Glacialtech) which does CPU cooling, Glacialstars which makes thermal grease, case fans, hard disk and note book cooling. Glacialpower makes computer power supplies among other power products.
The product to be reviewed today is the Glacialtech igloo 5751 CPU cooler. Read on to find out if the igloo can tame the fire inside modern day processors
GLACIALTECH IGLOO 5751 – FACTS
The cooler comes in a non-descript box with blurry text. This is unlikely to be a design decision and more likely to be a cost conserving option.
The back of the box provides a picture of the cooler together with more information about it including CPU compatibility etc.
Inside the box the cooler lies with in a cardboard shroud. The accessories all come in a clear plastic bag. An instruction leaflet is also included in the bundle.
The box, though not the most elegant does its job. It will protect the unit from harm during shipping and is sturdy enough to be used once the cooler is installed in the computer.
THE COOLER IN PERSPECTIVE
The cooler is diminutive at 125mm tall. Where as most other coolers touch 160mm. The cooler does have one design peculiarity –it uses two fans, in push-pull configuration. This is rare on a “C” type top down cooler. Another oddity is that both the fans have one control wire. Glacialtech’s engineers probably kept in mind the lowest common denominator when they came up with this. Most low end boards have very few connectors and usually only one PWM connector.
Other than that the cooler is very much like any other top down cooler, with heat pipes exiting the base in line and entering the cooling tower.
THE COOLING TOWER
The cooling tower is surrounded on its side by a gold colored plate which bears the Glacialtech logo.
The tower itself is made up of 40 Aluminum plates which are about 9 x 10 mm in size. Each plate is .3mm thick and they are about 1.4mm apart. The total heat dissipation area is about 7200mm2.
The heat pipes run staggered through the length of the cooling tower.
The cooling plates are sandwiched between the two fans and are not visible one the cooler is fully assembled.
THE HEAT SINK BASE
The heat sink base is nearly flat but has a sanded matte finish to it. The base is made of Copper and is Nickel plated. The heat pipes are soldered to the base. The base also provides holes for installing the mounting clips (for Intel processors) or wings (for AMD processors).
There is a small Aluminum heat sink on the top of the heat sink base. The bottom fan pushes air over this to remove some of the heat from the base.
THE HEAT PIPES
The unit boasts four 6mm heat pipes which are made of Copper and Nickel plated. They are soldered to the base which they exit in line. They travel in a “C” loop to enter the cooling tower. The heat pipes run through the entire length of the cooling tower but are not soldered to it.
They don’t travel in line within the cooling tower but are staggered. This is done to improve heat dissipation.
I didn’t expect much from the cooler after looking at the box. But surprisingly the unit is very well built. The base as well as the heat pipes are Nickel plated. The cooling tower has a protective rim around it. The heat pipes have a 6mm diameter and run staggered through the cooling tower. The base is flat and has a heat sink on top of it.
The heat sink comes with two 92mm fans which are 25cm thick. The top fan has a fixed rotational speed of 1400 rpm. The bottom fan has PWM speed control with variable speed between 800 and 1800 rpm. The top fan pushes air through the heat sink where as the bottom fan exhausts it.
For optimal cooling a balance must be struck between air intake and exhaust. If the top fan rotates faster than the bottom, hot air will build in and around the heat sink. Conversely if the bottom fan exhausts air at a faster pace, the heat transfer from the cooling tower to air would suffer.
Ideally the bottom fan should exhaust air at a slightly higher rate as compared to the top fan which takes in air for the cooling tower. Thus the cooler would work best when the bottom fan rotates faster than 1400 rpm.
The two fans have a 7 blade impeller but have no identification labels. Both have a single 4 pin PWM connector. This is done to make sure the cooler fits in even the barest of motherboards. All Intel boards feature at least one PWM connector. The fan power cable is sleeved.
The fans completely cover the cooling tower when screwed onto it. It is possible to remove these fans and apply after market fans on the heat sink.
ACCESSORIES & INSTRUCTIONS
The heat sink comes with an array of push pink clips for installation into all types of Intel sockets currently in use. It also features two wings and the necessary screws for installation into an AMD system. A small spanner is also provided.
The unit ships with substantial amount of thermal grease which goes by the name of Ice Therm 2.
The mounting clips seems to be rather cheaply made. The first thought that came to my mind was how they resembled Hot Wheel knock offs. They seem very flimsily, though they are not so in reality. Glacialtech probably decided to cut corners where it mattered the least. You are not going to bend them unless an extra ordinary amount of force is applied.
The push pins are exactly like those on an Intel stock cooler. Thus it is possible to install the cooler without removing the motherboard from the case –a welcome option indeed!
The installation leaflet is more confusing than helpful. Any novice that intends to install the unit while following the instructions will get a nasty surprise. The instructions fail to tell the user to put some thermal grease on the processor heat spreader prior to installing the heat sink on it!
Apart from that, the pictures are too small and low resolution to be of any help. The AMD installation alerts the user that they better have a processor plate below the CPU socket on the board as one is not supplied with the case.
It is a good idea to just leave the instructions in the box and either get help from a friend who knows his way around heat sinks.
The unit is very easy to install. After applying a gob of thermal goo on the processor surface the cooler is simply mounted using the push-pin system.
The cooler, even on a micro ATX board, is far off from the RAM slots. Extra tall heat sink equipped RAM modules will not interfere with the installation of the cooler.
The final installation looks something like in the picture above.
The cooler makes excellent contact with the processor surface. This is because of the flat nature of the heat sink base.
The bundled thermal grease proved to be very decent, coming within .5C of AS5.
All coolers were tested with default fans. Venomous-X and TRUE don’t ship with fans. For these two coolers Thermalright FDB-1600 fans were used.
For optimum performance of the Igloo, PWM control was set to “Turbo” in the bios.
The results were very surprising. During the installation process I never thought that the cooler would be able to complete the test. But as I said at the very beginning, it is possible at times to come up with a product that has “winner” written all over it! For a US$ 35 cooler it does exceptionally well. This cooler performs beyond its call of duty and is reminiscent of the performance of Cooler Master hyper 212+, another inexpensive, but well performing cooler.
Though the cooler does not beat the likes of Venomous-X and NH-D14, it comes fairly close to several higher priced coolers. It is able to keep a heat guzzling over clocked 920 below 75C which is no mean feat.
From what I can gather the excellent contact the base makes with the processor is what is responsible for its great performance.
I was impressed with Igloo’s performance. After looking at the box and the accessories I had written the cooler of! I am glad that I was proved wrong. It is still possible to compete with the best in terms of performance at a price point which is more “sensible”. With processor coolers now asking for up to US$ 90, it is good to see a sub US$ 40 cooler giving more expensive products a run for their money.
- Performance. Top notch
- Heat Sink construction
- Easy installation
- Complete package with two fans
- Shoddy accessories construction
- Misleading instructions