Evercool K803-925CANov 14th, 2005 | By Archive
: 11/14/05 – 09:00:47 PM
Page 1 : Index
EVERCOOL Thermal Co.
Round two with Evercool has us looking at a CPU cooler here at Overclockers Online. Evercool is a cooling company in Taiwan that takes a different approach to their products. Not only do they offer cooling components for every piece of hardware in your machine, but they do it in a manner that is sure to please the modders in the stands. Most of their products seem to have an underlying theme to them, such as the stealth bomber advertising and packaging of their new pure copper universal heatsinks.
Today however, we will be examining a CPU cooler that is not modeled after an airplane or a crab but more of a traditional looking heatsink and fan. The K803-925CA is an aluminum heatsink with a 90mm fan mounted on top that appears to be an excellent alternative to the stock HSF combo supplied with K8 CPUs. Not only should it cool better than the stock unit but do that cooling in a noise efficient fashion with the larger fan.
Page 2 : Package & Contents
In most reviews we would have a separate section for the package on contents but as you will see, there is not a lot to the package that I received the K803-925CA in, so today I am sandwiching both sections together.
This is not actually the retail package that the K803-925CA comes in. Even still, Evercool has a couple logos on the package and has it labeled as a DC fan.
I borrowed this image, from the Evercool web site, which is what the retail package looks like. Evercool appears to have packaged the K803-925CA in a clear plastic package that allows for a full view of the cooler. At the time of this review, I just finished up a hard drive cooler from Evercool and it arrived in the retail package; I am not exactly sure why the K803-925CA didn't.
The cooler came in the box, protected with a Styrofoam wrap inside, and the fit is really snug so the box did provide ample protection in shipping and incurred no damage.
I wasn't sure what to expect when I first received this package from Evercool. I had no prior knowledge of this cooler and wasn't given any information before hand. As we can see, it is a basic heatsink and fan design much like the stock AMD64 unit, but with an attractive black base and larger fan.
The heatsink design is also different from the stock unit seen above. The base looks nice and thick but there is a lot of space between the fins and not an overwhelming amount. The fan is mounted close to the heatsink and there should be plenty of air getting pushed out the sides onto the surrounding components on the motherboard which is very much welcome.
I really like the look of the red fan, it screams cool and powerful. We will see if the fan screams during testing, hopefully not. The grill gives the cooler some added toughness and helps protect the lovely red fins below.
I have taken the fan off to get a look at the model number. Evercool is nice enough to provide us with that in the form of a sticker on the backside. EC9225H12SA is the model number and a Google search comes up with a Russian company called Symmetron. The only thing I could make out from their site is that it is a 92×25 sleeve bearing fan. I will supply the specifications from the Evercool site in the next section.
From the side, we can see the 90mm fan funnels down into the stock size heatsink base and that the fan is actually somewhat transparent. The locking mechanism also looks to be very solid and secure, yet simple at the same time. This fan is meant to be used with the stock retaining bracket for very simple and easy installation.
The real draw back of this cooler is going to be that it's not a copper but aluminum base and that the base is not really smooth at all. The stock heatsink and fan has a smoother and more polished base to it so this Evercool unit looks like it would really benefit from some lapping.
The base is not very reflective due to its black color and I am not really sure how well the black finish will be able to transfer heat out of the CPU. Testing will provide the answers to my questions here.
Evercool does provide a little pack of thermal compound that I will be using for testing and I will also be running the cooler with Arctic Silver 5. This will give us a good idea of how well their included thermal paste performs. Now that we have taken a good look at the cooler itself, let's check out the specifications that I can find from the Evercool web site.
Page 3 : Specifications
There isn't really a whole lot of information to gather on this CPU cooler because it is a fairly basic design. No frills or anything fancy, just a solid aluminum heatsink with a nice 92mm fan mounted on top. This is what Evercool has for features and compatibility on their web site:
Using 9 cm fan provides more powerful airflow.
The special fin design adequately ventilated the cooler more efficiency.
Easy clip installation.
Clip patent pending.
AMD : Athlon 64 ~ 3800+ (K8)
Athlon 64 FX-51 (K8)
Athlon 64 FX-53 (K8)
Opteron ~ 848 (K8)
Sempron ~ 3100+ (K8)
I was also able to easily find a few more details on the fan being used on the Evercool site under their DC Fans section:
- Bearing Type: EL (sleeve)
- Voltage VDC: 12
- Current AMP: 0.21
- Input Watts: 2.52
- AirFlow CFM: 49.98
- Noise: <28 dBA
Page 4 : Installation
Based on the design of the K803-925CA, I was not expecting much of a difficult installation. In fact, I was expecting quite a simple, fast, and straight forward one. I was not disappointed.
After prepping the surface of both the CPU and cooler I applied a thin layer of the included thermal paste and spread it out evenly with my trusty pointer finger wrapped in plastic saran. The thermal compound included was quite a bit thinner than AS5 allowing it to spread quite easily and almost seemed runny at times.
With the thermal paste on the heatspreader, I set the K803-925CA in place and hooked one side of the locking mechanism on the stock retaining bracket. I did the installation out of the case for better access to photos but installation of this cooler does not require the motherboard to be removed from the case.
There you have it, the cooler installed and secured. It really is simple because of the clip used and it is actually a good bit easier than mounting a stock cooler. Evercool has done amazingly well with this setup and anyone should be able to get the K803-925CA mounted within a few minutes with the motherboard in or out of the case.
I pulled back and took a shot with the Corsair XMS Pro memory installed to give you an idea of the size of the cooler. It pretty much fits like the stock cooler but definitely is larger and more muscular looking. That black aluminum heatsink just makes it look tough I think.
Page 5 : Performance
To test the Performance level of the CPU cooler I will be using the following list hardware:
AMD64 3000+ Venice @ 270*9 1.60vcore
Corsair TWINX 2048-3500LLPRO
Sapphire Hybrid X700Pro 256MB
Antec Smart Power 450W v2.0
1 X WD 7200RPM 16MB cache 250GB SATAII
2 x Maxtor 7200RPM 8MB cache 160GB IDE
Windows XP Pro w/latest updates
Antec Take 4 w/top off and fans disabled
Retail Boxed AMD64 HSF
Evercool supplied compound
Arctic Silver 5
I will use my standard testing method to gauge the coolers abilities which is as follows:
Upon applying the thermal paste and mounting each cooler, the system was booted and let idle for 5 minutes while monitoring temperatures to ensure the cooler was correctly mounted. At the 5 minute mark, Prime95 was run on Torture Test Blend for 3 hours. This would guarantee that heat saturation for each cooler had occurred. At the end of the 3 hours the temperatures for the CPU and MB were recorded with data supplied by SpeedFan. Prime95 was then stopped and closed and the system sat idle for 1 hour with no activity except any normal Windows services and processes alongside SpeedFan. It was then that the temperatures were recorded again using the same methods for the chart below. During the testing period, room temperature remained between 23 and 24 degrees Celsius and as stated, there was no additional fans cooling the motherboard in any way.
In addition to the SpeedFan readings, I will also be adding the readings from this thermal probe taped to the backside of the first DIMM. This will give us a bit of a gauge on how much air is getting pushed around by the coolers to help cool the other components on the motherboard. The thermal probe is supplied by the Ultra Fan Commander that provides a digital readout of the temperature with no decimal precision.
While looking at the cooler, I mentioned that the mounting surface was not as smooth as even the stock unit and that some lapping could aid in the cooling abilities of the cooler so I picked up my favorite lapping grits and went to work. After finishing up the performance testing with the Evercool provided thermal compound and Arctic Silver 5, I setup a 'lapping station' on my glass top desk and put in a good two hours on the K803-925CA making one heck of a watery mess in the process. The photo above is the result of this effort. It is not a mirror finish as I had no polishing compound around but the grooves are gone and the cooler now sports a bare aluminum, perfectly flat, base and the performance testing was completed again using AS5. All the results are charted below so lets take a look.
At idle, the K803-925CA is pretty much on par with the boxed HSF that comes with the AMD64 CPUs. The supplied thermal compound shows a slight improvement over the AS5 which is a bit surprising but it means that that supplied thermal compound is quite decent despite my earlier concerns due to its runny consistency. The lapped results show a noticeable difference and indicate that we could see further improvement in the load results.
The load results further implement the idea that lapping helped this particular cooler. A full 5 degrees dropped off the AS5 result before the lapping, that is enough evidence for me. I believe it was a combination of the flatter surface, without the grooves, and the lack of the black finish that helped this cooler pull more heat out of the CPU after the lapping. This cooler now looks like quite an impressive stock HSF replacement.
The larger fan and lower RPM on the Evercool HSF proved to be a great combination as far as noise is concerned because the K893-925CA is far quieter than the stock unit at the maximum RPM of each. There is no wobbling sound and no high pitch whine at all coming from this fan. It really sounds solid and smooth in operation.
Page 6 : Conclusion
The Evercool K803-925CA is not going to be the outstanding performer like the huge heatpipe coolers you have seen here at O² and other places. What the K803-925CA is, however, is one heck of a stock HSF replacement that will fit into any case. Even without the lapping the results were comparable to the retail boxed unit from AMD and after some wet sanding fun it easily outperformed it. The whole time making less noise, not taking up much more space, and looking a whole lot better. Keep in mind, we were asking this cooler to cool an overvolted, overclocked CPU and it performed quite admirably.
The fan has been running non stop for almost two weeks now and has not changed its pitch. No rattles or wobbling noises have shown up and it sounds exactly like it did right out of the box. The noise blends in nicely with the other case fans in the system and is not distinguishable at all unlike the stock HSF. You saw the installation photos and it really is as easy as it looks. The K803-925CA from Evercool is a good little cooler and even a better one if youre willing to put a little effort into it.
- Same footprint as stock HSF
- Minimal fan noise
- Easiest installation ever
- Requires some lapping to maximize potential
- Basically a stock HSF replacement
Overclockers Online would like to thank Evercool for providing the sample for todays review.