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Old January 6th, 2007, 01:35 PM   #1
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Swiftech Apogee GT: Next Generation Quad Core Cooling

Swiftech Apogee GT:
Next Generation Quad Core Cooling

Date: 20 January, 2007
Author: Kristopher Boughton

Category: Water cooling
Manufacturer: Swiftech

Intel's new price-conscience, mainstream line of quad-core processors now provide an affordable means for upgrading to the ultimate in multitasking technology. It's no surprise to us that last generations' cooling solutions fail to provide the best in performance but Swiftech has brought us the answer - the Apogee GT. More than just a revision of the vanilla Apogee, the GT provides impressive temperature-lowering innovation and an equally amazing price point. Although much of the Apogee GT's design is borrowed from the Apogee, the improvemets are nothing short of amazing.

Much of the recent controversary surrounding the Apogee GT's performance is mostly unfounded and based largely on unsupported, scattered data gathered in a non-scientific manner with little to no true examination of the facts. A point in our testing that we have always tried to stress is the need to examine results in a purely unbiased envionment. This doesn't mean that we think that other review sources are uncrediable, just that there is absolutely no way to compare relative results with other cooling solutions unless provision to do so were made from the start - something that we have supported from the very beggining of our testing. You'll find that because we have controlled our testing methodology so closely we feel confident in our results.

Differences from the Apogee are easy enough to spot. The total cooling footprint is unchanged, but the dimensions of the patent-pending diamond maxtrix pins have been reduced from 1.0mmx1.0mm to 0.6mmx0.6mm. Pin height has been reduced by 1.5mm from 4.0mm to 2.5mm. The overall net effect is a significant increases in the overall surface area for heat dissipation. As a result of the reduction in pin height, the ceiling of the derlin top was also brought down in order to keep the effects of inlet to outlet bypass flow to a minimum. Because the entire base is machined from a solid block of copper and then lapped to a near-mirror finish the manufacturing process is still a relatively expensive process (expecially considering the current high prices of copper bar stock) but Swiftech has released the Apogee GT at a very attractive MSRP of only $55.95.

The below graphs show the relative performance results of the Swiftech Apogee GT. The rather minor re-engineering of the original Apogee has resulted in an approximate 6% (0.160 C/W vs. 0.170 C/W) decrease in thermal resistance. Don't let this fool you though as this is rather significant and is the equivalent of a 2C drop in full load temperatures at a modest 200W TDP.

In conclusion, the Apogee GT continues to solidify Swiftech's committment to the design and manufacture of the world's best active coolers. Stay tuned for more testing of this block - Swiftech has developed a rather interesting method for further increasing performance, and we're going to be telling you all about it!

Graph 1: Measured Full-Load Voltage vs. ΔT for Swiftech Apogee GT

Graph 2: Processor Frequency vs. ΔT for Swiftech Apogee GT

Graph 3: Processor Power vs. ΔT for Swiftech Apogee GT

Figure 1: Final Results for Swiftech Apogee GT

Copies of the official data collection/calculation spreadsheets and usage instructions can be downloaded below. Microsoft Excel is required to view and manipulate the XLS files. This work is Copyright 2006-2007 The Tech Repository (All Rights Reserved) and no portion may be used for commercial or marketing purposes without the express written consent of The Tech Repository. Distribution and licensing rights available upon request.

Questions, comments, and request for review of commercial samples should be directed to the author of this article via email.
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