This is an old archive page of HWZ prior to revamp. Please visit HWZ for the latest reviews and news.

 

 
» News
 
 


CoolerMaster XDream K640
Cooling Devices | First Looks
Mon 13 Mar 2006



Keep It Cool and Quiet

 


Screw-less fastening clamp like most other AMD coolers.


Copper insert for good thermal conductivity.


Profile view of fan blades.

Unrelenting demands for higher performing processors have continually driven up the numbers of transistors within a microprocessor, and with this came the inevitable need to raise the cooling performance of active cooling modules to disperse heat energy away from the microprocessor in order for it to carry out its number crunching duty healthily. Compared to cooler running microprocessors of yesteryear, today's battalion of desktop processors is treading on feverish temperatures. AMD processors in particular have had an unfortunate reputation for producing some of the hottest running processors around, which was a direct result of its Athlon series of processors (true until the Thoroughbred 'B' Athlon processors were introduced).

While silicon wafer technology and manufacturing process have both advanced since then with AMD and Intel both releasing cooler running processors nowadays, competent active cooling modules are still very much needed for these processors to stay in absolute pink of health. For most desktop systems, stock coolers are usually more than up to the cooling job at hand, but for DIY computers, there is now a quieter yet affordable aftermarket cooler from CoolerMaster that might just do the job a little better for you.

It's Called XDream K640

Positioned as an ultra quiet cooling module for PC enthusiasts, the 'K' in the XDream K640 denotes platform support for AMD systems only. Within AMD's processor lineup, the XDream K640 is fully compatible with Socket 754 / 939 / 940 and even the latest Socket M2 processors. This means that Sempron, Athlon 64, Athlon 64-FX, Athlon 64 X2 and Opteron processors are all compatible with the XDream K640 cooler.

Taking The Heat

Cooling principle of the XDream K640 remains largely unchanged from conventional design in that a fan is placed on top of a metal block that fans away heat conducted out from the processor to keep the temperature in check.

The cross shaped heatsink itself is an aluminum block with extrusion fins all around for maximum heat dissipation while the base has a copper insert the size of a coin for optimal heat conductivity. At the end of the cooling process is a 12V 90mm fan rated at 0.83A with variable fan speeds controlled by an onboard thermistor starting from a lowly 800RPM (Revolutions Per Minute) to a maximum of 2,800RPM. In idle operation mode, the fan was as quiet as its 19.5dBA sound level suggested and was just slightly more audible under load when the fan blades were cutting through the air at the maximum 2,800RPM specification.

Fuss Free

A big plus about the XDream K640 is its pair of sturdy yet easy to install three-point clamp and an easy to operate thumb-locking lever to easily secure the entire heatsink into place. With this screw-less patent design, all that is needed is a pair of sharp eyes to properly align the clamps into the cooler mounting bracket on the motherboard, your thumb to lock the lever down and connect the three-pin fan header to the motherboard. Of course, it's always a good practice to verify that the processor is correctly seated before mounting the XDream K640.

Closing Thoughts

There are many installation hurdles to overcome for anyone considering building their own PC and one of those is the installation of heatsinks onto the delicate processors. However, with more and more screw-less heatsink designs like the CoolerMaster XDream K640 making life easier for even the most clueless of beginners, there is now one less excuse for not going the way of DIY computing. Plus, you get a quieter computing experience than if you went with just the stock cooler. At a suggested retail price of US$20, it is reasonable, but to some, it may not be priced persuasive enough for them to make that switch from the stock cooler.

Product Specifications
  • Fan Speed: 800 ~ 2,800 RPM (controllable via thermistor)
  • Sound Pressure Level: 19.5dBA at 1 meter
  • Heatink Dimension: 90 x 90 x 40 mm (L x W x H)
  • Fan Dimension: 92 x 25mm (compatible with 80mm fan)
  • Bearing Type: Rifle bearing
  • Fan Life Expectancy: 50,000 hours