Custom chipset cooling isn't a big market and hasn't really taken off, unlike the huge coolers designed to keep the temperature of your CPU and graphics card in check. However, this form of niche cooling is growing at a more rapid pace and today, motherboard manufacturers themselves are more conscious about chipset cooling and its effects on performance and the stability of the motherboard. We've seen elaborate motherboard cooling solutions from the likes of ABIT, ASUS and Gigabyte, but it is the aftermarket coolers that truly cater to the enthusiast and hobbyist. Cooler Master is no stranger to PC anti-thermal solutions and the Blue Ice Pro is their latest modder-friendly cooler to enter the market.
The New Pro
When Cooler Master really got serious about chipset cooling, they came up with the Blue Ice, a large enthusiast-class cooler utilizing heat-pipe technology, which might have been a little too extreme for the average discerning user. Despite the 'Pro' suffix to its name, the new Blue Ice Pro is really the mainstream entry and little brother to the original Blue Ice. The Blue Ice Pro does not feature a heat-pipe and comes in a contemporary square design that is more manageable especially when it comes to mounting or replacing the fan.
Smaller and Quieter
At first-glance, the Blue Ice Pro looks like any other standard heatsink and fan combination, but it packs a full copper heatsink with skived fins for a much better cooling capacity than most default motherboard coolers, even if they are bigger in size. At 90g, the Blue Ice Pro isn't really that heavy either and case modders will be pleased that Cooler Master retained the use of a blue LED fan.
Besides glowing a cool blue when turned on, the highlight of the fan is in its silent operation. According to Cooler Master's specifications, the Blue Ice Pro should hover around 22-26dBA at 4500 RPM and in our own testing, we could hardly hear its buzz among the noise of the other components making it an ideal cooler even in silent case environments. Better yet, the fan has a standard 40x40mm diameter so if you feel that noise isn't an issue and want to replace it with something more powerful like a 6500 RPM Sunon case fan, you can.
As a chipset cooler, the Blue Ice Pro comes with a much more advanced and customizable hook type retention unit. Cooler Master bundles two retention bars of different lengths and even then, the hooks themselves are adjustable within the bars to a motherboards specifications. If your motherboard has retention holes instead of hook units, Cooler Master also bundles removable hooks. This system should allow the Blue Ice Pro to be installed in a wide range of motherboards. You just need to make sure that your motherboard meets the minimal clearing that Cooler Master sets for the cooler (you can view these specifications from Cooler Master's site here).
The copper based Blue Ice Pro makes a 'cool' upgrade to any regular motherboard chipset cooler without going to extremes and its dimensions will ensure high compatibility with other components like CPU cooler and graphics card in your PC ecosystem. If you're an enthusiast or just concerned about heat bringing down your motherboard, investing in an aftermarket chipset cooler should be the next item on your to-do list. Small, cool and manageable, Cooler Master's Blue Ice Pro will fit the bill.