Cold chillin' it
Making it cool
Ask any hardcore overclocker and he'll tell you the importance of keeping your CPU cool. After all, as processor speeds continue to increase the amount of heat generated by the CPU also increases.
Combine that with CPU's that are often operating in tight areas with little or no cool air circulation and, in the worst situations, inferior heatsink/fan combinations (packed with large amounts of dust) and you begin to wonder how CPU's can operate reliably.
This worst case scenario frequently occurs with a processor running at its rated speed, just think about the amount of heat a CPU running overclocked with additional voltage will produce!
While some may like it hot, processors (and any semiconductor device for that matter) certainly don't. Excessive heat leads to additional stress and eventually wear, and through a process known as electromigration, can over time lead to failure of the component altogether.
With this in mind an after-market cooling demographic has emerged. Looking for ways to keep their components as cool as possible, many of these consumers will do whatever it takes to keep their systems running cool.
Serving this market with extreme cooling products are companies like Kryotech, with their active refrigeration systems chilling CPU's between 40°C and -50°C. This performance however comes at an expensive price. For less extreme methods Swiftech offers a compelling solution at significantly less cost.
Back in September we took a look
at Swiftechs MC1000 active cooler. With it, we achieved new levels of performance with our Celeron CPU's, with both our Celeron 366 and Celeron 500 breaking the 600MHz barrier, a feat rarely achieved with any Celeron without extreme methods of overclocking.
While we didn't get a chance to test the MC1000 with a Slot 1 Pentium III, many have reached speeds in excess of 700MHz with Swiftechs MC1000 and MC2000 coolers.
Once word spread of the overclocking potential made possible with the Swiftech cooler, many hardcore overclockers found themselves dreaming of the overclocking potential lying unused in their current CPU.
While our tests proved the Swiftech coolers could be used successfully with Celeron's, many Celeron owners with Socket 370 motherboards were left out in the cold. Chief among this crowd were BP6 users, blessed with Dual CPU's, many wanted to see how much performance they could gain from using a Swiftech active cooler in their system.
Looking to fill the demands of this growing market, Swiftech now offers their MC370 series of passive and active coolers in addition to their traditional MC1000 and MC2000 line. But before we get into performance, let's briefly discuss the Peltier effect.