TennMax Coolers - Part 1

By Wilfred

Hardware One

Oh well, it was after quite some time before I could settle down to write this review. It wasn't simple as I'd originally thought it'll be because they were merely active heatsinks to write about. No ordinary heatsinks no doubt.

Mr Vincent Tzeng of TennMax had kindly arranged to send this parcel to me after he read my review on the Creative Banshee card where I cursed the tremendous heat produced. He'd really read my mind by sending, along with the LasagnaX, the StealthV2 also. So here, we let you know what we think of them.

TennMax LasagnaX Cooler
So much for the crap, I'll begin with the LasagnaX cooler which we tested on our scorching hot Creative Banshee AGP card.

The well-constructed fan (which felt heavy to my hand) measured 5cm by 5cm by 1cm, with unique slit cuts that allows for air to be blown out of the metal thermal caging of the fan. Its low profile allowed it to be convenient enough to squeeze between 2 adjacent cards.

On the packaging of the fan, it is stated that the fan performs at 6500 rpm at 2.0V and 5500 rpm at 1.5V, suggesting that it is quite a sports car of a fan.

Test System
Abit BH6 Motherboard
Intel Celeron 300A o/c 450Mhz
Creative 3D Blaster Banshee AGP

Coming with a slip of "instruction sheet" that easily explained the installation procedure, it must surely be a dreamed PnP device - Paste & Play.

The first thing to do is to ensure that there is no visible trace of dust on the chips, then remove the plastic layer off the thermal conducting adhesive, and paste!!! I suspect that if you have poor dexterity, you WILL have difficulty slamming the fan square center of the slightly smaller Banshee chip, but the instruction sheet warned that you shouldn't repeatedly paste and remove the fan or it will reduce the adhesiveness of the "sticky tape". And that will lead to poor thermal conductivity and yadda yadda... So do it right THE FIRST TIME! I'm pleased to say that I achieved it with little trouble. =)

So the next step was to hold down the fan on the chip for 10 secs (as instructed) to give it that very first push off for great tackiness. I gave it an extra minute just to be sure.

After which I proceeded to connect the power cable/splitter and slotted my Banshee card back in. With a low profile of 1cm, the LasagnaX fitted snugly between the AGP Banshee and Adaptec 2940W SCSI card. Did you just heave a sigh of relief?

The LasagnaX Fan at Work
Powering up the system, it worked (and this doesn't surprise no one!) most readily but best of all, quietly. Placing my palm near the fan, I can definitely feel a sizeable amount of air flow generated between the cards.

Since I'm not equipped with digital thermometers whatever, I had to perform the really straightforward "finger" test. To allow me to complete my physical test on the fan, I left the PC running Quake II demo for about 10 minutes before attempting to touch the card. The card only feels mildly warm but it is a great difference from the literally HOT card when it was without the LasagnaX (Read my Creative Banshee Review to fine out). And best of all, now you will be able to caress the chip without fearing your flesh cooking off.

I'm very happy so far that there had been quite a significant/tangible temperature difference from the past. So we proceed to benchmarking the card with the added "turbo cooler".

Before the cooler was attached, the card could only complete the 3DMark benchmarks at up to 115Mhz. Pushing it up till 120Mhz, I will certainly hang the system (at least in tropical Singapore with room temperatures of 28 deg C and our average case temperature of 35 deg C). With the LasagnaX attached, we managed to complete 3DMark at 125Mhz, and charted the results as follows:

From the figures, it is obvious that with the aid of the additional cooling, we were able to push the Banshee closer to the edge. At 125Mhz, it performs 9.5% faster than default.

But this is not to suggest that you should attempt to run your card at such a high clock speed. We have to state that there were cases of minor screen corruption when we ran the card at 115Mhz for an extended period of time. At 125Mhz, we would experience random freezes in Windows.

Overclocking the card will be one minor reason why you should want the LasagnaX, but the assurance that your Banshee chip does not cook is reason enough. If you don't believe, a finger "burn" test will convince you. =)

Next to StealthV2 Review >

Special Thanks to Mr Vincent Tzeng of TennMax
for the provision of the LasagnaX & StealthV2 Coolers