primarily as a motherboard manufacturer, Gigabyte first entered into the
heatsink markets with a large cylindrical copper cooler called the 3D
Cooler-Ultra (PCU31-VH); an excellent thermal solution that tipped the
scales at over 700+ grams! This was followed by the 3D Rocket Cooler (PCU22-SE), 3D Cooler-Pro (PCU21-VG), and the budget minded G-Power Pro and Neon Cooler 8-BL heatsinks. Thus far, most of Gigabyte's heatsinks have been variations on the 3D Cooler
design, with a couple of enhancements here and there
for mainstream users who just need quiet multiplatform cooling.
The Gigabyte 3D Rocket Cooler-Pro PCU22-VG
heatsink FrostyTech is testing in this review cools quietly, and it can
also ramp up fan speed to take on major heat loads too. The heatsink comes with
a fan speed controller that allows you
to dial in the speed (and noise) of the cooling fan to suit the situation.
At the top of the cooler, a series of very bright blue LEDs glow under the
translucent cap, making the 3D Rocket Cooler-Pro a great candidate
for windowed cases. The heatsink mounts to socket 462/A AthlonXP, socket
478 & 775 Pentium 4, and socket 754/940/939 Athlon64 processors via a high density forged
This copper base is machined nice and flat, and connected to the
rest of the heatsink with four 6mm diameter copper heatpipes.
The heatpipes thread through upwards through 54 knife-edged aluminum fins. So
far so good, but support for the socket AM2 is still a bit of a
|Gigabyte 3D Rocket Cooler Pro Heatsink
| Manufacturer: Gigabyte|
| Model No.: 3D Rocket Cooler Pro PCU22-VG|
| Materials: Forged
copper base, heatpipes, aluminum
| Fan Mfg: Bi-Sonic BP806012L 02|
|Fan Spec: 2500-4000RPM, 12V, 0.5A|
|Fan Dim: 50x50x50mm|
|Heatsink & Fan Dim: 115x83x83mm |
|Weight: 500 grams|
Mounting clips, LGA775RM bracket, thermal compound, power splitter,
PCI/3.5" bay fan speed controller, instructions.|
Compatible with Sockets:
754/939/940 (not AM2 compatible)
|Est. Pricing: $44USD
The Low Down on Heatpipes
Heatpipes are really neat devices, and
four of them are at the heart of the Gigabyte 3D Rocket Cooler-Pro heatsink.
It's easy to get confused about the role of heatpipes in a heatsink, since they
actually don't "cool" anything. Rather, heatpipes basically just transfer heat
from one location to another.
The process works like this: as heat energy enters into the heatpipe, water inside the
tube is converted into vapour. You'll recall that water boils at a
lower temperature when there is less atmospheric pressure, and the inside of a heatpipe
is a vacuum. This water vapour is what transfers the heat it has
absorbed to the other end of the heatpipe.
As the heated vapour reaches the cooler side of the tube it condenses, and
returns back to liquid form. As it does this, the energy which caused the water
to turn to vapour is dumped into the surrounding metal of the heatpipe, which
impart transfers it to cooling fins. A physical property know as capillary
action then takes hold and draws the freshly condensed liquid back along an
internal wick structure to the hotter end of the heatpipe, where the entire
Innovative Air Handling
The Gigabyte 3D Rocket Cooler-Pro gets its name from the way air is exhausted
out of the cooler, and it's not too far off its namesake. What makes
this heatsink really different is that its top has been sealed off with a
clear sheet of plastic, forcing the air drawn in by the blue squirrel cage fan
to pass through the top 43mm-tall section of aluminum fins. The inside edge of
each aluminum fin has a knife edge to reduce air flow resistance, and since the
outside edge does not, we can tell the 3D Rocket heatsink is an
iteration to the original prototype.
Moving along, the airflow now slightly warmer is then
exhausted out the bottom of the 3D Rocket Cooler-Pro heatsink through a
combination of aluminum cooling
fins and a 15mm gap under the 'rocket skirt'. The
heatsink works on the premise that both intake and exhaust air streams are used to
cool the 3D Rocket Cooler-Pro heatsink.