Deepcool's Ice Wind Pro heatsink is a rather novel CPU cooler for two unique qualities; 1) its heatpipe-to-fin arrangement and 2) the geometry of its leading and trailing fin edges. First off, rather than clusters of heatpipes at the left and right sides of the aluminum fin tower, the eight ends of the heatpipes are lined up straight in a row, 10mm apart, right down the middle of the heatsink. Secondly, the leading/trailing edges of the aluminum fin stack have five large, slightly arc'd diamond cut-outs parallel to the direction of the fins that break up the otherwise monolithic wall.
How these two aspects impact the Ice Wind Pro's thermal performance remains to be seen, so let's begin our look at this relatively thin profile tower cooler.
The Deepcool Ice Wind Pro heatsink stands 157mm tall and 86mm deep - most tower coolers are more boxy in profile and this can make them interfere with tall memory modules on some motherboards. The thinner profile of the Ice Wind Pro should help it keep out of the way of memory when directing airflow to the rear of the chassis.
The cooler itself comes in at a modest 650 grams and is built around four 6mm diameter copper heatpipes that are exposed at the base to make direct contact with the CPU. A 120mm PWM fan ships with the heatsink, spinning at 1500-700RPM at worst it's only moderately audible. To further reduce the likelyhood of noise, the fan frame has rubber pads which cushion it from the metal fins. Up to two fans can be installed on the Ice Wind Pro as extra wire fan clips are provided.
Retailing for around $30 USD/CDN, the Deepcool Ice Wind Pro heatsink is compatible with AMD socket 754/939/940/AM2/AM3/FM1 and Intel LGA1366/1155/1156/775 processors. At the time of this review Intel LGA2011 CPUs were not supported.
In the photo below you can see the slightly arc'd diamond cut-outs we mentioned. These run parallel to the direction of the fins and go down to a depth of about 8.5mm. A similar set of heavy cut outs on the side of the heatsink stagger the depth of the fins from 6mm to 13mm.
Note the eight heatpipe ends that pass through the center line of the Deepcool Ice Wind Pro heatsink in a compact line. The four 6mm diameter heatpipes are swagged into the aluminum base block and then twist about so that all eight ends pass through the 100mm tall aluminum fin stack in a tight row.
The heatpipes over the center of the CPU are arranged towards the outside of the fins. The heatpipes furthest away from the center of the CPU IHS are grouped towards the center of the fin stack.
The Ice Wind Pro also incorporates some good improvements to DeepCool's manufacturing process, not the least of which is a perfectly flat machined base plate. It's particularly surprising with exposed heatpipe base heatsinks, but some heatsinks makers still just swag and lightly sand the base.
The 120mm PWM Deepcool fan uses these little rubber insulation pads at each corner to prevent the fan frame and aluminum fins from rattling against one another.
Heatsink Mounting Hardware
The Deepcool Ice Wind Pro heatsink ships with a single plastic mounting frame for socket LGA1366/1155/1156/775 Intel motherboards and uses the existing AMD heatsink retention cage on AMD socket 754/939/940/AM2/AM3/FM1 boards. This heatsink only weighs 650 grams so it's nice that Deepcool have eschewed complex nuts and bolts for a simplified approach.
The Intel mounting bracket is glass-fiber plastic ring that attaches to the motherboard with push-to-click type plastic tabs, locking onto the through holes in the PCB. The system is easy to use, one only has to choose the correct slot and insert the tabs.
The AMD mounting clips are already installed on the heatsink, so it's just a matter of applying thermal compound to the base of the heatsink and clipping it into place on the AMD heatsink retention cage. A set of extra fan brackets and a small blister pack of thermal compound is also included.
FrostyTech's Test Methodologies are outlined in detail here if you care to know what equipment is used, and the parameters under which the tests are conducted. Now let's move forward and take a closer look at this heatsink, its acoustic characteristics, and of course its performance in the thermal tests!
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