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Thread: Review: Gigabyte G-Power 2 PRO

  1. #1
    The Blue Dolphin
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    Review: Gigabyte G-Power 2 PRO

    Introduction

    Gigabyte is a company well-known for producing computer hardware. Today I will be taking a look at one of the coolers that the company offers, namely the G-Power Pro 2. This is their shot at reaching the high-end air cooling market. I got the cooler from an online hardware store which lists it at a price of €38,- which is rather mild. The cooler features 3 blue LEDs situated behind the fan. Below you can see the official specifications of the product:


    The package

    The cooler comes packed in a box also containing a manual, mounting hardware, some Gigabyte-branded thermal paste and female molex connector with 2 wires labeled 5v and 12v. A very handy feature of this connector is that a male molex connector is connected to the female connector so you won’t lose one of your precious molex connectors using this cooler.

    The box in which the cooler is shipped. Note that in my enthusiasm I already opened the box before taking this picture. The cooler came wrapped in some transparent plastic –which was removed before taking the picture- to protect it from dust and other external influences.

    Everything in the box, Including a blanked to clean the base and chrome-like shroud

    The Cooler

    The base has a mirror finish

    A side view

    Some pr0n

    The heatsink and disconnected fan/shroud

    Mounting hardware

    Test methodology

    In this test I will put the G-Power up against the popular older Big Typhoon (non-VX) made by Thermaltake. The Big Typhoon can be bought from many retailers for around €35,- making it the perfect competitor.
    In this test I will be using the popular stress testing program Orthos at priority 9 using in-place 128k FFTs (relatively small). I know that there are some programs being able to run the CPU a little hotter like Linpack and S&M, however since Orthos is mostly used I will use that instead to make the test results a little bit more comparable to other tests.

    This is how Orthos was set-up before use. Temperature will be read after 15 minutes of testing.

    To measure CPU and chipset I will use Everest Ultimate Edition. Everest reads the temperature from the same sensors as CoreTemp so the results can be compared to results obtained using the latest version of CoreTemp. I will add 5C to all readings to make them a little more realistic. At idle my CPU and chipset temperatures are read to be at ambient temperature which is, of course, not realistic. With this correction the obtained data should be pretty close to reality.

    Ambient temperatures are measured just in front of the CPU fan with an accurate digital K-type thermometer. All tests are being run in open air with the motherboard mounted on a motherboard tray. This is done to eliminate factors like case flow and heat coming from other system components. A 30cm table fan at low speed is used to refresh the air above the test setup. It is set-up half a meter from the motherboard.

    All CPU temperature values are derived from an average of both cores. On this particular E6600 they are never more than 2 degrees apart.

    The system used

    In this test I will use the following system:
    - E6600 @ 3600mhz, vcore calibrated to 1.5v real under load.
    - Gigabyte P35-DS4 motherboard
    - 4X1GB DDR2-1000 D9GMH/DKX based memory
    - Jetway 8800GT 512mb GFX
    - Tagan 480W PSU
    - Windows XP 32-bit
    - Gigabyte G-Power 2 Pro / Thermaltake Big Typhoon
    Last edited by alexio; 03-01-2008 at 05:48 PM.
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  2. #2
    The Blue Dolphin
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    Installing the cooler on the s775 platform

    Installation of the cooler isn't particularly hard. Like all bolt-through installation methods you’ll have to take the motherboard out of your case to install it. Some may argue that this method of installation is overly time consuming, however in my opinion on a bolt-through installation of (heavy high-end) coolers can ensure a proper mount. The included back plate is necessary to protect the motherboard from bending or breaking from physical strain.
    Something I do not really like about this the G-Power II mounting system is that the screws need to be tightened at the back of the motherboard. With the mounting hardware that comes with the Big Typhoon this is not necessary as the thumbscrews that come with it need to be tightened on the topside of the motherboard. A major advantage of this system that it is easy to do a remount or mount another cooler that is compatible with this system without the need to unscrew the motherboard from the case.


    Here you can see the threads of the screws that go through the motherboard and back plate.

    Temperature tests


    Note that 5C was added to all values (apart from ambient) for a more realistic image

    It seems that the G-Power is performing amazingly compared to the Big Typhoon. Excellent performance indeed !!! One thing to note is that at 12V the fan of the G-Power pushes more air then the Big Typhoon. At 5V it pushes a lot less. The original Big Typhoon doesn't come with the necessary hardware to run it at 5V. After uninstalling it from the system I did a brief test using the molex<->fan adapter provided with the G-Power. At 5V the fan of the Big Typhoon pushes nearly no air at all, and I think that running this fan at a low voltage isn't a good idea on my hot little E6600. I didn't include a test at 5V as Thermaltake doesn't include this as a feature.

    Note: I also tried the thermal paste that was included with the cooler and it was just 1-2C behind AS5 across the board. Because of this small difference I didn't include these numbers in the graph.

    Acoustic performance

    The G-power is virtually silent with the fan at 5V. You will only be able to hear this cooler when you put your ear very close to it. [b]The HDD and DVD writer in my test setup are much louder even while doing nothing![b] The Big Typhoon is also very quiet (at 12V), however it is much easier to hear than the G-Power. I must say that the acoustic profiles of both coolers are very pleasant at 5V for the G-Power and 12V for the Big Typhoon.
    At 12V the G-Power pushes a lot more air and thus it's a little noisier. The acoustic profile of the cooler is still good as the fan-pitch is low to medium at most. Installed in a case this cooler probably can’t be heard over most other system components like VGA coolers and HDDs.

    Summary of acoustics:
    Big Typhoon at 12V: Bearly audiable / Acoustic profile is excellent
    G-Power II Pro at 5V: Practically silent / Acoustic profile is excellent
    G-Power II Pro at 12v: Clearly audible, but acceptable / Acoustic profile is good

    Summary and conclusion
    With the G-power II Pro Gigabyte has launched an excellent product. The cooler provides good cooling performance and pretty looks at a very nice price point. Unless you are a bencher it makes no sense to buy a really expensive cooler like the TRUE that comes without a fan. From my testing I can conclude that G-Power II Pro may come close to the TRUE in terms of performance which is an incredible achievement by Gigabyte.

    Pros
    + Excellent cooling performance with the choice of near silent operation
    + Available at a very competitive price point (availability will get better soon according to Gigabyte)
    + It looks pretty and has bright blue LEDs (for case modders)
    + Included thermal paste is of good quality
    Cons
    - Remounting the cooler requires the motherboard to be uninstalled from the case
    - The (decent) fan can’t be changed

    The verdict: 9/10

    I'd like to thank www.dollarshops.eu and www.giga-byte.com for providing me with this review sample. Thanks a lot
    Last edited by alexio; 03-01-2008 at 07:23 PM.
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  3. #3
    The Blue Dolphin
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    Thread updated with test results

    Comments appreciated
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  4. #4
    Turkey Man
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    Nice work.
    Macro shots are terrible though

  5. #5
    Diablo 3! Who's Excited?
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    Now that is is a spiffy looking cooler. Wonder how it'd do as a chipset cooler if the heatpipes were bent a bit. Great review though, glad to see Gigabyte expanding out a little bit.

  6. #6
    The Blue Dolphin
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    Quote Originally Posted by T_M View Post
    Nice work.
    Macro shots are terrible though
    I'll use the macro function on my camera next time. I somehow just couldn't find it when I made those first pics

    The last shot was made using the Macro function and it's pretty decent
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  7. #7
    Xtreme Mentor
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    Thanks for the review.

    Interesting design... does the heatsink actually become really hot with trapped hot air, as in starved for air?
    Have you tried adding another fan nearby in various configs to see if that helps or detriments in cooling performance under load?
    Do you have a pic or two of it mounted on your board?

    BTW those DTS are obviously very faulty, reading ambient is -20C minimum real at 1.5V. Actual temps of core or IHS at 1.5V on any modern CPU will be flying sky high on best ac, plus 80C. But nevertheless maintaining a delta of -10C from the BT is quite good. What's the delta between the two at say 1.4V at similar MHz?

    I know I'd never run 1.5V on air 24/7, not even 1.45V because of the load temps nearing the limit. 1.4V seems fine though.

  8. #8
    The Blue Dolphin
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    Don't say a word about the rig

    p.s: Pictures are a rush job.
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  9. #9
    The Blue Dolphin
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    Quote Originally Posted by KTE View Post
    Thanks for the review.

    Interesting design... does the heatsink actually become really hot with trapped hot air, as in starved for air?
    Have you tried adding another fan nearby in various configs to see if that helps or detriments in cooling performance under load?
    I haven't tested these scenerios. The coolers both received a moderate amount of airflow in this test and I suspect adding more fans would maybe results in 1 -2C lower loads. Without any airflow the Big Typhoon held 3-4C higher loads than with it. I expect roughly the same results would be obtained with the G-Power.
    BTW those DTS are obviously very faulty, reading ambient is -20C minimum real at 1.5V.
    The temperature in my room was 17.5C (measured with 3 thermometers) and right above the coolers it was roughly 1.5C higher = 19C.
    Actual temps of core or IHS at 1.5V on any modern CPU will be flying sky high on best ac, plus 80C. But nevertheless maintaining a delta of -10C from the BT is quite good.
    If at these settings and with this room temperature the E6600 would be running 80C+ then the stock Intel cooler wouldn't be able to keep the CPU cool enough at stock in a hot country. That's what logic tells me
    What's the delta between the two at say 1.4V at similar MHz?
    I only tested 1.5V as quads are becomming the norm for testing high-end coolers and the E6600 is only dual-core. I'll test 3200mhz 1.4v for you but just with the G-Power. I don't feel like swapping the coolers again.
    I know I'd never run 1.5V on air 24/7, not even 1.45V because of the load temps nearing the limit. 1.4V seems fine though.
    1.5v is fine in a cool room IMHO. You just have to dare to tighten those nuts far enough
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  10. #10
    Xtreme Guru
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    That thing looks huge, i like the curvy idea to cool the pwm area.

  11. #11
    Xtreme Mentor
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    Thanks for the pics... it looks massive
    Quote Originally Posted by alexio View Post
    If at these settings and with this room temperature the E6600 would be running 80C+ then the stock Intel cooler wouldn't be able to keep the CPU cool enough at stock in a hot country. That's what logic tells me
    You're right, it won't.
    No way in an office environment or in summer for many people. When I go on medical charity work in Africa/Middle East/South Asia/South America, systems like that will be fried dead inside a day there on stock cooler even at stock MHz (especially quads). I don't carry an AC around for them
    I only tested 1.5V as quads are becomming the norm for testing high-end coolers and the E6600 is only dual-core. I'll test 3200mhz 1.4v for you but just with the G-Power. I don't feel like swapping the coolers again.
    I agree, my only reason to ask was so I can compare with 3 air coolers I have (can run that TDP) and having the same MB available here (which BIOS are you using BTW?).
    If, if, say your starting voltage was, 1.23V for 2400MHz B2 60.1°C TCASE_MAX @ 65W, then:

    New TDP = 65*((3600/2400)*(1.5²/1.23²))
    = ~145W
    1.5v is fine in a cool room IMHO. You just have to dare to tighten those nuts far enough
    I tried 1.368V with my Q6600 G0 running Linpack 32b with a typical TT120 inside a case under a desk, with a loud delta 152CFM 120mm, with 24°C ambient room and 34°C ambient heatsink temps... it throttled under 80 seconds going to 92°C. TAT had it go over 100°C and shutdown
    With air cooling, it doesn't matter what's underneath it as long as the heatspreader and TIM exchange material is sufficient but what the TDP to be removed is. That above G0 was at 176W.

  12. #12
    Xtreme Member
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    first time i've ever seen this cooler... and i know it isn't quite a recent cooler.

    looks good and not bad at all performing.

    Nice work alexio cheers mate


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