Intel’s upcoming Core i7 980XE gets a decent cooler

Intel rethinks its approach to CPU cooling

NORMALLY WE WOULDN’T bother posting news about a CPU cooler on its own, but this is pretty big news, as Intel appears to have gotten rid of its traditional round coolers that have shipped with its retail CPU’s for quite a few years by now. Although this only applied to the upcoming Core i7 980XE, it’s still a move in the right direction.

Considering that the Extreme Edition CPU’s are targeting overclockers and cost in the neighbourhood of $1,000, many have wondered why Intel hasn’t been able to provide better stock coolers. Well, it seems like Intel has finally listened and created something that at last looks impressive, at least if the cooler pictured on Chinese website Yesky is what will ship with the new CPU’s. With no less than four heatpipes, a copper CPU interface and what appears to be a 92mm fan, the new Intel stock cooler stands out from what we’ve seen supplied by the company in the past.

Oddly enough, Intel has chosen to use a metal wire fan guard, something that some of its CPU coolers have used in the past, although it appears as if this has to be removed before the cooler can be installed. What makes this cooler even more unusual, at least for something coming from Intel, is the fact that it doesn’t use push-pins. Yes, you read that correctly. Instead it comes with a rear mounting plate and has four screw mounts. There are two holes at the rear that allows for screwdriver access to the rear mounts.

The fan is made from clear plastic and there appears to be a small speed switch on the top of the cooler that should allow for some manual control of the fan speed by reducing the voltage. The four-pin fan connector suggests that the fan is of the PWM type. The top of the cooler has a chromed metal plate with the Intel logo and it acts as a “cosmetic” cover for the heatpipes. We’d still expect most users of the Core i7 980XE to get their own high-end cooler, but this appears to be a very decent box cooler, especially compared to what Intel shipped with the Core i7 975XE.S|A

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