Abstract: The release of the Intel Celeron, and subsequently the great overclocking potential of that processor, was followed by the release of a lot of coolers catering to the needs of the overclockers.
Vantec P3D-5030 Pentium III Cooler
The release of the Intel Celeron, and subsequently the great overclocking potential of that processor, was followed by the release of a lot of coolers catering to the needs of the overclockers. This was great for the Celeron users who wanted to overclock their CPUs to high heaven, but it left for a lot to be desired as far as the Pentium II owners were concerned. As time went on, great Pentium II coolers were released to satisfy the overclocker's needs. Which brings us to the Pentium III. When Intel released the Pentium III, they completely changed the packaging on the processor itself. Now instead of the processor being completely surrounded by the cartridge, as it was the case with the Pentium II, the Pentium III had one side completely unexposed so the cooling could be directly applied on the processor itself, instead of on the cartridge. This opened the doors to more effective cooling, and subsequently more overclocking. Now, all we needed was a kick ass cooler.
Enter the Vantec P3D-5030. Traditionally, Vantec has never really been known for making great overclocker's coolers. They were always content with making standard coolers which a lot of OEMs used on their systems. This point was very well emphasized in my phone conversation with the Vantec representative. So, I didn't really know what to expect when I received the P3D along with the entire line of Vantec coolers for both the slot-1 and socketed platforms. I had heard a lot of great things about the Vantec P3D-5030, but at the same time the representative's words were still fresh on my mind.
Dimensions(mm): 137x59x44.6 Fan(s) Size: 50x50x10 CPU Type: Pentium III, Pentium II SECC2
First Impressions, Installation
The P3D-5030 features two 50mm 12V fans, a large heatsink, and a grill style cover over the fans. There's one power wire for both fans which is pretty convenient, but the downside of that is the lack of a fan speed indication in the BIOS. The fastening mechanism to secure this bad boy to the processor cartridge is very easy to work with. The clipping mechanism consists of four metal rods directly attached to the heatsink itself and a clip. Just push the rods through the provided holes on the processor itself, and slide the clip in place on the back of the processor.
What's up with the fan cover you ask? Vantec claims that the fan cover is supposed to improve air flow. If anything, the cover is going to restrict air flow, because now the fans have to draw in air through the vents instead of the open space as it's most often the case. One good thing I can see about the cover is that there isn't going to be any wires getting caught in a running fan. Besides, I think the cover looks pretty cool.
Installing this heatsink into an ABIT BE6 presented me with some problems. The cooler's large and awkward shaped heatsink combined with the BE6's abnormally tall chipset heatsink, well, let's just say I had to break out the hacksaw. I ended up cutting a couple of fins from one of the cooler's edges, in order to fit over the BE6's heatsink. I guess I could had used a different motherboard, but hey, I like "modifying" things.
Since I got all of the preliminary stuff out of the way, let's get to the things that you REALLY care about. How does this bad boy perform?