Intel Core i7 980X 6 Core Gulftown CPU Review :: New reference CPU cooler

03-10-2010 · Category: Motherboards

By Benjamin Sun

Intel has released a new CPU cooler called the DBX-B. Previous Intel CPU coolers were a heatsink with a fan on top of the heatsink. This is optimized for the Intel Core i7-980 processor to enable enhanced overclocking performance, designed to exceed thermal requirements even while set to quiet mode operation.


Intel Core i7 980X 6 Core Gulftown CPU Review Turbo Enabled GIGABYTE Board

Turbo Enabled GIGABYTE Board


Intel has tested the DBX-B cooler to a 50x gravity shock force equivalent to more than a 3 foot drop while inside a system. The cooler is quiet with noise levels under 20 dBA at 800 RPM, and maximum acoustics under heavy load of below 35DBA at 1800RPM. The new cooler ships in the retail boxed version of the Intel Core i7-980X processor.

Intel Core i7 980X 6 Core Gulftown CPU Review Front of cooler

Front of cooler

Intel Core i7 980X 6 Core Gulftown CPU Review Side view of DBX-B

Side view of DBX-B

The cooler is a tower based cooler compared to the previous CPU coolers which were a heatsink with a fan on top this one has four heatpipes that lead out to a densely packed fin enclosure. The side of the heatsink has a large fan with a metal cage for the fan to keep it in place. The top of the cooler has the Intel logo, eight bumps and two screw holes to install the mounting. There is also a toggle to have Performance or Quiet fan operation.

Intel Core i7 980X 6 Core Gulftown CPU Review Top view

Top view

Intel Core i7 980X 6 Core Gulftown CPU Review Toggle

Toggle

Thatís right. The era of the push pin CPU cooler is gone at least for the Core i7-980X cooler. The mounting bracket is a little bit different than the original one found on most X58 motherboards, so to install the cooler you will need to take it off the motherboard. Insert the CPU into the CPU Socket, lower the cover and lower the lever into place. At this point apply some thermal grease, place the cooler atop the processor, and screw it in using a long screwdriver from the top using the two holes. Use the screwdriver on the remaining two holding pins and your new CPU is installed.


Intel Core i7 980X 6 Core Gulftown CPU Review Noctua DH14 CPU Cooler

Noctua DH14 CPU Cooler


The Core i7-980X is based on the Land Grid Array 1366 interface which is familiar to anyone owning a 975X, a 965, a 940 or a 920 CPU. This CPU has an integrated memory controller that allows for up to triple channel memory to be installed on motherboards sporting this chipset. Triple channel memory can offer higher memory bandwidth than double channel memory for just the increased cost of a triple channel memory kit. The LGA-1156 Allendale CPUs have an integrated memory controller with dual channel but they also have integrated graphics which no serious PC user will use with the Core i7-980X CPU. I wish I could show you temperatures and working overclocking with the new cooler but due to time constraints we used a Noctua two fan, two heatsink CPU cooler in the review.