The Alaska from GlacialTech is a CPU cooler with a tower design, six heatpipes, and one 120 mm fan. Let’s see if whether this is a good product or not.
The Alaska box is made of cardpaper, with no openings or transparent window.
In Figure 2, you can see the Alaska and the accessories that come with it: fan, manual, installation hardware, and a tube of thermal compound.
In Figure 3, you can see the heatsink of the GlacialTech Alaska.
In the next pages, you will see this cooler in detail.
[nextpage title=”The GlacialTech Alaska”]
In Figure 4, you see the front of the heatsink.
In Figure 5, you see the side of the heatsink. Note the fin design: they are not straight, having "steps" that help to create the "breathing effect" that the manufacturer claims to be the big feature of this cooler.
In Figure 6, you can check the top of the cooler. The holes in the fins are part of the "breathing effect".
[nextpage title=”The GlacialTech Alaska (Cont’d)”]
In Figure 7, you can check the shape of the six heatpipes. They are soldered to the base of the cooler.
In Figure 8, you can see the base of the cooler. It is plain, with no mirrored looks.
In Figure 9, you can see the fan that comes with the Alaska. Even though it is blue, it doesn’t come with LEDs. The connector has four pins, which means this fan is compatible with PWM automatic speed control.
Before installing the Alaska, you need to attach two clips to its base. You also need to install the metal wires that hold the fan. In Figure 10 you can check the Intel clips in place.
After that, just put the backplate on the solder side of the motherboard, put the cooler in place and fasten the four screws (with springs) that hold the cooler in place.
In Figure 12, you can see the Alaska installed in our case, with the fan installed.
[nextpage title=”How We Tested”]
We tested the cooler with a Core i7-860 CPU (quad-core, 2.8 GHz), which is a socket LGA1156 processor with a 95 W TDP (Thermal Design Power). In order to get higher thermal dissipation, we overclocked it to 3.3 GHz (150 MHz base clock and 22x multiplier), keeping the standard core voltage (Vcore), which was the maximum stable overclock we could make with the stock cooler. Keep in mind that we could have raised the CPU clock more, but to include the stock cooler in our comparison, we needed to use this moderate overclock.
We measured noise and temperature with the CPU idle and under full load. In order to get 100% CPU usage in all threads, we ran Prime 95 25.11 (in this version, the software uses all available threads) with the "In-place Large FFTs" option.
We compared the tested cooler to the Intel stock cooler with a copper base (included with the CPU), as well as with other coolers. Note that in the past, we tested coolers with a socket LGA775 CPU, and we retested some "old" coolers with this new methodology. This means you can find different values in older reviews than the values you will read in the next page. Every cooler was tested with the thermal compound that accompanies it.
Room temperature measurements were taken with a digital thermometer. The core temperature was read with the SpeedFan program (available from the CPU thermal sensors), using an arithmetic average of the core temperature readings. During the tests, the left panel of the case was open.
The sound pressure level (SPL) was measured with a digital noise meter, with its sensor placed 4" (10 cm) from the fan. We turned off the case and video board cooler fans so they wouldn’t interfere with the results. This measurement is only for comparison purposes because a precise SPL measurement needs to be made inside an acoustically insulated room with no other noise sources, which is not the case here.
- Processor: Core i7-860
- Motherboard: Gigabyte P55A-UD6
- Memory: 4 GB A-Data AX3U1333GB2G8-2G (DDR3-1333/PC3-10700 with 9-9-9-25 timings), configured at 1,200 MHz
- Hard disk: Seagate Barracuda XT 2 TB
- Video card: Zotac GeForce GTS 250
- Video resolution: 1680×1050
- Video monitor: Samsung Syncmaster 2232BW Plus
- Power supply: Seventeam ST-550P-AM
- Case: 3RSystem L-1100 T.REX Cool
Operating System Configuration
- Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
We adopted a 2 °C error margin, meaning temperature differences below 2 °C are considered irrelevant.
[nextpage title=”Our Tests”]
The table below presents the results of our measurements. We repeated the same test on all coolers listed below. Each measurement was taken with the CPU at idle and at full load. In the models with a fan supporting PWM, the motherboard controlled the fan speed according to core load and temperature. On coolers with an integrated fan controller, the fan was set at the minimum speed on the idle test and at full speed on the full load test.
Processor at Full Load
|Cooler||Room Temp.||Noise||Speed||Core Temp.||Noise||Speed||Core Temp.|
|Intel stock (socket LGA1156)||14 °C||44 dBA||1700 rpm||46 °C||54 dBA||2500 rpm||90 °C|
|Cooler Master Hyper TX3 G1||14 °C||47 dBA||2050 rpm||33 °C||56 dBA||2900 rpm||62 °C|
|Zalman CNPS10X Extreme||14 °C||45 dBA||1400 rpm||27 °C||53 dBA||1950 rpm||51 °C|
|Thermaltake Silent 1156||14 °C||44 dBA||1200 rpm||38 °C||49 dBA||1750 rpm||69 °C|
|Noctua NH-D14||14 °C||49 dBA||1250 rpm||27 °C||49 dBA||1250 rpm||53 °C|
|Zalman CNPS10X Performa||14 °C||46 dBA||1500 rpm||28 °C||52 dBA||1950 rpm||54 °C|
|Prolimatech Megahalems||14 °C||40 dBA||750 rpm||27 °C||60 dBA||2550 rpm||50 °C|
|Thermaltake Frio||14 °C||46 dBA||1450 rpm||27 °C||60 dBA||2500 rpm||50 °C|
|Prolimatech Samuel 17||14 °C||40 dBA||750 rpm||40 °C||60 dBA||2550 rpm||63 °C|
|Zalman CNPS8000A||18 °C||43 dBA||1400 rpm||39 °C||54 dBA||2500 rpm||70 °C|
|Spire TherMax Eclipse II||14 °C||55 dBA||2200 rpm||28 °C||55 dBA||2200 rpm||53 °C|
|Scythe Ninja3||17 °C||39 dBA||700 rpm||32 °C||55 dBA||1800 rpm||57 °C|
|Corsair A50||18 °C||52 dBA||1900 rpm||33 °C||52 dBA||1900 rpm||60 °C|
|Thermaltake Jing||18 °C||44 dBA||850/1150 rpm||34 °C||49 dBA||1300 rpm||60 °C|
|GlacialTech Alaska||18 °C||43 dBA||1150 rpm||36 °C||1600 rpm||60 °C|
In the graph below, at full load you can see how many degrees Celsius hotter the CPU core is than the air outside the case. The lower this difference, the better is the performance of the cooler.
[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]
The main features of the GlacialTech Alaska CPU cooler include:
- Application: Socket LGA775, 1156, 1366, AM3, AM2+, AM2, 939, and 754 processors
- Fins: Aluminum
- Base: Copper
- Heat-pipes: Six 6-mm copper heat-pipes
- Fan: 120 mm
- Nominal fan speed: 1,600 rpm
- Fan air flow: 55.7 cfm
- Maximum power consumption: 4.32 W
- Nominal noise level: 30 dBA
- Weight: 1.6 lbs (740 g)
- More information: https://www.glacialtech.com
- Average price in the US: We couldn’t find this cooler being sold in the US
The Alaska has a very innovative fin design, called "breathing effect" by GlacialTech, based on holes and slopes on the fins. This design probably increases the airflow turbulence, improving heat transfer.
The cooler is simple and looks nice. The installation was not a breeze, because we didn’t remove the motherboard from our case and the springs insisted on falling from the screws. However, it was not too difficult.
Thanks to its good cooling performance and a low noise level, we are giving the GlacialTech Alaska the Hardware Secrets Silver Award. We hope it won’t arrive on the market costing too much, otherwise it will lose its good cost/benefit ratio.