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[nextpage title=”Introduction”]

This time we tested a new cooler from 3R System: iCEAGE Prima Boss II, new version of iCEAGE Prima Boss we reviewed recently. But will it perform better than its older brother? Check it out!

The box resembles Prima Boss‘, except for the purple pallete and the diamond-shaped clear window at the front.

iCEAGE Prima Boss IIFigure 1: Box.

In Figure 2 we can see the box contents: heatsink, fan, installation hardware, thermal compound, user manual, fan controller and an air deflector that allows the user to direct part of the airflow to the transistors from the voltage regulator circuit.

iCEAGE Prima Boss IIFigure 2: Box contents.

In Figure 3 we can see Prima Boss II heatsink. The main difference to the older model is the number of heatpipes: five, against four on the previous model. In both models the heatpipes are 8 mm in diameter.

iCEAGE Prima Boss IIFigure 3: Prima Boss II.

In the next pages we will see the cooler in details.

[nextpage title=”3R System iCEAGE Prima Boss II”]

In Figure 4 we see the cooler from the front. On the base there is a small aluminum auxiliary heatsink. The heatpipes use an amazing design where they are spread in front of the fan, receiving direct airflow.

iCEAGE Prima Boss IIFigure 4: Front view.

In Figure 5 we have a side view of Prima Boss II. The sides of the fins are folded, making a closed wall, so the fins create a kind of air tunnel.

iCEAGE Prima Boss IIFigure 5: Side view.

In Figure 6, you can see Prima Boss II heatsink from above. Note the fin design, the position of the heatpipes and the surface of the top fin, which is not smooth: has small reentrancies. This roughness makes a turbulent airflow near the fins, which helps the heat transfer.

iCEAGE Prima Boss IIFigure 6: Top view.

In Figure 7 we can see the base of the cooler, made practically only by the heatpipes. It is very smooth but has no mirrored looks. We can also see the "iCECREAM V2" thermal compound tube.

iCEAGE Prima Boss IIFigure 7: Base.

[nextpage title=”3R System iCEAGE Prima Boss II (Cont’d)”]

In Figure 8 we can see the 120 mm transparent fan with blue LEDs that comes with the cooler.

iCEAGE Prima Boss IIFigure 8: Fan.
In Figure 9, you can see the cooler with the fan in place. Prima Boss II also comes with holders for a second fan (which does not come with the cooler).
iCEAGE Prima Boss IIFigure 9: Fan installed.
In Figure 10 we can see a detail of the fan holders, which are made of soft rubber, helping to absorb noise and vibration. A detail we find strange is the fact the fan is a little bit bigger than the heatsink, making the holders to be only half inserted into the heatsink. So, if you do not take care while installing the cooler, the fan can get loose. If the heatsink were three or four fins taller, this problem would not occur.
iCEAGE Prima Boss IIFigure 10: Fan holder.
In Figure 11 we can see the fan controller that comes with the cooler, which is intended to be installed in one of the rear slots from the computer case. It would be nicer if this controller could be installed on a 5 ¼" bay.
iCEAGE Prima Boss IIFigure 11: Fan controller.

[nextpage title=”Installation”]

In order to install Prima Boss II in your system, you first must install a metallic backplate on the solder side of your motherboard, where four (sockets 775, 1156, 1366, AM3, AM2+ and AM2) or two (sockets 939 and 754) screws are attached. After that, you just need to apply thermal compound, put the cooler in place and fasten the spring screws that hold the cooler in place.

iCEAGE Prima Boss IIFigure 12: Backplate ready to be installed.

In Figure 13 we can see the cooler installed on our motherboard. It didn’t interfere with the motherboard heatsink, but the fan stayed over the first memory slot, preventing the use of tall memory modules on it.

iCEAGE Prima Boss IIFigure 13: Installed on the motherboard.

In Figure 14 we can see the cooler installed in our case. The fan glows blue when powered.

iCEAGE Prima Boss IIFigure 14: Installed inside the case.

[nextpage title=”How We Tested”]

We are adopting the following methodology for our CPU cooler reviews.

First, we chose the CPU with the highest TDP (Thermal Design Power) we had available, a Core 2 Extreme QX6850, which has a 130 W TDP. The choice for a CPU with a high TDP is obvious. To measure the efficiency of the tested cooler, we need a processor that gets very hot. This CPU works by default at 3.0 GHz, but we overclocked it to 3.33 GHz, in order to heat it as much as possible.

We took noise and temperature measurements with the CPU idle and under full load. In order to achieve 100% CPU load on the four processing cores we ran Prime95 with the "In-place Large FFTs" option, and three instances of the StressCPU program, all at the same time.

We also compared the reviewed cooler to the Intel stock cooler (with copper base), which comes with the processor we used, and also with some other coolers we have tested using the same methodology.

Temperature measurements were taken with a digital thermometer, with the sensor touching the base of the cooler, and also with the core temperature reading (given by the CPU thermal sensor) from the from the SpeedFan program, using an arithmetic average of the four core temperature readings.

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 video board cooler so it wouldn’t interfere with the results, but this measurement is only for comparative 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.

Hardware Configuration

Software Configuration

  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

Software Used

Error Margin

We adopted a 2 °C error margin, i.e., temperature differences below 2 °C are considered irrelevant.

[nextpage title=”Our Tests”]

On the tables below you can see our results. We ran the same tests with the coolers shown on below tables. Each test ran with the CPU idle and the with the CPU fully loaded. On BigTyp 14Pro, TMG IA1, NH-U12P and ISGC-300 the tests were done with the fan at full speed and at minimum speed. The other coolers were connected directly to the motherboard and it controls the fan speed based on CPU load level and temperature on PWM models. ISGC-400, iCEAGE Prima Boss and Megahalems Rev. B were tested at minimum speed on idle test and at maximum speed on full load test.

CPU Idle

Cooler Room Temp. Noise Fan Speed Base Temp. Core Temp.
Intel stock 14 °C 44 dBA 1000 rpm 31 °C 42 °C
BigTyp 14Pro (min) 17 °C 47 dBA 880 rpm 29 °C 36 °C
BigTyp 14Pro (max) 17 °C 59 dBA 1500 rpm 26 °C 34 °C
Akasa Nero 18 °C 41 dBA 500 rpm 26 °C 35 °C
Cooler Master V10 14 °C 44 dBA 1200 rpm 21 °C 26 °C
TMG IA1 (max) 16 °C 47 dBA 1500 rpm 22 °C 30 °C
TMG IA1 (min) 16 °C 57 dBA 2250 rpm 21 °C 30 °C
Zalman CNPS10X Extreme 16 °C 44 dBA 1200 rpm 21 °C 29 °C
Thermaltake ISGC-100 18 °C 44 dBA 1450 rpm 35 °C 49 °C
Noctua NH-U12P (low) 15 °C 42 dBA 1000 rpm

20 °C 30 °C
Noctua NH-U12P 15 °C 46 dBA 1400 rpm 20 °C 28 °C
Noctua NH-C12P 17 °C 46 dBA 1400 rpm 23 °C 28 °C
Thermaltake ISGC-200 21 °C 43 dBA 1100 rpm 31 °C 35 °C
Schythe Kabuto 22 °C 42 dBA 800 rpm 29 °C 34 °C
Arctic Cooling Alpine 11 Pro 20 °C 43 dBA 1500 rpm 32 °C 39 °C
ISGC-300 (min) 18 °C 42 dBA 800 rpm 26 °C 30 °C
ISGC-300 (max) 18 °C 46 dBA 1400 rpm 24 °C 26 °C
SilverStone NT06-E 21 °C 66 dBA 2600 rpm 30 °C 41 °C
Zalman CNPS9700 NT 22 °C 48 dBA 1700 rpm 28 °C 35 °C
Scythe Mugen-2 17 °C 41 dBA 700 rpm 25 °C 30 °C
ISGC-400 (min) 17 °C 44 dBA 850 rpm 24 °C 30 °C
Cooler Master Vortex 752 20 °C 48 dBA 1700 rpm 32 °C 44 °C
iCEAGE Prima Boss (min) 22 °C 42 dBA 1000 rpm 29 °C 36 °C
Evercool Buffalo 17 °C 51 dBA 1850 rpm 22 °C 29 °C
Scythe Big Shuriken 20 °C 42 dBA 900 rpm 31 °C 39 °C
Cooler Master Hyper TX3 21 °C 44 dBA 1700 rpm 30 °C 39 °C
Titan Skalli 20 °C 43 dBA 1200 rpm 27 °C 34 °C
Prolimatech Megahalems Rev. B 21 °C 40 dBA 800 rpm 28 °C 32 °C
Zalman CNPS9900 NT 23 °C 45 dBA 900 rpm 30 °C 34 °C
Cooler Master Hyper N620 21 °C 44 dBA 1200 rpm 28 °C 34 °C
Nexus LOW-7000 R2 23 °C 46 dBA 1400 rpm 33 °C 42 °C
Evercool HPK-10025EA 20 °C 54 dBA 1900 rpm 27 °C 34 °C
Evercool HPH-9525EA 23 °C 50 dBA 1900 rpm 38 °C 49 °C
iCEAGE Prima Boss II 23 °C 42 dBA 1000 rpm 29 °C 35 °C

CPU Fully Loaded

Cooler Room Temp. Noise Fan Speed Base Temp. Core Temp.
Intel stock 14 °C 48 dBA 1740 rpm 42 °C 100 °C
BigTyp 14Pro (min) 17 °C 47 dBA 880 rpm 43 °C 77 °C
BigTyp 14Pro (max) 17 °C 59 dBA 1500 rpm 35 °C 70 °C
Akasa Nero 18 °C 48 dBA 1500 rpm 34 °C 68 °C
Cooler Master V10 14 °C 54 dBA 1900 rpm 24 °C 52 °C
TMG IA1 (max) 16 °C 47 dBA 1500 rpm 27 °C 63 °C
TMG IA1 (min) 16 °C 57 dBA 2250 rpm 25 °C 60 °C
Zalman CNPS10X Extreme 16 °C 51 dBA 1900 rpm 24 °C 50 °C
Thermaltake ISG-100 18 °C 50 dBA 1800 rpm 58 °C 93 °C
Noctua NH-U12P (low) 15 °C 42 dBA 1000 rpm 28 °C 59 °C
Noctua NH-U12P 15 °C 46 dBA 1400 rpm 25 °C 54 °C
Noctua NH-C12P 17 °C 46 dBA 1400 rpm 37 °C 76 °C
Thermaltake ISGC-200 21 °C 48 dBA 1900 rpm 42 °C 68 °C
Scythe Kabuto 22 °C 47 dBA 1200 rpm 38 °C 63 °C
Arctic Cooling Alpine 11 Pro 20 °C 51 dBA 2300 rpm 49 °C 85 °C
ISGC-300 (min) 18 °C 42 dBA 800 rpm 36 °C 64 °C
ISGC-300 (max) 18 °C 46 dBA 1400 rpm 31 °C 56 °C
SilverStone NT06-E 21 °C 66 dBA 2600 rpm 39 °C 96 °C
Zalman CNPS9700 NT 22 °C 56 dBA 2600 rpm 34 °C 63 °C
Scythe Mugen-2 17 °C 46 dBA 1300 rpm 28 °C 54 °C
ISGC-400 (max) 17 °C 47 dBA 1400 rpm 36 °C 69 °C
Cooler Master Vortex 752 20 °C 55 dBA 2300 rpm 48 °C 92 °C
iCEAGE Prima Boss (max) 22 °C 53 dBA 2000 rpm 35 °C 59 °C
Evercool Buffalo 17 °C 51 dBA 1850 rpm 32 °C 67 °C
Scythe Big Shuriken 20 °C 50 dBA 1500 rpm 51 °C 85 °C
Cooler Master Hyper TX3 21 °C 53 dBA 2700 rpm 39 °C 66 °C
Titan Skalli 20 °C 47 dBA 1550 rpm 37 °C 69 °C
Prolimatech Megahalems Rev. B 21 °C 61 dBA 2600 rpm 30 °C 51 °C
Zalman CNPS9900 NT 23 °C 56 dBA 2000 rpm 34 °C 54 °C
Cooler Master Hyper N620 21 °C 50 dBA 1650 rpm 32 °C 56 °C
Nexus LOW-7000 R2 23 °C 53 dBA 1900 rpm 45 °C 74 °C
Evercool HPK-10025EA 20 °C 54 dBA 1900 rpm 39 °C 69 °C
Evercool HPH-9525EA 23 °C 50 dBA 1900 rpm 58 °C 100 °C
iCEAGE Prima Boss II 23 °C 56 dBA 2100 rpm 32 °C 56 °C

The next graph shows how many degrees Celsius the CPU core was hotter than room temperature during our idle tests.

 iCEAGE Prima Boss II

The next graph gives you an idea on how many degrees Celsius the CPU core was hotter than room temperature during our full load tests.

 iCEAGE Prima Boss II

[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]

3R System iCEAGE Prima Boss II main features are:

  • Application: Socket LGA775, 1156, 1366, AM3, AM2+, AM2, 940, 939 and 754 processors.
  • Fins: Aluminum.
  • Base: Aluminum, with heatpipes in direct contact with the CPU.
  • Heat-pipes: Five U-shape 8-mm copper heat-pipes.
  • Fan: 120 mm.
  • Nominal fan speed: 2,000 rpm.
  • Fan air flow: 78.5 cfm.
  • Maximum power consumption: 4.56 W.
  • Nominal noise level: 32 dBA.
  • Weight: 1.61 lbs (730 g).
  • More information: https://www.3rsys.com
  • Average price in the US: This cooler is not sold in the US yet.

[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]

When we tested iCEAGE Prima Boss a couple of months ago we were impressed with its performance. So, when we received this new model, we thought it would not overperform the previous model. Well, we were wrong.

The changes were not substantial, with the addition of one extra heatpipe and a new fin design, but the performance was improved of about 4°C in out tests. The noise level is still good and the installation is simple and steady. Other advantage of this model is the support for sockets 1156 and 1366.

We still do not know how much Prima Boss II will cost, but if the price is equivalent to its predecessor’s, it will surely be a good buy.

3R System iCEAGE Prima Boss II is one of the world’s top performer in today’s CPU coolers market. Due to its great performance, it receives the Hardware Secrets Golden Award seal.