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[nextpage title=”Introduction”]

Continuing our cooler review series, we tested Evercool Buffalo, a low-cost CPU cooler with tower design, two U-shaped 6 mm heatpipes and a 100 mm fan. Will it perform as well as the more expensive coolers? Lets check it out!

Buffalo’s box is simple, cardboard, with a graphic design in shades of red.

Evercool BuffaloFigure 1: Box.

Inside the box we where surprised to find only the cooler itself, plus a white thermal compound tube.

Evercool BuffaloFigure 2: Box contents.

The installation manual is actually on the outside of the box, as we can see in Figure 3. In this picture we also can see the information there is two models, one for Intel socket LGA775 CPUs and other for AMD processors. The product website shows also a new socket LGA1366 version.

Evercool BuffaloFigure 3: Manual on the box side.

[nextpage title=”The Evercool Buffalo”]

The Buffalo is a tower cooler with two 6 mm U-shaped heatpipes and a red 100 mm fan protected by a plastic cage. In Figure 4 we can see a frontal view.

Evercool BuffaloFigure 4: Front view.

In Figure 5 we have a rear view of the cooler, where we can see all the fins.
Evercool BuffaloFigure 5: Rear view. 
In Figure 6 we can see the Buffalo’s side. It is relatively small, compared to some "giants" we have saw last weeks.
Evercool BuffaloFigure 6: Side view.

[nextpage title=”The Evercool Buffalo (Cont’d)”]

The top part of the cooler shows the heatpipes tips, with nickel-plated caps. We can also see the Buffalo cooler logo. A curious thing is the logo show two red bulls, not buffalo. I have the feeling I have already seen this logo somewhere. Maybe I will have an energy drink while I try to remember where I know this scarlet bull from…

Evercool BuffaloFigure 7: Top view.

In Figure 8 we can see the fan connector detail, with three pin, which means it has no PWM automatic speed control.
Evercool BuffaloFigure 8: Fan detail.

The base is made of pure copper, pretty smooth but not a mirrored finish.

Evercool BuffaloFigure 9: Base.

[nextpage title=”Installation”]

As we have seen in the previous figures, Buffalo’s holding system is identhical to the one used on Intel stock coolers. So, you just need to put the cooler in place and press the four clips until you hear the characteristic click.

In Figure 10 we can see how Buffalo looks after it is installed on our motherboard. As it is not very big, it did not interfere with any motherboard component, nor with tall memory modules.

Evercool BuffaloFigure 10: Installed on motherboard.

In Figure 11, you can see the cooler installed into our case. It is not a big cooler, but it is not low, and will not fit slim or SFF cases.

Evercool BuffaloFigure 11: Installed on 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 XP Professional installed on FAT32 partition
  • Service Pack 3
  • Intel Inf driver version: 8.3.1.1009
  • NVIDIA video driver version: 182.08

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 and iCEAGE Prima Boss 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 °
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

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

On the graph below you can see the temperature difference between the cooler base and the room temperature with the CPU idle and fully loaded.  The values shown are in degrees Celsius. Remember that the lower the number the better the cooling performance.

Evercool Buffalo

The next graph will give you an idea on how many degrees Celsius the CPU core was hotter than room temperature during the tests.

 Evercool Buffalo

[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]

Evercool Buffalo main features are:

  • Application: Socket LGA775 processors.
  • Fins: Aluminum.
  • Base: Copper.
  • Heat-pipes: Two 6 mm U-shaped copper heat-pipes.
  • Fan: 100 mm.
  • Nominal fan speed: 1,800 rpm.
  • Fan air flow: Not informed.
  • Maximum power consumption: Not informed.
  • Nominal noise level: 23 dBA.
  • Weight: 1.1 lbs (500 g).
  • More information: https://www.evercool.com.tw
  • Average price in the US*: USD 17.00

* Researched on www.newegg.com on the day this reviews was published.

[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]

The Evercool Buffalo is not a high performance cooler. It is also not a silent cooler and the fact it always works at maximum speed makes it a bad option for someone who needs a silent computer, unless you connect it to a fan controller. So, if we look at the product itself, we concluded it is only an average cooler.

But the picture changes when we analyse the best feature on Buffalo: its price. Compared to other under USD 20 coolers, it has an excellent performance, beating even some more expensive coolers.

So, it deserves the Hardware Secrets Silver Award because, besides not offering a sensational performance, nor an extraordinary look, nor a low noise level, it is one of the best cost/benefit ratio coolers we have seen so far.