A long, long time ago (1993, I think it was), I read a review in a print magazine of a first-generation Intel® Pentium®-based system. In it, the reviewer extolled the virtues of the new processor with the funny name, yet chided it for the massive power dissipation. The maximum power dissipation for the 66MHz part was almost 16W. This necessitated the use of a passive heatsink.
Fast forward to 2004 - and you have the 3.2GHz Pentium 4E processor which dissipates over 100W (think bright incandescent light bulb hot!). Almost as hot is the AMD Athlon 64 FX-53 processor which has a maximum power output of 89W! That's a lot of heat to dissipate from a relatively tiny processor.
Enter the CPU cooler. Cooler designs have come a long way since the simple forged lumps of aluminium used in the old days of passive cooling. Now, copper-based coolers with heatpipes are becoming almost de rigeur.
Today, we will be taking a look at a no-nonsense cooler - the KestrelKing III from Spire. Designed for Athlon 64 and Opteron processors, this cooler will fit any processor using Sockets 754, 939 and 940. Note: The KestrelKing III is also known by its model number - SP703C3-1.
But first, let's take a look at Spire...
Spire is a 13-year-old company with corporate offices in the US and production facilities in China. Spire is part of the Fanner Group, which is made up of two companies - Spire and Speeze.
Their product line is mainly focused on coolers for computers with a side serving of modding products (LED fans, CCFLs, etc.). The subject of our review today is their mid-range Athlon 64 cooler - the Spire KestrelKing III.
Now, let's get on with the review!