Tennmax VivaK7-STF Cooler

Introduction
Probably best known for their Lasagna line of graphics chip coolers, Tennmax also produces an exceptional line of CPU coolers. Produced for use with AMD's Athlon SECC processor, the VivaK7-STF offers quality design and construction that not only offers great thermal protection for your CPU but the added bonus of helping to remove heat from the backside of your AGP graphics card as well.
For a list price of $29.00 the VivaK7-STF combines dual 15mm 17 CFM fans (34 CFM total) mounted on a 25mm heatsink which provides exceptional thermal properties while maintaining an economy of overall dimension. The VivaK7-STF will fit virtually every K7 mainboard available at this time.

Shipped with generous portion of thermal grease (approx. 1/2oz.), the VivaK7-STF uses a high thermal conductivity aluminum alloy to fabricate both heatsink and cover. The heatsink itself is made up of a dozen or so 23mm deep channels which run the length of the sink. These channel walls are machined with very fine grooves or micro-fins to create a larger surface to aid in heat dissipation. 
Unlike the unit we tested the VivaK7-STF against (GlobalWin FJK50), the VivaK7 makes flush contact with the entire heat-plate of the Athlon processor and the channels on the sink direct the air-flow above and below the processor. The directed air-flow below the processor pushes a great deal of air across the back of the first expansion card on the system board which in most cases will be your AGP graphics adapter helping to keep it cool as well. The dual fans are powered through through a single 3-pin Molex connector on the mainboard which is a plus as many dual fan coolers require you to make two distinct connections. I should also add that the dual-lever clip design holds the sink securely in place - much more so than the spring clips on the FJK50.

 

Test Configuration for Cooler Comparison

Mainboard Gigabyte GA-7IX
Chipset AMD 750 
Processor AMD Athlon 500MHz
Memory 2x64MB PC133
Generic CAS 3
Hard Drive Western Digital AC29100 
9.1G Ultra ATA/66 7200RPM
Graphics Adapter Elsa Winner II 16MB Savage4 AGP X2
Operating System Windows 98 SE

The Test
   To test the heat dissipation properties of both our coolers we started with the machine at room temperature (22.1C). After booting we put the machine through a single iteration of BapCo's SYSmark 2000, after which we took our measurements. We measured the temperature using a PICO TH-03 Thermistor approximately 3mm above and a bit right of center but below the level of the fan with the thermistor clamped in place to the upper drive bays. Since we were testing the overclocking properties of the cooler, the plastic rear casing of the Athlon was removed (this action alone often results in the reduction of heat by 2 to 4C.

Warning: Although as far as I can tell the Athlon can take a good deal of abuse, overclocking your processor beyond the manufacturer's specifications is not without risk. In addition to permanent damage, your warranty will be void. Use proper cooling!!! Modifying your processor to run out of OEM specifications is done at your own risk.

   Overclocking the AMD Athlon often requires increases to the CPUs core voltage.  This in turn can create significantly more heat. Testing the temperatures of both cooling units resulted in the following results - (all temperatures are in degrees Celsius - lower is better!):

Conclusion
   As you can see the VivaK7-STF out performed the GlobalWin FJK50 by as much as 7C (which works out to approx. 12F)!  This is what you want to look for when you start to think about overclocking.

VivaK7-STF Scorecard

Pros

  • Super Twin Fans (STF) @ 17 CFM each, 34 CFM total air flow.

  • Quality, long lasting, ball bearing fans. 

  • Total height is 40 mm, (15 mm fans & 25 mm heatsink - Fits all current Athlon Mainboards!

  • Single spliced 3-wire Molex connector for both fans to mainboard.

  • Easy Push Lever Clip design. Solid construction.

  • High thermal conductivity Aluminum Alloy extruded with micro-fins for heatsink.

  • Designed for aggressive overclocking of Athlon processors.

  • Thermal grease is provided in the cooler package.

Cons

  • Fans generate significantly higher noise level

  • Cost - Just a bit on the pricey side but you get what you pay for!  Excellent quality and workmanship

  • Weight - The VivaK7-STF weighs more than double that of the GlobalWin Cooler

 I had to go a long way to put up some cons!  It is true that the VivaK7-STF generates more noise but considering that it has 2 fans instead of one, that is to be expected. We'll be taking a look at Tennmax' Lasagna BGA Coolers in the near future but I have to say, if the VivaK7-STF is any indication I'm very impressed with the quality of Tennmax' components!

You can find out more about the VivaK7-STF and other types and styles of PC coolers 
at the Tennmax web site at - http://www.tennmax.com  

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