Cooler Master Blue Ice Pro Chipset Cooler
Author: Zahn Funk
Editor: Shawn Knight
Date: 09-25-2006
Provided by: Cooler Master

First I have to remove the stock cooler on my Chaintech VNF4. It's a pretty typical design, thick aluminum fin low-profile heatsink with a 40mm fan.

Unfortunately you have to remove the motherboard to access the plastic pushpins from underneath. Once they are pinched and pushed back through the board, the heatsink comes free and the chipset can be cleaned of thermal compound. You can see that the stock heatsink base finish is not very smooth either.

Compared to the stock heatsink, the Blue Ice Pro is slightly taller, although still a lower profile design than many aftermarket coolers. If your board design has the chipset at the end of a PCIe slot you'll want to make sure you've got enough clearance height-wise.

Cooler Master includes this foam pad border to help prevent the heatsink from rocking and possibly damaging the chip. Some stock chipset coolers come with something similar however mine did not.

Since Intel boards use hooks to secure their chipset coolers, the Blue Ice Pro uses the same setup and includes plastic pushpins with metal loops for us AMD users. The hooks then attach to the loops and the screws are tightened down to pull the heatsink tightly against the chipset.

Upon installation I immediately noticed a problem. In fact, while I was tightening the screws down one of the clips rotated and all of a sudden the computer powered on! I quickly yanked the power cord, but the damage may have already been done.

There are so many components clustered around the mounting holes on my board that no matter which way I oriented the clips there was metal touching. The design of the fasteners does not provide any insulation between the metal base of the loop and the motherboard.

Since Cooler Master doesn't provide any washers with this cooler I had to dig up my own. These are the cardboard type paper washers that typically come with motherboard mounting hardware.

With the washers in place I then reinstalled the loops. Due to the extra thickness of the washers I had to press hard to get the pushpins all the way through the board.

I had to reseat the Blue Ice Pro three times to get it mounted straight. It kept wanting to go crooked once the screws were tightened. The bracket does not allow for a true corner to corner angle because the screws holding the fan on extend down and interfere with the bracket placement.

Eventually I got it aligned to my satisfaction and powered the system on. Everything seems to work okay, and with the lights out, the Blue Ice Pro LEDs come to life, providing a subtle glow to the motherboard.

Now for some performance comparisons.

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