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TennMax Lasagna

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1 Review

High Performance cooling device is ideal, if you have
limited space in Workstation, SBC, Embedded PC, and
all hot chipsets (3Dfx, nVidia, 3DLabs, Matrox, ATI, S3, Number 9, etc.)

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    Your dooyooMiles Miles

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      26.09.2001 07:07
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      Ahem, Ladies and Gentlemen – this little beasty is the Tennmax BGA Lasagne Cooler Type B – although as we shall see later on, the type does not really matter! This is, once again – a fairly techy opinion, sorry! « BG COOLER HUH? « OK OK, I’ll start at the beginning. The Lasagne it a device that is used to cool modern graphics cards to prevent the amount of heat they chuck out harming themselves, in my case a Geforce DDR. The cooler is 4cm square and 1cm tall so you should be able to attach it to card without fowling up access to any of the PCI slots below your graphics card. The Lasagne (All types) works both as a heatsink and a cooling fan, for maximum cooling efficiency. The fan is a 12vDC (Which is what it pretty much has to be without an adapter) ball bearing fan behind a plastic finger guard. The fan takes it’s power via a pass through four point molex connector. Ah, I see from your eyes you don’t know what that is! Right, well if you’ve ever been inside your computer you will have seen large chunky plugs going into your drives at the front of the computer. The one’s with four cables coming out the back, yellow, two black and red. Those chunky connectors are the molex’s and are the standard way of giving computer parts juice. The Lasagne’s molex assembly consists of a short length of cable connecting male and female molex connectors with a wire leaving the male connector and going to the Lasagne. Basically, it works like a very small extension as far as getting power to your other devices. The only thing to watch for is the length of cable you have between the molex and the Lasagne, namely 28cm – depending on the layout of your case this may require some jigging around to get everything plugged in neatly. The heatsink part of the Lasagne is what takes the device to it’s 4cm square footprint. It consists of nine layers of metal, each with a small gap –
      the idea of this is to have a large area to conduct heat to the surrounding air, with the fan moving the heated air away. The Lasagne is a well machined lump of metal, no rough edges and even a little routing channel for the power cable – very tidy! I couldn’t wait to slap the beast onto my graphics card and see how it performed. « WHY GET ONE? « Tennmax say that the Lasagne coolers are more efficient than the standard coolers found on graphics card and that they are also quieter. Well, that pretty much sums up why I wanted to get one – cooler cards mean less crashes and the fan on my existing cooler was throwing diesel powered grinding fits at me. Oh and it only costs £17.93 including shipping from America, which isn’t bad! « INSTALLATION « First step in installing anything in a computer is to take a look at the manual/quickstart/installation guide that comes with the device. In this case the installation guide looked like a photocopy of a photocopy of a photocopy and was so very hard to read. So I just chucked it over my shoulder and set about installing the device as I had read on Tennmax’s website, as always I was assisted by John (coxy123) because let’s face it – most computer parts are designed to be fitted by four hands, not two! ««« WARNING ««« I and your graphics card manufacturer give no warranty cover or anything with what follows here – it is merely what myself and John did to fit the Lasagne and in 99% of cases it WILL void the warranty on your graphics card. I didn’t do this because I was stupid though, oh no – my warranty had expired anyway – and my fan was threatening to expire :). First of all, in fact, before you order your Lasagne, you need to decide what type you require. You have a choice of three, A, B and 0. Type A comes with ‘diagonal’ corners for mounting. So when you get to the corners
      of the Lasagne, the mounts go out diagonally something like this… __/ ? Type B comes with ‘side’ corners. So when you get to the corners of the Lasagne, the mounts go out at ninety degrees something like this… ___ ? Finally, type 0 comes with ‘no’ corners. Instead you have to stick it to your graphics card chip with some funky thermally conductive epoxy glue stuff. Figuring out which cooler to get was actually a bit of a headache for me – you have to decide by finding the mounting holes on your graphics card which for me was a case of couldn’t see the hole’s for the tree’s. The trick is to look for the two large holes near the chipset. If you’re lucky, you’re existing cooler will already be mounted using pins in these holes and you can just lift it out once the pins are released… If not then you have to go through following theatrics… My existing cooler (Complete with grinding fan) had to be removed. The fan was no problem at all, unscrew at the four corners of the heatsink and then yank out the two pin power supply. Getting rid of the heatsink though will provide you no end of fun. See, it’s stuck on with that funky thermal epoxy stuff and you have to SNAP it off. Epoxy get’s brittle when it’s cold so we left the card to cool for plenty of time before inserting a butter knife (Anything wide and thin will do the job) and trying to twist it off. Don’t try and force the knife between the chipset and the heatsink, it won’t happen – instead use the gap between the circuit board and the heatsink to lever. No joy however getting the heatsink off, so next we stuck it in a ziplock bag with some of that strange “don’t eat” silicate gel (To deal with the moisture that may form) and put it in a fridge for a few minutes. One chilled card later we tried again, st
      ill no joy. So this time we put it in the freezer for 10 or so minutes. Got the card out, inserted knife, twisted and BANG. Off popped the heatsink, leaving behind a mess of epoxy on the chip. We cleaned this off with a razor blade, although we have since found a better solution for cleaning chipsets is the following… Get some nail polish remover, some meths (Or isopropyl alcohol if you can actually find anywhere that sells it you), plenty of paper towel, a lint free cloth (IE, lens cloth) and a well ventilated area. Dab wads of paper towel in the nail polish remover and gently rub the chipset – the glue/thermal compound (This works equally as well for both) will soften and come off, just ensure you change wads regularly or you will find you end up spreading the glue around. Once your happy that you’ve got all the muck off, wipe the chipset with a dry paper towel. Now apply a cautious amount of meths (isopropyl) to a wad of paper towel and again rub the chipset. This removes the nail polish remover, which is flammable. Yes I know meths is as well, but if you only use a small amount and then leave the card for about one hour near that source of ventilation (IE, window – duh!) then it will evaporate off. Finally, wipe the card with some clean paper towel and then the lint free cloth. The card is now ready to be worked on! The top of the Geforce chipset isn’t quite flat, so as instructed by Tennmax’s website, we levelled it off using thermal compound (Arctic Silver II in this case), using a razor blade and a hand in a plastic bag to smooth the compound. In case you are wondering how we looked at this when my graphics card wasn’t in the case, we were working on my computer at John’s house so we could use his computer to look up anything that may help get my computer going. This is always a good idea! Next you need to separate the mounting pins from their jackets. And place the jackets in the two
      mounting holes on the Lasagne. Now lower the cooler onto the chipset, ensuring the jackets go through the mounting holes on the chipset. Next insert the pins into the jackets, this pushes the bottom part of the jackets out (|| to /\), pulling the cooler down onto the chipset and securing it there. You’re now ready to use the card! Thermal conductivity is taken care of by a sticky thermal pad on the bottom of the cooler that melts as soon as heat is applied (From the chipset), forming a thermal contact. « PERFORMANCE « So how good is it? Not very unfortunately, the heatsink got hot but the weak fan didn’t seem to move any air away from the heatsink. In turn the card itself got to hot to touch comfortably (The heatsink would readily burn you if you touched it for more than an instant) and this led to the card crashing when it was working hard – ie, when I was playing games. Considering the effort I had gone to to get this device imported from the USA I was a bit gutted that it wasn’t doing the job. During our week of summer I had to leave the case panel off or the computer would just lock simply under the pressure of running windows! Basically, it’s worse than the original cooler. So did I do to sort it out? Well, escape plan A was to make my own cooler out of a decent Papst fan, an old Pentium heatsink and some thermal glue. I even considered chopping up another old heatsink and sticking the pieces to the memory chips on the bottom of the card (That faces upwards). However, I was saved from this hassle when I discovered what could possibly be the best heatsink in the world for sale. This magnificent thing manages to cool my Geforce reliably without needing a fan, although it recommends one for the Geforce, it doesn’t seem to need it. Although I still might attach heatsinks to the memory chips as the card is just below my exhaust fan and that strikes me as a good way of getting heat out, which may as
      sist stability on hot days. I’ll review this incredible device just as soon as I can get it added to the site.

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