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Corsair Air Series A50

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      29.02.2012 08:21
      Very helpful



      Well recommended fan for all but the most extreme overclockers

      This is a BIG fan. I have it installed on my intel i5 2500k processor, and compared to the stock fan that came with it this is HUGE. The heatsink makes up the bulk of the cooler, and will take up the width of your computer case. Going back to the old 'is bigger better?' debate in the case of heatsinks bigger is definitly better.

      Then the fan itself is a 120mm quiet fan that operates at 2000rpm. This is capable of doing some serious cooling, useful in prolonging the lifetime of your components (and in this day and age when computer components are getting so powerful there is less of an urge to upgrade every year or so, so if you can extend the lifetime of your components then definitely go for it).

      The other main advantage of buying a seperate cooler over the stock one which comes with your processor is overclocking. If you want to overclock then the stock fan that comes with the processor is not going to be any good. This processor, costing around £25, is an essential for increasing performance of your whole computer without spending a fortune.

      However, if you're really serious about overclocking you might want to look at spending a little more on a cooler, possibly even watercooling. That's not to say you can't use this fan, my processor's initial clock speed was 3.30 ghz and I have it overclocked to 4 ghz, and under stress testing the processor never gets above an impressive 70°. However with a Tj max of 98° (in laymans terms this means the processor can't get any hotter than this and still operate) if you were looking at overclocking this processor to around about 5ghz (which it is more than capable of doing) you might struggle to keep the temperature below the Tj max.

      This fan is designed to be installed on both AMD and Intel processors. It supports sockets:
      Socket 775
      Socket 1156
      Socket AM2
      Socket 1366
      Socket AM3
      Whilst not officially listed on the box my processor is socket 1155 and if set up to use the 1156 mounting brackets it fits perfectly.

      Depending on your model of processor it has slightly different mounting options. AMD fans are easier to install in general, with the folding lever design, but since I'm using it on an Intel processor I'll describe installation on that. First off, I had just installed my brand new motherboard in the case when I realised I had to remove it to put that fan on. Whilst that's a limitation of the case I have and I'm led to believe that most modern cases actually have space to get underneath the motherboard to install the fan this was a bit of an inconveniance. And something to bear in mind when you're installing it.

      Then, because it is designed to operate with several different sizes of socket you need to adjust the mounting bracket to the right one, but this is straightforward enough. Apply thermal solution, place the heatsink on and screw in the heatsink with the four screws provided, turning each screw once at a time. Relatively straightforward to install, only a bit of a nuisance if your case desigh doesn't provide access to the bottom of the motherboard. Not as easy as AMD processors, but since I recommend Intel don't let the slightly more difficult to install fans put you off.

      There is a cable which comes with the fan allowing the option of it running at a slower rpm therefore being quieter, and if not overclocking I would definitly recommend this. Whilst the fan is not LOUD as such, it's definitly audible at its top speed.

      So in conclusion, if you're looking for a cpu fan which will keep your components even cooler than the stock ones and extend the lifetime of your product I would highly recommend this. If you want to do some 'casual' overclocking and aren't too worried about getting the absolute max out of your processor, as I have, then again I would recommend it. A good price for effective cooling. However if you really want to overclock the processor to the max you would need to consider spending a lot more money on a watercooling system, however this is a more specialised market so I would definitly recommend it over the stock fan's that Intel supply with the processor.


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