Athlon X2 4400 'Toledo', Zalman CNPS-9700 and Spire TherMax Eclipse II - A Review of Sorts
This is a picture of my CPU, it's an AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+. The code name for this processor is Toledo. It has a 2 x 1024KB L2 cache and it's TDP is 125W. It's a socket 939 processor. It is supposed to be clocked at 2.2GHz, but I currently have it at 2.75GHz. I had a chance to take the pictures when I was switching heatsinks.
The 64 was dropped from AMD processors after 64-bit became the standard.
The reason that I was changing heatsinks was because the Zalman CNPS-9700 LED that I bought about 5 years ago was defective. I should have sent it back after receiving it.
The LED on the fan never did work and the noise it made was much louder than it should have been. I can't say for certain if the noise problem was just with mine or if it's the entire batch of this model, since mine is the only one I've heard.
The Zalman did its job, that's why I made the mistake of keeping it; it cooled the CPU perfectly, until some time around last year. It must have been getting worse with time because my recent temperatures were unacceptable. I could no longer deal with the sound the Zalman made, it was breaking my brain, so I replaced it with the Spire TherMax Eclipse II.
I chose the TherMax Eclipse II because it had the highest rating for cooling AMD processors, according to a reputable review site. The Eclipse II is dual fan mountable (12cm fans) and it's big. It works damn well, too! If only it wasn't for its fan mounting system, it would be perfect.
Although the temperatures are amazing with only one fan mounted, the fan mounting system is horrible. It's so bad that it makes me wish I had purchased a different heatsink. The heatsink seems to be about half a centimetre shorter than the fans it's supposed to support. The fan mounts won't stay in the heatsink if you try to mount the fan properly. You have to force the mounts into the fan while at the same time pulling on them, to jam them into the heatsink. It is almost impossible to install this heatsink in the first place, with a 939 socket. When you finally get the heatsink installed and you get to the fans, they can't be mounted properly!
The bad mounting leads to vibration and the possibility of a fan falling off. I'm down to one fan because the second one was vibrating so much that it was nearly detached. It's nearly impossible, once you have the motherboard installed, to put the fans on the heatsink, or to tighten them if they are loose.
I might test the heatsink with no fans on, see how the temperatures are on that. If they are low enough, I will keep it that way. Otherwise, I'll have to take the motherboard out of the case and try to put both of the fans back on.
If the Eclipse II had a working mounting system, it would be the quietest I've ever heard, and the cooling capacity would be the best in its class, but it does not. I would not recommend this heatsink over a model that is known to have a functioning fan mounting system.