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Sunday, 25 May 2008 15:20

Cooler Master CM Sphere tested

Written by Sanjin Rados

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Review: Stylish design and silent operation


CM Sphere is one of the latest CoolerMaster CPU coolers we’ve seen, and this baby is all about style. It’s made of copper, so besides the looks, it should perform well, too.

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Four copper heatpipes, each 6mm in diameter, have the job of routing the heat from the cooler’s base to the heatsink, and, as you can see from this picture, this cooler has a lot of surface for dissipation. The heatpipe starts on the cooler’s base and forms a semi-circle shape around the sphere. You can see where the heatpipe starts and another ends from the picture. The heatsink is made of copper fins that make up a nice sphere, with a fan in the middle.

A diagram on CoolerMaster’s Webpage says that the fan intakes the air from above and below, and blows it across the heatsink evenly.

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The fan is placed in the middle, and its position is fixed by plastic holders on the top of the sphere. Taking it out for cleaning is easy, and it measures 66 x 68mm in diameter. RPM is static and specs say it’s somewhere around 2200RPM, although in our case it ran at 2400 RPM. The cooler has no RPM regulation and is connected through a 3-pin cable. Specs also say that the generated noise reaches up to 22dBA, and we can confirm that it was silent during testing.

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This cooler looks nice even without the fan, but of course, it wouldn’t be a good idea leaving it like this.

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The fan also has blue LED lamps that add a sense of depth while the cooler is running, and it looks as if some blue light is captured in the sphere. The picture below shows that it fit in our testbed with ease.

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CM Sphere comes wrapped in a simple black box, featuring a picture of the cooler on top and a plastic panel on the back, so you can see the cooler’s base.

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The sides of the box contain some basic info on systems supporting CoolerMaster’s CM Sphere cooling.

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The cooler is wrapped in plastic, so that you can take a look at it without taking it out of the box, and to protect it from potential damage. You can mount these coolers on Intel Socket LGA775 or AMD Socket (AM2/ 940/939/754).

 

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To mount this cooler, you need to bolt it from the other side of the motherboard, and we didn’t like that at all. Everything necessary for the mounting procedure comes with the Sphere cooler, and mounting takes approximately 10 minutes. You’ll have to apply thermal paste to the cooler’s base before the mounting process.

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We had some trouble during mounting, because we screwed the bolts in clockwise motion, but for some reason CoolerMaster opted for counter-clockwise bolts. Still, instructions in no less than 15 languages should help you with just about anything.

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You need to apply thermal paste on the base, and CoolerMaster placed a plastic wrap on it, to make sure it’s not damaged.

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Testbed:

Motherboard: EVGA 780i SLI (Provided by EVGA)

Processor:
Intel Core 2 QX6850, 4x 3.00GHz   (Provided by Intel)

Memory:
Corsair Corsair  M2X2048-6400C4DHX  4-4-4-12 (4x2GB)  (Provided by Corsair)

Graphics Card:
XFX Geforce 9800 GX2 (SLI) (Provided by XFX)

PSU: CoolerMaster Real Power M 1000 (Provided by CoolerMaster)


Hard disk:
Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 80GB SATA (Provided by Seagate)

CPU-Cooler:

CoolerMaster CM Sphere (Provided by CoolerMaster)
GlacialTech Igloo 5750  (Provided by GlacialTech)

Case:
CoolerMaster Cosmos S (Provided by CoolerMaster)

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Results:

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CM Sphere cooler is nice, but it’s not for high-end processors or overclocking. We tested it with Intel’s Quad QX6850 processor, and using Prime95 test, CPU temperatures hit 78°C. Idle temperatures were much better and stayed around 40°C.
 

Conclusion

CM Sphere is a nice CPU cooler with attractive looks. It’s 100% manufactured from copper, which has better thermal characteristics than aluminum, a material often used for coolers due to its lower price. It’s sphere-shaped, and the radial fan is mounted in the middle. The cooler was silent, in both idle and workload scenarios. The fan has a fixed RPM, which brought about 78°C temperatures when using our testing quad QX6850 processor.

If you want a fancy cooler, the sphere is one of prime candidates, and with its blue lights it will most certainly make the insides of any case look nicer. It’s not a large cooler, and it’ll fit any case so anyone can use it. The same goes for the price – we found it priced at €31, which is a great deal for such a nicely designed CPU cooler.

If you’re not using high-end processors and/or aren’t keen on too much overclocking, CM Sphere could be the cooler for you.

Last modified on Monday, 26 May 2008 16:12
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