It seems like an eternity for many. Even with the release of their latest i5 processors, Intel has maintained the general design of their stock cooler for nearly a decade; since the dawn of the Pentium 4. With Gulftown however, they look to redefine out of the box cooling and it appears the old cooler’s days are numbered.
For the after-market community the Intel stock cooler was the basis of comparison. Known for its finicky mounting system, often less than adequate cooling, and sometimes downright loud operation. It was also – until now – a solution that never seemed to die despite it’s flaws, because, well… it just worked.
With six core processors on the horizon it is time to lay that old cooler to rest. In its place will rise a new contender, a tower based heatsink that may actually have some potential. The design is based on the traditional tower cooler that many enthusiasts have known to be an excellent performer. Using four copper heatpipes connected to an aluminum fin array, it has the hallmark of being a much better performer than its predecessor.
The one thing that it will most surely shine for is its new, hassle free, mounting. Long gone are the traditional push pins that many despise. In its place, rests a much more effective back plate and screw retention system; a feature that almost anyone who has installed a stock Intel cooler can appreciate.
The active cooling comes from an integrated LED fan that is controlled via PWM. While the control method is still gaining traction with aftermarket CPU coolers, its nice to see Intel adopting it to appease those who like a little flair.
Performance and installation feedback of the upcoming cooler remains to be seen, but after a decade of service, we looking forward to honourably discharging our rounded push-pin veteran.