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Reviewed by: Ed Lau [02.26.03]
Edited by: Carl Nelson

Manufactured by: Coolermaster
Est. Street Price: $10-15

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While it is still rather vanilla compared to the likes of the Volcano 9 Coolmod and the Vantec Aeroflow, the X-Dream does have its merits when it comes to looks.  The heatsink is the usual boring aluminum affair we see all too often but the fan sports a more unique look.  With its bright blue fan and branded hologram in the center of the sleek looking "aerodynamic" grille, this unit looks... above average when spinning up.


Not quite as absolutely boring as the Vantec CopperX but the X-Dream isn't going to win too many beauty contests either.

That's it... PUSH!

Not quite as painful as childbirth (so I've heard...) but close.  I had the worst time trying to attach this heatsink. 


Incorporating the increasingly popular mounting system that uses all six points on a AMD socket, the
X-Dream tries hard to be user friendly but falls short.  The idea behind the clip is great, using a toolless thumb tab instead of the usual screwdriver slot, but the execution is poor.


Unlike the rather easy to use clips seen on Vantec's latest releases, the X-Dream's clip is stiff and
difficult to manuver.  I attribute this to being hinged at the bottom instead of at the top.  I tried
at least 10 times before getting it to attach properly, as you have to push the last little bit of the
thumb tab instead of the whole thing in order to get the holes into the right position.  Also, because of the combo's considerable size, it was difficult to get ahold of the mount on the opposite side to keep them in place while pushing down on the tab.  Coolermaster needs to go back to the drawing board on this one.

Also, for motherboards where the socket is right at the top pointing upwards (such as on the first version of Abit's MAX boards), the clip may stick out a little more than one would prefer.

The cooler comes with the usual free goo in addition to the extras mentioned above.

Testing Methods

As you know, we've been recording temperatures using thermistors mounted directly onto the CPU for the past months as it is more accurate than thermistors on the motherboard, which are actually
mounted in the socket under the chip.

However, even this has a margin of error. New motherboards are finally allowing the use of the Athlon XP's built-in thermal diode. This method of temperature measure should, in theory, be even more accurate than our previous testing method so we will be using this procedure for this review.

The test machine consists of a AGOIA 1800+ (1.53 GHz) Athlon Xp mounted on a MSI KT3 Ultra-ARU with a single stick of 512MB Samsung PC2700 DDR333 RAM.

The case has changed since my last heatsink fan test from a Xaser II to a Xaser III.  I have turned off two of the fans (the blowhole and one side intake) to reduce the difference between the two cases to a minimum.  There should only be a small, if any, discrepancy.

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