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Case, Power Supply, Fan Reviews
  Product:     Cooler Master CM Blue Ice  
  Price:     $33 (CAN) / $26 (U.S)
  Supplied By:     Cooler Master
  Author:     Mars
  Date:     July 26th, 2005
  Rating:     star star star star star star star star 

MODTHEBOX would like to thank Lucy from Cooler Master for providing the Cooler Master CM Blue Ice for review.

Cooler Master

Introduction:

The Northbridge chip is a vital part of a computers operation. It is responsible for managing the RAM, CPU, AGP, and in some platforms, the on-board audio data transfer. In doing so it generates a fair amount of heat, which as we all know is bad. Heat will shorten the life expectancy of any device and can cause system instability even in the average users computer. Heat is even more of a problem for overclockers, and dissipating it is an ongoing quest for the quietest most efficient products. Motherboard manufactures usually overlook this facet of cooling, providing a solution that is cost effective at the sacrifice of better cooling. Today in the MTB Labs, we will be evaluating Cooler Masters’ latest Northbridge chipset cooling solution called the CM Blue Ice (RT-UCL-L4U1).

Specifications:

The CM Blue Ice is the first Northbridge active cooling product from Cooler Master and is designed to cool down the temperature of Northbridge chipset and surrounding components. Having an efficient Northbridge cooler like CM Blue Ice will make up a high percentage of overall system activity and stability. Here are some of the specifications taken directly from the Cooler Master website:

Cooler Master CM Blue Ice - Key Specifications:
CM Blue Ice: Manufactured by Cooler Master
Heatsink Dimension: 60mm x 47mm x 69mm
Heatsink Material: Aluminum fins with copper base
Fan Dimension: 40mm x 40mm x 10mm
Fan Speed: 4500 RPM
Fan Air Flow: 4.5 CFM
Fan Life Expectance: 20,000 hrs
Bearing Type: Sleeve
Noise Level: 22 ~26 dBA
Weight: 140g
Universal application for all platforms
User-friendly retention module (Patent pending)
High efficiency cooler with embedded 40mm super silent blue LED fan
Special connection design between fin and heat-pipe achieves excellent heat dissipation
Charming small and exquisite outline

Cooler Master CM Blue Ice
Click image for larger view
Cooler Master CM Blue Ice
Click image for larger view
 

The CM Blue Ice is packaged in a plastic clamshell blister pack sporting the Cooler Master purple, blue and white color scheme. The writing on the front highlights the key product details, and on the back are the product specifications.

Cooler Master CM Blue Ice
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Cooler Master CM Blue Ice
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Opening up the package you will find the cooler itself, instruction manual, and the needed hardware.

Cooler Master CM Blue Ice
Click image for larger view
Cooler Master CM Blue Ice
Click image for larger view
 
Out of the box, my initial impression of the CM Blue Ice was somewhat negative since I had limited installation options for this cooler. The Northbridge chip on my Asus A7N8X socket A (462 pin) N-Force 2 board is placed near the CPU, and the Cooler Master CPU (or other large types of CPU coolers) will not allow the installation of a taller Northbridge cooler. On the other hand, I was able to install the CM Blue Ice with the stock AMD and Nexus branded CPU cooler. After looking at a few motherboards manufacturer’s websites, it became apparent that the location of the Northbridge chip may be problematic for this cooler, for both AMD and Intel platforms. This is not definitive though, as I did not look at every motherboard on the market today, only some of the more popular ones. Before purchasing this product check your motherboard for compatibility and any installation restriction problems that may arise.
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