Coolink ChipChilla Page: 1
Introduction
 
I'm sure that many of you will agree that in recent times overclocking has become considerably more mainstream. With motherboard manufacturers producing increasingly better/stable boards designed for overclockers and those new to the 'art', there are possibly more people overclocking now than ever before. However, as many enthusiasts know that with an increase in performance courtesy of overclocking; the increased voltage required to push CPU's and their chipsets to the bleeding edge has an unfortunate by-product...heat. And the reality is that if you can't keep the heat issue under control then a myriad of nasty things tend to happen.
 
We have seen many weird and wonderful ideas that manufacturers have built into their motherboards in order to counteract the issues associated with heat. Heatpipes, passive heatsinks, active heatsinks and hybrid water-cooled/passive variety are all very familiar forms of chipset cooling present on many motherboards today, and depending on how much additional performance you want to extract from your system they do provide some success.
 
Coolink are a European based company that are looking towards providing reasonably cheap, yet competent and functional cooling methods for todays hardware. Today we have been fortunate enough to have been given the opportunity to review Coolink' ChipChilla active chipset heatsink.
 
Coolink
 
Let's familiarise ourselves a little better with Coolink before commencing the review:
 
Coolink is a brand of the Kolink International Corporation and stands for an effective conjunction of no-frills performance, excellent quality and attractive pricing. Coolink - the direct link to affordable high-end cooling!

Kolink International Corporation is a cooling specialist established in 1996 and well known among industry insiders. Throughout the years, Kolink designed and manufactured many top-performing heat-sinks under various brand names that succeeded in international markets. An experienced R&D team and ultra-modern production plants in Taiwan ensure continuous progress, efficient manufacturing conditions and strict quality standards.

About Coolink & Coolink-Europe
Kolink's retail brand Coolink stands for an effective conjunction of no-frills performance, excellent quality and attractive pricing. While Coolink held a strong presence in the Asian market ever since the late 90ies, it was not until 2005 that the brand was introduced to the European market on a large scale. After the launch of Coolink-Europe.com in late 2005, Coolink quickly became a well recognized brand for high-quality cooling components in Europe too.
 
Additionally, let's take a look at the the ChipChilla's specifications which were taken directly from Coolink's ChipChilla Product Page.
 
Is your chipset overheating? Featuring a large 6mm Dual-Heatpipe and a quiet 60mm fan, the ChipChilla easily chills today's hot & overclocked chipsets while keeping noise at a minimum. Thanks to the asymmetrical design and the flexible mounting system for mainboards with push-pins and mounting-hooks, the ChipChilla offers broad compatibility with Intel & AMD motherboards.

* Large 6mm Dual-Heatpipe for maximum cooling performance
* Quiet 60mm fan for faster heat dissipation at minimum noise levels (19dB)
* Asymmetrical design ensures optimal compatibility
* Flexible, easy-to-use mounting system for Intel and AMD mainboards with push-pins & mounting-hooks


Height (without fan): 94mm
Width (without fan): 60mm
Depth (without fan): 32mm
Height (with fan): 94mm
Width (with fan): 60mm
Depth (with fan): 37mm
Weight: 130g
Material: Copper (base and heat-pipes), aluminium(cooling fins)
Mounting: Push-Pins & Mounting-Hooks
Fan: 60x60x10mm
Rotational Speed (+/- 10%): 2200rpm
Acoustical Noise: 19dB(A)
Scope of Delivery: Cooler, Fan, Mounting Parts, Thermal Paste, Installation Manual
Warranty: 3 Years
MSRP:  € 16,90
 
Nothing out of the ordinary here. Let's head over the page to become a little better acquainted with the ChipChilla.


Coolink ChipChilla Page: 2
Packaging
 
The ChipChilla comes in an attractive blister style package that allows you to see the product quite well even before you've opened it. Behind the heatsink is a second blister pack that is moulded to the rear profile of the ChipChilla and it contains your mounting hardware etc.
 
ChipChilla package front ChipChilla package rear
ChhipChilla angled front view
 
Apart from the lack of some staples to help keep the plastic blister attached to the cardboard insert, the ChipChilla should arrive safely and in one piece. The heatsink contained within does fit very snugly in the included packaging.
 
Opening up the ChipChilla packaging reveals a very well written installation manual and the included mounting hardware.
 
ChipChilla contents Installation manual
 
Included in the packaging were:
 
 
* 1 x Coolink ChipChilla heatsink and fan
* 1 x Chipset foam spacer
* 2 x push-pins
* 1 x motherboard hook
* Thermal paste sachet
* Installation manual.
 
 
Now I know that you are all eager to get a closer look at the Coolink ChipChilla so let's get a little better acquainted with the heatsink and its features shall we.
 
A Closer Look
 
The Coolink ChipChilla is certainly one of the more robust chipset heatsinks that we've seen here at OC3D. It is certainly wider than offerings from both Noctua and Thermalright thanks to the inclusion of the fan. The increased thickness of the heatsink and fan assembly may be an issue for those of you with large CPU heatsinks, and this is something I'll talk about in a little more detail over the page.
 
ChipChilla top ChipChilla side
ChipChilla braided cable
 
One aspect I really liked about the fan was that the cable was well braided and heat-shrunk. It adds an element of class and finish to the unit. Nice touch Coolink!
 
The base of the ChipChilla is lapped Copper, but not lapped to a mirror finish and from what I can see the heatpipes are actually soldered to the Copper base. The base is very flat too.
 
ChipChilla base Lapped Copper bottom
 
The fan that is included with the Coolink ChipChilla is a little bit of a mystery as it doesn't have any visibly identifiable information on either the front or rear faces. For all intents and purposes it is quite clearly a simple bearing fan but it does feel a little on the flimsy side.
 
 ChipChilla rear of fan ChipChilla front of fan
ChipChilla without fan ChipChilla base
 
With the fan removed and the ChipChilla left standing in all its naked glory we can really see the fin count is quite high on an heatsink of it's size. Whether this will cause noise issues remains to be seen, but it certainly has a substantial surface area for effective heat exchange.
 
In the bottom right image you can see the (below the cooling fins and above the centre of the heatpipe curve) mounting point for the motherboard clip if you have a cooling solution that utilises this method of fixture.


Coolink ChipChilla Page: 3
Installation
 
Even though installation of aftermarket chipset cooling isn't within the realms of 'rocket science' I thought it would be nice to include an 'how to' for those who have never done/contemplated it. Please bear in mind that the P965 motherboard that I took the images of is in fact dead, and not the one I will be using for testing purposes. The observant ones will also notice that I haven't removed the paper backing from the foam shim in an effort to protect the adhesive backing.
 
Firstly you will need to remove your existing chipset cooling solution and remove any traces of TIM or thermal compound that the manufacturer has used. Nail polish remover or ArctiClean used in conjunction with ear sticks (cotton buds) are my two favoured methods of removal.
 
Clean NB chipset
 
Neatly place the foam shim (after removing the backing paper lol) over your chosen chipset. The foam shim is to help balance the downward pressure of the heatsink when installing it, and to also prevent shorting from the base touching the chipset componentry or traces.
 
Installation of foam spacer shim
 
Place a small dob of your chosen TIM (the one in the image below is Noctua's NH-1) in the centre of the chipset die and then place the included push-pins into the adjustable arms on the ChipChilla...or use the hook if your motherboard requires it.
 
TIM application
 
Orient the ChipChilla according to whichever direction you prefer (or CPU heatsink dictates - pls see below) and push down lightly on the heatsink while pushing in the push-pins into the motherboard mounting holes. Following the mounting of the ChipChilla the only other requirement is to plug in the 3-pin connector into one of your motherboard's fan headers. Voila, you're done! 
 
Installation of ChipChilla
 
One area for concern that I highlighted on the previous page was that the ChipChilla's increased width may cause compatibility issues with larger CPU heatsinks. On the ASUS P5B Deluxe that I'm using for illustrative purposes I have included a couple of images below to show you a little better. Furthermore, you will notice that I have had to install the ChipChilla parallel to the PCI-E 16x slot on my P5B otherwise the fins obstruct the installation of a graphics card regardless of its size. Ideally I would have liked to have run the ChipChilla with airflow running from front-to-back in my chosen chassis, but it's unfortunately not pissible.
 
I ran some compatibility testing with a small assortment of CPU heatsinks that I have lurking around my house in an effort to reinforce the point I made above. CPU heatsink width is the issue here not height. I have included the following CPU heatsinks and images below: the Intel socket 775 reference cooler; a Thermalright XP-90C and Scythe Ninja Mini.
 
 Intel reference heatsink Intel reference heatsink
Thermalright XP-90C Thermalright XP-90C
Scythe Ultra mini Scythe Ultra mini
 
You can see from the images above that the ChipChilla would work fine with the Intel reference heatsink, but with the larger aftermarket varieties like the XP-90C or Scythe Ninja you're really going to be cramped for room. Admittedly, both of the larger heatsinks do fit but it is very tight. You would be well advised to check with Coolink's support before making a purchase if you're not sure.
 
I also ran a few quick and nasty compatibility tests with some universal mounts for CPU waterblocks and am pleased to report that they do not cause an issue with the ChipChilla.


Coolink ChipChilla Page: 4
Testing Methodology
 
In order to assess the cooling performance of the Coolink ChipChilla we will be comparing it to another well known chipset heatsink - the Noctua NC-U6. The Noctua NC-U6 heatsink is traditionally utilised as an passive cooling solution without a fan, and so to make sure that the testing process is fair and equal we will be testing the Coolink ChipChilla and Noctua NC-U6 heatsinks in both passive and active capacities.
 
Coolink ChipChilla vs Noctua NC-U6 front view Coolink ChipChilla vs Noctua NC-U6 side view
 
Furthermore, to ensure valid and qualitative results both heatsinks will be installed using Noctua NH-1 Thermal Paste, and the ChipChilla fan will be used for the active phase of testing for both chipset coolers. Where possible, the orientation of both chipset coolers were kept the same to ensure that neither chipset cooler benefited from increased airflow. Each chipset cooler was reseated and tested a number of three times and an average taken.
 
The test setup used has been listed below:
 
* Intel Q6600 G0 stepping processor (370 x 9) 1.4v;
* ASUS P5B Deluxe wifi/App motherboard (BIOS version - 1216);
* Palit GeForce 8600GT graphics card;
* 1 x Western Digital 80GB SATA II HDD;
* 1 x Noctua NC-U6 chipset cooler
* 1 x Coolink ChipChilla chipset cooler
* Scythe Kama Cross CPU Cooler;
* Antec Earthwatts 500W PSU;
* Thermaltake XASER VI Chassis.
 
Ambient temperatures at the time of testing were 23.9 degrees Celcius for the Coolink ChipChilla and 24.7 degrees Celcius for the Noctua NC-U6. Temperatures were recorded courtesy of a thermal probe placed alongside the die of the chipset, as routing the thermal probe into the base of the chipset cooler was not possible due to the lack of sufficient tools. Whilst the temperatures recorded won't be as accurate this way they will give an indication of each cooler's performance. During the testing of the chipset coolers the side of the Thermaltake chassis was removed to facilitate the thermal probe and sender unit.
 
Idle temperatures were recorded inside Windows and only after the reported temperature had 'settled'. Load temperatures were obtained by running an overclocked processor with a slight increase in voltage and gaming for 30 minutes.
 
How well will the Coolink ChipChilla stack up against the proven performance and additional heatpipes of the NC-6? Let's head over the page and see.


Coolink ChipChilla Page: 5
Test Results
 
Idle temp without fan
 
Load Temps without fan
 
Idle temperatures with fan
 
Load temperatures with fan
 
Results Observations
 
The results of the testing phase were very impressive to say the least. When you compare the ΔT between both chipset coolers it would be comparible to 'splitting hairs' as the difference between the two is pretty much negligible. The Coolink ChipChilla managed to provide some excellent cooling performance today. Well done Coolink!
 
Whilst I didn't put the Coolink ChipChilla through a series of dedicated noise tests, I can say that it is extremely quiet. I wasn't able to hear the fan at all, especially over the Intel reference cooler.


Coolink ChipChilla Page: 6
Conclusion
 
I must admit that I have been really impressed by the Coolink ChipChilla throughout this review. The build quality of the chipset cooler is very good apart from the slighty 'cheap' looking cooling fan. The inclusion of a braided and shrink-wrapped fan cable does the unit further justice. Furthermore; the installation of the Coolink ChipChilla was a painless affair in general, but please be mindful of potential compatibility issues with large CPU coolers.
 
The performance of the Coolink ChipChilla was equally as good as the Noctua NC-U6 in both passive and active testing. Which is something to be proud of, as the NC-U6 is certainly no slouch when it comes to quiet and efficient cooling.
 
Whilst I wasn't able to find the Coolink ChipChilla available with any of our recommended retailers, I did manage to find it for £16.00 inc VAT at Quiet PC which is still cheaper than the Noctua NC-U6 price of £16.43 inc VAT. When you consider that you get very quiet active cooling with the Coolink ChipChilla as an added bonus, it certainly makes a compelling argument.
 
The Good
* Quality build
* Price
* Performance
* Can handle both passive and active duties
* Near silent
 
 
The Mediocre
* Cheap feeling fan
* May have issues with larger CPU coolers
 
 
The Bad
* Nothing to report
 
OC3D Recommended award
 
OC3D would like to thank Coolink for providing today's review sample.
 
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