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Thread: Akasa Freedom Tower Mini-Review

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    ta2
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    Akasa Freedom Tower Mini-Review

    Linky

    Here's my take on it. Please let me know if I am being a retard, but I'm fairly certain this is just a stupid design. Maybe they require your case to have an access hole for the CPU retention backplate?



    --

    Installing it was an absolute bitch. I read the instructions twice, but I still think I did it right. You have to put some retention plate thing on the back of the motherboard, over these three protruding screws. Apparently after this point gravity is supposed to cease and you're supposed to put your mobo in your case without the retention plate falling off.

    Obviously this is impossible so I had to rest the mobo on the anti-static bag and fit the HSF to it like that. Not ideal because you don't want to be putting any pressure on it while it's not held down. Incase you think I'm retarded, here's the official manual:

    Backplate Installation
    Place the LGA1156 backplate under the motherboard aligning it with the 3 screws of the
    CPU backplate and 4 motherboard holes around the CPU (as illustrated on pictures D and
    E). Apply a thin layer of thermal compound over entire surface of the CPU (picture F).
    Right, well anyway... 0/10 for the backplate mechanism. Next stage is "aligning" the screws with the holes in the backplate.

    Adjust the spring-loaded screws position to the backplate size (picture G).
    Place the heatsink over the CPU aligning the spring-loaded screws with the backplate
    standoffs and secure the cooler by tightening the screws with a crosshead screwdriver.
    Makes it sound like there's a specifc position where the screws go. There isn't, and obviously if you aren't holding the heatsink ABSOLUTELY perpendicular to the ground then the screws will just slide along the rails. Basically, just hold the heatsink above the CPU, guess where the screws should go, plonk it down, then lift the screws up and try and get them in without taking the heatsink off the CPU (and putting **** knows how many air pockets between the heatsink and the CPU). 0.5/10 for fitting the heatsink to the board/retention plate.

    The only redeeming factor with installation is that it is very easy to add or remove the fan to the heatsink. Anyway, onto some solid facts.

    The i5 CPU is pretty crazy. I'm pretty sure Core Temp isn't working right because it has gone down to 17C when it underclocks it to 1.2GHz. I'll give CPUID Hardware Monitor temps:

    MIN:
    Cores: 26/23/28/23
    TMPIN0: 29
    TMPIN2: 26

    MAX (after 20 mins prime95, CPU fan on 25%):
    Cores: 54/52/52/52
    TMPIN0: 43
    TMPIN2: 27

    MAX (after 20 mins prime95, CPU fan on 100%):
    Cores: 49/47/48/47
    TMPIN0: 40
    TMPIN2: 27
    CoreTemp: 50/48/49/48

    Pretty impressed with these numbers actually. These temps are at stock speeds (2.66Ghz but 2.8GHz because of Turbo mode). Vcore is 1.112V according to CPU-Z. Prime95 was on Small FFTs.

    I wouldn't recommend this cooler because of the absolutely retarded mechanism for fixing it on. Don't know why they didn't stick with the pop in like with the Akasa Nero I have on this PC.
    Last edited by ta2; 14-11-2009 at 02:00 AM.

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    YUKIKAZE arthurleung's Avatar
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    Re: Akasa Freedom Tower Mini-Review

    Based on that picture, installing it doesn't seems hard at all. And in fact probably one of the easiest, provided you're not trying to install on an existing system without unscrewing the board.

    Normally you hold the motherboard, put the backplate in and put your CPU in, then put thermal paste. After that you place the motherboard on a flat surface, then put the heatsink on top and tighten.

    Install the motherboard by holding the heatsink and place it into the case.

    The backplate would have raised the motherboard such that you are not putting extra pressure on the motherboard during installation.
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    ta2
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    Re: Akasa Freedom Tower Mini-Review

    I have not installed many modern HSFs. I have had just recently this one and the Akasa Nero (push-pins like the stock ones). Before that I have had Zalmans which have a retention plate which goes on each side and is thus secure within itself. I prefer to work with the motherboard in the case before I put the heatsink on. Either way whether it's for the backplate or the pins, this heatsink is not very easy to fit on. The temps seem to be very good though, will update the OP.

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    YUKIKAZE arthurleung's Avatar
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    Re: Akasa Freedom Tower Mini-Review

    Quote Originally Posted by ta2 View Post
    I have not installed many modern HSFs. I have had just recently this one and the Akasa Nero (push-pins like the stock ones). Before that I have had Zalmans which have a retention plate which goes on each side and is thus secure within itself. I prefer to work with the motherboard in the case before I put the heatsink on. Either way whether it's for the backplate or the pins, this heatsink is not very easy to fit on. The temps seem to be very good though, will update the OP.
    My personal experience is if you try to install a heatsink inside a case, you'll be more likely to damage the motherboard if you ever have a screwdriver slip. And holding onto the CPU heatsink to place the motherboard is MUCH safer than holding anything else on the motherboard.

    Many lighter heatsinks (like the stock one) the push pins are fine. When the heatsink is past a certain weight it is not safe to use push pin (which is plastic) compared to metal bolts.

    Regardless, installing board first then heatsink or the other way round is a matter of personal choice. I've done both and never had a problem (apart from a very few close calls of almost killing the board by screwdriver).

    Installing the heatsink first also give you an added benefit that you can test your board/cpu/gpu straight away in case there are any DOA or compatibility issue (happens quite frequently I have to say)
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    Re: Akasa Freedom Tower Mini-Review

    Personally, I hate Intel push pins. I find them much more trickier to install than bolt through kits, especially when the motherboard is in the case.

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    Re: Akasa Freedom Tower Mini-Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Ulti View Post
    Personally, I hate Intel push pins. I find them much more trickier to install than bolt through kits, especially when the motherboard is in the case.
    That is quite odd. Once the pin is pointing at the right direction, it is just put the heatsink on and push the 4 pins with your finger, or a pen with rubber-like end. I made mistake in the early days thinking that I had to push and turn the pins while you only need to push.

    Provided there is enough clearance uninstalling intel heatsink is also easy, turn each of the pin by 90', give it a small wiggle and it just pops off.
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    Re: Akasa Freedom Tower Mini-Review

    Noctua's mounting system is worse, it is fine if you're using a foxconn backplate, but when you move onto the thicker lotes backplate you need three hands (or a hole in your mobo tray) to actually get the bugger going, as you need one to hold the board, another to push the backplate into position, another to put the cross strut in place and then push the backplate up at one edge without going too far, and then screw it down.

    It's fair enough with the foxconn though, nice simple and easy, but when the backplate is thicker, some flaws start to become apparent.
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    Re: Akasa Freedom Tower Mini-Review

    Some form of nut that screws down from the top of the motherboard to hold the back plate in place, with the cooler bracket bolts then screwing into the nuts would of been a better solution.

    Check the bracket slot from below and you'll probably find it's not a single slot but looks more like 3 holes overlapping.
    the inner ones are 775 the middle 1156 and the outter 1366

    One thing I will say for it is the plastic fan bracket looks good, I much prefur that to wire clips which can be hellishly fiddly, and can be very baffling untill you finally realise that for the past 20min you've been trying to put them on the wrong way around.

    And I agree with arthurleung It's far easier to mount the cooler out side the case, the cooler will make an exellent handle to hold the motherboard while you put it into the case

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    Re: Akasa Freedom Tower Mini-Review

    Quote Originally Posted by arthurleung View Post
    That is quite odd. Once the pin is pointing at the right direction, it is just put the heatsink on and push the 4 pins with your finger, or a pen with rubber-like end. I made mistake in the early days thinking that I had to push and turn the pins while you only need to push.

    Provided there is enough clearance uninstalling intel heatsink is also easy, turn each of the pin by 90', give it a small wiggle and it just pops off.
    They either tend to bend and then once you push too hard it snaps or once you get 3 pins in the 4th pin you push in causes another one to come out due to the stress. Uninstalling them is really easy though.

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    ta2
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    Re: Akasa Freedom Tower Mini-Review

    Just been overclocking the i5 here... Temps 80+ on 1.32 volts in CPU-Z. Not only that but under 100% load the temps go to 70... then gradually ease up to 80 or so over the course of a couple of minutes. I have never seen this before so I decided to take off the HSF and see what is going on. To my dismay there are two V shaped patches on the cooler which are untouched by the thermal paste on the CPU.

    I have cleaned the heat spreader and HSF with Isopropyl and reseated them but this time with a quite a lot of thermal paste. When screwing up the HSF both times I never felt like there was enough tension going into it. It is easily possible to rock the HSF very slightly, whereas with all the coolers I have used in the past, rocking it would cause the mobo to bend very very slightly and the HSF would not move at all.

    Hopefully this will show some improvement or it's going on eBay.

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    Re: Akasa Freedom Tower Mini-Review

    And i've jsut been looking at these on Scan :S I NEED A DECENT 1156 COOLER :3
    Kalniel: "Nice review Tarinder - would it be possible to get a picture of the case when the components are installed (with the side off obviously)?"
    CAT-THE-FIFTH: "The Antec 300 is a case which has an understated and clean appearance which many people like. Not everyone is into e-peen looking computers which look like a cross between the imagination of a hyperactive 10 year old and a Frog."
    TKPeters: "Off to AVForum better Deal - £20+Vat for Free Shipping @ Scan"
    for all intents it seems to be the same card minus some gays name on it and a shielded cover ? with OEM added to it - GoNz0.

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    ta2
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    Re: Akasa Freedom Tower Mini-Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Terbinator View Post
    And i've jsut been looking at these on Scan :S I NEED A DECENT 1156 COOLER :3
    I decided to bite the bullet and get a corsair H50-1 - £46.48 + £5.74 shipping from here. Never used these guys "pricelover" before, but I found them on Google Shopping after getting annoyed that my AVForums free shipping at Scan needs £75 minimum purchase now...

    The H50 has a proper retention mechanism which has both a top and a bottom piece in addition to the heatsink itself. Would prefer the pushpins but you can't have it all...

    3dgameman review of H50

    He gets an i7 920 @ 1.3V & 4GHz and load temps are only 59C. Only downside at the price is that you need 120mm fan hardpoints at the back of your case to attach it. If you are getting a H50 be careful that it's the H50-1 version (exactly the same but comes with the 1156 plate). Where I got it from and also Scan have the H50-1 version which includes it otherwise you'd have to buy it from the Corsair site which is $5 shipped.

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    Re: Akasa Freedom Tower Mini-Review

    Quote Originally Posted by ta2 View Post
    Only downside at the price is that you need 120mm fan hardpoints at the back of your case to attach it.
    Thats why ive had to give them a miss
    Kalniel: "Nice review Tarinder - would it be possible to get a picture of the case when the components are installed (with the side off obviously)?"
    CAT-THE-FIFTH: "The Antec 300 is a case which has an understated and clean appearance which many people like. Not everyone is into e-peen looking computers which look like a cross between the imagination of a hyperactive 10 year old and a Frog."
    TKPeters: "Off to AVForum better Deal - £20+Vat for Free Shipping @ Scan"
    for all intents it seems to be the same card minus some gays name on it and a shielded cover ? with OEM added to it - GoNz0.

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    Re: Akasa Freedom Tower Mini-Review

    Want some fries with that Freedom Tower?
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    ta2
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    Re: Akasa Freedom Tower Mini-Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Terbinator View Post
    Thats why ive had to give them a miss
    http://www.scan.co.uk/AdvancedSearch...id=10&tfid=354

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    Re: Akasa Freedom Tower Mini-Review

    Well iv'e ordered one and it should be here tuesday. I'l post some pics of installation and let you know my experiences of it.
    Kalniel: "Nice review Tarinder - would it be possible to get a picture of the case when the components are installed (with the side off obviously)?"
    CAT-THE-FIFTH: "The Antec 300 is a case which has an understated and clean appearance which many people like. Not everyone is into e-peen looking computers which look like a cross between the imagination of a hyperactive 10 year old and a Frog."
    TKPeters: "Off to AVForum better Deal - £20+Vat for Free Shipping @ Scan"
    for all intents it seems to be the same card minus some gays name on it and a shielded cover ? with OEM added to it - GoNz0.

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