The Aerocool Xfire is a decent heat sink, but we’d only recommend it to those that are looking to help silence their computers. The huge 120mm fan spun at 1650RPM’s in our test system and comes rated at ~24dBA with a power consumption of 3W, which means nearly any system should be able to handle this heat sink if it will fit in the case. As our performance numbers have shown the Xfire cools our Intel Core 2 Duo e6300 processor no better at idle than the Intel retail box HSF and only helps 2C under full load at stock frequencies and voltages. It wouldn’t make sense to spend $29.99 on a new heat sink when the one from Intel that you already paid for does the same exact thing. Granted the reference heat sink does look ‘cool’ and if you’re going for looks then it’s all up to personal taste.
When it comes to overclocking we took our test system up to 400MHz FSB (2.8GHz) with the voltage bumped up to 1.4125V on the core and found that the Intel heat sink went up to 80C and throttled, while the Aerecool hit a solid 78C and did not throttle. While we were able to run the 1GHz overclock just fine with the Xfire it’s not a good idea to have your CPU running at 78C for extended periods of time. Plus you have to keep in mind that a slight increase in room temperature (think summer) could cause the temperature to increase a couple more degrees and that would cause the Xfire cooled system to start throttling.
In all honesty the Xfire is well made product, but it just needs more heat pipes as two pipes don’t seem to be enough for Conroe when overclocked. Legit Reviews just spent a week benchmarking and overclocking Intel’s upcoming Kentsfield processors and know that when dual-core processors go quad-core that the TDP on the processors will double (1+1=2). The Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 has thermal design power (TDP) rating of 65W and when the Intel Core 2 Quad QX6700 comes out in November it will be rated at ~130W. With the TDP doubling on desktop processors in upcoming months and the Xfire being pushed to it’s limits on today’s processors the answer is crystal clear for those wanting a performance cooling solution.
Legit Bottom Line: The Aerocool Xfire heat sink does what it’s designed to do, but needs a centering mechanism and additional heat pipes to become something we would recommend.