Let nobody say that Gigabyte didn’t break the mold with its 3D Rocket II heatsink/fan combination. As the name alludes, the device resembles a rocket ship sitting atop a launch pad. It’s about as well strapped in, too; we applaud the 3D Rocket II for its efforts to sail amongst the heavenly stars of CPU coolers, but its installation process keeps the device strapped firmly to the ground.
We first tried to mount the cooler in our old FX-60 test bed, a relatively painless procedure given how nicely the cooler’s single retention bar snaps into the motherboard’s mounting mechanism. However, the pressure the cooler placed on the CPU caused our motherboard not to post. The damage, though, wasn’t permanent. Everything worked perfectly after we swapped out the 3D Rocket II for a stock AMD cooler.
Installing the cooler on our new Intel Q6700-based test bed forced us to remove the motherboard to install Gigabyte’s mounting bracket. We were worried about possibly breaking our CPU by having to push down on the cooler’s two retention bars, but the machine posted and gave us results comparable to those of our current air-cooling champion.
The tall cooler barely fits in most cases, forcing you to remove the optional air duct attached to its fan. But that doesn’t trouble us nearly as much as the possibility that the 3D Rocket II could grind our processors into dust. Anxiety is the last thing we want in an aftermarket CPU cooler.
Comes with decorative UV-reactive fluorescent rings and a fan speed controller.
Pushes on the CPU a bit too much; design makes for a tricky installation.
CoolIT Boreas (low)
CoolIT Boreas (High)
Gigabyte 3D Rocket II
100% Load (C)
Best scores are bolded. Idle temperatures were measured after an hour of inactivity; load temperatures were measured after an hour’s worth of CPU Burn-In (four instances). Test system consists of a stock-clock Q6700 processor on an EVGA 680i motherboard with an Nvidia 8800 GTX graphics card.