Cooler Master: The XDream SE and Aero 7

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Today we are going to take an in-depth look at two new heatsink fan combos from Cooler Master, the XDream Special Edition and the Aero 7. Cooler Master is probably best known for its line of OEM heatsinks but these two coolers are aimed squarely at the value-performance aftermarket. Both the XDream SE and Aero 7 share a common all copper heatsink, manufactured using the skiving process. The big difference between the two is the fan. The XDream SE is fitted with a traditional axial fan while the Aero 7 is supplied with a squirrel-cage blower. After extensive testing, it became obvious that one of these coolers offers excellent performance for its price but the other is clearly not ready for distribution. And did I mention the Aero 8… 🙂

Cooler Master: The XDream SE and Aero 7 - Cases and Cooling 15
Coolermaster XDream Special Edition
Cooler Master: The XDream SE and Aero 7 - Cases and Cooling 16
Coolermaster Aero 7

The materials, workmanship and aesthetics of both the XDream SE and Aero 7 coolers appear to be excellent – I would have expected no less from Cooler Master. The complete kits come securely packaged in plastic see-thru boxes. In addition to the pre-assembled heatsink fan with integrated speed control, you also receive two speed-control mounting brackets, a tube of silicone thermal compound and a printed installation guide.

The speed control consists of a 10K ohm variable potentiometer (pot) wired into each fan’s built-in speed control circuit. A set of 4-pin Molex pass-thru connectors are used to supply power and a separate 3-pin connector is used to provide a tach signal to a motherboard fan header. Two mounting options are supplied for the fan speed control pot. If you want it hidden and out of the way then using the PCI slot bracket is the way to go. If you prefer to have it up front and readily accessible then using the aluminum 3.5” drive bay cover should make you happy. Both coolers come equipped with an easy to use tool-less, 3-lug clip.

Here is a quick outline of the topics covered in this review:

  • Introduction
  • Heat and the CPU die size
  • Skiving – the new buzz in heatsink manufacturing
  • Cooler Master Xdream Special Edition
  • Cooler Master Aero 7
  • Comparative testing
  • Conclusions
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