Did Alpha set out to create the next high-end performer with their S-PAL series? I don't think so, rather a revision so it can keep up with newer AXP CPU's out there. They improved the old PAL design by making it larger and using round pins in the middle and square ones on the outside to increase airflow, it paid off, but not enough to make it the #1 again.
The cooling performance is certainly not bad, but nowadays a lot of heatsink manufactures use heatpipes to give their product an edge in the “temperature/noise ratio battle”. This method increases overall price, this can give conventionally build heatsinks an advantage if they use competitive pricing.
The Thermalright SP-97 can be yours for ~$50, while I found the S-PAL8055F priced at more considerate ~$30 at NewEgg
. Deciding between these two (or other high end heatsinks) will depend on your needs and requirements. If you want a capable heatsink which comes at a fair price then you can’t go wrong with the Alpha. For those seeking the best of the best at no matter what price, we can heartily recommend the SP-97.PRO
Good performance with low RPM fans
Installation method can be tedious if you are not the patient type.
No longer the king of XP heatsinks
I would like to thank Takashi from Alpha
for giving us the possibility to review this fine product.
Questions/Comments: Forum thread