Thermalright ALX-800 vs his big brother SP-97

Cooling/CPU Cooling by piotke @ 2004-05-16

Thermalright has currently one of the best, perhaps even the best heatsink for Socket A. The SP-97. But this heatsink isn?t very budget friendly, so today we?ll take a look at their ALX-800. This heatsink looks a lot like the popular SLK-800, but by using a combination of aluminium and copper fabrication is lower, and so is its price. Does it still perform well though? Let us find out

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Some things in general...

Most of the time, full copper heatsinks are the best, and if you combine them with heat pipes, you've got some super cooling. But such heatsinks are most of the time expensive....

Madshrimps (c)

Madshrimps (c)

For the more budget minded users, Thermalright created this Copper/Aluminium based heatsink. I'll be comparing it to the SP-97 ([M]adshrimps review), which is currently one of the best air cooling solutions for Socket A. Of course the Sp97 is going to perform better; I can say that even before I installed both the sinks. But the question is by how much? Is the SP-97 worth the extra cost?

SP-97 - ~ € 45
ALX-800 - ~€ 23

These prices come from from who kindly provided us with the review sample.


  • Super thin aluminium fins for maximized heat dissipation
  • Trapezoid heat sink base ensures effective heat conduction
  • Six pronged type heat sink clip

  • L84 x W58 x H42 (mm) - Top, without fan
  • L32 x W58 - Base(mm)

  • 400g (heat sink only)


    The package contained:
  • ALX-800 heatsink + clip
  • Tube of no-name Thermal paste
  • Mounting clips for fan

    Madshrimps (c)

    More info can be found on the product’s page at ThermalRight.


    The installation is very easy. Remove protective film from the bottom of the CPU, and put the protective pads on to prevent the crushing of your fragile Athlon CPU core. Apply cooling paste and clip the heatsink on the socket, using the 3 slugs of the socket to provide evenly distributed pressure.

    Base is very well finished:

    Madshrimps (c)

    Madshrimps (c)

    But overall finishing of the heatsinks seems a bit less.

    Madshrimps (c)

    So far the techno-mumbo-jumbo, time for some testing !
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