Intel P4 Aircooling - Heatsink Roundup Q1 2005

Cooling/CPU Cooling by jmke @ 2005-03-01

In part two of our roundup we compare 11 different P4 heatsinks made by Thermalright, Spire, Primecooler, Zalman, Evercool, Vantec and Titan. Using different fans at low and high speed we try to find the best bang for the buck, best performer and most silent HSF combo out there.

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Thermalright SB-2

Thermalright SB-2:
Supplied by: Bacata

Thermalright bas been known for a long time for providing high quality heatsink which deliver extraordinary performance; their latest heatsink features a radial design, unlike any of their previous models.

Specifications :

This heatsink can be installed on:

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There is also a version available which is compatible with both A64 (S754/S939/S940) and Intel P4 (S478) sockets. I have the P4-only version here.

* A large radial copper heatsink weighing in at 550gr.
* 92mm fan supported
* No fan included (Panaflo FBA09A12M recommended by Thermalright)

Full specifications at product's webpage.

In the Box

The SB-2 comes with a truckload of mounting gear, a Thermalright sticker, a one page manual and a tube of thermal paste

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Construction :

This is Thermalright’s first radial heatsink; the design is only a bit different from what one can expect. The center of the heatsink is hallow, the small cup ends in a solid copper base which is machine lapped and quite smooth. Not including a fan leaves the end user with the choice, with support for 92mm noise can be reduced efficiently (as long as you don’t go mounting a Vantec Tornado on top).

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Installation :

I was quite disappointed to see a back plate and 1001 screws and springs inside the box of the SB-2, the XP-90/120 were both heatsinks which can be onto the standard P4 bracket. The SB-2 follows the installation of the SP-94, and then some. You need to assemble the back plate using standoffs and screw on fan holders onto the base-plate of the SB-2 before you can begin installation, which, of course, requires motherboard removal.

The whole installation process is easy, but time consuming, once everything is place you can be sure that the 550gr copper block won’t be coming loose, even when carrying your case to LAN parties.

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Thermalright’s installation guidelines suggest the fan blowing down onto the heatsink; I flipped the fan to suck hot air away from the SB-2 to see how it would perform.

Performance and Noise :

For comparison I’ve add Thermalright’s own XP-90 and Zalman’s CNPS7000b-CU

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The SB-2 ($30) is slightly lower priced then the XP-90 ($40), but more expensive then the Zalman unit ($30) when you add the cost of an 92mm fan, its performance is far from bad, even when using low CFM fans, although the Ultra quiet delta fan @ low speed did not provide enough airflow to keep the system running.

Changing the direction of the fan to suck air away from the heatsinks caused a 2°C temperature drop, fan noise increased very slightly; Thermalright has a very interesting budget friendly orientated product in their line-up, the only downside is the quite elaborate installation method.
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