CPU Heatsink Roundup February 2006

Cooling/CPU Cooling by jmke @ 2006-02-23

In our first roundup of the year we compare 21 popular heatsinks from different manufactures. Heat pipes, Fan-less, Copper and Aluminum, close to 12kg of heatsink put through extensive tests and compared to the new AMD stock cooling.

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AMD New Stock HSF: Spec/Test

AMD Retail heatsink with Heat Pipes:
Kindly provided by forum member Rutar from Swiss, thanks!

My fellow reviewer Lazyman tested this heatsink not so long ago and found performance to be on par with the Thermalright XP-90 when both use the same 80mm fan.

At the beginning of January 2006 Hexus.net published their review of AMD’s new Athlon 64 FX-60, in that review they dedicated a section to the new stock cooling which came with the CPU. Their photos reveal that it is the same unit I have here today for testing. However their comments are most interesting:

the Coolermaster ( CMHK8-8I22A-A2 ) has all four heatpipes aligned on one side of the cooler, rather than two per side.

This would mean that Coolermaster has partnered with AMD to provide their new high end retail coolers. They state each heat pipe is capable of 30W heat capacity, so in total a 120W device.

So do these new heatsinks come with all of AMD’s processors? The answer is unfortunately: no. So far from what I can tell from user experience shared at forums around the web these new heatsinks come with Athlon X2 above 3800+ and Opteron Dual Core CPU’s.

While they can’t be bought in shops, they can be found for $15-25 on eBay.

Madshrimps (c)

Specifications :

  • AMD: Athlon64/64+ Socket754/940/939

    Fan included: Delta 80x80x25mm (temp controlled – max ~5200RPM)

    Heatsink Dimensions Approx: L95xW90xH65mm
    Weight: ~400gram

    In the Box :

    In the retail box you most likely also find a CPU and an AMD case badge :-)
    The heatsink comes pre-applied with a high quality Shin-Etsu compound.

    Construction :

    A copper base which joins 4 copper heat pipes

    Madshrimps (c)Madshrimps (c)

    Madshrimps (c)Madshrimps (c)

    A series of small aluminum fins for heat dissipation

    Madshrimps (c)

    Installation :

    It installs like any other retail AMD Athlon 64 heatsink, of course!

    Madshrimps (c)Madshrimps (c)Madshrimps (c)

    The 80mm fan has a small thermal sensor placed near the center of the fan

    Madshrimps (c)

    In the performance tests below I let the sensor decide how fast the fan should spin, mainly because at full (100%) speed the noise level is deafening.

    Performance and Noise & Verdict:

    The new retail cooling is directly compared to the old full aluminum one, Coolermaster’s own Susurro heatsink and the Asus X-Mars. The 92mm fan on the Susurro has a 80mm frame and I tested it also on the stock cooling; The Asus X-Mars is equipped with 2 heat pipes, while the Susurro has none. Let’s see how they all do at stock A64 3200+ speeds:
    Madshrimps (c)

    Compared to the old one you get a 3°C drop in temperatures and 3dBA noise the Delta fan is running at 3300RPM. With the 92mm fan equipped another 2°C reduction is seen but the noise can cause a head-ache real soon, the tight fitted aluminum fins create even more turbulence – result is 65dBA at 50cm.

    Let’s turn up the heat:

    Madshrimps (c)

    The thermal sensor of the Delta has noticed the increased heat and is now spinning at 4000rpm, producing 52dBA, which not really silent, it’s actually louder than the old A64 heatsink, but delivers better temperatures – 5°C temp drop CPU and PWM.

    With the 92mm fan the performance is on par with the best out there, but your hearing is paying the price.

    Free with higher end AMD CPU’s – can be found cheap on eBay.
    Auto sensing fan works well
    Okay performance

    Not really a silent solution if your CPU is running at full load.

    Silent computing with passive CPU cooling compared more in-depth on the next page ->
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