CPU Heatsink Roundup May 2006

Cooling/CPU Cooling by jmke @ 2006-05-01

Eight new heatsinks are compared to 21 other air cooling solutions from different manufactures. We have some promising entries from Spire, Aerocool, Scythe, Thermaltake and Tuniq for you today!

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Aerocool Dominator

Aerocool Dominator:
Supplied by: ITC Multimedia

Aerocool is no newcomer to the cooling industry, they have been offering heatsink/fan solutions since the first Athlon S462 appeared, with the increase in heat output they have altered their designs to keep up performance, with the recent trend towards silent computing the fan size on most heatsinks has grown to provide enough airflow at lower noise levels.

Aerocool takes the extreme approach and combines a copper/alu heatsink with a massive 140mm fan, much like their latest ATX enclosure which features a 140mm in-take fan and a huge 250mm side panel unit.

The Dominator is quite new, so it might no be available everywhere at the time of writing, in Europe it’s priced relatively low at ~€40.

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Specifications :

  • AMD: Athlon64/64+ Socket754/940/939
  • Intel S478 and S775

    Fan included: 140mm x 140mm x 20mm - Sleeve Bearing
    (1200rpm / 2.4W / 68.37CFM)

    Heatsink Dimensions: L155xW140xH100mm
    Weight: 630gr

    In the Box :

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  • Mounting bracket and screws for the different platforms
  • Instruction manual with clear pictures
  • Tube of thermal paste

    Construction :

    The Dominator shares the design idea of the popular Thermalright XP-120, 3 heat pipes are joined at the base and they transfer heat to the top where a large series of aluminum fins dissipate the heat. The base is has a good finishing and doesn’t require any extra lapping work. Depending on what platform you will install this heatsink you’ll have to install additional mounting pieces to base by using the 2 screws supplied which screw into the small heatsink that sits on top of the base.

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    Installation :

    Installation requires motherboard removal as you have to replace the default mounting bracket with the included metal one. The heatsink is screwed tight into place without the use of tools but due to the size of the Dominator it can be hard to sufficiently tighten the nuts. With the Dominator installed and the motherboard placed back into the case it becomes evident that there’s not much room left to maneuver inside, the 140mm fan support really adds to the overall dimensions of the heatsink making it a tight fit. If you look at the photo on the right you can see that there’s hardly any room left between the heatsink and rear exhaust fan.

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    Performance and Noise :

    For direct comparison I’ve include the SI-120 and XP-120 from Thermalright and the Thermaltake Big Typhoon, these heatsinks share a similar design philosophy where the fan is blowing down onto the motherboard and the fins are elevated from the base by use of several heatpipes. A silent Papst 120mm fan was used on those heatsinks that support it. The Dominator is restricted to its own 140mm fan as there are no other mounting holes for other sized fans available.

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    With the CPU at default speeds the difference between the heatsinks is not very big, the only temperature readings which stands out is the PWM with the Dominator’s fan 50%, at that setting the fan is slightly quieter than the Papst @ 100% and the Dominator almost matches performance of the XP-120.

    At full fan speed the 140mm fan is noticeable louder but is not able to take the performance lead as both the SI-120 and Big Typhoon remain ahead.

    Madshrimps (c)

    The increased heat generation puts the PWM area with the Dominator @ 50% close to critical temperatures. At full fan speed the gap with the SI-120/Big Typhoon widens while the Dominator now comes out ahead of the XP-120, all the while generating more noise with the fan at full speed.

    The Verdict:

    Aerocool ventured into the bigger is better area with their Dominator, unfortunately this has not proven to true here today, with only 3 heat pipes not enough heat can be removed efficiently to beat make it stand out amongst the competition. The large 140mm fan offers okay performance at full speed but is quite noisy compared to other silent fans.

    Good overall performance
    Okay performance/noise ratio 140mm fan equipped
    Multi Platform Compatible

    Motherboard removal required
    At lower fan speeds PWM area gets very high

  • Where to buy?

    Next up is the Arctic Cooling Alpine 64 ->
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