Date: February 24th, 2010
Article by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Spire
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PRODUCT WALKTHROUGH & PICTORIAL
So let's briefly walk through this product.
Starting from the bottom and moving up, we first set our eyes on the four 8mm copper heatpipes which are manufactured to have a flat and direct contact with the processor heatspreader. Also attached to the base is the clipping mechanism for attaching the heatsink to the base which is connected to the base.
Although the base is not polished, it is very flat and will provide excellent contact with the processor heatspreader. The finish is fine enough that it is complete smooth to the touch. The only thing I would like to have seen is less space between the heatpipes. The aluminum portion is thicker than is needed.
The heatsink has a large amount of surface area to dissipate the collected heat, but there is some design flaws that might hinder its performance.
Through initial observation, as you will see above, the heatpipes need to be spaced closer to either edge of the heatsink so it will be exposed to the main air pressure and flow zone which is directly behind the fan blades. Having them closer to the center will have these heatpipes situated in a slight airflow shadow which will reduce performance.
In addition, the large notches cut out of either side is a huge mistake. Airflow is escaping out either side and is not being channeled properly through the heatsink. Only a small percentage of the flow is actually going trough the heatsink thus defeating the purpose of the large amount of surface area. The notch on the top also allows a lot of air to escape over the top of the heatsink and reduces air pressure. Placing a piece of tape over the hole actually dropped load temperatures by one degree during load testing. That is significant for such a small alteration.
The UV reactive 120mm BlueStar fan is very quiet while being set to its lowest fan speed of 1100rpm and 19dBa and I don't think the 29dBa measurement from Spire would accurate describe the sound level at full speed. Though I do not have a sound meter, it isn't 29dBa by my ears. I would place the measurement and well over 30-35dBa. The fan was also slightly out of balance and had a decent shake to it which would resonate the heatsink fins and other components attached to the motherboard.