Date: March 30th, 2010
Article by: Joe Anderson (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited By: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Xigmatek
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SMALL HEATPIPE TECHNOLOGY TUTORIAL
I am going to keep this as simple as possible to get the basic premise across to all of the Tweaknews readers. Please don't be insulted if this is too simple for your education level. I have to cater my writing to the least technical reader looking for information.
The basic idea behind heatpipe technology is really simple.
1.) With a tube containing a compressed fluid/gas, the fluid comes in contact with the heat source (the cpu core, in this case) which heats up the volatile fluid and turns it to a gas. The energy is absorbed in the gas production process and is ready for transportation.
2.) The heated gas now travels along the inner portion of the tube where it comes to the cooling portion of the heatsink in this example.
3.) The radiator, with or without a fan, will cool the liquid and transfer the energy (AKA heat) to the radiator to be dispersed to the surrounding air. With the heat removed, the vapor quickly condenses back to a fluid and runs along the inside surface of the pipe, back down to the bottom, where the process can be started all over again.
For another example, you can consider a boiling pot of water with a glass lid as a very very basic heatpipe. When the water boils, the water vapor comes in contact with the cooler glass pot lid which forces the vapor to condense back to water, where it dribbles back down the inside of the lid back into the pot.
It's basic, but it gets the point across.
PRODUCT PICTORIAL AND WALKTHROUGH
The 8mm copper heatpipes look huge on this small cooler and the generous spacing on the fins should provide good cooling with the relatively low-speed fan. The gap in the fin array will allow access to the mounting bracket during installation. One side benefit of a down-firing HSF design is the improved airflow generated around the socket, keeping components in this area a bit cooler.
Here's a shot of the Heatpipe Direct Touch design. Notice that there is very little space between the heatpipes and their respective channels in the base. Many coolers we've tested in the past have had noticeably larger gaps in this area, requiring a lot of thermal paste and decreasing the useable surface area for the cooler to do its job. The two ‘pipes are located near the center of the base and, while this surface is dead flat, it lacks the highly polished finish we saw on the Xigmatek Balder. Threaded holes in the base accept the bracket mounting screws and…
…some of the central fins are attached directly to the base, adding rigidity and likely providing a bit more cooling performance. This photo also illustrates just how compact and low-profile the Durin really is.
The fin profile is engineered to improve airflow and cooling performance while keeping noise to a minimum, and openings in the outboard edges of the individual fins interface with the rubber fan mounts for a secure and quiet install.