Date: October 18th, 2010
Article by: Joe Anderson (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited By: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Zalman
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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 SPECIFICATIONS AND FEATURES
At almost 6 inches, the MAX is a relatively tall cooler and the “black pearl” nickel plating conceals a little over a pound and a half of pure copper goodness. The 135mm (5.3-inch) fan can spin at up to 1700 RPM and features PWM control and either blur or red LEDs for a little bling. The noise numbers fall into the acceptable range for a performance cooler, and Zalman includes their RC7P PWM cable to minimize fan noise. They also include a syringe of their excellent thermal compound.
The MAX is compatible with all modern CPUs and sockets from both Intel and AMD, and the advertised Qmax rating of 300 Watts would leave plenty of room for overclocked/overvolted processors.
Arguably, the most interesting difference between the MAX and its older siblings in the Zalman cooler family is their new heatpipe design. Zalman claims that adding internal axial grooves to the more common sintered metal heatpipe dramatically increases capillary flow inside the ‘pipe and, presumably, cooling performance.