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How to tell if it is a good heatsink?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I asked a very similar question in the WC forums, but it was about water blocks.

How can you tell if something is a good heatsink or not? Just looking at them online you see sooo amny different shapes, colors, fan designs, sizes etc.

While looking, let's compare a TRUE with this: Cooljag Falcon

These are just two random comparisons, mind you. Both look to be a good size. One is copper, and they both have fans. How could you tell, without taking into account brand name, or material (because that's obvious) what heatsink is better than what heatsink while just browsing the internet?

I guess my question is hard to word, but I hope you get what I mean. Instead of going water again, I think I'm going air, and I'm leaning on the OCZ Vendetta 2 or something along those lines (Tuniq and TRUE haven't been disculded yet). But generally how can you tell which is a better CPU cooler if you don't have access to reviews etc.

There must be a way, because people don't just randomly buy things to check them out, unless you have lots of time and money.
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post #2 of 14
That's what benchmarks are for and why review sites continue to exist.
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post #3 of 14
Agreed word of mouth and benches are one of the few things to rely upon when it comes to heatsink performance.
post #4 of 14
I would get the TRUE. It's been tested time and time again to be one of the best air HS on the market.
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post #5 of 14
LOL..that is what I did. The reviews shows that the OCZ Vendetta 2 and Tuniq performs similarly, and the TRUE on top of the others.

So I bought all three and my own tests confirms it.

But if you are only going to use it to cool that AMD, then just go with a Vendetta 2. For 38 shipped, it will cool just about any dual core on the market.

A Tuniq is good too, but it is not worth the 15 bucks over the OCZ.

TRUE is a waste on that dual core.

Also with watercooling, don't expect anything to beat these air cooler unless you are willing to spend 200+ for the step up.
Edited by crazcookye - 6/13/08 at 11:03am
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post #6 of 14
You can tell the TRUE is superior to the CoolJag just by looking at them.

Here is why (not in order of importance):

- Mass. More mass means the heatsink heats up slower. Not super important.

- Surface area. More surface area allows heat that gets to the fins to be dissipated faster.

- Fan Size. Larger fan size implies more air movement for a given noise level.

- Number, size, and configuration of heatpipes. This is very important as it will be the primary factor (along with base quality) of how quickly heat can be moved from the CPU to the fins.

The more heat pipes, the better, generally. You are looking for total surface area and volume.

The bigger the diameter of the heatpipe, the better, as even a small change in diameter means a big change in volume. Normally, it's better to have a few more 8mm heatpipes than a few less 6mm heatpipes. Again the optimal contact area and total volume are what count.

U shaped heatpipes (where the middle is at the base and both ends go to the fins) are superior, as it gives two paths for the evaporate and condensate to travel.

Heatpipes that are in grooves tend to perform better than those that are just soldered to a flat plate.

Solder is superior to thermal grease or thermal epoxy for attaching heatpipes to anything.

- Base Quality. Flat and smooth is best. Flat is better than smooth. If you can't have flat, convex is better than concave (if mounting to a flat surface). All other things being equal (a rare situation) Direct touch heatpipes perform somewhat better than other solutions.
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post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
I wasn't going to get it for that crappy AMD It was more of a general question. Thanks for the replies

Why does a TRUE perform better than, say the Vendetta 2, which has Direct Touch?
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post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pap3r View Post
I wasn't going to get it for that crappy AMD It was more of a general question. Thanks for the replies

Why does a TRUE perform better than, say the Vendetta 2, which has Direct Touch?
6 heatpipes, more/tighter fins, possibly taller?
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post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Gotcha, thanks, I'll keep all of this in ind whilst browsing

What are some good / reputable review sites?
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post #10 of 14
OCN I find that asking the community is always better because review sites often leave some factors out, like how you can lap a TRUE.

But theres Anandtech, HWreview, uhh...help?
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