In this review Frostytech is testing the new Titan TTC-NK85TZ Fenrir heatsink, a good CPU cooler from a manufacturer which has had a spotty past. Titan have traditionally focused on low cost thermal solutions that are popular in much of the world, but this occassionally lead to less than stellar base flatness and general build quality. The Fenrir firmly puts this behind it, and indeed the heatsink is manufactured to the standards we have become accustomed to from any serious CPU thermal solutions company.
If you can find the Titan TTC-NK85TZ Fenrir you'll find it equivalent to models like the Sunbeam Core-contact freezer. Like many tower heatsinks, the TTC-NK85TZ Fenrir heatsink has four exposed 8mm diameter direct contact heatpipes at the base. These allow heat to be efficiently conducted from the CPU to the aluminum fins without passing first through a secondary heat spreader where voids can impeed thermal conduction.
While the aluminum fins on the Titan TTC-NK85TZ Fenrir heatsink certainly aren't identical to the Sunbeam Core-Contact Freezer and SilenX iXtrema, the basic structure of the heatsink is pretty close. In any event, Titan's TTC-NK85TZ Fenrir heatsink stands 156mm tall, is 124mm wide and accommodates one 120mm fan that spins at 800~2200 RPM. Weighing it at roughly 550grams, the TTC-NK85TZ Fenrir is compatible with both Intel socket 775, 1366 and the entire family of AMD socket 939 to AM2+ processors.Incidently, according to Norse mythology, "Fenrir" is the name of a monstrous wolf that sets out to kill the god Odin.
The Fenrir's four 8mm diameter copper heatpipes are swagged into the aluminum base block, pressed flat, and then ever so thinly milled flush. Considering all the heatsinks that Frostytech has tested which employ 'heatpipe direct touch' or 'direct contact heatpipes', we've found that milled base plates tend to offer better results and flatter surfaces than a light sanding affords. But not to cause confusion, a milled base doesn't always mean the heatsink will perform better than the rest - to find that out we must test the heatsink!
Exposed heatpipe base heatsinks work best with processors that have thick integrated heatspreaders and even heat distribution over the entire surface area. They can potentially encounter problems when heat is localized too directly, such that one or two of the outside heatpipes receives much less heat than the remainder.
Titan's TTC-NK85TZ Fenrir heatsink is compatible with Intel socket 775,1366 and AMD socket 754/939/940/AM2/AM2+ processors. The heatsink comes with a set of rear-motherboard support brackets, and one upper metal clip which accommodates all the CPU sockets. Assorted brass standoffs and thumbscrews make installation pretty straight forward. It's not tool free, so be prepared to open up the PC and install the motherboard rear support plate.
The TTC-NK85TZ has one set of wire fan mounting clips for the supplied 120mm fan, and can only accommodate the one fan. Users with their own 120mm fan can easily sway out the supplied silver-bladed fan for something quieter as it is a little loud at full speed.
Base Finish and Flatness
Flipping a heatsink over to inspect the business end is often a simple indicator of overall cooler quality. More practically speaking, a heatsink is in many ways only as effective as the contact it makes with the processor - the flatter and smoother the better. Base finish is one of the criteria that Frostytech measure in the course of evaluating heatsinks, and it involves two distinct aspects. Surface Finish is the first; this is calculated with the aid of Surface Roughness Comparator that has a cross section of common machine surface finishes and their numerical surface roughness equivalents in microinches. The second is Surface Flatness. This is tested with an engineers straight edge or proven flat surface, in two axis.
The Titan TTC-NK85TZ Fenrir heatsink has a machined base with a surface roughness of approximately ~16 microinches. The base is perfectly flat in both axis.
FrostyTech's Test Methodologies are outlined in detail here if you care to know what equipment is used, and the parameters under which the tests are conducted. Now let's move forward and take a closer look at this heatsink, its acoustic characteristics, and of course its performance in the thermal tests!
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