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Tocools Novasonic-AlCu Heatsink Review
Tocools Novasonic-AlCu Heatsink Review
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Abstract: Tocools have ingeniously created a triangular base within the heatsink by machining the individual fins from the raw aluminum to create a triangle of material down the center...

 Company link  Category  Published  Author 
Tocools   Cooling / Heatsinks   Dec 20, 2003   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Page Title: Surface Roughness Comparison

Surface Roughness Comparator:

Surface finish is an important factor that we all look for when holding a new heatsink. Flipping a cooler over to see how well the base has been machined is a quick way to judge the attention to detail that was put into making it. The following FrostyTech Surface Roughness Comparator offers a concise cross section common machine surface finishes. Not every heatsink base will fit into the envelope of this gage, but it does offer a very handy set of representations.

This commercially available gage has 22 machined surfaces from 2 to 500 microinches; Lapped (2, 4, and 8 µ" RA), Ground (8, 16, 32, and 63 µ" RA), Blanchard Ground (16 and 32 µ" RA), Shape Turned (32, 63, 125, 250, and 500 µ" RA), Profiled (63, 125, 250, and 500 µ" RA), and Milled (63, 125, 250, and 500 µ" RA).

FrostyTech Surface Roughness Comparator
2L 4L 8L 8G 16G 16BL 32G 32BL 32ST 63G 63M 63P 63ST 125M 125P 125ST 250M 250P 250ST 500M 500P 500ST

The base of a heatsink plays an important role in how well the cooling apparatus interfaces with the processor. Poor surface roughness will affect a good heatsink just as much as a good surface finish will improve thermal conductivity. In an effort to put a more quantitative spin on the comments we provide about base finishes, FrostyTech has begun using a Surface Roughness Comparator.

Move your mouse over the image above to see an example at right. Numbers are in Microinches, and finishes from 2 microinches to 32 microinches are excellent-to-good.

Evaluation Notes:

The Tocools Novasonic-AlCu heatsink had a surface roughness of approximately 8M , so it is well within the acceptable range of surface finishes. A finish of 8M is not given on this example gage, but one of 8L roughly approximates the degree of very subtle surface irregularities found.

Acoustic Samples: Listen to this Heatsink!

The Tocools Novasonic-AlCu wieghs in with a noise level of approximately 52dB - making it a moderately noisy heatsink. Of course, when heatsinks start nearing the 50 dBA side of the scale other components in the case can have a dramatic effect. A loud power supply, or GeforceFX can add just about as much noise pollution to the enclosure. To listen to this heatsink for yourself in operation, be sure to click on the little headphones icon below and download the Acoustic Sample MP3 file.

(high) FrostyTech Acoustic Sampling Chamber

Standard Waveform view of a 10 second recording. Click on the headphones to listen to an MP3 recording of this heatsink in operation.
Listen to this Heatsink now.

Sound Level Measurements:

Listening to the actual noise a heatsink makes allows you to hear what pure numbers alone cannot get across. To further emphasize FrostyTech's reliance on cold hard facts when evaluating a heatsink, we also take Decibel readings with a sound level meter. These results may be higher than the manufacturer's listed specs, but then again these are real world measurements. Measurements are made on the dB (A) scale.

FrostyTech Sound Level Results
- Manufacturer Model Noise Level Scale
Verax (low RPM) P14Cu 31.2 dB Quiet
Verax P14 32.1 dB
Verax P11T 35.3 dB
Spire 5U213C1H3G 35.7 dB
Coolermaster HHC-L61 42.2 dB
Coolermaster HSC-V62 43.7 dB
Akasa AK821 44.2 dB
Spire 5F263 44.5 dB
Akasa Ag Mountain2Q 45.5 dB
Taisol CMK702 47.3 dB
Zalman All Flower HSF 47.4/28.9 dB
Taisol CGK760092 48.4 dB
GlacialTech Igloo 2310 49.4 dB
Cho-Liang CB0307U-17 49.5 dB
Arkua 628 50.7 dB
Noisecontrol Silverado 50.8 dB
Tocools Novasonic 52.2 dB
Tocools Novasonic-AlCu 52.4 dB
NengTyi XPC5000 52.4 dB
Spire 5T235 52.5 dB
Thermal Integration TI-V77L 53.0 dB
GlacialTech Igloo 2400 53.9 dB
Eumax EU01 55.4 dB
Sibak AE01625B 58.2 dB
AVC Tundra 2 58.4 dB
Sibak AC02625B 59.7 dB
Coolermaster HHC-001 59.9 dB
Sibak AC06725TH 62.4 dB
Dynatron DY1206BH-625 63.3 dB
Dynatron DC1206BMP 65.1 dB
Thermalright SLK800 66.2 dB
Thermalright AX-7 66.4 dB louder

There are a lot of heatsinks in the 52-53 dB range, and that is something that will eventually have to change. Heatsinks over 55 dB can be really annoying, but for the most part coolers near the 50 dB mark are acceptable.



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Table of Contents:

 1:  Tocools Novasonic-AlCu Heatsink Review
 2:  Closer Examination of the Heatsink
 3:  Heatsink Thermal/Acoustic Test Parameters
 4: — Surface Roughness Comparison
 5:  Final Temperature Results

List all Tocools heat sinks that Frostytech tested?

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