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Akasa AK-960E Socket 775 Heatsink Review
Akasa AK-960E Socket 775 Heatsink Review
  78%   
Abstract: As with most heatsinks that are vying to push the stock thermal solution out of the PC, the AK-960E comes equipped with a Pulse Width Modulation controlled fan.

 Company link  Category  Published  Author 
Akasa   Cooling / Heatsinks   Nov 16, 2006   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Page Title: Acoustic Comparisons and Base Surface Quality

Acoustic Samples: Listen to this Heatsink!

The Akasa AK-960E heatsink should be exceptionally quiet when its fan is controlled by a Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) compliant motherboard BIOS, to run at the ultra low speed of 500RPM. For the rest of us who are using a system with standard 3-pin fan power connectors, the Akasa AK-960E will operate at its default speed of 3000RPM. To listen to this heatsink in operation at its full fan speed, click on the little headphones icon below and play the sample MP3 files.

FrostyTech Acoustic Sampling Chamber
Standard Waveform view of a 10 second recording. Click on the headphones icon to listen to an MP3 recording of this heatsink in operation. The fan is rotating at 3000 RPM.

Sound Level Measurements: Which Heatsink is Quietest?

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 noise level measurements with a sound level meter.

FrostyTech Heatsink Noise Level Measurements
Noise level Decibel measurements of each heatsinks' fan in operation are taken with the aid of a sound level meter and sound isolating enclosure. The values may be higher than the mfgr's listed specs, but are directly comparable to one another. Measurements are made on the dB (A) scale, lower values are best. Information on Frostytech's test methodology is available here.
Manufacturer: Model No.: Fan* Speed: Noise Level (dBA): CPU** Platform

Verax Quattro 1 low 30.9 dB Intel/AMD
Zalman CNPS7000B-CU low 33.2 dB Intel/AMD
Scythe Shogun low 33.7 dB Intel/AMD
ASUS Starice low 34.4 dB Intel/AMD
Zalman CNPS7700-Cu low 35.1 dB Intel/AMD
Thermalfly F1-IACSHA low 35.4 dB Intel/AMD
Zalman CNPS9500 LED low 36.2 dB Intel/AMD
Verax Helado 36.3 dB Intel/AMD
Zalman CNPS8000 low 36.4 dB Intel/AMD
Thermalfly I75DUB 38.7 dB Intel
Gigabyte 3D Cooler-Pro low 38.8 dB Intel/AMD
Intel Stock Pentium D low 40.5 dB Intel
EKL V8 low 41.0 dB Intel/AMD
Gigabyte 3D Cooler-Ultra low 42.8 dB Intel/AMD
Coolermaster Hyper48 43.6 dB Intel/AMD
Gigabyte 3D Rocket-Pro low 43.8 dB Intel/AMD
Zalman CNPS7000B-CU high 44.9 dB Intel/AMD
Gigabyte GH-PCU23-VE low 44.9 dB Intel/AMD
Noctua NH-U12 45.4 dB Intel/AMD
Scythe Shogun high 45.9 dB Intel/AMD
Intel Stock Pentium D high 47.5 dB Intel
Coolermaster Aquagate Mini low 48.6 dB Intel/AMD
Thermalfly I75DUH 48.7 dB Intel
Spire SP601B3 48.9 dB Intel/AMD
nPowertek NPH-775-1 50.1 dB Intel
Zalman CNPS9500 LED high 50.3 dB Intel/AMD
Gigabyte 3D-Rocket 50.7 dB Intel/AMD
Zalman CNPS7700-Cu high 50.7 dB Intel/AMD
Gigabyte G-Power Pro low 50.9 dB Intel/AMD
OCZ Tempest 51.6 dB Intel/AMD
Apack Zerotherm BTF80 51.9 dB Intel/AMD
Apack Zerotherm BTF90 52.1 dB Intel/AMD
Zalman CNPS9500 AT 53.3 dB Intel
Thermlatake Jungle512 low 53.7 dB Intel
Thermalright Ultra 120 53.7 dB Intel/AMD
Verax Quattro 1 high 55.4 dB Intel/AMD
Akasa AK-960E 56.3 dB Intel
Zalman FS-C77 56.5 dB Intel/AMD
Gigabyte 3D Rocket-Pro high 56.7 dB Intel/AMD
Zalman CNPS8000 high 57.4 dB Intel/AMD
EKL V8 high 57.5 dB Intel/AMD
Sunon Watrubo 57.5 dB Intel
Antazone AS-C1000 57.6 dB Intel/AMD
Noctua NH-U9 58.4 dB Intel/AMD
Coolermaster Aquagate Mini high 59.2 dB Intel/AMD
Thermalfly F1-IACSHA high 60.4 dB Intel/AMD
Thermaltake Jungle512 high 60.8 dB Intel
Gigabyte 3D Cooler-Pro high 62.5 dB Intel/AMD
Gigabyte 3D Cooler-Ultra high 63.0 dB Intel/AMD
Evercool PT02-9232CP 63.3 dB Intel
Gigabyte GH-PCU23-VE high 65.6 dB Intel/AMD
ASUS Starice high 67.4 dB Intel/AMD
Thermalfly I75DUB high 68.5 db Intel
Gigabyte G-Power Pro high 71.9 dB Intel/AMD
Noise Level (dBA)

*Unless noted, for reference heatsinks with variable-speed fans only the 'high speed' (12V) fan noise measurement is included in the comparison sheet; more detailed results for the low fan speed (~5V) tests reside in each specific heatsink review. ** 'AMD' denotes compatibility with socket 754/939/940 & AM2 processors where applicable. 'Intel' denotes compatibility with socket 775 platform.

With its 97mm PWM fan spinning at 3000RPM the Akasa AK-960E heatsink generates 56.3 dBA. The stock Intel Pentium D heatsink produces about 47.5 dB at its fastest speed. We should also not that the AK-960E's fan does slow down to about 500RPM, but lacking a PWM fan speed controller we were unable to test this.

Surface Finish and Flatness

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 test involves the use of a Surface Roughness Comparator, which offers a concise cross section common machine surface finishes.

The Akasa AK-960E heatsink has a surface roughness of approximately 63 microinches, which is considered excellent. Next, let's see how this heatsink handles the heat compared to a selection of other heatsinks!



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Table of Contents:

 1:  Akasa AK-960E Socket 775 Heatsink Review
 2:  360° View - Akasa AK-960E Heatsink
 3: — Acoustic Comparisons and Base Surface Quality
 4:  Intel LGA775 Heatsink Temperature Comparisons

List all Akasa heat sinks that Frostytech tested?

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