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Frostytech Investigates: Surface Mapped Athlon
Frostytech Investigates: Surface Mapped Athlon
Abstract: We take an Athlon, crack it open, measure everything to 0.0001", then make a colourful diagram showing just how unflat the most important bit is. Interested? Read on.

 Manufacturer  Category  Published  Author   Cooling / Heatsinks   May 18, 2000   Max Page  

Home > Reviews > Page: The Taisol heatsink
The Taisol Heatsink:

Right out of the box I thought AMD had strapped on an Alpha heatsink. But one look at the bottom of the Alpha-like cooler and the differences became obvious. First off the heatsink is labeled "Made in Taiwan". With a little bit of searching I found that the company making them is called Taisol Electronics. Their 'Forged 14-fin' cooler was on our Athlon processor.

QuickSpecs on the Taisol Athlon heatsink
  • Cold Forged 6063-T5 Aluminum
  • BB fan 12VDC 0.2A 1.56 Watt
  • 6400 RPM
  • 16.4 CFM
  • Motherboard power connector
  • Fanspeed monitor
  • Dim: 120x58.7x53mm
  • $18.90 (if bought separately)

We took a look at the base of the heatsink with the same apparatus, and it faired pretty well under close measurement - except at the edges. Its  base was machined consistent, but the edges curled down slightly. Mounting would have caused the edges to act like little standoffs and keep the center region from making full contact. 

While the mounting pins in the base of the heatsink would have foiled anyone's attempt at lapping, most of the problem regions were easily within reach of a small file. With the edges beveled, the significant irregularites could easily be fixed on the Taisol heatsink, and I think it would be measurably more effective: less thermal goo, closer contact, etc. equals better job cooling the Athlon. 

We did not do an image map of the base of this heatsink because we assumed most serious overclockers will probably remove it and opt for an Alpha, or liquid cooled plate of some design. So getting back to the irregularities for a moment, what is the best solution for the Athlon and its 'heatspreader'?

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Table of Contents:

 1:  Frostytech Investigates: Surface Mapped Athlon
 2:  Surface mapping the plate
 3: — The Taisol heatsink
 4:  The final fix is....

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