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Molex 371660003 Silent Heatsink Review
Molex 371660003 Silent Heatsink Review
Abstract: Molex may be better known for their little plastic electrical connectors, but amongst all their other ventures they have in their inventory a silent heatsink.

 Manufacturer  Category  Published  Author 
Molex   Cooling / Heatsinks   Jul 11, 2001   Max Page  

Home > Reviews > Page: Synthetic Temperature Test Results
FrostyTech Acoustic Sampling Chamber (~10 sec)
Spectral view.
Listen to this Heatsink now.
Standard Waveform view.
(Listen to an MP3 recording of this heatsink by clicking on the headphones)

Notice how thin the waveform image is of the noise produced by the Molex HSF in operation? The fan is virtually silent. When compared to other fans in the same thickness range, or even the venerable Delta, nothing comes close. Currently this is the most quiet fan and heatsink combo we have tested.

To further emphasize the difference here is the same waveform image from the Molex fan paired up with one of a Delta fan. The difference is quite significant.

Molex Fan
Delta Fan

Synthetic Temperature Test Results:

FrostyTech Synthetic Temperature Test Platform (50W heat load)
Mfg. Name Model No. Ambient Temp. (C) Large block (C) Small block (c) Thermal compound Thermal pad No. Fans Fan Noise Clip
1 Globalwin CAK38 25.2 43.5 45.8 silver goo - 1 high hard
2 Thermalright SK6 26.4 38.9 46.4 silver goo none 1 loud med
3 Thermaltake DragonOrb3 25.4 45.6 47.5 silver goo - 1 loud very stiff
4 Thermoengine V60-4210 25.0 43.9 47.6 AOS52029KY grey 1 low mod
5 Vantec CCK-6035D 27.0 45.8 48.0 silver goo none 1 high easy
6 Millennium Glaciator 27.0 46.0 50.0 silver goo none 1 med easy
7 Vantec FCE-6030D 26.2 46.6 50.7 silver goo - 1 high med
8 Blizzard S370-L 25.8 52.4 54.7 silver goo none 1 low easy
9 Neng Tyi SN03 27.7 45.9 57.2 AOS 52029KY green 1 med stiff
10 AVC 112BJO 25.2 51.8 58.5 silver goo pink 1 med stiff
11 Molex 371660003 25.3 64.2 60.3 silver goo green 1 none med
12 Coolermaster DP5-6H11 26.6 49.9 61.0 AOS 52029KY pink 1 low stiff

Although we tested the Molex HSF on the large copper die template it is not intended to be placed on the type of processor. The copper baseplate is only 23mm in diameter, far too small for a heatspreader-topped processor. The limitations of this are clearly shown by the rise in temperature over that of the small copper die template.

By looking at these results it is easy to see that the Molex HSF is at home on silicon dies. The initial temperature reading when mounted on the small copper die template is nothing to write home about, but it is not overly poor either. Bearing in mind the generally small stature of the Molex HSF we were a bit surprised it didn't flunk our tests altogether.

Rise Above Ambient Temperature (C)
Mfg. Model with large block with small block
1 Thermalright SK6 12.5 20.0
2 Globalwin CAK38 18.3 20.6
3 Vantec CCK-6035D 18.8 21.0
4 Thermaltake DragonOrb3 20.2 22.1
5 Thermoengine V60-4210 18.9 22.6
6 Millennium Glaciator 19.0 23.0
7 Vantec FCE-6030D 20.4 24.5
8 Blizzard S370-L 26.6 28.9
9 Neng Tyi SN03 18.2 29.5
10 AVC 112BJO 26.6 33.3
11 Coolermaster DP5-6H11 23.3 34.4
12 Molex 371660003 38.9 35.0

As a performance heatsink the Molex HSF can't compete. However, as a heatsink for applications where noise generation is a more significant of a problem, the sensitive acoustic capabilities of the Molex HSF is quite impressive. In a standard computer, the powersupply and drives will easily produce enough sound to make this heatsink seem utterly silent. In stand alone applications, the Molex is barely audible.

It would have been great to have seen the Molex HSF perform better than it had, perhaps the movement towards an all copper unit will afford it those capabilities. In the mean time the use of this rather small, and very specialized heatsink will be limited to applications where the processor does not output more than about 50W, and where noise is a serious concern.

As they say, it's not the best heatsink in the world, but it sure is one of the quietest.

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Heat Sink Review Index  

Table of Contents:

 1:  Molex 371660003 Silent Heatsink Review
 2:  Heatsink Perspectives
 3:  Frosty Acoustic / Thermal Tests
 4: — Synthetic Temperature Test Results

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