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Coolermaster HHC-001 Copper Heatpipe Heatsink
The list of emails requesting us to review the HHC-001 is pretty astounding, so here, finally is our review of this very cool, and very nifty looking heatsink from Coolermaster. With this heatsink we can say for certain that Aluminum is out and copper is in. Big noisy fans are in, and so are really quiet ones... manufacturers have been struggling to find new ways of improving the heat dissipating properties of their heatsinks as always.
Using cooper is an obvious first step, and Coolermaster have even gone one step further by including twin heatpipes in the HHC-001. The Heatpipes are there to try and boost the overall performance of the heatsink by bringing more heat to the upper area of the fins then simple heat flow can muster. It also makes this heatsink look damn fine I might add.
Do the heatpipes really make that much of a difference? Does the HHC-001 really deserve all the acclaim is has received in the past several months? Rest assured we are about to find out!
There have been countless explanations of what heatpipes are, how they work, and how effective they can be. I'm going to take the brief route and give you the non-scientific gist in one or two sentences because I know you have a long list of heatsink reviews to go through on FrostyTech today!
The basic operation of a heatpipe:
The two copper tubes which jump out of the Coolermaster HHC-001 and then swing around back in are hollow and encapsulate a vacuum. Around the inside of the copper tubes is sintered copper which acts like a wick for a small amount of working fluid (usually water) which is also contained in the tubes. When one end of the heatpipe gets hot, say from a nice little processor, that small amount of water vaporizes in the vacuum atmostphere inside the copper tubes. As the vapor makes its way to the other end of the copper tube it cools down and begins to condense. With no place to go but back, the condensed water vapour travels along the wick structure (coating the inside of the tube remember) back to the heat source where the entire process is repeated again, and again.
There are much more technical ways of describing this, but that's the gist of it. In any case the HHC-001 uses two heatpipes achieve even heat distribution at the tops of the copper fins where the heatpipes pass under the main flow of the fans exhaust.
Now with such a large mass of copper on top of those fragile AMD processor cores (for instance) it can be pretty important to minimize the amount of movement the heatsink can have if the computer is shifted, or moved roughly. One of the smallest things which we have seen a lot of heatsink manufactures overlook is sliding. When the heatsink is installed on a computer it can side a few millimeters down unless the clip also locks in place. As you can see by the photo below, Coolermaster have added an ingenious little cantilever at the center of the copper heatsink to lock that stainless steel clip in place, preventing the HHC-001 from any large movements once it has been installed on a processor.
Up next we are going to take a good look at the many different sides of the HHC-001 - its always hard to get a good look at heatsinks when you are shopping online, so enjoy the fact we've snapped a whole bunch of close up shots with the ol' digital camera.
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