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Taisol CMK702151A Copper Heatpipe Heatsink Review
I often have to sit back and marvel at the sheer amount of innovation being used to create the 'next best heatsink' in such a fiercly competitive market as processor cooling. In fact, the heatsink industry is remarkably cut-throat, which I suppose is one of the reasons why innovation is embraced so fully by engineers.
The tri-heatpipe and suspended base heatsink we see here from Taisol is one of the more unique concepts to come out of Taiwan of late, and is geared towards the lower-noise markets. If you have been following the SFF PC trend, you may also recognize some aspects of this design from older SFF PC cooling systems.
The basic concept of the Taisol CMK702151A is actually pretty simple despite the complicated appearance. The small heatsink at the bottom has a copper plate which holds in place three separate heatpipes locked into 9mm groves. The little aluminum heatsink isn't the primary method of cooling however, it is the large set of aluminum fins which are attached to the copper heatpipes that well, take the heat.
The Taisol CMK702151A works by moving heat energy from the processor through the three 6mm diameter copper heatpipes to the aluminum fin assembly which sits on top of a 70mm fan suspended below it. The aluminum fin assembly has a nice large surface area which should help transfer the heat energy from the heatpipes to the surrounding environment quickly, though the fins are somewhat thick.
When the cooler is installed in the socket it will stand 90mm tall so consumers looking to use this heatsink will have to make sure there is adequate case clearance. Cases which have the power supply over the processor socket for example will not work with this type of cooler either.
The Magic of Heatpipes
A heatpipe works by transferring heat energy in the form of liquid vapour, within a sealed copper tube who contents are in a vacuum.
There is a small amount of water inside the tube (also known as working fluid) whose job it is to absorb the latent heat at the heat source. As the temperature rises it causes the working fluid to boil in the low pressure atmosphere, undergoing a phase change to water vapour. In our daily lives, water boils at 100C, but if you remember back to physics class as pressure is decreased, the temperature gradient required to vaporize water also drops. In any case, the small amount of water inside easily converts to water vapour as the temperature of the evaporator end of the heatpipe increases.
The vapour is subsequently drawn to the cooler end of the heatpipe and condenses - this part of the heatpipe is typically connected up the cooling fins. As the hot vapour cools back into a liquid, the heat energy that it previously stored is transferred into the surrounding environment, be it aluminum fin, or otherwise.
The condensed vapour, now called a working fluid once again, is drawn back to the hot evaporator end of the heatpipe by capillary action along an internal wick structure. As the working fluid again reaches the hot end of the heatpipe once more, the entire process repeats itself.
Heatpipes are a closed loop process which work within certain temperature ranges (for example 40C - 60C degrees). If the differential between the hot and cooler sides becomes too low (say for example, each end of the heatpipe is 40 degrees) the system can stall. That shouldn't be a problem here however. Next up, let's take a better look at the Taisol CMK702151A heatsink.
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