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Thermalright SK6+ Copper Heatsink Review
Thermalright SK6+ Copper Heatsink Review
  72%   
Abstract: Thermalright heatsinks just look like they mean business. And matched with the right fan they often do...

 Manufacturer  Category  Published  Author 
Thermalright    Cooling / Heatsinks   Dec 28, 2003   Max Page  

Home > Reviews > Page: Surface Roughness / Acoustic Comparisons

Surface Roughness Comparator:

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 FrostyTech Surface Roughness Comparator offers a concise cross section common machine surface finishes. Not every heatsink base will fit into the envelope of this gage, but it does offer a very handy set of representations.

This commercially available gage has 22 machined surfaces from 2 to 500 microinches; Lapped (2, 4, and 8 µ" RA), Ground (8, 16, 32, and 63 µ" RA), Blanchard Ground (16 and 32 µ" RA), Shape Turned (32, 63, 125, 250, and 500 µ" RA), Profiled (63, 125, 250, and 500 µ" RA), and Milled (63, 125, 250, and 500 µ" RA).

FrostyTech Surface Roughness Comparator
2L 4L 8L 8G 16G 16BL 32G 32BL 32ST 63G 63M 63P 63ST 125M 125P 125ST 250M 250P 250ST 500M 500P 500ST

The base of a heatsink plays an important role in how well the cooling apparatus interfaces with the processor. Poor surface roughness will affect a good heatsink just as much as a good surface finish will improve thermal conductivity. In an effort to put a more quantitative spin on the comments we provide about base finishes, FrostyTech has begun using a Surface Roughness Comparator.

Move your mouse over the image above to see an example at right. Numbers are in Microinches, and finishes from 2 microinches to 32 microinches are excellent-to-good.

Evaluation Notes:

The Thermalright SK6+ heatsink had a surface roughness of approximately 16M, which is considered very good. Move your mouse over the 16BL tab above to see a large scan of what this surface roughness looks like.

Acoustic Samples: Listen to this Heatsink!

The 60mm Zalman fan we used for our tests has a bit of whine to it, but will probably not be all that noticeable outside of the actual computer case. To listen to this heatsink for yourself in operation, be sure to click on the little headphones icon below and download the Acoustic Sample MP3 file.

(high) FrostyTech Acoustic Sampling Chamber

Standard Waveform view of a 10 second recording. Click on the headphones to listen to an MP3 recording of this heatsink in operation.
Listen to this Heatsink now.

Sound Level Measurements:

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 Decibel readings with a sound level meter. These results may be higher than the manufacturer's listed specs, but then again these are real world measurements. Measurements are made on the dB (A) scale.

FrostyTech Sound Level Results
- Manufacturer Model Noise Level Scale
Verax (low RPM) P14Cu 31.2 dB Quiet
Verax P11T 35.3 dB
Spire SPA04B4 35.3 dB
Spire 5U213C1H3G 35.7 dB
Titan D9TBCu35R1 37.6 dB
ArcticCooling CuSilent2 37.9 dB
Aopen ACK7L 40.4 dB
Thermalright SK-7 42.8 dB
Thermalright SLK-900A 43.0 dB
Coolermaster HSC-V62 43.7 dB
Akasa AK821 44.2 dB
Spire 5F263 44.5 dB
Zalman All Flower HSF 47.4/28.9 dB
Arkua 728M-7N01 48.2 dB
Taisol CGK760092 48.4 dB
Cho-Liang CB0307U-17 49.5 dB
Thermalright SK6+ 50.4 dB
Titan TTC-CU9TB/SC 50.5 dB
Taisol CEK787172 50.7 dB
nPowerTek TTIC NPH-2 50.7 dB
Arkua 628 50.7 dB
Scythe Kamakaze 51.0 dB
Tocools Novasonic 52.2 dB
Tocools Novasonic-AlCu 52.4 dB
Thermal Integration TI-V77L 53.0 dB
Sibak AE01625B 58.2 dB
AVC Tundra 2 58.4 dB
Sibak AC02625B 59.7 dB
Coolermaster HHC-001 59.9 dB
Sibak AC06725TH 62.4 dB
Dynatron DC1206BMP 65.1 dB
Thermalright SLK800 66.2 dB
Thermalright AX-7 66.4 dB louder

With the sound meter in hand, we measured the noise from this fan and heatsink combination at 50 dBA. Next up, the thermal test results!

 Previous Page ° ° Next Page 

Table of Contents:

 1:  Thermalright SK6+ Copper Heatsink Review
 2:  Close examination of the heatsink
 3:  Heatsink Thermal/Acoustic Test Parameters
 4: — Surface Roughness / Acoustic Comparisons
 5:  Synthetic Temperature Test Results

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