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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).
Acoustic Samples: Listen to this Heatsink!
With fan speed control at your finger tips, the Coolermaster Hyper6 can be as loud as 54 dBA, or as quiet as 47 dBA with the stock fan. In the unit we tested, there seemed to be a fair bit of motor noise - so perhaps there was a bad bearing in the fan. Considering also that the tops of the heatpipes come right through the aluminum fan shroud, it could have also been vibrations from the two adjoining bits of metal (there is no glue to stop the shroud from rattling around). We've split up the Acoustic Samples into two parts, the first with the fan running at full speed, and the second with it turned down to the lowest RPM.
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.
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.
The Coolermaster Hyper6 KHCV81U1 heatsink isn't the quietest heatsink on the planet when set to run at 1900RPM, but it is at least better than its full speed setting. Given the large size of this heatsink, I'd be tempted to try it out with a slightly quieter 80mm fan if I had it running 24/7 in my PC.
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