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!
As the TTIC NPH-201 heatsink spins away with two fans, one would expect it produce quite a racket. Thankfully, TTIC have opted to use slightly lower RPM fans which together generate only about 52 dBA. 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.
While it is nice to listen to an actual sound recording of the heatsink in question, it isn't the best way for us to directly compare the noise levels from cooler-to-cooler. For that we must turn to the sound level meter, and it tells us that TTIC NPH-201 produces about 52 dB A under power. Not too bad, and even a little quieter than the Vantec VA4-7245 heatsink we just tested. Up next, the heatsink test results!
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