nPowerTek TTIC NPH-201 Socket A Heatsink Review
The Thermal Transtech International Corp. NPH-201 Socket A heatsink is at first glance a cooler with a rather large central heatpipe. That assessment is just about correct, except that the large column supporting its many copper fins is not technically a heatpipe as we know it. It is what TTIC have termed a "heat column." This column, 25mm in diameter and made from a hollow copper cylinder, has a chemical coating on the inside that works to the same effect as a wick in a traditional heatpipe... at least as far as we can glean from TTICs patent on the technology.
The heat column as it called by the manufacturer, absorbs heat from the AthlonXP core and disperses it to approximately 30 copper fins measuring roughly 60x75mm in size. The 25mm diameter copper column passes up through the center of each of the 0.2mm thick copper fins, transferring the heat energy to them in the process. A set of fans arranged in a push-pull configuration provide the necessary airflow to remove the heat from the fins of the heatsink to the surrounding environment.
According to this documentation by QuTech, the heat column used here is essentially an empty cylinder of copper which has been internally coated with a thin "superconducting heat transfer medium." The copper cylinder is sealed off at both ends, and inside is under a vacuum of approximately 1 Torr.
Patent no. 6,132,823 explains QuTech's very interesting and potentially revolutionary process to the topic of heatpipes, entitled Superconducting Heat Transfer Medium . Here is a short excerpt from the patent which explains the technology in plain english... but feel free to skip ahead to the actual heatsink review.
While this 'heat column' technology has surfaced on a few heatsinks we've tested already, it may be slower to adopt in spite of its otherwise promising attributes. Also, since most people would be hard pressed to explain what a heatpipe is, or does, the "superconducting" heatpipe, or heat column is probably going to continue to generate a lot of confusion. Anyhow, on with the review of the TTIC NPH-201!
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