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Alpha Novatech PAL-8150 Athlon64 Heatsink Review
Alpha Novatech PAL-8150 Athlon64 Heatsink Review
Abstract: The Alpha PAL-8150 heatsink is built to cool recent single and dual core AMD Athlon64/FX/X2 & AMD Opteron processors, and so it's compatible with all socket 939/940/754 CPUs.

 Manufacturer  Category  Published  Author 
Alpha Novatech   Cooling / Heatsinks   Feb 09, 2006   Max Page  

Home > Reviews > Page: Surface Roughness and Acoustic Comparisons

Acoustic Samples: Listen to this Heatsink!

With the fan on the Alpha PAL-8150 heatsink spinning around at approximately 4000 revolutions per minute, noise levels are a bit above average (nearly 59dBA). This heatsink will be fine in office environments, but a quieter fan might make a better choice for home situations. To Listen to this heatsink in operation, be sure to click on the little headphones icon below and play the sample MP3 file.

FrostyTech Acoustic Sampling Chamber
Standard Waveform view of a 10 second recording. Click on the headphones icon to listen to an MP3 recording of this heatsink in operation. High-Speed Recording.

Sound Level Measurements: Which Heatsink is Quietest?

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 noise level measurements with a sound level meter. Heatsink Noise Level Measurements
Noise level Decibel measurements of each heatsinks' fan in operation are taken with the aid of a sound level meter and sound isolating enclosure. The values may be higher than the mfgr's listed specs, but are directly comparable to one another. Measurements are made on the dB (A) scale. Information on Frostytech's test methodology is available here.
manufacturer: model no.: *fan speed: noise level (dba):

Arctic Cooling Silencer 64 Ultra TC low 27.6 dB Quiet
Verax Quattro 1 30.9 dB Quiet
Scythe Samurai SCSM1000 low 30.9 dB
Zalman CNPS7000A-Cu low 32.7 dB
Zalman CNPS7000B-CU low 33.2 dB
Zalman CNPS7000-Cu low 33.5 dB
Scythe Shogun low 33.7 dB
ASUS Starice low 34.4 dB
Zalman CNPS9500LED (clip parallel) low 36.2 dB
Gigabyte 3D Cooler-Pro low 38.8 dB
EKL V8 low 41.0 dB
Gigabyte NeonCooler 8-BL 42.0 dB
Thermaltake Polo 735 low 42.3 dB
Thermaltake Venus 12 low 42.6 dB
Gigabyte 3D Cooler-Ultra low 42.8 dB
Cooljag SFO-H low 43.0 dB
Coolermaster Hyper48 43.6 dB
Gigabyte 3D Rocket-Pro low 43.8 dB
AVC Z7U3301 low 44.2 dB
Dynatron A22 44.5 dB
Ajigo MF043-044 45.4 dB
Coolermaster Hyper6 low 46.1 dB
Scythe Kama SCKK1000 47.5 dB
Coolermaster Aquagate Mini low 48.6 dB
Vantec Mach1 low 48.6 dB
Thermaltake Silentboost K8 49.7 dB
Gigabyte 3D-Rocket 50.7 dB
Gigabyte G-Power Pro low 50.9 dB
Arctic Cooling Freezer 64 Pro 50.9 dB
Evercool K802-715 51.5 dB
nPowertek NPH K8-1 52.2 dB
Jetart JAX801 53.5 dB
Evercool Magic Cooler 55.5 dB
Dynatron SK-V24 56.4 dB
Alpha PAL-8150 58.9 dB
Titan TTC-K8ATB/825/SC 63.1 dB
CoolJag SFO-D(18SC) 64.0 dB
noise level (dba)
*unless noted, for reference heatsinks with variable-speed fans only the 'high speed' (12V) fan noise measurement is included in the comparison sheet; more detailed results for the low fan speed (~5V) tests reside in each specific heatsink review.

Clearly Alpha have selected a Delta fan model which enables the PAL-8150 heatsink to operate at ideal thermal levels, while considerations for its noise output have been much more lenient. The heatsink will be a little noisy for applications where quiet is a concern, but it shouldn't be too distracting in an office environment or in a server.

Surface Finish Comparator Notes: Flatness and Finish

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 test involves the use of a Surface Roughness Comparator, which offers a concise cross section common machine surface finishes.

The Alpha PAL-8150 heatsink has a surface roughness of approximately ~8 microinches, which is considered excellent. Next, let's see how this heatsink handles the heat compared to a selection of other heatsinks!

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Table of Contents:

 1:  Alpha Novatech PAL-8150 Athlon64 Heatsink Review
 2:  360° View - Alpha PAL-8150 Heatsink
 3: — Surface Roughness and Acoustic Comparisons
 4:  Final Heatsink Temperature Comparisons

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