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After a long absence from all things heatsink related, OCZ is back in the game with a compact little multi-socket heatsink called the Tempest. The OCZ Tempest heatsink weighs in at 580 grams, and is built upon a design that relies heavily on copper components. The design is a fairly predictable mix of copper, heatpipes and a big low RPM fan, so it will be interesting to see how OCZ's product fairs against the strong lineup of socket AM2/939 AMD Athlon64 heatsinks on the market right now. The performance of the stock Athlon64 X2 AM2 heatsinks is quiet remarkable, and I suspect the Tempest will need more than a bit of copper, or a blue LED illuminated fan to prove its mettle.
Below the OCZ Tempest's 95mm diameter blue LED illuminated fan is an array of nickel plated copper fins which are joined to the base of the heatsink by four 6mm heatpipes. The fins largely hover over the copper base of the OCZ Tempest heatsink, although there are a few thermal via's where each of the four heatpipes is soldered. The majority of the heat energy absorbed from the processor integrated heat spreader, bit it Intel Pentium D LGA775 or socket AM2 AMD Athlon64, is transmitted along the heatpipes to the upper half of the copper cooling fins.
The OCZ Tempest heatsink installs onto socket 775 and socket 478 Intel Pentium processors via a set of mounting brackets which attach to the copper base plate. For AMD Athlon64 socket 754/939/940 and socket AM2 processors another set of brackets is used. Each set of brackets is matched with a motherboard support plate, and in this respect the OCZ Tempest is a very flexible heatsink. If you have a upgrade plans penciled in for the near future, the Tempest can accommodate.
Arguably the best aspect of the OCZ Tempest heatsink is the one geared towards enthusiasts - a quick change fan bracket!
The bracket is tooled for 80 and 92mm diameter fans, and clips onto the Tempest heatsink without tools. If you need to swap out a fan for something quieter, or faster, the entire fan bracket removes in a second to provide easy access without having to uninstall the entire heatsink.
The small mountain of mounting brackets that accomodates the OCZ Tempest heatsink are pictured below. There are no less than four separate motherboard support plates; one for socket 478, AM2, LGA775, and 754/939/940 respectively.
The downside to all of this is that for socket 478 and LGA775 processors you'll need to remove your motherboard from the case to install the OCZ heatsink, and depending on how much gear you have in you PC that can be a real pain.
On the plus side, K8 motherboards generally all ship with the metal motherboard support brackets that have a 6-32 thread, so the existing plate will work just fine with the spring tensioned clips of the Tempest heatsink.
FrostyTech's K8 Test Methodology is outlined in detail here if you care to know what equipment is used, and the parameters under which the tests are conducted. Now let's move forward and take a closer look at this heatsink, its acoustic characteristics, and of course it performance in the thermal tests!
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