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Acoustic Samples: Listen to this Heatsink!
The Akasa AK-960E heatsink should be exceptionally quiet when its fan is controlled by a Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) compliant motherboard BIOS, to run at the ultra low speed of 500RPM. For the rest of us who are using a system with standard 3-pin fan power connectors, the Akasa AK-960E will operate at its default speed of 3000RPM. To listen to this heatsink in operation at its full fan speed, click on the little headphones icon below and play the sample MP3 files.
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.
With its 97mm PWM fan spinning at 3000RPM the Akasa AK-960E heatsink generates 56.3 dBA. The stock Intel Pentium D heatsink produces about 47.5 dB at its fastest speed. We should also not that the AK-960E's fan does slow down to about 500RPM, but lacking a PWM fan speed controller we were unable to test this.
Surface Finish and Flatness
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 Akasa AK-960E heatsink has a surface roughness of approximately 63 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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