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The Cooljag Falcon 92-AL is an aluminum heatsink designed for use on the latest Intel and AMD processors. It has a 92mm internally illuminated which is thermally responsive (it changes speed based in case air temp.), and on the while the heatsink operates quietly. Like many heatsinks being released this year, the Falcon 92-AL is a two part deal; four 6mm diameter copper heatpipes connect the bottom copper plate with an array of stacked aluminum fins above. It's a technique that can yield excellent thermal efficiency, but because Cooljag are calling this the "best air cooler in the market" we're going to approach the Falcon 92-AL heatsink with skepticism... No heatsink is ever really "the best", at least not for more than a fleeting moment.
Cooljag's Falcon 92-Al is the sister heatsink to an all copper version, and that review can be found here if you'd like to know what difference 480 grams of copper made. The all aluminum Falcon 92-AL is lightweight, coming it at just over 380 grams. It installs easily onto AMD K8 processors via the common central lug of the heatsink retention cage, and via a slightly more complicated manner on LGA775 Intel processors. We'll touch upon all that momentarily.
If you have an AMD Athlon64 processors in socket 754/939/940/AM2 or socket 775 Intel Pentium 4/D, Core 2 Duo/Quad processor you'll find the Falcon 92-Al heatsink compatible. It is available through most these online retailers for around $49 USD, thermal paste included.
It's interesting to note that CPU power outputs haven't burst past 135W, and many mainstream CPUs have even fallen back to 85W or 65W. Heatsinks on the other hand continue to advance in design and employ heatpipes in ever increasing numbers. There are benefits to a highly efficient heatsink. Lower noise output is the biggest one, fan blades need not spin very fast when surface area is large. The underlying thermal design of many heatsinks may be able to handle upwards of a 150W heat load, but this also means these heatsinks can just as quietly keep an 85W Core 2 Duo processor running smoothly too.
The Cooljag Falcon 92-AL heatsink uses four 6mm diameter copper heatpipes to conduct heat from the copper base plate to aluminum cooling fins above. On top of the heatsink base is a small skived aluminum heatsink. Since exhaust airflow is directed down towards this area anyway, the skived heatsink works to further reduce temperatures.
Mounting the Falcon 92-AL to LGA775 processors requires one set of metal mounting brackets, K8 motherboards another. Cooljag use an innovative approach, slotting the brackets into a recess in the copper base of the heatsink with a couple screws to hold things in place. It's an uncomplicated way to make one heatsink multi-platform compliant.
Temperature Responsive Fan
Another tool used to reduce noise from the Cooljag Falcon 92-AL heatsink is a small green thermistor located off the fan motor. The thermistor reacts to the temperature of the ambient internal case air temperature.
In the right computer enclosure this can certainly reduce fan speed, and hence heatsink noise. Positioned along the side of the fan motor, the thermistor is unfortunately unable to directly react to the temperature of the metal. That can at times lead towards reduced fan speeds when a higher RPM is called for. The 92mm diameter fan speed varies from 1200-2500RPM, and is PWM compliant (4-pin power connector). For the purposes of testing in the Frostytech labs, we will short out the thermistor connection on the Falcon 92-AL fan to induce the maximum speed.
Brackets for Intel and AMD Processors
The Cooljag Falcon 92-AL heatsink ships with two sets of mounting brackets; one for socket 754/939/940/AM2 AMD Athlon64 processors, and one for socket 775 Intel CPUs. Different metallic side brackets attach to the heatsink itself, and in the case of the LGA775 processors a rear-motherboard support bracket and four brass stands are also utilized.
AMD users will be able to install the Cooljag Falcon 92-AL heatsink without removing the motherboard from the case, Intel users will have to in order to install this heatsink. One nice part included with the heatsink is a plastic spatula for spreading an even coat of silicon thermal compound over the surface of the CPU heatspreader, and heatsink base. Nice touch that.
The Cooljag Falcon 92-AL heatsink will be tested on FrostyTech's Intel LGA775 and K8 version of the Mk.II synthetic thermal temperature test platform, and compared against several reference LGA775 and K8 heatsinks. The whole test methodology is outlined in detail here if you'd like 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 its thermal performance!
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