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The Coolink Silentator follows in the footsteps of the Noctua NH-U12 heatsink quite closely, not surprising since the two coolers are manufactured by the same company. As you'd expect, the Coolink Silentator is a low noise thermal solution based around a low-RPM 120mm fan, with the option to dial down its speed and operate at near whisper quiet sound levels.
The Silentator makes a departure from the tradition of packaging in every imaginable form of mounting clip, rather Coolink sell the Silentator in three different CPU flavours. You'll find one for Intel Socket 775 processors, one for AMD socket AM2 or one for AMD socket 939/754/940 chips. I'm not sure if this is a benefit to users, or not... Though to be fair, most users tend to stick with one CPU platform rather than jumping from AMD to Intel, but it's nice to at least have that option open. For the purposes of this review Frostytech will be testing the Silentator on both Intel and AMD platforms, but be aware that retail heatsinks will be sold in one of the three processor platforms only.
The towering 640gram Silentator cooler ships with mounting clips to install a 120mm fan on both sides of the heatsink, and comes with a single very quiet 120mm fan. The 40-odd nickle-plated aluminum cooling fins are connected by three copper heat pipes to a copper base plate, and all joints are appropriately soldered.
A strip of vibration absorbing elastomer is run along the corners of the heatsink to pad the 120mm fan from direct contact with the metal fins. A common tool to prevent rattling noises from developing. Fan speed can be controlled from 900-1600RPM care of a PCI bracket fan speed controller. The Coolink Silentator heatsink stands 153mm tall, so double check that you PC case can accommodate it. The Coolink Silentator heatsink retails for $49USD ($52CDN), and is covered by a 36 month warranty from the manufacturer.
Like a lot of 'tower' heatsinks coming out of Taiwan, the leading and trailing edges of the aluminum fins on the Coolink Silentator are textured, the center portion indented. This is a technique to diminish problems associated with back pressure from closely spaced fins and low speed fans. The geometry of the fins breaks up airflow and is said to allow it to more easily pass through.
The Coolink Silentator uses springy wire clips to hold a 120mm fan in place. There are notches on either side of the heatsink to hold the wire clip, so depending on the orientation after you install the heatsink, a fan can always be installed pointing towards the rear of the chassis.
The Coolink Silentator heatsink ships with a bracket that accomodates one processor platform. The particular heatsink Frostytech tested was for socket AM2 AMD processors. Thermal compound, a fan speed controller, and molex to 3-pin power adaptor are also provided.
Other versions of the Coolink Silentator include a brackets for installing the heatsink onto the three major processor formfactors. In each case the heatsink is basically affixed to the motherboard with the use of tools. A set of plates are first attached to the copper base, and a backplate positioned behind the motherboard.
The fan is the last component to be attached. If you try and install the heatsink with the fan in place you'll quickly discover that it blocks the screws for the heatsink mounting hardware... which makes the whole process a little annoying if the computer case is a tight fit.
Getting the large Coolink Silentator heatsink into position on the AMD CPU die and affixed with the spring-tensioned screws wasn't too difficult. The fan is oriented such that air blows through the fins of the Silentator heatsink, so hot air should be blowing towards the rear or top of an actual PC case.
The Coolink Silentator 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 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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