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Everyone has a better mouse trap. Heatsinks are no different, we've got an almost 500-strong pile of coolers in the FrostyTech labs to prove it. The Sunon Waturbo is the 486th heatsink to pass through the labs at Frostytech, but see for yourself, heatsinks and cooling systems are all we do! Over the years we've seen every imaginable way of taking heat away from a processor, and more often than not the simplest methods are best. Complex heatsinks don't always work when caked full of dust, watercooling systems dry up, pumps break, and we've even had one fan stall and burst into flames.
The Sunon Waturbo isn't your average heatsink, at its center is a liquid core and a little magnetically coupled impeller to stir things up. As the 92mm fan spins, so do the blades of the internal impeller. This pumps the red glycol based coolant around the small aluminum chamber at the heart of the Waturbo, through a pyramid of 1mm square copper pins and around again. The idea is to use the liquid to distribute the heat from the hefty copper base to the rest of the aluminum heatsink. In practice, the concept more or less works.
Sunon's Waturbo heatsink is compatible with socket 775 Intel processors, and the unit we received for testing came with the bare essentials. It's 92mm fan rotates at 3500RPM, and permanently drives a magnetically coupled impeller encased on the inside the body of the Waturbo. The coolant is sealed with o-ringed end caps, and tamper resistant hardware. Sunon's Waturbo heatsink weighs 645grams and retails for around $44USD.
To get at the inside the Waturbo we had to buy a special set of tamper resistant screwdriver bits - the allen key screws have a little dot of metal to prevent standard tools from being used. The copper base plate was carefully removed, and we were greeted by a small impeller, red coolant, and a well textured copper base plate. Note the o-ring and locktite on the screws.
The copper base of the Sunon Waturbo is the business end of the entire operation. On the side immersed in coolant we found nice square pins machined into it. The entire part was heavily chrome plated, and the little pins enhance the surface area in contact with the liquid coolant.
The other interesting aspect of Sunon's Waturbo heatsink is the magnetically coupled 92mm fan. The internal impeller works off of this alone, so you cannot replace this special fan with anything else.
Basically, Sunon have added a small donut magnet to the bottom of a standard 92mm fan. This spins with the blades inside a shallow recess in back of the heatsink, thus turning the internal impeller as well. This is what the whole assembly looks like when put back together.
The Sunon Waturbo heatsink comes a simple rear socket 775 motherboard support bracket, and some screws to attach it to the heatsink. The screws go from the opposite side of the motherboard, into the heatsink. You'll need to pull the motherboard from the case to install the Waturbo.
Base Finish and Flatness
Flipping a heatsink over to inspect the business end is often a simple indicator of overall cooler quality. More practically speaking, a heatsink is in many ways only as effective as the contact it makes with the processor - the flatter and smoother the better. Base finish is one of the criteria that Frostytech measure in the course of evaluating heatsinks, and it involves two distinct aspects. Surface Finish is the first; this is calculated with the aid of Surface Roughness Comparator that has a cross section of common machine surface finishes and their numerical surface roughness equivalents in microinches. The second is Surface Flatness. This is tested with an engineers straight edge or proven flat surface, in two axis.
The base of the Sunon Waturbo heatsink is a 5mm thick slab of copper, with a heavy chrome plating. It has a smooth surface finish, and surface roughness is ~8 microinches which is excellent. The copper base is perfectly flat in both axis. The opposite side of the copper base has an O-ring to prevent fluid leaks, and a pyramid of small copper pins to transfer heat into the red coolant.
FrostyTech's Test Methodologies are 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 its performance in the thermal tests!
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