A gigantic heatsink isn't always needed to cool energy efficient 65W Intel Core 2 Duo processors, nor is it necessary for 35W Celeron processors. Believe it or not, newer processors are sometimes colder than the chips they replace. The reason is simple: Die shrinks. As the technology used to manufacture microprocessors moves from 90nm to 65nm, 65nm to 45nm, and shortly 45nm to 32nm, more circuits are being packed into ever decreasing spaces. More efficient processors require less electricity, and that generates less heat.
In other words if you're running an energy efficient processor it can pay to know your CPU's TDP (Thermal Design Power) before going out and dropping $80 bucks on overkill. Take for example the heatsink Frostytech is testing today. This is a muffin-sized socket 775 cooler, made of extruded aluminum with an 80mm fan atop. The Glacialtech Igloo 5063 Light E is rated for 35W Celeron, 65W Core 2 Duo and 95W Core 2 Quad processors... though we'd recommend you only consider it for the first two.
Glacialtech's Igloo 5063 Light E heatsink stands 67mm tall and comes with a fixed speed 80mm fan that rotates at a quiet 2600RPM. Being all aluminum, the heatsink weighs just 341 grams. Glacialtech's Igloo 5063 Light is compatible with Intel socket 775 CPUs outputting 95W heat or less, and ships with a convenient pre-applied patch of good quality Shin-Etsu thermal compound applied.
There's not a lot else that needs to be said about the Glacialtech Igloo 5063 Light E heatsink, other than to reiterate that it's best suited to vertically limited enclosures and energy efficient socket 775 processors. It should be suitable for 65W or 35W processors, but anything around a 150W heat load is pushing it... as you'll soon see.
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 Glacialtech Igloo 5063 Light E heatsink has a surface roughness of ~16 microinches. The base is 33x33mm in size and flat in both axis. A patch of good quality shin-etsu thermal compound is pre-applied to the base for ease of installation.
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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