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The Vantec Aeroflow FX 92 heatsink is the little brother to Vantec's Aeroflow FX 120, though hardly a weakling. The Aeroflow FX 92 features exposed copper heatpipes, a fan which can slow down to quiet levels and legacy Intel processor compatibility.
Vantec's Aeroflow FX 92 (model VAF-9225) heatsink makes use of four white rubber vibration absorbing posts to hold the 92mm PWM fan in place, a trend we're seeing used widely these days. The fan spins anywhere from 1025-2800RPM and the heatsink weighs 432 grams. Vantec's Aeroflow FX 92 heatsink is compatible with both Intel socket 478 and 775 CPUs, and AMD socket 754/939/940/AM2 processors. It's pretty rare these days to find new heatsinks being released with socket 478 compatibility in mind.
The 92mm fan on this heatsink makes the Aeroflow FX 92 better suited to mid-tower cases than the larger Aeroflow 120 model. The retail price for this Vantec heatsink is expected to be in the region of $45CDN ($45USD) through the regular online CPU cooler stores like this or these guys. Compact heatsinks are great, but at only $5-10 less than the Aeroflow FX 120 model, is the Aeroflow FX 92 worth it? Read on as Frostytech puts the Vantec Aeroflow FX 120 heatsink through its paces!
First off let's talk about the exposed heatpipes on the base of the Aeroflow FX 92 heatsink. It's a technique quite a few heatsink manufacturers are using right now, largely because it works exceptionally well. The three 8mm diameter heatpipes come in direct contact with the top of the Intel/AMD processor, allowing heat energy to be conducted directly to the aluminum fins above with the least thermal joint resistance possible.
The aluminum fins are angled slightly back to give a compact profile to the heatsink. The white 120mm PWM fan is held in place on the aluminum fins of the Vantec Aeroflow FX 92 with four white vibration absorbing rubber mounting posts.
The rubber posts slide into the metal much easier than a similar system used with Xigmatek heatsinks, and allow the user to remove the fan during heatsink installation on socket 775 processors. As you'll see, the Aeroflow FX 92 can be set to run as a relatively quiet performance heatsink.
Multi-CPU Compatible Hardware
The Vantec Aeroflow FX 92 heatsink is sold with brackets for Intel and AMD processors, so it can be used on any CPU released in the last 5 years. The heatsink is compatible with both socket 478 and LGA775 Intel processors, and the full range of AMD K8 chips. Intel socket 1366 mounts are not provided.
The Intel socket 775 clips use the standard push-to-lock plastic clips that insert into the four motherboard holes around the processor socket. AMD Athlon 64 processors on 754/939/940/AM2/AM2+ work with a modified spring clip that attaches to the lugs on the AMD heatsink retention frame. A cam lever at one end of the clip applies pressure to the heatsink base directly. Legacy Intel socket 478 processors use special tabs to extend the width of the base so regular tool-free clips can be locked into the heatsink retention frame.
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 Vantec Aeroflow FX 92 heatsink has a surface roughness of approximately 32 microinches, which is considered good. The base itself has a smooth sanded finish and is generally flat in both axis. The copper and aluminum parts of the base are flush with one another.
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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