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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; 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 Zalman CNPS10X Performa heatsink is perfectly flat in both axis and has a satin (lapped) surface finish which is very smooth. Surface roughness is at or better than ~16 microinches, which is considered excellent. Next up, sound level measurements and then AMD and Intel thermal test results!
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