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 engineer's straight edge or proven flat surface, in two axes.
The copper base plate of Coolermaster's Nepton 280L waterblock has a fine-sanded surface finish with a surface roughness of approximately ~32 microinches. The copper base plate is very slightly convex in one axis and just about perfectly flat in the opposite. The copper base plate must be flexible as thermal compound squeezed out completely during testing, indicating flush contact with our flat copper CPU interface die.
Next, acoustic measurements and then AMD and Intel synthetic thermal test result charts.
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