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.
BeQuiet's Shadow Rock 2 incorporates a thick nickel plated copper base plate which is soldered onto the four 8mm diameter copper heatpipes. Surface finish on the baseplate is very smooth, owing to the plating. Surface roughness is at or better than ~8 microinches. The baseplate is quite flat, but shows evidence of very minor waviness in one axis and concavity in the other axis, most likely from the plating process.
Sound level measurements are coming up next on Frostytech...
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