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Thermoengine Comparison - Solid vs. Hollow
Thermoengine Comparison - Solid vs. Hollow
Abstract: Just as quickly as Thermosonic's ThermoEngine entered the cooling market, it has since managed to get itself into controversy.

 Manufacturer  Category  Published  Author 
Thermoengine   Cooling / Heatsinks   May 04, 2001   Max Page  

Home > Reviews > Page: Differences between the two

Differences between the two varieties of Thermoengine V60-4210 heatsink

Hollow Thermoengine Solid Thermoengine

There is no real difference between the outward appearance of the fans on each of the Thermoengine heatsinks except for the number of fan blades.. In our testing the 9-blade YS Tech fan (on the Hollow Thermoengine) offered better cooling capabilities than the 7-blade T&T fan on the Solid Thermoengine. The difference in performance between the two fans was about 3 degrees Celsius.

The aluminum heatsink extrusions are exactly the same for each Thermoengine. The only differences we could spot were between the patent numbers printed on the corners, and the text on the fan shroud. The original (hollow) Thermoengine has the following bits which appear to be absent from the current retail versions: "Thermosonic Technology Inc," and "sink & clip patent pend. world wide."

Both of the heatsinks have their bases finished with the same machining quality. From our measurements the bases of each Thermoengine are perfectly flat. There are some very small marks left over from the machining process, but regardless, the base is fairly smooth.

The reason for much of the controversy over the Thermoengine heatsink lies with the absence of the top plug, shown on the original hollow Thermoengine on the left. The solid Thermoengine on the right is without this feature.

The big question is whether or not the hollow cylinder inside the Thermoengine has a significant effect on the heatsinks' ability to cool. If the majority of the Thermoengine's cooling effectiveness is drawn from the hollow cylinder then its removal will have a substantial impact. If however, the Thermoengine is mainly reliant upon its' unique aluminum extrusion, then the effect of the absent hollow cylinder will be moot for the most part.

This image, over the top plug for the hollow cylinder within the Thermoengine has been the center of much speculation. Many people originally assumed that it contained an integral heatpipe, a liquid, a phase change material, or some other chemical or gaseous substance.
The current versions of the Thermoengine in the retail channels appear to lack this fundamental feature. Why it was removed are beyond the scope of this article, but we will demonstrate the differences in temperatures by its omission.
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Table of Contents:

 1:  Thermoengine Comparison - Solid vs. Hollow
 2: — Differences between the two
 3:  Synthetic Temperature Test
 4:  Test Results
 5:  Four Tips for Identifying the Solid HS

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