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Swiftech MCX370-0A Heatsink Review
Swiftech MCX370-0A Heatsink Review
Abstract: It's really the laws of physics that determine just how well a heatsink performs, and manufacturing quality only plays a small part realistically.

 Manufacturer  Category  Published  Author 
Swiftech   Cooling / Heatsinks   Nov 26, 2001   Max Page  
Swiftech MCX370-0A Heatsink Review

Swiftech has mainly been targeting the high end cooling market that performance users are so fanatical about. If you run a performance system and need to have the best possible cooling, chances are you are willing to shell out your hard earned money for a Swiftech cooler. It's really the laws of physics that determine just how well a heatsink performs, and manufacturing quality only plays a small part realistically. No matter how well the base of a heatsink is finished, if the design is not properly configured the heatsink just won't be capable of relinquishing the heat to the surrounding environment.

Of course there is always an 'X' factor - generally the 'better' looking heatsinks get the most attention. On with the review of Swiftech's all-aluminum MCX370-0A.

Heatsink Specsheet:
  • Model: MCX370-0A
  • Fan: Papst, 6800RPM, 33CFM, 12V, 43dBa, 0.25A, 3W.
  • Fan Dim: 25x60x60mm
  • Heatsink Dim: 71x64x63mm
  • HS Material: Aluminum
  • Mfg by: Swiftech
  • Cost: ~$40

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Heatsink Audio Sample Included. Intended for use on Socket 370/A processors.

Textured pin heatsink:

Textured pins have emerged as Swiftech's next call to fame. Although the thinner pins on the newer heatsinks tend to work better, this was indeed where it all started. The idea behind the threaded texturing as we can see it is two fold. The primary goal is to improve surface area, and the secondary goal is probably to create more turbulence in the air. Personally, it just looks like a bunch of screws in a block of aluminum to us :-)

With the good comes the bad, and in the case of the MCX370-0A the bad is the clipping system. Now don't misunderstand me completely, it does work, and properly adjusted it will work very well, it's just that we find it a bit of a pain to use.

Getting this heatsink to sit properly on our thermal test platform in particular is a nightmare for a couple of reasons, but mainly because there is no flex in the clips - and given the way our rig is configured this is a necessity. You can ignore that though, as it really only applies to our situation. Given a normal motherboard the clips can be locked in relatively well, but in all honestly I don't see it as the best possible way of locking down a heatsink.

The main reason for this has to do with where the core of any silicon-toped processor sits in relation to the entire socket. While the core may be centered on the processor itself, it is off-center as far as the entire socket is concerned. This was originally a big issue when heatsinks made the transition from heatspreader bearing Celeron processors to FC-PGA processors with their exposed, and fragile silicon cores. Not forgetting that this processor is called the MCX370-0A you can see where the trouble lies.

The retention mechanism is centered on the heatsink and thus centers the force the heatsinks exerts. Ideally, the center of the force being exerted by the heatsink should be off-center, and over the location of the processor core. Bottom line is that I've always found this type of retention mechanism a bit of difficult one to set properly, and hence it is not one of my favorites.

° Next Page 

Table of Contents:

 1: — Swiftech MCX370-0A Heatsink Review
 2:  Looking at the heatsink from all angles
 3:  Heatsink Test Apparatus - Acoustic, Thermal
 4:  Thermal Test Results, Acoustic Sample
 5:  Conclusions on the MCX370-0A

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