Fortis A102

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SUMMARY: A newcomer to the scene, the Fortis A102 proves to be a very competitive heatsink for Socket A/370 CPUs.

A102

Measurements: 63mm x 63mm x 58mm; Weight 371 grams.

The good folks at Fortis Technology kindly send over three heatsinks for us to test out – the A102 is the most aggressive heatsink of the three (I’ll report on the other two shortly). This is a relatively tall unit compared to the more compact copper units we have been testing, although much lighter due to its aluminum body.

This is another copper/aluminum hybrid, featuring a copper base and aluminum fins. The fins have an interesting feature:

Fins

You will notice that there are two “bumps” on each fin – these appear to be punchouts designed to increase turbulence, thereby increasing efficiency. I have not seen this technique used too often, although I have seen similar “bumps” on some radiator fins.

Base

The base is a copper plate that is free from machining marks. One edge is roughly finished, but this did not affect performance. It is 5mm thick (about 3/16″) at the thickest point.

The fan is another Delta 38 clone – this one by Young Lin Tech, model # DFC602512D, 7000 rpm at 7.8 watts; don’t hook this one up to your motherboard’s fan connectors! It is louder than the Delta 38 – I measured it at 72 dBA compared to 70 dBA for the Delta 38 (8″ from the fan’s intake). In addition, I found this fan to have a very annoying high-pitch whine to it – reminded me of a vacuum cleaner you might hear in an adjacent room.

The clip is user-friendly – you don’t need a screwdriver to put this one on. It has good tension and I found it easy to mount and dismount. It is not indexed, so make sure the base does not ride over the bump on the socket.

THE TEST

I prepared the Fortis A102 by boring a hole completely through the base so I could epoxy a thermocouple above the CPU. The thermocouple is attached to an Omega HH23 Digital Thermometer. Ambient temps were measured with a thermocouple placed about 1 inch from the fan’s intake. I used Prime 95 to stress a T-Bird, Duron, Palomino and PIII on an Iwill KK266+, ABIT KT7 and Iwill BD133 (MBM temps are on-die). Arctic Silver grease was used in all tests. CPU Case Temp is the temp at that point where the CPU contacts the heatsink, CPU Back Temps are measured by a thermocouple on the center back of the CPU.

TEST RESULTS
CPU/Motherboard

CPU Case Temp

Ambient Temp

Delta

C/W

MBM Temp

CPU Back Temp

T-Bird 650 @ 1000/Iwill KK266+ (70 watts)

44.4 C

29.1 C

15.3

0.22

46 C

49.3 C

T-Bird 1133 @ 1300/ABIT KT7 (83 watts)

46.4 C

28.4 C

18.0

0.22

51 C

55.2 C

T-Bird 1133 @ 1397/Iwill KK266+ (89 watts)

47.7 C

31.1 C

16.6

0.19

48 C

59.2 C

Palomino 1200 @ 1330/Iwill KK266+ (68 watts)

42.6 C

27.3 C

15.3

0.23

41 C

49.4 C

Duron 800 @ 1000/ABIT KT7 (63 watts)

43.8 C

29.0 C

14.8

0.24

45 C

49.1 C

PIII 700 @ 933/Iwill BD133 (26 watts)

32.5 C

25.6 C

6.9

0.27

40 C

NA

Delta = CPU temp – Ambient Temp
C/W = Delta / CPU Watts

Interpreting C/W: For every watt the CPU radiates, the heatsink will cool the core by the (C/W x watts) plus ambient temp. For example, at an ambient temp of 25 C, a C/W of 0.25 with a CPU radiating 50 watts means that the CPU temp will be 50 x 0.25 = 12.5 C over ambient temp, or 37.5 C. The lower the C/W, the better.

Very competitive C/Ws – results place the A102 in the lower range of heatsinks testing at C/Ws of 0.30 or less. When I see results in the lower ranges, I extend the testing to various CPUs and platforms over different days. In evaluating the range of results, I would recommend that users expect C/Ws of about 0.22 at best.

CONCLUSIONS

The Fortis A102 is competitive with a number of all-copper models and is worth serious consideration for Socket A cooling. However, fan noise is a real consideration – some users have abandoned Delta 38s due to excessive noise and the fan on the A102 is noisier.

Fortis includes a tube of silver grease and an “Owner’s Manual” (shows how to mount heatsinks) – both a nice touch. A power adapter to allow the use of a four pin plug should be included as well.

The packaging is nicely done. Fortis includes the phrase “Designed by OVERCLOCKERS” – this is a generic term – we have not participated in any way with Fortis on these products.

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