Four PIV Heatsinks

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A couple of adequate performers in the bunch. — Joe

SUMMARY: Four all-aluminum PIV heatsinks with the Dynamo and Glacial Tech delivering good performance.

4 P4s

I have some PIV heatsinks that manufacturers have kindly send for testing. I do not have a PIV system (and won’t until things get more reasonable), so I modified the CPU Die Simulator to accept PIV heatsinks for testing. The relative rankings should be used by readers for purchase decisions.

All the heatsinks are aluminum – no copper cores etc. All were tested as shipped with the exception that all thermal interface materials were removed and Arctic Silver used instead. All were relatively quiet – no 7000 rpm Delta screamers in this bunch (dBA measured 8″ from fan intake with Radio Shack Sound Meter):

  • Antec – 56 dBA
  • Dynatron – 60 dBA
  • Glacial Tech – 60 dBA
  • Speeze – 58 dBA

Antec

Dimensions 88 x 62 x 50mm; Weight 170 gm; Fan 60 mm, 24 cfm @ 4700 rpm

The Antec is one of the more interesting designs which we covered in some detail HERE.

Briefly, the aluminum fins surrounding the aluminum core are not soldered; in fact, they can be rotated around the core by hand. Heat transfer from the core to the fins is aided by using thermal grease between the base of the aluminum fins and the core. The efficiency of this joint depends on pressure, the thermal efficiency of the grease, and the fit between the fins and the core.

Dynatron

Heat Sink 88x60x35mm; Weight 257 gm; Fan 60mm, 24 cfm @ 5,300 rpm

The Dynatron has the highest fin density using a manufacturing technique called “skiving”. This literally shaves the fins from the base, like peeling veneer from a log. As such, there is no solder joint between the fins and base.

While surface area is very important to performance, so is airflow through the heatsink. With fins this dense, airflow does become a key performance factor and at some point density limits airflow, detracting from performance – an interesting design challenge.

Glacial Tech

Heatsink 83 x 69 x 53mm; Weight 303 gm; Fan 70mm, 42 cfm @ 5,000 rpm

The Glacial Tech is a fairly conventional extrusion, although the tapered fins are not commonly seen on other designs. There are performance advantages to this design over untapered fins. The clip is called a “Flip Clip ™” and is an articulated hinge design – easy on and off.

Speeze

Heat sink 64×84×56mm; Weight 320 gm; Fan 70mm, 26 cfm @ 4,200 rpm

The Speeze is a conventional extrusion design. The fins are the thickest of the four with lots of spacing, resulting in high airflow through the heatsink. There is always a tradeoff between fin density and airflow through any heatsink, with the Speeze electing for higher airflow and lower fin density.

THE TEST

All heatsinks were tested on the CPU Die Simulator which gives results that are unaffected by motherboard influences. Each was tested at 75.6 watts. Each came with thermal interfaces of varying kinds, which was removed; Arctic Silver II was used for all tests.

The C/Ws are representative of potential on-die performance, although the interaction of the heatsink with motherboard heatpaths will modify each user’s results somewhat. Relative C/W ranking is more pertinent than absolute numbers.

TEST RESULTS

Heatsink

Die Temp

Ambient Temp

C/W

Dynatron

55.0 C

20.9 C

0.45

Glacial Tech

55.5 C

21.1 C

0.45

Speeze

57.6 C

21.1 C

0.48

Antec

68.2 C

21.1 C

0.62

Fairly tight grouping excluding the Antec. Interestingly, the Dynatron and Glacial Tech perform at the same levels despite very different technologies. The Antec is substantially behind the other three, due I think to poor heat transfer from the aluminum core to the surrounding fins.

CONCLUSIONS

Of the four tested, the top three will do an adequate cooling job.

Thanks again to Antec, Dynatron, Glacial Tech and Speeze for sending these our way to test out – interesting and varied designs.

Email Joe

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