Hedgehog Meets Alpha

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SUMMARY: A heatsink that is made of copper will outperform an aluminum heatsink, assuming the same design. The Kanie Hedgehog is a copper Alpha lookalike that almost equals Alpha’s performance – a better design would have resulted in superior results.

Pieces

The Hedgehog comes like this – takes about two minutes to assemble – with a YS TEch 26 cfm fan.

A number of readers have asked me about the Kanie Hedgehog, so I bought one to test. On the surface, its all-copper construction would appear to be a strong indication that it will outperform other aluminum heatsinks. Let’s do a head-to-head test against the Alpha PAL6035 and see if the Hedgehog lives up to its potential.

THE TEST

I used the ASUS A7V as the test platform with a Duron 650 running at 900 MHz, 1.84 volts. Temps were measured with the ASUS’s thermal probe placed next to the CPU die. Arctic Silver was used as the grease along with three different fans: YS Tech 26 cfm, Papst 33 cfm and the Delta 38 cfm (right now I don’t know a retail source for the Papst fans – check their website for distributors).

TEST RESULTS

Heatsink/Fan

Idle Temp C/F

Prime95 Temp C/F

PAL 6035/YS Tech

43/109

46/115

PAL 6035/Papst

41/106

43/109

PAL 6035/Delta

41/106

42/108

Hedgehog/YS Tech

43/109

46/115

Hedgehog/Papst

42/108

44/111

Hedgehog/Delta

41/106

43/109

This is a surprise! On paper, the Hedgehog should have an advantage over the Alpha – the only copper in the Alpha is the base, the rest is aluminum. Also note that each heatsink’s performance is helped in about the same manner by different fans (all blowing out).

Let’s take a closer look and see if we can figure out why the Hedgehog is not whomping the Alpha:

Fins

When we put the two heatsinks side by side, we immediately see that they are about the same size. However, what we also see is that it looks like the Alpha packs a lot more fins into the same area as the Hedgehog.

Edge

I counted the fins on each:

Hedgehog: 238
Alpha: 363

Hmmm…A closer look at an equal area on each heatsink shows that the Alpha packs in about 15 fins where the Hedgehog packs in 12:

Detail

Now I am NOT going to measure the surface area of each pin, but assuming they are about the same, the Alpha’s pin density, hence larger total surface area, I think explains why it does so well against an all copper heatsink. Better design. Simple.

CONCLUSION

The Hedgehog is certainly a good heatsink but does not live up to its potential due to the “fin gap”. With a better design, it should be a real Alpha killer. At best, right now it’s comparable to the Alpha PAL6035.

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