Swiftech MC370-0A

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SUMMARY: Finally! Someone develops a heatsink with a foolproof mounting system – and it performs with the best! The Swiftech MC370-0A gets my vote for the best all-around air cooled heatsink.

MC370-A0

Having mounted a fair share of heatsinks, I can’t tell you how many times I had to use a needle nose pliers to remove Socket A heatsinks. Most heatsinks I found almost impossible to remove once mounted inside a case due to the high force requirements of the clip. In addition, every time you remove/remount a heatsink, the plastic lugs on the socket wear a little bit more.

MC Bolt

Once the screw clears the retaining strap, it’s adjusted!

What Swiftech came up with is a spring loaded clip that sets exactly the same force every time you mount it. All you do is unscrew (counterclockwise) the bolt holding the mounting strap until the bolt head clears the top of the strap, as shown above.

Once it clears, the spring is tensioned; unscrewing it more does not increase the tension – it’s set to spec. This is an elegant solution to a problem that has probably killed more CPUs than you might think. Note that there are two different springs on each side to account for the off center CPU core relative to the heatsink’s base – if you ever remove them for some reason, make sure you remount them in the correct order.

The MC370-0A ships with a Papst 33cfm fan, mounting feet for the base for use on an Intel flip chip, and comprehensive instructions.

Performance Test

Using the methodology outlined HERE, I ran the MC370-0A using an Abit KT7 with a Duron 800 @ 1000 MHz, 1.93 volts. This results in a heat load of about 52.6 watts. I ran Prime 95 for at least one hour to make sure all motherboard components were at temperature equilibrium. The results shown below is the average of four tests run over three days:

TEST RESULTS
Measure

Result

CPU Temp @ Heatsink Base

37.7C

Ambient Temp

21.0C

CPU Back Temp

49.8C

BIOS “CPU” Temp

39C

Heatsink C/W

.32

No question the Papst fan does a lot for the MC370-0A’s performance. Replacing the Papst with a more sedate ADDA 27 cfm fan or the louder Delta 38 cfm fan resulted in the following:

TEST RESULTS – Three Fans
Measure

Papst 33 cfm

Adda 27 cfm

Delta 38 cfm

CPU Temp @ Heatsink Base

37.7C

40.9C

36.6C

Ambient Temp

21.0C

22.6C

20.8C

CPU Back Temp

49.8C

53.4C

49.7C

BIOS “CPU” Temp

39C

42C

37C

Heatsink C/W

.32

.42

.30

Interpeting C/W: For every watt the CPU generates, the Swiftech will cool the CPU 0.32 C over ambient temps. For example, a 50 watt CPU at 20 C ambient will show a CPU temp of 36 C measured at the heatsink’s base.

As many have seen, the more powerful and obnoxiously loud Delta does improve performance, but only modestly. Whether this increase is worth the noise burden is each individual’s choice. Replacing the Papst with the ADDA has an adverse impact – not a good move.

CONCLUSION

The MC370-0A is one of the standout performers among the current Socket A heatsink offerings. No question the Papst 33 cfm fan is the only way to go and accounts for its strong performance. The unique spring-loaded mounting system separates the MC370 from the rest of the pack. Considering all aspects of this heatsink, it is a top choice for the discriminating overclocker.

Email Joe


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