TOCOOLS A1

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A fairly conventional design with 80mm fan, OK performance — Joe

SUMMARY: One for Mom.

A1

Size: 80 x 80 x 75mm; Fan: 46 cfm @ 4000 rpm; Weight: 520 gm.

The good guys at TOCOOLS sent me a sample of their Socket A heatsink, the TOCOOLS A1. TOCOOLS is a new face on the heatsink market. This is an all-aluminum sawed heatsink which uses spring loaded bolts to mount on a Socket A motherboard (you must remove the board to mount the heatsink).

The fan clips onto the heatsink with a thin, stainless steel strap. I found the three guard strips to be fairly delicate – it’s very easy to bend them so that when you power the fan, it interferes with the blades. Easy enough to fix – just pull up on the offending strip.

Removing the fan

A1 Fins

reveals the grooves into which the strap snaps to hold the fan in place. The mounting bolts includes two types of washers (top hat and plain) to insulate the brass standoffs from the motherboard. On some boards (such as Iwill’s KK266+) the holes are too small, so the plain washers are required.

The fins are nicely spaced for airflow through the heatsink.

The base

A1 Base

needs work – there are visible polishing marks that can be felt by dragging a fingernail over it – no question it will detract from performance. It’s fairly hefty – measures 12mm thick.

The fan is an Delta AFB0812SH, 80 x 25mm, rated at 46 cfm @ 4000 rpm. I found it to be tolerably quiet – I measured its noise at 63 dBA with a Radio Shack sound meter 8″ from the fan’s intake, substantially less than a Delta 38 (about 69 dBA). At 6 watts, I would not use a motherboard fan header to power it.

In summary, a fairly conventional design with secure spring-loaded mounting using the motherboard’s socket holes.

THE TEST

The TOCOOLS A1 was first tested on the CPU Die Simulator which gives results that are unaffected by motherboard influences. I then tested it on an Iwill KK266+, modified to read AMD’s on-die diode, as an example of what users might see on their systems.

TEST RESULTS – CPU Simulator

Heatsink
Die Temp
Ambient Temp
Delta
C/W
TOCOOLS A1
47.5 C
19.2 C
28.3 C
0.38

TEST RESULTS – Motherboard
CPU/Motherboard

CPU Die Temp

Ambient Temp

Delta

C/W

CPU Back Temp

Palomino 1200, Iwill KK266+

32.9 C

19.3 C

13.6

0.25

34.6 C

In-socket thermistor per MBM: 26 C

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

Interpreting C/W: For every watt (CPUw) that the CPU
consumes, the HSF will limit the CPU’s temperature rise to (C/W x CPUw)
plus the temperature at the HSF’s fan inlet. For example, at an ambient temp of 25 C, a C/W of 0.25 with a CPU radiating 50 watts means that CPU temp will increase 50 x 0.25 = 12.5 C over ambient temp, or 37.5 C. The lower the C/W, the better.

Die Simulator results place the TOCOOLS A1 in the mid rank of heatsinks (Heatsink Ranking). The base finish detracts from performance – a better polish would do some good. However, this is an aluminum extrusion, and in the world of copper, it’s lagging on performance.

CONCLUSIONS

I would not call the TOCOOLS A1 a performance heatsink – in today’s market, C/Ws greater than 0.35 are not making the cut. However, it’s not too noisy (the fan is not high pitched) and mid-pack performance is not bad, so it could be a good solution for a relatively quiet, “normal” setup.

Thanks again to TOCOOLS for sending this our way.

Email Joe

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