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AX-7 base finish

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Apr 23, 2001
I just got my AX-7 delivered. While I can't install it till tonight, I had one quick question for anyone else that got one already.

How is the finish on your base. In Joe's review, he mentioned that it was polished and shiny. Mine has obvious machining marks, such that I can feel them when I run my fingernail over it.

Are they all rough like that, and require a bit of lapping, or are others finding them fairly smooth?
Just got my AX-7 last night and I have to agree 100% with you. The bottom was shiney, don't get me wrong, a lot shiner than most of the other heatsinks I've seen. Even shinier than some of my lapping jobs. :)
But the surface was nothing but machine marks. A big circular swirl over the entire surface. If you ran your finger nail across it sounded like a mouse pad or side of a CD case with the ridges.
I started to lap it but before that I marked the bottom in a grid with a permanent marker so I could test for flatness. Within the first few passes over the sand paper the marks were all gone so it truely was flat but far from smooth. It took nearly an hour to get it to a near mirror finish. It was until the 800 grit before the base looked more shiney than the grove for the socket mechanism. It too had the same swirl marks as the base did.
I also noticed that the entire heat sink had an oily residue on it. It also had noticable oxidation going on in the fins of the heatsink. Maybe that means it better aluminum or maybe it's lower quality aluminum. I don't remember too much from my geology classes, I busy wrinting my senior thesis in them. Anywho, just thought I would include my experiences with this heatsink. Hopefully I can get it attached tonight and try it out.

They were deep enough onmine that I would be concerned about performance. I'v read about other heatsinks having machine swirls in them but not to the degree you could feel them with your finger nail. I'm not kidding, I think the smooth side of my Leatherman file was smoother than the AX-7. I've written a letter to Newegg already about it but haven't heard anything back yet. I would highly recomend lapping it if you can feel any defects in the surface.