Heatsink test – Joe
SUMMARY: An excellent choice for AMD CPU cooling, but noise may be an issue.
Looking at this from the side
reminds me of the Enterprise – it’s quite an elegant design.
The SI-97 ships with parts for Socket A mounting, including a copper shim:
Fans ranging from 80 to 92 mm can be mounted on the SI-97. The socket clip engages all three lugs – a very secure system.
The base is well finished:
When I ran my nail over it, I could not feel or hear any ridges.
I tested the SI-97 with Vantec’s Tornado 90 x 38 mm fan; it features vanes in the base to straighten airflow off the blades. I varied voltages to get a range of fan speeds and measured rpms using an Omega digital tachometer.
I measured fan noise with a Radio Shack sound meter 8″ from the fan’s intake. These are not comparable to noise levels reported by fan manufacturers; noise is usually measured at three feet from the fan.
The SI-97 was tested on the CPU Die Simulator which gives results that are unaffected by motherboard influences.
|SI-97, Vantec 90, 4917 rpm, 77 dBA|
|SI-97, Vantec 90, 40185 rpm, 70 dBA|
|SI-97, Vantec 90, 3016 rpm, 63 dBA|
|SI-97, Vantec 90, 2006 rpm, 51 dBA|
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 SI-97 in the topmost rank of heatsinks tested to date (Heatsink Ranking).
Thermalright’s SI-97 is an excellent choice for AMD CPU cooling. However, the more aggressive the fan used, the higher the noise level – no surprise. If you want top performance while gaming but quiet at other times, I would recommend using an aggressive 92 mm fan with a rheostat – especially if your PC is “24-7”.
Thanks again to Thermalright for sending this our way.
The SI-97 is available now from The Heatsink Factory.