The heatsink of the V77 series cooler is an aluminum unit with a central pillar of copper. It measures in at 74mm x 74mm x 62mm. It features an unusual fin design in that they radiate outward in all directions. The design is similar to the V86 series, but carries a bit larger footprint. It also weighs in at 315 grams (just a shade more than it's smaller brother), so will provide plenty of mass to take care of the cooling needs of today's Thunderbird processors.
Something that is nice with this design of heatsink is the fact that the base of the unit isn't a solid piece of metal. Those fins you see above go all the way through the cooler. This will help with airflow to the entire surface area of the processor instead of just cooling the metal that is in direct contact with the core.
As seen on the base above, the cooler comes with a thermal pad in place. While this is pretty much useless to the hardcore computer enthusiast, it does help to protect the processor of those who are novices at the system building game. In this modern day of frivolous lawsuits, it is a very good idea to take precautions like this.
But, of course, as soon as I saw it, I took a razor to it. It was removed easily and left no residue behind. Only a smooth copper core that was very smooth and ready for the business at hand.
For those who have been looking at the Dr. Thermal line of coolers, you may have seen an issue of the core not resting centered over the processor core. This unit proved to suffer the same problem, but even so, it doesn't seem to affect the cooling prowess of the heatsink. Perhaps the engineers could get this straightened out in the future?
The fan used on the V77 cooler is a brand that I am not familiar with at all. Maybe because of the 70mm size, the normal YS Tech brand wasn't available? I'm not sure, but the fan itself is a hefty 70mm x 70mm x 25mm. It is rated at 41-CFM airflow at a tolerable 42 dBA and spins at 5000 RPM. It also has the split Molex connectors so that you can plug it into the power source from the PSU and still have a 3-pin connector to hook to the motherboard to allow for monitoring of the fan speeds.
The bad news? A 5000 RPM monster of a fan that has no fan grill. Whether it is fingers or internal wiring, there just needs to be something in place to offer some protection from the fan.
The Clipping Mechanism
Now for my favorite feature of all; the retention system used by the Dr. Thermal line of coolers. If only all manufacturers would create something this nice, the whole fear factor of crushing an Athlon core would be ancient history!
While the clip above looks pretty basic, the real beauty of the system only becomes apparent when we look at the entire thing. So let's see what it is that makes it such a masterpiece
Now that we can see the whole picture, you'll notice that the retention system has a lever that will allow for the application of pressure when the handle is locked into place beside the shroud. The way it works is simplicity itself. When attaching the clips to the socket, they go on with very little pressure. Once the sink has both clips over the lugs, then the handle is locked into the fan shroud. This applies approx. 19 lbs. of pressure straight down onto the core of the processor. Not only does this make for a very easily installation of the cooler, but it also makes it nearly impossible to do damage to the delicate core of the processor.