- The Heatsink
The heatsink of the Volcano II unit measures in at 60mm x 60mm x 42mm. It is made of quality aluminum and is a pretty standard design. The size is very compact, so it fits with no troubles at all onto an Abit KT7 mainboard. It consists of 20 fins that go all the way through the sink, and it has a single cut down the center for the clipping mechanism.
The base of the unit came with something that I have come to despise; thermal tape. This has got to be about the most useless material on the face of the planet, but considering that it is being sold as a budget unit, this may account for that decision. It was promptly removed from the bottom of the sink before I even considered installing it to a processor. Another thing that I noticed concerning the base was the small grooves that were present. I had to lap the base down before I could install it so that I could give it as smooth a fit as possible. Grooves in the base will not allow a smooth fit to the core, and will nearly defeat the entire purpose of adding a thermal compound.
- The Clipping Mechanism
The clipping mechanism is probably about the worst that I have yet to encounter. The rear lug was no problem, but when it came time to attach the front portion of the clip to the retaining lug of the socket, the fight was on. There is no swivel to the head of the clip at all. The position of it made it extremely difficult to set over the lug, and I ended up having to push down on the small slot while using a small pair of pliers to get the clip to go over the lug. The angle is all wrong on this clip, so be prepared for a fight.
- The Fan
The fan on top of the sink was a largish 60mm x 60mm x 25mm in size, but is a very quiet 31.5 dba while putting out 36-CFM of airflow. it's rated at 4500 RPM and attaches to the system by means of a 3-pin connector that hooks into a standard fan header on the motherboard. It also has the third wire that allows you to monitor the fan speed through either the BIOS or a program like SiSoft Sandra.
One item that seemed to be missing from this fan is the fan grill. it's a small dig at it, but one that I feel very strongly about. The sound of wires grinding in the fan, or worse, the feel of skin being rapidly separated from your knuckles is reason enough to want this small amenity.
I mentioned above that the fan is rated at only 31.5 dba, but to see the numbers doesn't allow you to actually HEAR the quiet. When I started up the system, I opened up the case just to make sure that the fan was actually running. I have been using a lot of sinks with the Delta, so am used to the loud noise of these fans. It was quite startling to hear nothing coming from the HSF, but was a very nice change of pace.
So...how well does it actually cool you ask? let's find out!