The heatsink in this case takes on a whole new look. The central core of the sink is a small pillar of copper, and this is surrounded by very thin fins of aluminum that help dissipate heat from the core. Most of the heatsink is also encased in a plastic shroud that helps the thin fan keep the airflow right on target.
The copper core of the heatsink is not much larger than the core of the processor. This creates a very lightweight unit that weighs in at a meager 200g including fan. It also has a pretty small footprint. Dimensions are 62mm x 62mm x 49mm with fan installed.
The base of the sink came with some pretty standard looking thermal tape, so it goes without saying that the razor blade came out and the goop came off with no further questions. Below is the tape itself…
As you can see, it's very similar to many of the other low-grade Tim's used for a minimal amount of protection. After a little work getting it off, a coating of Arctic Silver was applied so that all testing would remain on an even keel. It should also be noted that the package itself says, "For greater cooling of the CPU we recommend using Antec's Silver Thermal Compound".
The fan carries the Antec brand sticker on it, but I was unable to remove it to check to see the actual maker of it. Likely it's an Antec fan, though, since they have been making their own for many years.
The fan itself is a slim model 60mm x 15mm ball bearing fan that is rated at 24CFM airflow. It is said to spin at 4700-RPM, but while monitoring the fan speeds, it normally ran at about 5300-RPM during testing. While I'm sure that this affected the CFM rating, I'll have to take their stated airflow since I don't have any means of measuring the airflow myself.
It is also a very quiet fan. Antec claims a 35.2dBA sound level, and I'll agree with them here. It was another one of those fans where I had to crack open the case just to make sure that it was actually running. When you're accustomed to using the Delta fans, the quiet comes very unexpectedly.
I wasn't impressed with the mounting of the fan. Instead of screwing the fan onto the sink, it was firmly attached with plastic pins that were sunk into the fan itself. I was unable to find an easy way to remove the fan, as it looked like it would break if I tried to exert too much force. This is too bad because I like to throw on larger fans to many of the heatsinks to see how they perform with a little more airflow to work with.
The fan is connected by means of a standard 3-pin connector that hooks to the motherboard fan headers. Since it is not a fast spinning fan, there won't be any problem with this setup. It will also allow you to monitor the fan speeds so that you'll always be aware of what's going on inside your system.
The Clipping Mechanism
I've been seeing more and more heatsinks that get away from the single lug clip designs, and it's a very welcome change of pace. Not only does it give those with a broken lug the chance to continue using their mainboard, it also makes the heatsink much more stable when it's resting on top of the processor. This unit uses a two lug retention design that is easy to install and sits atop the core with no movement at all when in place. I'd like to see this method of attaching the sink become more common.