With effective cooling becoming too important to overlook, it's getting hard to keep having to spend more money to get the job done right. That said, lets join Mike "Darthtanion" Wright as he takes a look at the Dynatron DY1206BH-625 HSF. It's a cooler that won't rape your wallet, but can it withstand the stress of your processor? Lets find out!
IntroductionDynatron is a company that was founded in 1991 in Taiwan. Their goal at that time was to manufacture OEM fans and motors for several uses. From these humble beginnings they have grown into a large manufacturer of both OEM products and high performance cooling solutions as well. With businesses in Taiwan, China and the US, they are ready to handle worldwide distribution of their product line.Though not as recognized as names like Thermaltake, GlobalWin or Alpha, they have been making the news around the world because of their reasonably priced coolers. Add to this the fact that they are reportedly good performers and you can see why they have been making the news lately.This brings us to today's victim...um...I mean today's contestant. We'll be throwing the DY1206BH-625 heatsink through the grinder so that we can see first hand whether this little copper monster has what it takes to earn a spot within the rig of an Overclocking Enthusiast. Lets turn up the heat, shall we?
Dynatron DY1206BH-625 - The Breakdown
The heatsink of the DY1206BH-625 is made of copper that is surrounded by an aluminum shroud. I have come to enjoy the units with the shroud because they allow you to screw the fan into a hunk of aluminum and not directly into the fins of the sink. You'll also notice that the shroud forces the airflow into a direct line directly toward the base of the unit. This will help make sure that the maximum amount of airflow gets to where it is needed most; namely the base sitting directly atop the processor core.The sink measures in at a respectable 61mm x 64mm x 40mm and weighs 420 grams with the fan attached. This will ensure ample mass to aid in cooling but keep the footprint of the cooler small enough to fit on the tightest of motherboards. It is highly unlikely that you'll be able to find a Socket A motherboard that not handle the size of this heatsink.
The fins of the heatsink are also made of copper so there is nothing to hinder the cooling capabilities of the HSF. The thin design of the fins allows for more of them to be used in the sink, thus creating more overall surface area. It has been proven time and time again that the greater the surface area, the greater the cooling potential. There is simply more area to absorb the heat from the base. Also note that the fins have been brazed directly to the base of the heatsink. There is no intermediate means of attaching them so there is less of a chance for the cooling to be hampered.
Here is something that I don't see very often. The tops of the fins have been linked together to help make the entire structure more rigid. This can be very beneficial if you are ordering from a company that uses a second-rate shipping method. Since the fins are secured at the top as well as the bottom, there is little chance for them to become bent out of shape. The straighter fin placement will ensure that the airflow will always go straight down to the base of the sink. This is a very nice touch!The Base
The base of the sink is also made of copper and it has been polished to a very nice finish. Some manufacturers will mill the base down a bit and then put some sort of lacquer on it to hide any imperfections. While this base did seem to have a thin coating of some sort, it wasn't the thick mess that I sometimes see. The base had also been smoothed to a very flat finish before applying this coating. This results in an overall smooth surface area that will be mounting to the core. I noticed no gouges or defects in the base and the picture above shows that the finish is top notch.The Fan
When it comes to brute force in a cooler, there are few fans available that will stand up against the might Delta units. That said, it was good to see just this fan in use with the DY1206BH-625. I did, however, have to remove the sink and double check the brand name and specifications of the fan. Why? Because when I cranked it up I didn't get the ear-piercing whine that is normally associated with the 38CFM Delta's. I was rather shocked to notice that while the fan could still be heard clearly, it didn't sound like a vacuum cleaner on steroids.The reason for this is the use of the AFB series of Delta fan. Most of today's screamers are using the FFB series and it makes a huge amount of noise. I can't say what the difference in manufacturing is, but the end result is a 6800 RPM fan that puts out 38-CFM airflow at a rated 46.5 dBA. This manages to give you a very effective amount of airflow but with a more tolerable noise.
Here is something that was rather a shock to me. This little 3-pin Molex connector is the only standard power means that comes with the fan. Even though it isn't the FFB series Delta, the power draw from this fan is enough to fry out a motherboard header in just a short time. Any fast fan should have a 4-pin converter included.The Clip
The clipping mechanism of this cooler is pretty straightforward. It utilizes all three lugs on both front and back so if you have manages to snap one off along the way (normally the middle one), then you'll still be able to have a heatsink installed.Something of note is the amount of pressure required to install the heatsink. Using this same type of clipping mechanism in the past, I have always found them to require a lot of force to install. This one didn't have that same requirement. It seems that Dynatron has figured out the trick to getting the tension just right. It was a pretty simple matter to get the clip down to the front lugs of the socket.There are, however, two disadvantages to this type of clip:The top cutout doesn't give enough room to fit a screwdriver blade easily into the slot right below it. It will fit, but you'll be forced to move the screwdriver back and forth for a bit trying to get it from the being wedged into the slot. You could try just sitting the screwdriver sideways onto the top the slot, but then you're taking a chance of slipping and gouging the electrical tracings of the motherboard. This is definitely not something that will make your day.While the idea of having all three lugs being used is a great one, this particular clip design doesn't like to go on easily to the lugs. I have grown accustomed to it, but there is an art to being able to wiggle the clip ever so slightly back and forth without moving the heatsink and ruining the TIM application in the process. The gap between the bottom of the socket lugs and the top of the motherboard is very small. Be careful here folks.
Dynatron DY1206BH-625 - Testing
TestingI have been tweaking lately, so I have come to a point where my old database of heatsink temperatures is no longer an effective measuring tool. So I'll have to once again start over with some fresh figures. I will still not accept anything that breaks 45 degrees Celsius, though. I have long been an advocate of cool systems, so I try not to recommend anything over that 45C mark. This is going to be a bit more difficult, however, since I raised the voltage a bit to 1.8v. I was running default voltage before, so this will help to heat things up just a bit. Here's what the test system looks like:Antec PLUS1080 Tower CaseEPoX 8KHA+ MotherboardAMD Athlon XP 1800+ Processor512MB Crucial PC2100 DDR MemoryX-Micro Impact Ti4200Seagate Barracuda 40GB Hard DriveArctic Silver IIAs stated above, the voltage was raised a notch to 1.8v while the DDR voltage is set to 2.6v. Ambient temperature was a steady 21C so all testing will be on even footing where this is concerned. Testing will continue with our tradition of a small battery of tests that do a fine job of heating up the processor and the system as well. This forces the heatsink to work hard to maintain an acceptable range of temperatures. The temperatures will be taken at idle, after a hearty fragfest in Quake III Arena, and after a continuous looping of the 3DMark2001SE Demo.Now to make things even more interesting, I'll take two sets of temperature readings during my testing. It's good to see how well a heatsink can keep the processor cool under normal operating conditions, but what happens when this cooler gets in the hands of a person who enjoys a little extra power? To see how it handles the rigors of overclocking, I'll measure results at 1533MHz speed and then again at 1668MHz. I left the multiplier alone for the overclocked speed since I was wanting to stress out the heatsink as much as possible. By overclocking by FSB I am forcing the processor to put out more heat than by adjusting the multiplier. For this last series of tests, I adjusted the FSB to 145MHz.Now that we have the basics figured out, lets see how well this "budget" cooler can perform.Results - Idle
While not the lowest temperatures that I have ever recorded, the results were quite acceptable. Also consider that I have raised the core voltage slightly and recently upgraded to a GeForce4 Ti4200 video card and you can see that the case temperatures will be rising a good bit as well. There was also only a small 1.5C rise in temperatures between the default speed and the overclocked speed. This shows some promise!Results - Quake III Arena Deathmatch
Quake III Arena has been one of the best ways to stress out a processor (or any other component for that matter). The fact that there is only a 4C rise in temperature from idle makes a statement that this economical heatsink has some guts. I've had much higher priced coolers in the past that couldn't accomplish this.Results - 3DMark2001 Demo Loop
This one was even better! The overclocked speed only managed to raise the temperature of the processor core a measly 3C. Since we're not using the 43-CFM Delta here, this is showing that the heatsink design is paying off. Remember those linked fins from earlier? It is quite possible that the straighter fins are doing a very effective job of forcing the air in a more direct line to the base. This will in turn help keep the processor cooler since there is more airflow to dissipate the heat.
Dynatron DY1206BH-625 - Conclusion
ConclusionOverall, I was impressed with the qualities of this low-priced cooling solution. I have tested a lot of coolers in the past and many of the expensive models can't boast the effectiveness of this one. It manages to bring a quality heatsink to the masses at an affordable price. I did a little searching online and found any number of retailers selling this model for around US$18. With many other coolers costing twice as much (or more), this is looking to be a better bargain.Of course, the heatsink isn't without faults. While the design is a common one that has been improved, the clipping mechanism can be cause for many a headache. When you start trying to get the front of the clip engaged over the socket lugs, too much wiggling will require you to remove the sink, apply more interface material and start over with the installation process. If I could change one thing about this HSF it would be that clip.Bottom line... I have told countless people that it is foolish to spend all kinds of money on a shiny new processor and then not spend a few bucks more on a good cooling solution. Well, the cost of that effective cooling solution just got a bit lower. Regardless as to whether you are an enthusiast or one who never plans on overclocking, you will find that the Dynatron DY1206BH-625 will suit your needs very nicely.- ProsVery effective coolingInexpensiveInnovative fin designReduced noise level- ConsClipping mechanism needs workNo 4-pin power connectionRating 9/10
PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.
United States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com
United Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.co.uk
Australia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com.au
Canada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.ca
Deutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf Amazon.de
We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.