Introduction and System Setup

Thermalright SK-6 Copper Heatsink Review

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At the prodding (shove) of our very own NeWs dAwG, I contacted Thermalright, a new company breaking into the High Performance HSF market. Their entry as been rather quiet, no wild claims, just the promise of a high quality product, completely made of copper, with an innovative low profile design.

I recently reviewed three different all Copper heatsinks that left me with the impression that copper alone, just wasn’t enough. After all, the two top performers in testing over forty different HSF’s had been manufactured using both copper for the base or as an insert in the base, with aluminum used for the pins/fins. The Thermalright SK-6, as you’ll see, not only challenges some of the world’s best HSF’s, but in most cases gives them a downright thrashing (I knew that would pique your interest).

Before proceeding further, I’ve got to tell you about the system setup and outline the testing procedures.

The test system is a high performance, well cooled Athlon 1.2 GHZ 266 FSB AXIA CPU on an Abit KT7A-Raid motherboard housed in a Lian-Li PC-10 Aluminum Case with all the amenities including Silver Series Rounded IDE Cables and three Panasonic Panaflo 80mm fans producing 47 cfm’s each.

Our tests are conducted under real world conditions in a closed case using a mix of software that best reflects the usage patterns of the great majority of computers used day in and day out.

We normally run our test for a consecutive four day period, but due to the extraordinary performance of the SK-6 we extended our testing to six consecutive days. This was done to check and re-check our findings so that we could provide you with the most accurate evaluation possible. To this end, we not only used the Bios readings and Via Hardware Monitor, but also employed a heat sensor applied next to the CPU’s core from both the DigitalDoc5 and CompuNurse devices (at different times of course). The room temperature of 74 degrees Fahrenheit or 23 degrees Celsius is maintained +/- four tenths of a degree.

The mix of software used in our study consisted of business and accounting applications, a varied combination of Utilities, AutoCAD Lite, graphic intensive packages, 3D games, Surfing the Net and Burning our favorite CD’s.

Fifty readings per day are taken, in this case, a total of 300 separate readings, with the high and low readings for each day removed. This method is referred to as a Weighted Average.

It is important to note that our interests lay in high performance and that noise generated is not an issue. The exact same 60mm Delta 37 cfm fan that produces 46.5 dBA’s has been used in every one of our tests of heatsinks using a 60mm fan.

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