Thermalright SLK-800

The final bit of information we’ll pass on about the cooler, before we get to the testing, is the base-fin design. You may have noticed that the base is considerably smaller than most other heatsinks. Another innovation that is exclusive to Thermalright. The idea behind the design is to allow the fan to blow cool air down around the socket as opposed to relying on the heat transfer properties of a massive block of copper on its own. One drawback to this concept is now you have a base that slides in between the pads on the K7 CPU. Installation of the heatsink directly on the socket creates a real risk of crushing the core. How does Thermalright solve this problem? By including a set of 8 circular pads with the cooler, along with a packet of thermal compound and a thermal pad. You simply attach the adhesive pads they provide to each corner of the base (4 are extra) and, viola, just like mom used to make. Once that is complete, you attach the 800 and it’s solidly affixed to your socket. As far as the construction/manufacture is concerned, it’s quality all around. Very solid, finished to a sheen. The base was not quite as good as I’ve seen on the Swiftech, but still very well done. And now on to the…

System Setup/Configuration

  • Coolermaster ATC-710
  • Athlon XP 1700+ (stock settings)
  • 512 Crucial PC2100 DDR
  • A7M266 MB
  • GeForce 4 MX420
  • (4) generic 80mm case fans
  • Rounded cables
  • CDRW, DVD, floppy, 40GB WD HDD

All of our tests at COD are conducted under real world conditions with software that is commercially available to anyone. We don’t use die simulators or test beds. While they generally show exclusive performance of the product, they also don’t take into account all the vagaries of the typical system. We try to provide results that are very similar to what one might encounter on their system. For example, if I state that the heatsink achieved a maximum temperature of 49c, you can expect to attain temperatures approximating those readings with your own setup, not the 38c you saw on a die simulator review. Arctic Alumina was used as a thermal compound on all tests. The ambient temperature was maintained at 21c+/- .2c throughout the testing. The case temperature was a constant 22c. For comparison purposes I tested the SLK-800 w/Vantec 80mm Tornado (84cfm) against my current cooler, the Swiftech MCXC-370 w/Delta 60mm EHE (50cfm) .

Our testing consisted of system temps and CPU temps. The testing was accomplished by running each of the four test programs for 30 minutes and then taking a reading to ascertain a maximum temperature. Another reading was taken after ten minutes to check for heat dissipation. The software used was [email protected], Sandra burn-in, Toast and Prime95. All values are in Celsius and rounded to the nearest whole number (e.g., 21.5=22). Now, on to the results.

About Jeffery Sexton

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