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Cool-Innovations Cool-Innovations Vs ThermalRight SK6
Date Posted: Jul 13 2001
Author: Joe
Posting Type: Review
Category: Air Cooling Reviews
Page: 1 of 3
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Note: This is a legacy article, imported from old code. Due to this some items on the page may not function as expected. Links, Colors, and some images may not be set correctly.
Cool-Innovations Vs ThermalRight SK6 By: Joe

ThermalRight SK6 Vs the Cool Innovations Pin HSF's

Now the obvious first question you have when you see this heading, is "Who or what is a Cool Innovations Pin HSF?" Well the answer is simple, Cool Innovations makes a few of the HSF's you have seen around the web.  The HSF look exactly the same as the Swiftech MC370. Its believed that for sometime Cool Innovations mfg'd most all the HSF's for Swiftech.  If they do currently is a mystery, Both companies have the same used car salesman type speech when asked, but in the end they both say no. So, these HSF's looks similar, whether they are the same or not, who knows, the functionality and design are identical, and that's about all that matters. Now at least you know where you may have heard the name or seen the products. Now lets see these HSF's

I received the Cu Clad bottom HSF from KD Computers and it got me thinking that I should do a lil test to see how effective a Cu heat spreader is. So I thought I would bench it against its all Aluminum counterpart as well as the king of the hill all Copper HSF the SK6.

The Contenders -

That's the Dirty Quarter Dozen :)  The CI ( Cool Innovations ) Cu Clad and Al. HSF look the same right? Look below.

The CI Cu. Clad HSF has a 3.3mm(.13") Oxygen Free Copper plate bonded to the Aluminum HSF. The Al. one is just a solid 12.7mm (1/2") Aluminum base.   They both use polished Aluminum pins.   The SK6 is a totally different beast. its all Copper, and uses a thin fin structure.   The SK6 is no stranger to most geeks who keep up to date as it seems to be smoking the competition.

The Fans are the tried and true Delta Black Label ( 38CFM Noise maker) and the more subtle Sunon 26.2CFM fan. Both are 60x25mm.

Lets have a Detailed look at each HSF:

Cool Innovations - Ultra Cool Aluminum ( CPC 30370)

The Cool Innovations Ultra Cool all Aluminum Heat sink is a fairly unique design from others like Global Win, Alpha. They are using Individual Aluminum pins set in cavities in the Al. base plate.  This gives the HSF a real professional look and will aid in the heat transfer.  They are set in the base plate by heating up the base plate and freezing the pins. Check the pic below:

Specs:

Weight: .56Lbs ( their Tech doc says .58 but when I weighed it it was only .56)
Full Size: L2.5,W2.5,H1.66 (inches)
Base Plate Size:L2.5, W2.5,H0.5
Pin Size: .125 Dia, 1.16" Length
Pin Count: 188

The contact surface where it interfaces with the CPU core is always the most critical part about the HSF. This HSF really wasn't so hot at all.  you can see in the pic to the left that the CPU itself would not make great contact, but its not bad enough that thermal paste wouldn't work. But this will hurt the numbers on the HSF I am almost sure.  You can see in the pic where the edge of the CPU made contact with the ridges on the bottom of the HSF.

To Mount the block on the core, its the most stupid proof anti-break your core system I have seen.  All you do is lock the 2 tabs on the middle tooth on the socket ( like most S370/Socket A HSF's),and back out the screw.  The Springs are tensioned to 15Lbs and when you back the screws out they will self level and not over or under pressure your core.  While I have put on and off a HSF/waterblocks hinderer's of times now on Athlon cores and NEVER as much as chipped a corner.. I know some of the Shim MFG's are profiting big

time off the big scare that you will break your core just by looking at it and also with some of the rather powerful mounting brackets on other HSF's. The fact is simple, its HARD to break a core, you have to really work at it, or not know what you are doing. This mounting method is a perfect example of how companies make products beside shims that will help those less geek savvy people mount a HSF safely.

This will be an argument for the ages  "To Shim or not to Shim"  I have to say DON'T shim. Either learn how to put a HSF on correctly, or buy a HSF with a mounting mechanism like this.

To bolt the fan on the HSF you simply run 2 or 4 bolts though the bottom holes of the HSF into the base of the HSF and tighten them down.


Cool Innovations - Ultra Cool Clad Base Aluminum/Copper

Specs:

Weight: .70Lbs ( their Tech doc says .74 but when I weighed it it was only .70)
Full Size: L2.5,W2.5,H1.66 (inches)
Al Plate Size:L2.5, W2.5,H0.37
Cu Plate Size:L2.48, W2.48,H0.13
Pin Size: .125 Dia, 1.16" Length
Pin Count: 188

The CAD Diag. in their tech doc's are wrong and are the same one for the Al. They should document the .13" Cu plate on the bottom. 

Besides for the for the obvious Cu plate on the bottom there is VERY little different about this HSF and the all Al. one. The Sample I received was slightly ( .02") thinner in one dimension but that's it. The Cu plate itself is around .02" inset from the outside of the Al. plate. You can see the plate is

bonded with some mystery material. Cool Innovations is very tight lipped on who makes or what the material is bonding the Cu to Al.  A theory is that its an Arctic silver type Epoxy. The Cu and Al. are obviously compressed together under great force to make the thermal interface very thin and less resistive.

The Contact surface on this HSF is MUCH more smooth then the Al. HSF. This will give it an easy upper hand in testing.

Besides for that this HSF is exactly the same in all ways to the Al. Ultra Cool above, same mounting mech. and also same fan mounting.  It is slightly heavier at .70Lbs.


ThermalRight - SK6

Thermal Right's SK6 is becoming legendary for its heat conduction abilities. With a C/W of .16  - .19 ( depending on fan) its Superb. its also light.  For a Cu HSF a weight is .72Lbs is impressive, its almost the exact same weight as the Cu/Al Cool Innovation HSF.

The fin design of the SK6 is fairly new and has an almost vertebrae look to the intermixed edges. The edges and the bottom are done that way to give the otherwise flimsy and thin fins enough structural strength to hold a Fan with the rather strong fan mount clips.

Specs:

Weight: .72Lbs
Full Size: L2.5,W2.5,H1.2(inches)
Fin Size: .015 thick,
Fin Count: 72

As said above the Edges of the fins have been inter twined in order to make them function as one, and not bend if the fan is twisted or moved.

The Fins are soldered onto the solid Low Oxygen Cu base plate with a efficient high temp silver solder.  While this is a point of some thermal resistance its minimal due to the high quality of the solder work and the quality of the materials used.

The socket mounting clip for the SK6 is nice, and its a bitch. Its nice as its fairly hard to do it wrong, you simply put a flat blade screw driver into the clip, bend up and push down.

its a bitch as you need a fair deal of room to do it in which can eliminate doing it in your case for some people.

the Fan clip is nice, you hook the steel clip into the bottom holes in the HSF ( the pic above as a good shot of the hooks and holes.) and you swing the slip and snap it over the holes of the fan. No screws, no tape, nothing else needed.

Lets look at the test setup and Methods Now

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