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Dynatron/Vantec/ThermalRight Dynatron/Vantec/ThermalRight shootout
Date Posted: Sep 4 2001
Author: Joe
Posting Type: Review
Category: Air Cooling Reviews
Page: 1 of 4
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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.
Dynatron/Vantec/ThermalRight shootout By: Joe

With the recent eruption of new HSF designs and companies battling for that small area in your computer, we have another HSF shootout / roundup / comparison ( what ever floats your boat). We run 6 HSF's in this comparison including 4 new entries and 2 that we have already run.

In the last review covering Vantec HSF's we discovered that airflow and socket orientation on the motherboard plays a serious roll in some cases for HSF effectiveness.   In this review we have eliminated that issue by not only making the air flow around the socket more open, but also by doing tests with multiple fans and multiple fan directions.

This test's entries cover many new design ideas, and setups that may change the way future HSF's are designed well into the future.   With that said, lets have a look at this reviews contenders.

The Contenders -

Dynatron Aluminum MicroFins® DC1206BM-L

An Al. HSF is not supposed to be a "high end" HSF is it? Well it seems Dynatron thinks so!  For the last 12 months people have been leaving Al. HSF's behind for the more expensive and heavy Cu. HSF's for their superior design and materials. Dynatron may be in a position to slow that trend.

This is Dynatron's all Aluminum "MicroFins" HSF.   The "MicroFins" part is the key part that makes this HSF above other Al. HSF's. Lets explain what makes it different from normal tried and failed Al. HSF's:

This is a copy from the Dynatron website explaining nicely as to what makes this HSF different from the others:

The MicroFins® Technology
What is the MicroFins® Technology?
MicroFins® is one of the worlds most advanced, new concepts developed by Dynatron Corporation, and permits the production of copper heat sinks with a precise and super fine detail previously considered impossible.
Why do the MicroFins® Technology Coolers better than other coolers?
The traditional methods to make the heat sinks are Extrusion, Forging, and Die- Casting, and the maximum fins can be manufactured with a density approximately 20 to 40 fins their thickness or diameter. The material must mix with other metal to form heat sink with the thick and low-density fins that can't meet the thermal solution for the CPU. Some other method mix copper with other material to form the outer frame and brazed or weld the fins into the heat sink, which created the interface layer about 2 to 3 degree of the heat increase between the bottom heat sink and the fins, and also its very difficult to control the quality of the mass production heat sinks because some poor contract or disassociate of brazed or weld fins which is not a reliable products.

In the pictures above you can see the unique fins the "MicroFins" technology produces. The entire HSF is made from the same block of Al.  ( not unusual for Al., but very unusual for the Cu version).

One of the best qualities of this method is the knife edge fins, and the course surface on those fins. This produces massive surface area Vs smooth or polished HSF's. The Base plate on this HSF is VERY thick, almost 1.5x thicker than the SK6 baseplate. This will help in overall cooling as it will help spread the heat from the core over a bigger area.  The HSF is light ( as most Al. HSF's are), and rings in at only 195 Grams.  The Stock fan is a happy lil blue "Top" Fan. Its a 60mm x 10mm 24CFM 5400RPM fan. Its quiet, and rather effective for it's size. The Clip is your now standard "Screwdriver" clip.  It's well designed and a bit more secure ( to keep the screw driver from slipping out) than the ThermalRight HSF clips.

One of the advantages besides its design, is the extremely cheap production and retail costs for this HSF. This could be a wolf in sheep's clothing ( material wise). We will see what the testing shows.


Dynatron Copper MicroFins® DC1206BM-P

Dynatron's other "MicroFins" offering is an all Cu. Based HSF. This is rather revolutionary for the HSF industry to have a HSF with this density of fins, and be made from one block of Copper.

The MicroFins® technology is basically shaving the fins from the single block of copper. You can look closely and see how the fins are shaved and bent up. The fins have a very course texture after the process.

In the pic above you can see clearly all the fins are from the same piece of material as the base.  This greatly improves heat conduction to the fins, and overall makes the HSF a much more potent HSF.  The Fin density is one of the highest around, with more fins than the SK6 or any other copper based HSF. The exact technical details on how Dynatron does this is a trade secret, and obviously they would like it to stay that way :) No other company has successfully made an all solid Cu HSF with near the surface area, or efficiency.

The Clip mechanism, Fan, and aluminum shroud is the same as the all Aluminum version of this HSF.

One of the only disadvantages in this HSF is the thin base plate. Its been known for a while that a thicker "hot/cold plate" on the bottom of water blocks and HSF's will aid in the heat being dispersed over the entire HSF area.  The base is much thinner than the SK6 and Aluminum variant of this HSF.

The tests will show if this is as much of a factor as many people think it is. With a weight of 375grams, its equal if not lighter than the SK6 ( depends on version). This is a pretty cool looking and well designed HSF in a real small package.

There are 2 versions of this HSF from Dynatron, one is the DC1206BM-P that we have.  Yours is a 50 fin structure.   The DC1206BM-O is a 60 Fin ultra high density structure.  The BM-P is more effective for most of the fans out there as the fins are nicely spaced apart, and will cool well with a sub 7200 RPM fan. The BM-O is so high density it will more than likely cool worse than the 50 fin BM-P with anything less than the 60x38mm high back pressure fans. (which are also 50Db loud). I think the BM-P is by far more reasonable and in most all cases will meet or exceed the cooling that the BM-O can offer.


Dynatron Copper e-CPU Cooler DY1206BH-625

This HSF truly intrigued me more than the others.  While its not a new design by any means, it is a new take on an existing one.

First thing the HSF looks like is a Vantec 6035D knock off, but then you soon notice the changes that were made and the many advantages it has over the 6035D and the Thermalright SK6. These are all Visual guesses though, the tests may show something different.

First thing I noticed was the 3 prong clip. This has been a much needed feature on all HSF's for some time, and the Dynatron is one of the first to implement this on a Cu HSF.

Next thing I looked at was the fins, and how they were attached.  They seem to be the same as the SK6 and 6035D, but much bigger and a lot more surface area. the Cu fins are just soldered in place on a Cu base plate, and are interlocked on the top and bottom of each fin.

The base plate is impressive.  It's as thick and as big as the SK6 plate and much thicker than the 6035D plate.   Its finished to a VERY flat and smooth surface equal to the quality on the SK6 for machining.

Next thing that I saw that showed me someone really did some home work was the fact there is NO break in the fins for the retention clip!  This is amazing to say the least.

The predecessors to this HSF ( the SK6 and 6035D) design clearly have gaps and openings where the retention clip runs. Look at the pic above the comparison pic and see how the fins on the Dynatron are continuos.   This means the HSF was soldered together with the clip already inplace.

On top of not only providing a unbroken surface area, they blocked the air from escaping out the clip channels! This is a BIG point of cooling loss for both the Vantec and Thermalright.

In the pic to the left you can see that the Dynatron and the Vantec are close in size, but the Dynatron clearly has more surface area and an improved clip. 

The Dynatron DY1206BH-625 comes standard with a 7000 RPM Delta 38CFM fan.  The HSF weighs in at a hefty 420 grams making it the heaviest HSF in this shootout.


ThermalRight CB6L

The new offering from ThermalRight is not meant to be a replacement for their very successful SK6, but an addition to their product line.

This is an Aluminum HSF with a Copper plate soldered onto the bottom.  yes... Soldered.  They coated the Al. HSF with a nickel plate and then used the nickel surface to solder to.  Its a great idea but does introduce a few more layers of resistance than is normally had in a HSF. The CB6L for being an Aluminum HSF is pretty heavy ( due to the nickel coating and copper base) It weighs in at 225 Grams.

It comes to your door with a TIM ( thermal interface material) pad in place on the Copper base.   You can remove it with some acetone rather easy.  The Surface on the base of the HSF is excellent, and extremely well machines and lapped.

The Fan is the same size as the Dynatron MicroFins® fans, but not quite as powerful, this could play a big issue in this HSF's success/failure. This is a Sunon fan ( side brand of Sunon) <sarcasm>Pushing an amazing 19cfm</sarcasm> Being an Al. HSF it will be cheaper than an all Copper SK6, so this is obviously targeted at the main stream market... or is it?

Well... we are "Pro" so I guess we qualify to test it. :) The box also claims its meant for AMD CPU's of 1Ghz + ( no top limit listed). I gotta find some of these "Professional Overclockers" though... That's a sweet ass job! I wonder if the local bank or supermarket has any Pro/OC jobs open :)


Vantec 6035D - Production Model

This HSF has been tested already, but only the preproduction version. This is the final rev and the version that's on all the store shelves  There is little difference between the preproduction and production models. The only main difference is the polish job done on the HSF's base. This is also may hinder it the most.

Now, I am going to address a massively confused and mis used idea - Shiny does NOT = Lapped.  Lapped is creating a perfectly flat surface, it is far different than polishing.  When you lap a surface down to 3200 grit it will be very shiny, and will have no artifacts on the surface.   Polishing a block on a wheel will make it shiny but will not at all make it flat at all.  

The Vantec Production HSF is is step back in the surface quality from what the preproduction version offered.   The Preproduction one was just a dull flat and smooth finish, no other artifacts besides the lapping grit marks.  The production version is shiny... REAL shiny, but scared and gouged badly.  Look in the top pic for the production finish... you can see the reflection is distorted in many areas.  The surface has pits, and scores going right through the area the CPU core will land.  Personally I think this is VERY poorly done, and vantec chose "pretty" over functional. I did check other production 6035D's to make sure they also had the same marks, and they all do.    If you have one of these HSFs I would VERY much recommend lapping it yourself to overcome some of the artifacts that Vantec introduced with the low quality buffer wheel job on the base plate.

Thermalright, Dynatron , Swiftech, and others have been long said to have the best mating surface. They are not overly polished, just flat, and smooth.  Hopefully vantec for future HSF's will go back to using a flat surface instead of a shiny warped, and pitted one.

I will be running this HSF as is in the review to see where it ranks.


Well that's it for who's in the game this time.  I will be running an SK6 in the tests also as a benchmark.   Lets go on to a brief look at the test setup then, the results.

The Test Setup

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