To say that the latest batch of AMD and Intel CPUs run warm would be something of an understatement. Both the Athlon 64/FX and the Intel Prescott run hotter than than their previous models, and in the case of the Prescott, a lot hotter. The retail CPUs include what I would call acceptable cooling solutions for a typical consumer, but for enthusiasts, these heatsink and fan combinations just won't cut it since they'll be looking into overclocking the processors. Even at stock speeds, these CPUs run hotter than I'm personally comfortable with.
Water cooling has grown in leaps and bounds over the past few years, but the price and work needed to set it up is something that a lot of people rather not deal with. Nevermind about phase change solutions, as they are even more expensive and complicated to setup. It would be safe to assume that the majority of users do prefer standard air coolers, but if they're serious about pushing their hardware, a third party cooler is required.
We have seen a number of high-end air coolers come through our labs, and some of them are well suited to cool these new CPUs down. Some of these HSFs are exclusive to a particular CPU model, while others are universal. The Cooler Master Hyper 6 falls into the latter category, and it's Cooler Master's high-end air solution for todays modern CPUs.
||AMD K8 (socket 754/940) and Intel P4 (socket 478)
|Heat Sink Dimension
|Heat Sink Material
||6 heat pipes + 100% Copper stacked fin with copper base
||1800 ~ 3000 rpm
|Fan Life Expectance
||6 ~ 12V
||21 ~ 34 dB(A)
||4 Pin (Power Input), 3 Pin (Speed Detection)
||P4 all frequencies and K8
The Cooler Master Hyper 6 HSF
The first thing I observed when UPS dropped off the box was that it was going to be huge. When I opened the shipping box, I was surprised to see that the box for the Hyper 6 took up about 75% of the space. This is easily the largest package for a heatsink I have seen, but it does serve to protect the cooler during shipping. Inside, we have the heatsink, a custom retention bracket for K8 motherboards, screws, thermal paste, instructions and an 80mm fan.
There are a couple of plates included for the fan's speed dial. You can choose to place the fan controller dial in the front of your case, or out of sight in the rear. The fan itself is model #A8025-30CB-3AA-PI, and rated at 1800 to 3000 rpm.
The Cooler Master Hyper 6 is easily the largest air cooler (and one of the heaviest) we've had a chance to work with. It's quite tall, about the height of a full-sized AGP card, and features a similar design to the Aerocool HT-101. The heatsink is copper based, except for the aluminum shroud which is there for fan installation. On top, we have the heatpipe exits and an embossed Cooler Master logo.
Much like the Aerocool HSFs we've reviewed, the Hyper 6 uses a series of heatpipes (six to be exact, hence the name) for heat dissipation. The diagram below is an illustration of how this heatpipe works.
The heatpipes are filled with a liquid that evaporates and moves up the pipe. Once it reaches the top, it condensates and flows back down to the bottom. The heat is dissipated at the top of the cooler, and the cycle repeats.
In order to assist in the cooling of the heatpipes, we have a series of fins welded into the pipes. The fins feature a serrated design, and no, it's not used for grating cheese. The serrated fins actually increase the surface area to allow for more heat dissipation.
At the base of the Hyper 6, we have a small heatsink to draw off the initial blast of heat. This heatsink is what distributes the heat from the base to the heatpipes.
Removing the packaging sticker will reveal the base itself. The base is visibly flat and polished to a well polished, though not mirror, shine. Our sample was perfectly flat (at least as flat as it needed to be for testing), but of course, no two blocks are alike, and it is always a good idea to verify with a mock install with thermal paste.
Installation - AMD 64
I will have to say that although Cooler Master's instructions are fairly clear, the quality of the printed sheet left much to be desired. To begin with, coloured pics would have been nice, but it would have been nicer if the images were a lot larger than the thumbnails we were provided with.
For AMD, motherboard removal is required in order to install the universal retention bracket.
If there is a retention bracket and backplate installed already, you'll need to remove that and place the Cooler Master one in place. A couple of Phillips screws (included) later, and you're done.
Place the CPU into the socket, followed by the heatsink and you're almost done. There is no "right side" to orient the heatsink, though it's important to have the fins face towards the edge perpendicular to the clip sockets which are the next step in securing the heatsink.
Finally, install the fan (or two) and you're done. Depending on your motherboard and case, your dual fan options may be limited depending on the clearance. On the K8T Neo, we will be unable to place a high profile Tornado or Delta fan on the side facing the rear IO panel as it will interfere with the rear fan in our Lian-Li case.