A Closer Look
The packaging for the X-Factor is nothing special which isn't surprising since it is on the cheaper side of HSF's on the market. It does however give all the pertinent information. Opening the packaging we are presented with the HSF itself and a small sachet of Stars Thermal Paste.
The heatsink is without a doubt good looking, sexy even. The aesthetics of it are fantastic, with a beautiful shiny aluminium exterior that extends to the fan as well. The fan, much the like the Titan Aluminium fans I reviewed before is very attractive and serve's to enhance the overall appearance of the cooler. The fan included with our sample is the Evercool Aluminium fan rated for 32.45cfm at <30dba, which whilst not silent, does offer a nice balance between performance and noise.
Whilst were on the subject of the fan, one thing I did notice about the fan in particular is, that like the Titan fans, you can remove the fan impeller and motor assembly out of the frame housing with just 4 screws. This makes it very easy to clean; bonus!
You can see here that Aerocool have also supplied some 3mm rubber grommets to lift the fan away from the heatsink. This is a simple and effective idea, that will serve a twofold purpose of cutting down on any possible vibration and pressure induced noise as well as helping to lessen the deadzone in the centre of the fan.
Moving on to the heatsink itself we can see how the X-Factor got its name from the predominant X shape, seen easily from this top view. You can also see perpendicular to the X style majority the extrusion shaped fins. For those wondering, extrusion means that the aluminium used here is cut from one block, being sort of pressed out to shape. Being one block, this will help thermal conductivity since the aluminium is all one piece. Hopefully you can see that the fins are not all symmetrical in size, I assume due to the extrusion method used to create the sink. Aesthetically, its not going to make a difference since when the fan is in place you wont notice this, thermally I doubt again that the difference in conductivity is going to change from one 'sink to the next. Just thought I would point it out.
Moving to the bottom we can see the copper insert which extends from the bottom right to the top of the sink. This is quite a common pairing, in that copper absorbs heat more quickly than aluminium and aluminium radiates heat quicker than copper. It also reduces cost in that copper is more expensive than aluminium. You should also be able to see the quality finish on the bottom, and is personally one of the shiniest I've seen. It's almost a mirror finish and should help reduce any micro holes that could potentially trap air and so reduce thermal transfer. As you can see, Aerocool thoughtfully provide a clear sticker across the copper insert to protect the finish during shipping.
The clip on this is quite stiff, and whilst it was harder to install than most due to its size and closeness to the rest of the heatsink, didn't really pose any problems. Installation took less than 30 seconds and attached solidly and firmly to the socket utilizing all 6 lugs.
I've taken a picture of the X-Factor next to a floppy disk (no, it doesn't come with drivers or anything:) simply so I can show you the overall height and size of the unit, which as you can see is quite small. This will allow you to install the unit in smaller and compact cases, and with its low price is sure to be a winner there.
The style of the sink is great (did I tell you how sexy this product looks?) and would be a great addition to a show case. Let's hope it can perform justifiably for use as well.
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