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Thermalright SLK-700 Socket-A: When it comes to good cooling, small, aluminum heatsinks are not the way to go. If you're looking for a big chunk of copper to get the job done, Thermalright has a heatsink for you.
Date: February 19, 2003
Catagory: Cases & Cooling
Supplied By:
Written By:

There aren't many companies I'd endorse other than Swiftech when it comes to ultimate air cooling. After a few weeks with some Thermalright coolers though, my opinions have changed a little. No strangers to most enthusiasts, this is the first time here at VL that we've gotten a chance to work with them, thanks to the gang at . Just because we've never reviewed a Thermalright though, it doesn't mean we weren't aware of them.

Thermalright has a reputation of making high performance air coolers. We got a bunch of them in the labs, and today, we'll be presenting you with the SLK-700 cooler. Before going any further, here are the specifications...


All copper design for maximum performance
Soldered fins to base to ensure effective contact
Three pronged type heat sink clip
Stepped fins to hold 60mm, 70mm and 74mm (TMD) fans
L80 x W60.8 x H45 (mm) - Top, without fan
Weight: 510g (heat sink only)

Stock Fan

Maker: YS Tech
Model: PD1270155B-2F
Size: 74 x 74 x 15 (mm)
Bearing: T.M.D. (Tip Magnetic Driving)
Voltage: 12V
Speed: 5600 rpm
Air Flow: 35.5 CFM
Noise Level: 38 dBA

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As most enthusiasts already know, copper is typically the preferred material (as opposed to aluminum) in performance coolers. Copper can absorb heat much faster than aluminum, but retains heat longer. For overclockers, I can see where copper's heat absorption can be handy when an overclocked CPU initially powers on. The heat created may be too much for aluminum coolers, but it may be handled by copper ones.

The SLK-700 is one cooler that doesn't skimp on the copper. At 510 grams without a fan, this thing is heavy. Although it's a fairly large heatsink, measuring about 80mm x 61mm, it's flared upwards. As long as your motherboard follows AMD's clearance specifications, you shouldn't have any problems getting it to fit. The SLK-700 is a thin fin design, with 35 interlocking fins which provides a fair amount of heat dissapation surface area.

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The base of the heatsink is protected with a clear plastic sticker for shipping. It peels off without any residue, but as I usually do, you may want to polish it up with some rubbing alcohol. The base is fairly narrow, but rests perfectly on the AMD core. It's highly polished, meaning additional lapping isn't required, and has a nice shine to it that's very reflective.

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For active cooling, Crazy PC sent us a 70mm . The SLK-700 can use 60mm fans, as well as the rare 74mm fans, but the TMD fan will provide the best balance of noise vs performance. For those of you unfamiliar with the TMD fan, here's a snip from a previous review...

There was a big hoopla when these fans were first announced, mostly because they moved the motor from the traditional center. One key benefit is potentially more airflow. With a center moter, fan surface area is reduced (we're talking in the case where fan sizes being equal), thus the fan will have to spin faster to put out more air pressure. The TMD fan moves the motor to the 4 corners of the enclosure, reducing the size of the center core, which will allow for more fan surface area. The secondary benefit is that with a reduced core, the "dead spot" is also not as bad as before, and the air turbulance will happen closer to the fan, hence improving cooling if the distance between the fan and heatsink is small. Finally, the TMD Fan is reported to be quieter than traditional ball bearing fans of equal airflow.

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The SLK-700 works a little different when it comes to fan installation. The edges of the heatsink are staggered to accomadate the different sized fans. Rather than using push pins, or traditional screws for installation, they use metal wire clips to secure the fan.

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Depending on the size of the fan, you install the wire retention mechanism into one of three holes (on both sides of the heatsink, on either edge). The corners of the hooks then go into the fan holes themselves. I had some reservations about the fan not being secure, but trust me, once you set it up, it isn't going anywhere unless you want to change fans.

Click for larger image

For motherboards without the four mounting holes, which are more and more of them these days, one of the pros of the SLK-700 is the fact that it uses a standard six hole clip (three on each side). I had some reservations about it since the heatsink is so heavy, but installation is pretty secure. There is a notch for a flathead screwdriver, but it doesn't have any support should you slip. If you're not too careful, you can seriously ding your motherboard.

There aren't any instructions included, but there is a syringe of thermal paste. The paste has a somewhat silky texture to it, and I don't have any other info if it's silicon free or not. Your best bet is to use some after market paste.

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