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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
Manufacturer:
Supplied By:
Written By:

Test Setup

Epox 8RDA+ nForce2: Athlon XP 2400+ provided by (15x133: 2.0GHz, 12.5x189: 2.363GHz, 15x165: 2.487GHz), 2 x 256MB Crucial PC2700 Ram, Asus GF4 Ti4400, 120GB Western Digital SE 8MB Cache, Windows XP SP1, nForce 2 Unified Driver Package 2.0, Detonator 41.09.

We're not going to bother with any 60mm fans, and since I don't have a 74mm fan here, we'll be using the 70mm TMD fan on the SLK-700. The comparison heatsinks will be the Vantec Aeroflow, which uses the same 70mm TMD fan, as well as a Swiftech MCX462+, which has also been paired up with a TMD fan. Nanotherm Ice II is the thermal compound used for testing. To load up the system, we run Prime95 run for 20 minutes, with Folding @ Home running in the background. Ambient room temperature is maintained at ~23C/74F.

We are sticking with 70mm fans for all the heatsinks because we wanted to get as close to apples to apples as we could. If you're interested in the MCX462+ 80mm fan performance, you can check our previous review, as well as an upcoming roundup.

Overclocking

In terms of overclocking, I attempted to get by a couple of hurdles we've had with in our Athlon XP 2400+ review. One overclock that has always eluded us was the 15x166 OC. The other OC that has failed was 12.5x199. Unfortunently, we didn't have any more success. I should add that we did match the overclocks that the Swiftech MCX462+ managed. The Vantec Aeroflow's best showing was 15x159, and 12.5x182.

Temperature in °C

Since the Vantec Aeroflow wasn't able to match the overclocks of the other two, we obviously have no readings for it. At the 2400+'s stock speed, the MCX462+ still bests the SLK-700, albeit by a small margin. The Aeroflow lags behind both coolers at 15x133. Overclocked, the MCX462+ still wins this race, but the gap is very small. Keep in mind that we are using 70mm fans here, and the Swiftech cooler's numbers are stronger with an 80mm fan.

Temperature in °F

A quick graph for our American readers...

Final Words

Although it trailed the MCX462+, the SLK-700 has proven to be up to the task in cooling the overclocked 2400+. The SLK-700's other advantage is that it's probably more compatible than the MCX462+, since many of the newer AMD motherboards don't have the four mounting holes. It's flexible, accomadating three sizes of fans, though I'd imagine most of you will stick with the 70mm ones.

The only complaint I do have is the clip is very stiff. Although there's a notch for a flat head screwdriver to help with installation, it doesn't secure it very well. If you're not too careful, you can easily slip and gauge your motherboard. Ouch!

The SLK-700 is one of the better performing heatsinks we've tested lately, but it isn't the best. Still, everyone but the most extreme of overclockers will find that it provides plenty of performance. The TMD fan provides good cooling, without the noise we're accustomed to. Don't get me wrong... it's not silent, but the SLK-700 has proved that good performance doesn't have to come at the cost of noise, or a big dent in your wallet.

Pros: Great performance, fairly priced, should be compatible with most AMD motherboards.

Cons: Can't use an 80mm fan, and the clip could be more screwdriver friendly.

Bottom Line: Considering the performance of the SLK-700, the cost of 37$, , isn't much to pay. At this price, the TMD fan is included, which is quite a bargain in my opinion. The heatsink is well made, and everyone from casual users, to overclockers should be quite happy with this.

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