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Swiftech MCX462+: The MCX462 was one of the best heatsinks to pass through our labs, but the competition is catching up. To fight off the next wave of performance coolers, Swiftech has updated it's MCX line with the MCX462+.
 
 
Date: November 18, 2002
Catagory: Cases & Cooling
Manufacturer:
Written By:

Overclockers should be very familiar with . Their heatsinks and watercooling setups have always been of very high quality, and their cooling performance top-notch. Founded in 1994 by Gabriel Rouchon, Swiftech has grown to be one of the most respected cooling manufacturers in the enthusiast market.

It's been almost a year since we've last reviewed a Swiftech heatsink. Perhaps the primary reason for this was that their last performance cooler, the MCX462, was just that good. There hasn't really been anything new from the Swiftech camp in terms of air cooling, but last month they released an updated heatsink dubbed the MCX462+.

Specifications

Heatsink

CNC machined, C110 copper base, 3"W x 3"L x .500"H, flatness better than 0.0003", micro surface finish 8 or better.
371 Helicoid Pins made of High Thermal Conductivity Aluminum Alloy, press fitted in the base.
Overall heatsink dimensions: 3"x3"x1.66"
Weight: 23.2 oz (650g)

Retention mechanism

Motherboard fittings: 6-32 Female to Male 1/4" standoffs with lock-nuts
Heatsink fittings: 4 pre-assembled compression springs provide exact specified pressure per chip manufacturers

The MCX462+ is packaged very neatly in a cardboard box. Inside, styrofoam is tightly wrapped around the heatsink, and barring any UPS guy dropping it off a bridge, your heatsink is sure to arrive in pristine condition. There are 4 snap rivets, and screws, as well as an assortment of washers, hexnuts and a blisterpack of Arctic Alumina.


Click to Enlarge

Like the MCX462 before it, the MCX462+ is huge. The weight alone, let alone the sheer mass, makes it impossible to mount with socket clips. As with all of their top of the line coolers, you're going to have to use the 4 mounting holes around the CPU socket to attach the heatsinks. This isn't a difficult task, and they provide detailed instructions, but understandably, this can be an inconvenience for some people. There are actually several benefits to this method though. For one thing, it makes for a very secure fit, and you're guaranteed (provided you've followed directions) that the heatsink will never loosen because of a cheap clip, or fall off for that matter.

An issue with mounting previous Swiftech coolers (that required the 4-hole method) was that the nylon hex nuts they've provided in the past were easily stripped. The reason this would happen was because in many cases, removal of the cooler (perhaps to change a CPU or reapply thermal paste) would almost mean removing the motherboard again because the hex nuts beneath the motherboard would loosen and it would be impossible to tighten the mounting standoffs into them again. This would be remedied with a dab of crazy glue, but Swiftech came up with a more elegant solution. I inquired about this, and they sent me this email...

"The hex nuts are "locknuts". They feature a nylon insert that locks the nut to the screw, and further prevents it from spinning upon disassembly. Nylon insert side should be pointing towards the outside. Tightening the nut requires a 5/16 socket, or a pair of thin nose pliers. New stainless stell standoffs are much stronger, no chance to break them :-) This assembly completely eliminates the standoff spinning when the HS is uninstalled. You can also use a 1/4" socket to tighten the standoff itself."

For the record, these new locknuts really do address the past concerns, and it was a snap disassembling the unit. The only other concern I may have is some of the newer KT400 motherboards that seem to have removed the 4 mounting holes. Not all of them do, but it'd be best to keep an eye out.


Click to Enlarge

The MCX462+ can accomadate both 70mm and 80mm fans, but does not ship with either (unless added as an option). Whether you want to go with a slick 70mm TMD Fan, or a monsterous 80mm Delta, the choice is yours. By default, the MCX462+ comes 80mm fan-ready, and uses snap rivets to connect to the fan mounts. If you choose to use a 70mm fan, you simply have to remove the 80mm fan mounts, and use the 2" included screws to screw the fan directly into the heatsink.


Click to Enlarge

I didn't actually count them, but according to their website, the pin count has not increased from their past version, and as with the MCX462, there are 371 helicoid pins. The helicoid pin design increases surface area for heat dissipation. According to their specifications, the pins increase air turbulence for more efficient heat dissipation compared to traditional fin design.


Click to Enlarge

The copper base is noticably thicker than their previous version, about 0.10" so. It's also been machined flattened to 0.0003", and a micro surface finish 8 (or better). I couldn't detect any defects, and it has a nice mirror shine to it, though not to the extent of Vantec's earlier heatsinks. Unlike their past heatsinks, there is a heatspreader built into the base of this one.

Next Page - Testing and Final Words

 
     
 
 

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