Date Posted: October 5, 2002
Traditionally, Athlons have always run hotter than the Pentium series of CPUs. The misconception however is the Pentium CPUs, specifically the Pentium 4, run cool. Although they do run cooler than their rivals on a clock-for-clock basis, they still need a decent heatsink to perform reliably. That being said, credit is due to Intel's engineers for designing an extremely fast CPU that still needs an aluminum heatsink, with a near silent fan.
The stock Intel heatsink is something their competitors should mimick in some ways. For one, it's absolutely tooless, making it a snap to install and to remove. It's also huge, therefore you don't really need a monsterous fan on it. Thanks to both the CPU and heatsink engineers, overclocking with the stock heatsink is relatively easy, although once overclocks start hitting 3GHz+, alternative cooling may be required.
For quite a while, there wasn't really much in the way of selection for aftermarket P4 coolers. That's not really the case anymore, as there are a lot of high performance coolers available for the Pentium 4. For the most part, the same high performance equation that applied to AMD, also applies to the P4. Either create a huge copper heatsink, or attach 6000+ RPM fan. In most cases, it was both.
Model No.: CCK-7025
CPU Socket: 478
Rated Voltage: 12V
Rated Current: 0.20 A
Power Consumption: 2.4W
Bearing Type: Double Ball Bearing
Fan Speed: 4000 RPM
Airflow: 33.1 CFM
Noise Level: 34 dBA
Outline Dimension: 83 X 73 X 61 mm
Weight: 537.0 g
Life Time: 50,000 Hrs
Click for larger image
As the name implies, the CopperX 478 is an all copper heatsink. 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.
Like many heatsinks, this one uses the thin fin design. The idea of thin fins is that the manufacturer is able to pack more of these fins into the heatsink. The benefit of course, is that more fins creates more surface area for heat to dissipate. Thinner fins should also create less resistance for the heat to escape. Because of copper's heat retaining properties, thin fins are the way to go, coupled with an adequate fan.
In order to direct some airflow into the fins, the CopperX uses a shroud for the fan to mount on. Despite it's copper appearance, the shroud is aluminum, anodized to match the heatsink. The shroud also elevates the fan slightly. The reasoning behind this is the "dead" spot is usually around the motor of the fan, aka, the center. With the fan slightly raised, there's a little more airflow since the majority of the air disturbance is away from the center. This is the theory, but in practice, I doubt we'll see much benefit as the elevation isn't a whole lot.
As you've probably noticed, the fins are interlocked on the top. this is the first heatsink I've tested that did this, and to be honest, I'm not really sure why this is the case. I've done a little research on the subject, but I came up empty. In my opinion, I'm guessing it serves to stabalize the fins. In other words, they won't bend out of place as much as if they were free standing. In this case, the interlocking pins also serve to support the heatsink clip (obvious in the third image above), which does apply a lot of force.
Click for larger image
I've mentioned in previous Vantec heatsink reviews that lately, they've applied some kind of a polish to their heatsinks. Aesthetically, the shine is really nice, and can make a nice addition to your PC if looks are really important to you. I am assuming of course, that the reasoning behind the polish was to inhibit any tarnish that typically forms with copper heatsinks. I have yet to determine if this "shine" does anything for the overall cooling, and personally, I coudn't really care less if the heatsink sparkled. If the performance sucked, it's not going to get a reccomendation here.
That being said, there is no glossy finish this time with the CopperX 478. The base is machined to a really smooth finish, and I was not able to feel any imperfections by running my finger on it. Despite not having the gloss coat, the base is machined well enough that there is still a reflection on it.
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