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Swiftech MCXC370

Written By:
Date Posted: January 16, 2002

The package

Having great success with the Swiftech MCX462, I was quite eager to try the smaller and quieter version of Swiftech's Copper/Aluminum helicoid cooler. Dubbed the MCXC370, this is actually their third version of the MC370 series. The original was all aluminum, and the second, the MC370-OA sported the helicoid pins. This time around, they replace the aluminum base with a thick slab of copper.

When the MCXC370 arrived, my first reaction was, "Wow, this box is huge", but in reality, it isn't much bigger than other heatsinks in this range, and the excess bulk of the packaging was due to the added protection for shipping. Upon close inspection, the five things that I noticed right away were the copper base, helicoid pins, mounting clip, rubber spacers and a mere 33cfm fan.


MCXC370" copper base
Base dimensions: 2.5x2.5x.5" - 63.5x63.5x12.7mm
Base material: Copper C110
Base flatness better than .001" - 25µ
Base micro surface finish 8 or better
Heat dissipation medium 188 Helicoid pins (patent pending), made of high conductivity aluminum alloy 1100 (218 W/m-K)
Heat sink overall dimensions: 2.5x2.5x1.63" - 63.5x 63.5x41.4mm
Weight: 17 oz - 482 g

One thing when holding the MCXC370 in your hands, is that you'll be in awe of the quality of the product. It's not super shiny or anything, but rather, it has a brushed, sophisticated look. It also weighs a ton, considering it's quite a bit smaller than it's big brother.

The base is copper, whereas the pins are aluminum. The base of the MCXC370 is pre-lapped to an extremely fine finish. According to Swiftech, the flatness exceeds .001" - 25µ, and the base finish is rated 8. What this means to you is that you'll probably not need to do any lapping yourself, which will save you both the hassle and the time. Either way, don't forget to apply the thermal paste (some is included) to fill in the gaps you can't see.

Like the MCX462, the pins are the helicoid designed ones, and they effectively double the cooling surface area, when compared to their earlier design. As you may know, copper extracts heat quickly from the CPU, but dissipates it slowly. Aluminum has the opposite thermal properties as it isn't as cable to absorbing flashes of heat, but it can whisk it away faster. The aluminum pins, which releases heat quicker, therefore allows for the copper base to move the heat from the base, to the pins, to the open air more efficiently. We'll see later on if this theory pans out.

Here, we can see the clipping system Swiftech employs for the MCXC370. Basically, you got 2 retaining clips attaching to the socket. The compression springs meet AMD heatsink to CPU pressure specifications, so no need to overdo it. The design of the clip differs from the previous MCX370, in that all new heatsinks (of this class) are shipped with the new 3 Tab clip design which grips all tabs on the socket. This is great for those of you who have broken the center retaining tab.

To be honest, it took me awhile to figure this out. I'm used to turning screws clockwise to tighten. When I lifted my case up, I saw my heatsink almost fell off (!). You have to turn the screw counterclockwise to tighten the heatsink (actually expanding the screw, rather than compressing) to the socket. You can find on their page, but the included instruction sheet (which I neglected to read beforehand) is quite clear.

In any case, the clip is a piece of cake to setup, and is pretty much foolproof. In fact, I would probably point people towards this one, rather than the MCX462 if simplicity in installation is an issue.



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