Keeping your processor cool is something everyone worries about today. Especially people with higher end T-Birds, those boys run hot as hell. And of course, to meet our needs, there has been no shortage of performance coolers in the marketplace. It seems there's a hundred new and improved heat sinks out there trying to be the best. (At last count, I'm not exaggerating.) However, most of these heat sinks wouldn't fall under the description of performance, and many of the ones that do are not in the category of cheap.
Then in steps Vantec with a new heat sink, the FCE-62540D. What's interesting about this is the fact it's designed to be a pocket friendly performance heat sink. The Vantec goes for about 20$ at a lot of online shops, where as the present heat sink king, the Thermoengine, goes for about 35-40$ roughly with the delta fan installed. This makes the Vantec look extremely alluring due to the much lower price point. Before we get into testing, lets take a quick look at theories behind processor cooling.
There are several trains of though around CPU cooling, and manufactures have tried them all. The big ones you see are brute force cooling, better metal cooling, better tech cooling, or a combination of them. Even though there are only 3 main methods of this, we see a surprisingly large number of heat sink styles. (Mind you these descriptions are brief, sometime in the future I'll probably do an in depth thing on the topic, but not right now. -Kitch)
Brute force: This is a simple method of cooling, and has been done quite a bit. Take a hefty block of aluminum, make it have a lot of surface area and slap it onto a processor with a big fan on the top of it. Alpha heat sinks would usually fall into this category, as would many other manufacturers as well. They can be great heat sinks, but sometimes they can be a bit of an eyesore, as they tend to be very large.
Better Metals: This is something we're seeing more of now. This trend uses metals other than aluminum for parts of the heat sink, metals such as copper and silver. Aluminum is a great metal for heat sinks, as it is reasonably low density making it light for the size, and it has a great heat conduction and convection ratio. This is why you see it used so much, not to mention the fact aluminum is cheap. Copper is one you're seeing more of now in coolers such as the Hedgehog and the Global Win CAK-38. Coppers coming into play now because its one of the few metals with better heat properties than aluminum and is still a reasonable cost. The last one you might see is silver. I say, "might see" as it is still far from common, as the only heat sink I know of thus far that employs it is the Noise Control Silverado. It's not used more, despite its excellent thermal properties, due to the much higher cost of the metal, making products seem extremely expensive.
Tech Cooling: This category is not quite as easy to define as the other two as it can come in many shapes, sizes and designs. The tech coolers usually try something different than we've seen before to amaze people at how well they work. Some prime examples of this would be the Thermaltake Orb line of coolers, and the Agilent Articooler. These were some seemingly crazy designs for coolers when they hit, but the exceptional performance made them take off. The tech coolers can be some of the most interesting heat sinks to look at, as they're generally something different for design.
Combination Coolers: These are the hardest to identify, as they can literally be anything. One good example would be the Super Orb. It took the tech cooling of the original golden orb and applied the brute force method to it when they doubled its height and added a second fan. Some of Alpha's heat sinks also can go under here, as they tried to combine brute force with better metals, when they started putting copper bases on their heat sinks.
Now that the stage is set, lets get down to some actual tests on this thing.
>> Setting The Stage For Testing/The Test