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Arctic Cooling Copper Silent 2L Socket A Heatsink
Posted: April 13, 2004
Author: Matt Bunnell
Manufacturer: Arctic Cooling
Source: Quiet PC

The Arctic Cooling Copper Silent 2L is an inexpensive thermal solution for your AMD Duron / Athlon / Athlon XP processor up to 3400+. With its integrated 3 speed fan, the Copper Silent 2L provides a low profile heatsink that will eliminate any concerns you may have on whether it will fit in even the smallest of cases, including the newer HTPC cases on the market today.

Specifications (as taken from the Arctic Cooling website):

Blue Illuminated Fan: The fan and fan case are made of transparent plastic which are illuminated from inside in blue.

3 Selectable Rotation Speeds: In order to reach the exact cooling that your CPU needs, 3 speeds can be selected via a switch. This switch has been attached to a metal bracket and can be installed in any PCI slot. Further an additional control can still be installed. In this case the three fan speed selections mark only the maximum rotation speed.

44 x 44 x 5 mm of Copper Plate: Contrary to heat sinks which use a copper core (copper poured inside aluminium), for the Copper Silent 2 we use more material over the DIE where high energy flows (copper plate) and in the external areas where low energy flows, less material (only 5mm aluminium plate). Thus we achieve a better efficiency, hence better cooling performance without increasing the weight.

Tin Connection between Copper and Aluminium: The heat transfer of conventional copper cores onto aluminium is ensured by thermal compound, which transfers the warmth extremely poorly compared to metals. In contrast to this we use a super-thin tin film. This has the advantage of approx. 25-times higher heat conductivity of tin compared with the thermal compound.

Low Profile: Compared to the Copper Silent the cooling performance was improved, without increasing the height of the heatsink or violating the height restriction area defined by AMD. Thus compatibility is guaranteed for all Socket A mainboards. Thanks to the reversed fan mounting, the relevant airflow height of 56mm is kept low.

Extremely Quiet: The Second Revision of the Copper Silent 2 allowed for the ventilation system to be reworked. The patented "reversed- hanging" fan is able to practically eliminate the typical buzzing sound of 80mm fans.

Fan Mounting: The Fan has been mounted onto 4 Rubber supports to stop vibrations being transmitted to the heat sink.

Clip: Owing to the screwdriver guidance and the joint both the installation was simplified significantly as well as the de-installation and is now even possible under extremely close space conditions in the PC Case.

Naturally the Copper Silent 2 utilizes all 6 hooks of the socket, which leads as with our predecessor models to a low socket strain.

Technical Specifications:

• Recommended CPUs:
   • All AMD Duron
   • AMD Athlon XP up to 3400+ (2800RPM)
   • AMD Athlon XP up to 3200+ (2200RPM)
   • AMD Athlon XP up to 2500+ (1500RPM)
• Heat Sink: 84 x 76 x 41 mm
• Copper Plate: 44 x 44 x 5 mm
• Overall Dimensions: 88 x 82 x 79 mm
• For the Air Flow important Height: 56 mm
• Rated Fan Speed: 1500/2200/2800 RPM
• Power Consumption: 12 V, 0.27 Amp.
• Air Flow: 26.5 / 48.8 / 61.6 m3/h
• Weight: 395 g
• Noise Level: 13 / 18 / 24 dB (A)
• Therm. Resistance: 0.29 - 0.34 °C / Watt

Inspection:

The Arctic Cooling Copper Silent 2L arrived packaged as shown in the below left image... A clear plastic box with a rather different closing method. It took me a few seconds to figure out how to open it without destroying it. The fan’s airflow listed above is rather confusing, but the packaging does clear that up, as shown below right. Also note that at its high setting of 36 CFM, it’s still a quiet 24db.

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The Copper Silent 2L came with the speed switch mounted on a PCI slot bracket, a syringe of silicon thermal paste and a nice little case badge shown on the left. On the right you see the care Arctic Cooler took in wrapping the wires, a VERY nice added feature and a great boon to anybody concerned with cable management. The wires are of sufficient length to reach where you need them to.

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The fan is “snap” fit to the heatsink with a rubber spacer at each corner to help prevent vibrations being induced to the assembly. However, where the fan “snaps” to each corner negates this benefit as shown below left. I tried to remove the fan from the heatsink but didn’t want to take a chance on breaking the plastic attaching point. Also note in the photo below right, the rubber spacers are almost cut through by the heatsink fins, again eliminating any benefit.

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The Arctic Cooler Copper Silent 2L is a fairly hefty heatsink at 395 grams and as the photo below left shows, it’s attached to the ZIF socket by utilizing all 6 tabs assuring a solid mount. After removing the protective plastic from the heatsink base, I was surprised to find it had cracks along its edge as you can see in the photo on the right. The copper base was not polished but neither did it have any scratches or other blemishes.

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Installing the Arctic Cooler Copper Silent 2L was easy. The clip has a nice snug fit and it seemed to center itself correctly on the ZIF socket. Due to its smaller size shown below left, I encountered no problems with any motherboard components or the power supply. The blue lights give off a very nice glow as you see on the right. Not enough to light up the whole case, but certainly enough to highlight that section of it.

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Testing:

The test system consisted of:

• MSI KT4V-L Motherboard
• AMD Athlon XP 1800+ Processor
• Crucial PC3200 DDR 2x 256meg
• Chaintech 32MB DDR AGP Card
• HP 8x4x32 CD-RW
• Toshiba 16x DVD ROM
• Seasonic 400W PSU
• Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Paste

When I first fired up the system with the Arctic Cooler Copper Silent 2L installed, it was at the high setting. I flipped the switch to medium and waited for Motherboard Monitor 5 to change its readings, after the fans speed was reduced for a few minutes, I switched it to low. Immediately the MSI PC Alert 4 kicked in and flashed a warning about the CPU fan not working. I was able to shut the system down before any damage was done to the CPU.

I left the speed switch set to low and tried to restart the system, only to be greeted by the system BIOS warning that the CPU fan was not functioning. I played with the switch several times to get it to work, but it would only operate in medium or high.

Shown below left is the Motherboard Monitor 5 readout with the fan at medium speed and the CPU at idle, and below right is the fan at high speed and the CPU at idle.

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The next round of testing involved running Folding@Home to stress the CPU and generate more heat. The below left image shows the fan at the medium setting with the CPU at full load, and the below right image shows the fan at the high setting with the CPU at full load. (also notice the difference in case temps)

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These tests were repeated with the stock AMD retail cooler while maintaining all other conditions, and the results of these tests are summarized in the graph below...


I ran a Motherboard Monitor 5 log file for several days while running F@H to keep a running record of the system. This log revealed that the fan does run a bit faster than the stated 2800rpm (up to 3013rpm on this example).

Click Image For Larger View

Conclusion:

I found the Arctic Cooler Copper Silent 2L to be a very capable thermal solution for the budget minded. For the average consumer (no overclocking) this will make a great choice to keep your CPU at a respectable temperature. The Copper Silent 2L is very quiet, even at the high setting. I was hard pressed to distinguish noise from the power supply in this system and the Copper Silent 2L.

Price:

The Arctic Cooler Copper Silent 2L can be had for a nominal $21.95 from Quiet PC. Compared to some of the other, less capable choices on the market, I think this is a good buy.

Overall, I rate the Arctic Cooler Copper Silent 2L at 4 out of 5 stars, "Recommended".

Final Rating (4 out of 5 stars):


Pros:

• Small size
• Easy installation
• Quiet operation
• Various speed settings
• Nice cable wrap

Cons:

• Faulty speed switch (on this sample)
• Cracked copper base (on this sample)
• Rubber spacers of questionable capability

Special thanks to Quiet PC for providing the Arctic Cooling Copper Silent 2L Heatsink to BigBruin.Com for review!

Please drop by the BigBruin.Com forum and feel free to discuss this review!

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