Posted: July 21, 2003
Author: Jason Kohrs
The SLK-800U heatsink, provided by Thermalright for this review, is one of their high-end cooling products designed to handle the heat generated by modern AMD or Intel processors. In case you are unfamiliar with them, Thermalright is a ISO-9000 certified manufacturer of “a wide array of cooling systems and modules for the information communication technology (ICT) industries”, known for their quality and high performance products. To describe a particular Thermalright product as “high end” may seem redundant to those familiar with them, but the SLK-800U is one of the latest and greatest in their product line, and in this review we’ll see how well it performs.
The SLK-800U is an all copper heatsink, with 35 thin fins soldered to a narrow copper base. The overall weight of the SLK-800U is a substantial 550 grams (when set up for use on an AMD motherboard), and the top of the heatsink is designed to accept either 60mm, 70mm, or 80mm fans (not included). As pictured above, you will note that there is no clip for mounting the SLK-800U to the lugs on your motherboard, but instead it is designed to be bolted through your motherboard.
Before getting into greater detail, lets take a look at the official features and specifications...
Features (as taken from the Thermalright website):
4All copper design for maximum performance
4Soldered fins to base to ensure effective contact
4Screws through motherboard mounting for LAN party
4Both AMD socket A and Intel socket-478 compatible
Specifications (as taken from the Thermalright website):
L87 x W56.4 x H48 (mm) - Top, without fan
L67 x W81 x H45 (mm) Bottom, without fan
4Weight: 550g (heat sink only; for AMD) / 567g (heat sink only; for Intel)
4AMD: Athlon XP Palamino, Thoroughbred, and Barton 2800+ and up
4Intel: Pentium-4 socket-478 3.06 GHz and above
The SLK-800U arrives in the plain looking cardboard box pictured in the below left image. Once opened, you find all of the included items tucked into various nooks of the box, and that everything is very well protected.
In addition to the SLK-800U heatsink you have a long list of hardware and accessories included, all of which are pictured in the image on the left. Going clockwise from the top left corner, you have: 1) The retention system which attaches to the backside of the motherboard to anchor the heatsink, 2) Various retaining wires which secure a fan to the SLK-800U, 3) a syringe of white thermal paste, 4) A bag containing foam strips and foam dots (described later), 5) All of the necessary screws, washers, and standoffs, 6) Intel Pentium 4 mounting devices.
The foam strips mentioned in the list above can be used between your fan and the heatsink to help isolate vibrations and perhaps reduce fan noise. The foam dots are required for use on the bottom of the heatsink, because the base is so narrow that the foam dots that come installed on top of your cpu will not make proper contact. As pictured in the below right image, the foam dots have been installed above dimples in the base of the heatsink (visible in the below left image).
As pictured in the above left image, the base of the heatsink is narrower than you typical heatsink, and the fins are exposed on either side. With this design, air can flow straight down the length of the fin, and wash out onto the motherboard / top of your cpu, instead of hitting the base of the heatsink and being forced out the side. The base of the heatsink comes with a protective plastic sheet installed, and when removed, reveals a surface that is definitely flat, but not particularly smooth. The machining marks should be evident in the images above, and an ambitious owner may take the time to “lap” their SLK-800U to make it as smooth as possible, and perhaps improve performance.
The above images show detail on the configuration of the SLK-800U’s thin fins, as well as the black base used to secure the heatsink to the motherboard standoffs. The black base floats loose above the base of the heatsink, and during the installation portion of the review, it will be detailed how it holds everything together.
Also shown in the images above is how various size fans can be installed onto the heatsink. The stepped top, evident in the above right image, will accommodate fans in 60mm, 70mm, and 80mm sizes. With the retention wires included attached to the holes in the side of the heatsink, a fan is then held securely in place, as pictured in the two images below...
Please read on to page two for the installation... Next
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