Swiftech MCX462+ Heatsink Review

Cooling
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FIT & FINISH


You can't possibly make the mirror finish any better.

As always, the finish on this swiftech is superb. Looking at it, holding it, you can't help but be impressed. They really take pride in the finish on the mating surface, and it shows like a mirror. I can't imagine that anything would be gained by trying to lap this thing further, you'd probably make it worse.

TESTING

The Test Bed for MCX462+:

* ABIT NF7 motherboard, with latest BIOS revisions. Modified with passively cooled NB.
* XP2100 Thoroughbred B, at stock speed and voltage (1.65v, 62.1 Watts max)
* 1GB of PC2100 RAM.
* ATI 9500 graphics card, passively cooled with Zalman HP-80A heatpipe cooler.
* Seagate Barracuda IV hard drive.
* Enermax 365 PSU, modded with an L1A @7 volts.
* 80mm Panaflo L1A reference fan - at 12, 7 and 5V
* Temperatures are read from the internal thermal diode of the CPU with Motherboard Monitor 5
* Ambient temperature was 21°C

Test Bed for MC462 - see SPCR's Unique Heatsink Testing Methodology

RESULTS

Heatsink
Temp °C - Idle
Temp °C - Load
Delta T in °C
°C/W
12V
7V
5V
12V
7V
5V
12 V
7V
5V
12V
7V
5V
MCX462+
32
41.5
48
43
56
73
22
35
52
0.35
0.55
0.82
MC462*
37
43
50
47
54
69
26
32
48
0.43
0.52
0.78
* Temperatures for the MC462 compensated -1°C for the higher 22°C ambient of prevailing test conditions.

At higher airflow the extra pins and great surface area do help. The MCX462+ with the Panaflo fan at 12V is a significantly better cooler. One would expect that with a more powerful fan than the Panaflo, perhaps with one of those LOUD 50+ CFM fans, the MCX462+ could be many degrees ahead of the older design, especially with a hotter CPU.

With lower airflow, however, the older MC462A is the superior performer. The reduced spacing between the pins of the MCX462+ clearly become a hindrance as the fan speed and airflow is reduced.

As admirable as the workmanship on the MCX462+ is, its cooling efficiency at modest noise levels and airflow is clearly bettered by many less costly models on SPCR's recommended HS pages. The MCX462+ may well remain a top overclocker's choice, but for SPCR readers, there are better options.

NOTE: Swiftech's new MCX462-V adds even more pins while simultaneously creating bigger spaces between them, and is promoted as a low noise high performance solution. Swiftech is out to prove that there is still life left in this design, even in an age of declining noise limits. Look for a review on the new design soon.

Our thanks to Swiftech for the MCX462+ sample and for their saintly patience.

* * * * *

Discuss this article in the SPCR Forums.



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