Review: Swiftech MCX462-V for Socket A

Cooling
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FIT AND FINISH

Swiftech has the finishing and polishing of heatsink bases down to a science. There is simply no one doing it better. My comments from the earlier review apply equally well here. So well in fact, that I'll simply report them again:

"As always, the finish on this swiftech is superb. They really take pride in the finish on the mating surface, and it shows. I can't imagine that anything would be gained by trying to lap this thing further, you're more likely to end up making it worse rather than better."

TESTING

The Test Bed for MCX462-V

* 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, cooled with Arctic Cooling VGA Silencer.
* Seagate Barracuda IV hard drive.
* Enermax 365 PSU, modded with a Panaflo 80L1A fan @7 volts.
* Temperatures are read from the internal thermal diode of the CPU with Motherboard Monitor 5.
* CPUBurn was used to achieve load temperatures.
* Ambient temperature during testing was 20°C.

To test the MCX462-V's abilities with both 80 and 92mm fans the reference Panaflo 80mm L1A was used in conjunction with a 92mm Papst 3412GL (36CFM, 23dbA)

MCX462-V with Papst 3412GL 92mm fan
Fan voltage / CFM (calculated)
12V / 36cfm
7V / 21cfm
5V / 15cfm
Idle temp
29°C
36°C
45°C
Load temp
38°C
49°C
63°C
Rise from ambient
18°C
29°C
43°C
°C/W
0.29
0.47
0.69

 

MCX462-V with Panaflo 80L1A fan
Fan voltage / CFM (calculated)
12V / 24cfm
7V / 14cfm
5V / 10cfm
Idle temp
32°C
39°C
45°C
Load temp
40°C
50°C
63°C
Rise from ambient
20°C
30°C
43°C
°C/W
0.32
0.48
0.69

 

MCX462+ with Panaflo 80L1A fan
Fan voltage / CFM (calculated)
12V / 24cfm
7V / 14cfm
5V / 10cfm
Idle temp
32°C
42°C
48°C
Load temp
43°C
56°C
73°C
Rise from ambient*
22°C
35°C
52°C
°C/W
0.35
0.55
0.82

*Ambient temperature during MCX462+ testing was 21°

CONCLUSIONS

As Ralf discovered with the P4 version of the MCX462-V, a 92mm fan and an 80mm fan does not produce the results necessarily expected. At its full 36CFM, the 92mm fan outperforms the 24CFM 80mm, but not by much. It puts out 50% more air, yet results in only a 10% performance gain. As the airflow drops, the performance difference narrows, until at 5v the extra 5CFM from the 92mm is of no help at all. The most logical explanation for these numbers is the fact that the airflow from the 80mm fan is concentrated closer to the center of the heatsink, where the greatest heat load is.

Compared to the previous edition, the results are quite striking. Swiftech's claim of the MCX462-V being optimized for low airflow is not marketing hyperbole. The temp reductions range from 2° at 24CFM, to an impressive drop of 10°at the 5v setting of 10CFM.

Overall, the performance of the MCX462-V moves Swiftech up closer to the top of the SPCR heatsink rankings, besting the perennial favorite Thermalright SLK-800 and falling behind only the heavyweights Thermalright SLK-900A and Zalman 7000A. The MCX462-V is certainly a worthy improvement.

Pros

- Fit-and-Finish, top notch as always.
- Big boost in performance over previous version.
- New retention mechanism.
- Flexibility of 80 or 92mm fan sizes
- Improved motherboard compatibility

Cons

- Performance improved, but still bested by other heavyweights
- New retention mechanism

Much thanks to Swiftech for the review sample.

NOTE: Click here for a review of the P4 (Intel) version of the Swiftech MCX478-V.

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