CoolerMaster Hyper 6 Heatsink for P4/K8

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Hyper 6 shown with complete mounting system.
See the four screwholes for the fan?
There's another set of fan mount holes on the other side.

Hyper 6 is a complex design:

The bottom portion is composed of a thick copper base and what appears to be almost a complete conventional heatsink bonded to it with two machine screws, and perhaps soldered as well. This sub-heatsink (for want of a better term!) appears to be made of copper-coated aluminum and has 11 thick, widely spaced fins.

Six L-shaped heatpipes are embedded between the base and the sub-heatsink. The drawing below shows the arrangement of these heatpipes.

Heatpipes soldered
and clamped to base or only clamped?

Little to complain about the polished copper base: It is flat and smooth.

The upper stage consists of 27 thin (approx. 0.2mm) 96 x 82mm copper fins spaced about 1.75mm apart from each other, and stacked parallel to the base. Each of these fins is bonded to the six heatpipes. The heat reaches the fins by way of vapor-phase change occurring within the six copper heatpipes as a result of the CPU heat under the base.

There are other parts:

An aluminum frame is wrapped around the sides and top, and provides mounting points for the fan, which blows parallel to the base. There are fan mounting holes on both of the open sides, though only one fan is provided. This means push-pull, dual-fan cooling can be easily set up.

Aluminum frame fitting at side / bottom of base (left) and on the top (right).

The mounting system uses a sturdy backplate that goes under the mainboard, a fiber-based polymer frame that mounts on top of the mainboard by screwing into the backplate, and finally, two strong metal clips that hold the heatsink down to the fiberglass frame. These clips are used whether the heatsink is mounted on a PC4 or a K8 board. This hardware is compatible with either P4 or K8 platforms. The top retention frame fits on either P4 or K8 boards. The backplate goes on one way for P4 boards, and is neatly flipped over to the other side for use with K8 boards.

The fitting work with both P4 and Athlon 64 (K8) CPUs.

The mounting system has to secure the >1 kg weight of the heatsink and fan. This is more than double the recommended maximum for either AMD or Intel CPU boards.

The mounting system survived multiple installations and un-installations during testing. Whether the long term stress of the high mass on a vertical mainboard in a tower case would damage the board is difficult to say. The cantilever force of this much mass is undoubtedly high. You don't need a catastrophe for damage to occur; undetectable hairline fractures are enough to make multi-layer printed circuit board unusable. Great care is advisable when handling a mainboard with this much mass hanging off it. It's probably better to use it in a horizontal desktop rather than a vertical tower.

The Fan is a 80mm, sleeve-bearing 80mm diameter unit made of translucent plastic. An inline 4-pin Molex power connector runs out of it, as well as a single-wire 3-pin hook-up for speed monitoring, and finally a small speed dial with a notch on the side. This dial can be retrofitted to either a PCI slot backplate, or a brushed aluminum 3.5" bay cover, both of which are included with the package.

The stock fan has special 1/4" bevels cut into the intake side of the frame, and the four short screws included are long enough to mount the fan only when it is oriented to blow into the heatsink. A visit to Home Depot revealed that the screws have a much finer thread than any they carry. More on the significance of this later.

How Heatpipes Work

Inside a heatpipe is a liquid that boils into vapor when it gets hot. This vapor releases the heat at the cooler surfaces of the heatpipe then condenses back into liquid. The liquid flows back down to the hot end by capillary action and gravity. Heatpipes are capable of transferring a large amount of heat per volume of working fluid due to the phase change (liquid-to-gas-to-liquid-ad infinitum) that takes place. In layman's terms, it's vaguely like watercooling without the pump, but better. Here is Cooler Master's explanatory diagram:

With the Hyper 6, the only configuration in which the heatpipes don't work at their best when it is mounted upside down ¬ó which is highly unlikely. Every other angle or position is fine.

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