Review: 4 Socket-A Heavyweight Heatsinks

Cooling
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PRODUCT Thermalright AX7
Manufacturer Thermalright Inc.
Supplier Thermalright Inc.
(MSP US$30 (without fan)
Reasons chosen
  • Raved about almost as much as the SLK800.
  • Cool factor: novel design looks like a miniature high-end power amp for home or car.
  • Copper base and larger than usual air gap between fins suggest good low airflow performance.
  • Sturdy- and friendly-looking clip.
  • Great looking finish.
  • Very nice price!

Thermalright AX7

Thermalright AX7 heatsink next to one-inch tall elastomeric fan mount. Looks like a skinny pawn (from a chess set), doesn't it? (It works well, BTW.)

Like the SLK800, the AX7 is a unique looking design with a similar captive 6-lug mounting clip. It features aluminum fins soldered to a highly polished, substantial copper base. Its general quality seems exceptional at the US$30 suggest retail price.

Specifications

  • Dimension: L77 x W77 x H80 (mm)
  • Weight: 430g without fan

Thermalright AX7 base

The finish of the AX7 is excellent, especially the base. Even though it looks very different from the SLK800, there are some design similarities:

  • No hole in center of HS, which is solid aluminum, part of the one-piece fin structure.
  • Captive 6-lug clip, very easy to use.
  • Fan airflow allowed to spill over onto proximate motherboard components.

One differences is that the fan airflow is more omnidirectional. The fan also mounts a bit differently. It is meant to be used with an 80mm fan but other sizes can probably be used. Four long screws and rubber grommets to help damp vibrations are supplied. The screws fit nicely between fins as shown below.

Thermalright AX7 fan mounting

Being much larger around the base, the AX7 is more difficult to install (and uninstall) than its more expensive sibling. On the test motherboard, the HS only just clears a bank of capacitors on the south side of the CPU socket. They do get nudged during installation.

Thermalright AX7 installed

While lighter than the SLK800 by 75 grams, it is no lightweight. A 80mm fan will increase the weight by ~140 grams on average, so while it is perfectly secure in normal use, shipping with it installed in a PC is probably not recommended.

Socket-A Heatsink Roundup Intro - p.1

Thermalright SLK800 - p.2

Zalman CNPS6000Cu - p.4

Swiftech MC462A - p.5

Test Results, Data Analysis and Conclusions - p.6

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