LGA775 Low Profile Heatsink Roundup

Cooling
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Intel Q6600 Stock Aluminum/Copper Cooler (G0 stepping)

Our Q6600 stock cooler sample is about a year old, but has seen very little service over that time. The Q6600 is a 65 nm chip, and the matching cooler is a bit larger than the previous one, 62 mm tall and weighing almost a pound (440 grams).


The Q6600 stock cooler features a powerful 5.04W fan manufactured by Nidec. It is 82 mm in diameter.



The Q6600 heatsink is radial in appearance with a large copper core and fins with noticeable curvature. Its pushpins are held on by a mounting plate.


Fan Measurements
Voltage
Speed
SPL@1m
12V
2460 RPM
31 dBA
9V
1810 RPM
23 dBA
8V
1520 RPM
21 dBA
7V
1120 RPM
16 dBA

This was the loudest of the three Intel stock heatsinks investigated here, and the quality of the fan noise was the worst. At 12V it is extremely loud and turbulent, over 5 dBA higher than the Q9550 cooler. At 9V it is buzzy and a slight rattle develops. At 8V the rattle causes it to hum and the noise level approaches 20 dBA which is objectively low, but subjectively, it still needs to be brought down a notch to be acceptable. At 7V there are two types of noise, both coming from the motor — an audible hum, and a low-pitched buzzing sound. Inside a case one meter way it is unlikely to bother most users, but sitting next to you on a desk in a quiet room, the noise it generates is distinctive.

It should also be noted that we were unable to decrease the fan speed further than about 1100 RPM — at 6.8V, the fan speed actually begins to increase. The fan seems to have some type of fail-safe circuitry that prevents it from running too slowly.

Intel Aluminum Stock Cooler

Our last Intel stock cooler is one of the taller, all-aluminum types that typically shipped with 65 nm dual core processors. It looks almost identical to the Q6600 cooler except the fan blades are affixed at a slightly higher angle and it lacks a copper core. Our aluminum sample measures 1 mm taller (63 mm) and 110 grams lighter (330 grams).


The fan is a Delta model rated for 7.2W. It's fan diameter is 77 mm.



The underside.


Fan Measurements
Voltage
Speed
SPL@1m
12V
1940 RPM
25 dBA
9V
1420 RPM
19 dBA
7V
1020 RPM
15 dBA
6V
840 RPM
13 dBA

The aluminum stock cooler's acoustics are closer to that of the Q9550 rather than the Q6600 heatsink. At 12V it produces a breezy hum. When the speed is decreased a slight rattle presents — this is probably masked at higher fan speeds by turbulent noise. At 7V there is almost no turbulence, but the motor's rattle turns into a more noticeable tick while the fan drones. At 6V it is almost inaudible. Properly enclosed, we judge it to be quiet at approximately 8V and below.



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