LGA775 Low Profile Heatsink Roundup

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Scythe Big Shuriken - US$30

The Scythe Big Shuriken is by far the most expensive and ambitious cooler in our roundup. It is also the only model to offer mounting on more than one platform, with AMD and S478 clips included with the standard pushpins The Big Shuriken is a mini-monster with four heatpipes and relatively massive slim fan with a diameter of 113 mm. It weighs in at 420 grams and is 57 mm tall.

Big Shuriken package contents.

The heatpipes curve into each other, producing a trombone-like structure. The various mounting clips snap into two grooves on each side of the base.

With the close proximity of the fin mass to the pushpins, a bolt-thru mounting system would have been much better. Getting fingers underneath to engage the pins is extremely difficult. If the motherboard is already installed, it is near impossible.

Fan Measurements
1460 RPM
23 dBA
1230 RPM
18 dBA
1030 RPM
13~14 dBA
820 RPM
11 dBA

The Big Shuriken's slim Slip Stream fan is easily the quietest and best sounding fan in today's competition. At 12V it sounds turbulent but smooth and it generates a small amount of bearing noise. At 10V and below the sound of rushing air dissipates, while its other characteristics remain.

Arctic Cooling Alpine 7 GT - US$10~$15

The various models in Arctic Cooling's Alpine line are affordably priced, offering quiet operation but modest performance — aptly suited to replace noisy stock coolers. The Alpine 7 GT is the smallest of the bunch, measuring 64 mm high and weighing in at only 280 grams. It is about the same height as the small aluminum Intel stock heatsink described earlier, but lighter by a couple of ounces. The heatsink body has a simple design with a thick base and broad fins all running parallel in one direction. The fan housing is much softer than Intel's and springs when pressure is applied.

According to Arctic Cooling, the fan spins between 500 and 2000 RPM and produces 28.6 CFM of airflow. The fan is 74 mm across according to our measurements.

The pushpins are attached to metal arms screwed to the bottom of the heatsink on each side.

Fan Measurements
2160 RPM
26 dBA
1680 RPM
20~21 dBA
1380 RPM
15 dBA
1160 RPM
14 dBA

At 12V, the Alpine 7 GT's fan is turbulent but smooth, much smoother than any of the Intel stock units. At 9V the motor begins to rattle. At 7V the fan develops a gentle, but distinctive hum. At 6V it generates an fairly innocuous buzzing type sound. We would have no problems running the fan at 9V or lower. While its acoustics aren't the best, compared to the other samples in our roundup, it is excellent.

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