AMA Phantom ReviewRHKCommander959 - August 19, 2009
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The well fitted two-piece clamshell package provides good space to help protect the heat sink from damage, but it is very easy to open when users want to get it out. The plastic is designed to hold the heat sink one way, and provides users a glimpse of the top of the heat sink when it is in the box. The heat sink is a six heatpipe tower design and is shaped similar to a double-bladed axe head. Underneath the clam shell is where the accessories are boxed in together, enough parts to install on Intel LGA 775/1366 and AMD Socket AM2/AM2+/AM3, and should also be compatible with 754 and 939 brackets. The AMA Phantom and Orc both have plans to also include Intel LGA 1156 mounting brackets for the soon to be released Intel i5 platform. Everything needed to get the heat sink installed is included in the accessories package, but I find it to be even easier to use a long neck Phillips screwdriver instead of the wrench for installing the Phantom heat sink, especially in crowded cases.
The front view gives a good glimpse of the heat sink, with all six of the heat pipes spread evenly behind the fan, which has good coverage over the fins. The fan has an AMA sticker on it that is reflective and lights up red to green. Improved performance could be gained by either using a shroud between the heat sink and fan or by using a fan with a smaller motor hub - either would help get rid of the dead space. The heat sink came with some minor fin damage that was easily fixed. The box also had some grease on it and one side had broken its glue - perhaps this heat sink fell off the production line? The elegant curve of the heat pipes adds to the looks of the heat sink while also keeping its footprint smaller. The side of the heat sink has three spots where an extra lip that comes out of some of the heat sink fins. These AMA heat sinks definitely look a little different than most other heat sinks.
The damage is minor, but it does look like the heat sink was dropped. The barcode shows similar damage as the fins. The heat sink should be small enough and is elevated so that it should fit in most cases and not interfere with motherboard components. The perspective view is a good overall glimpse of the heat sink. The plastic cover definitely helps improve the looks of the top, where most tower heat sinks generally look very similar.
The base is polished but it is clearly not smooth as the machining grooves are evident in the picture. These grooves are much smaller and more numerous than on the Orc, which had larger circles. These remind me of the Arctic Cooling Freezer heat sinks although the grooves aren't nearly as deep. The back is similar to the front minus grooves for the fan mount. Both sides are extended on the sides and could probably fit a second exhaust fan in as well.
The top plastic cover is held in place by two black screws. An AMA logo is in the center with fancy borders around. Underneath are the twelve tips of the six heat pipes and the fan mounting mechanism.
The front of the heat sink has each of the fins slotted to allow the fan mount to slide into them and hold the fan onto the heat sink. Seven screws (not counting mounting pieces) hold the heat sink together. The fan mount is bent 90 degrees to grab the top of the heat sink, and then attach with two silver bolts. Another three bolts hold the fan to the mount.
The fan has seven blades and a PWM cable. It is produced by Everflow just as the fan on the Orc was. The production stamp shows that the fan was made in early June. This fan uses less than a fifth of an amp to run.
On to the features then followed by the testing!