CoolerMaster Hyper 6 (KHC-V81-U1) Heatsink Review

Admin - 2007-02-14 11:03:53 in CPU Cooling
Category: CPU Cooling
Reviewed by: Admin   
Reviewed on: June 11, 2004
Coolermaster
Coolermaster

Introduction
Everything we've ever seen from CoolerMaster has been low-priced, and low performance. Which to a certain niche, is not a bad thing. From the looks of the new Hyper6 heat pipe CPU cooler from CoolerMaster, people may start thinking about the name CoolerMaster in a whole new way.

If I were to say nothing more about this heat sink, I'd say this beast looks sweet. It actually looks like something I'd expect to see from Thermalright or Zalman, defiantly not something I'd expect from CoolerMaster. It looks nice, and well, that's probably the only kind thing I can say about it.

I'll get into the issues I've had with this heat sink in just a moment. First, we'll take a look at the specifications, features, and everything that's included.

  

Features

 

Specifications

Socket Type
AMD K8 (socket 754/940) and Intel P4 (socket 478)
Dimensions
96mm x 82mm x 120mm
Material
6 heat pipes + 100% copper stacked fin with copper base
Application
P4 all frequencies and K8

 

Fan Specifications

Dimensions
80mm x 80mm x 25mm
Speed 1800 ~ 3000 RPM
Life Expectance
30,000 Hours
Bearing Type
Sleeve bearing
Voltage Rating 6 ~ 12V
Noise Level 21 ~ 34 dB(A)
Connector 4 Pin (Power Input), 3 Pin (Speed Detection)

What You Get

  

A Closer Look
As I mentioned, this thing is a beast. Looks like CoolerMaster pretty much ignored all of AMD's Thermal Solution Design Requirements (seen here on page 11. - Thanks Para! ;)) when designing this heat sink. For the most part this isn't a big deal. Thermalright, Zalman, Swiftech, and other companies have been ignoring requirements for years, and they've worked well.

The base is solid copper, and is machined lap to a nice finish. It's not what most people expect to see when looking at the base, instead it's got a radial look to it. To keep it protected till it gets to you, the base is protected with a plastic protective “sticker”.

 

Coming from the base of the heat sink, through the 27 copper fins, and extending through the top of the heat sink are 6 heat pipes (3 on each side).

 

 

 

As you can see, engraved on the top of the heat sink is the CoolerMaster logo.

 

The metal housing surrounding the heat sink, has screw holes on 2 of the sides to attach a fan to. CoolerMaster included one of their own fans with the heat sink, which is nice, since a lot of the high-performance heat sinks usually come fanless.

Installation, Testing, & Problems
Just a note.. This is a P4 and K8 heat sink. For this review, we will be installing, testing (well, we were going to), and reporting problems with this heat sink using an AMD 64 (K8) system.

At the beginning of may, I reviewed a Foxconn motherboard. The day I finished the testing for that review, I started working on reviewing this heat sink. That's how long I've been having problems with this beast.

The first problem I ran into was that the Hyper6 doesn't use the standard type mounting equipment (retention frame) found on the Athlon 64 motherboards. While it's not a huge deal here, the problem was (which is also noted in the review) the Foxconn motherboard's retention frame could not be removed. Below you can see the standard frame (left), and the one that came with the Hyper6 (right).

  

The blame for this isn't all CoolerMasters. They didn't follow AMD's guidelines. Like I said no biggie here. We'll also blame Foxconn for having a board where you can't change the frame.

Thankfully I had the Chaintech ZNF3-150 motherboard that I could use. Again, we still have to remove the standard retention frame, and use the one that came with the Hyper6.

With the new frame now attached to the motherboard, you can apply your thermal compound to the CPU and to the base of the heat sink.

Before you go to put the heat sink on the CPU and try to fasten it, you'll have to remove the fan (if you attached it). This heat sink cannot be mounted while the fan is on the heat sink. - CoolerMaster's instructions make note of this as well.

So, it's time to actually fasten the heat sink to the retention frame. The first problem is you now have a 2lbs metal block (for the most part) sitting on top of you're CPU. Not the end of the world, till you go to fasten down the two clips.

Trying to fasten the clips was like trying to push a pop-rivet into place using only your thumb. In fact, so much force was exerted trying to attach the Hyper6 to the retention frame, I didn't think there was any way the CPU could have survived. Thankfully, after all was said and done, the system booted.

  

If you managed to get the heat sink mounted, you're now free to attach the fan (or fans).

Just think... this heat sink was so much fun to install the first time, if you ever plan on moving your computer (e.g. to another room, or LAN Party), you'll have to remove the heat sink, move the system, and reinstall the heat sink. - Same thing you are suppose to do with many other heat sinks, just more painful with the Hyper6.

Since the heat sink was installed outside of the case, it wasn't till the motherboard was put back into the case, and the components were put back into place that I noticed the next thing.

No matter which spot you put the fan on, you're not going to get a whole lot of air flow into the heat sink. If you had a full tower case, this wouldn't have been as much as a problem, since you'd have more room between the PSU and the heat sink. However, this test rig is a mid-tower (Kingwin blah blah blah), and space is precious.

  

Thankfully, the Hyper6 does clear the row of capacitors to the side of the zif socket, however if you'll notice, the heat sink is dangerously close to my system memory. With this setup, you'll actually be increasing the temp of the memory, which isn't something any of us want to do. Might as well try to cool the RAM with a blow torch.

  

The real problem I had with the Hyper6 wasn't something I encountered till a few days after installing the heat sink. Once I began to do the load temperature testing, I first had a problem with the system shutting down due to overheating (appx 60C). I adjusted the motherboard's setting, and tried to test again. This time, I came across everyone's favorite BSOD.

Figuring that I had messed up the thermal compound when attempting to attach the heat sink, I decided to reinstall the heat sink... 4 separate times. Each time, I encountered the same issues. After that, I'd had enough of this thing.

Due to the awkward and difficult mounting method of the Hyper6, it is virtually impossible to mount the Hyper6 without rubbing the thermal compound around, which of course is going to hinder the cooling process. While I can’t say for certain whether overheating of the RAM or the CPU was the culprit giving the BSODs (I’ve seen it many times over the years, and I’m sure many of you have as well), it could be one or both of them. I do know without a shadow of a doubt, that the problems were directly related to the Hyper6/cooling. Install any other heat sink, and the system is fine, install the Hyper6 and “Houston we have a problem”.

Conclusion
Well, this has definitely been an (unpleasant) experience for me. I tried my darnedest to get this heat sink to work, and I badly wanted to like it. No matter what I tried, this heat sink was just plagued with issues. One thing to keep in mind the individual components used in my testing rig. Each system is different (for the most part), and the Hyper6 may work well for you. In fact, I've seen many positive reviews of the Hyper6 on P4 based systems. Just do some research.

Right now, I am skeptical, but with any luck, the problems I’ve had may just be related to a few motherboards. Maybe or maybe not. Matt (LinuXProX) has agreed to have Jason (FanATIc205) do a follow up review on the Hyper6 using his systems. It’ll give the Hyper6 another chance, and maybe some more feedback to CoolerMaster on how to improve on it for the Hyper7 (or whatever the next version is).
 
The number one thing I’d suggest is to make the dang thing easier to install. It’s been shown over and over again that people don’t like to remove the motherboard to install something, and people don’t like difficult products. It’s not a complicated concept. I had to give this product our “WTF were they thinking?” award.

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