Deepcool Ice Matrix 600 Reviewairman - December 27, 2010
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As I stated in the introduction, the Ice Matrix 600 is almost identical to the Ice Matrix 400. It is a little larger and has two more heatpipes, but everything else is identical. I could almost copy and paste my descriptions from the Ice Matrix 400 review into this one and I'd only have to change the pictures! Nevertheless, that would make this a boring job. My first impression of the Ice Matrix 600 is that I am impressed at how many heatpipes that Deepcool fit into this cooler. The only way they could make an Ice Matrix 800 would be to make the base much larger, or use smaller heatpipes! A larger base could cause clearance issues, and eight smaller (probably around 4mm) heatpipes wouldn't conduct heat any more effectively than six (6mm) heatpipes. That being said, Deepcool looks like they put as much improvement into the Ice Matrix 600 as physics would let them!
Moving on, the Ice Matrix 600 stands at about 170mm (6.7") tall, which is about as tall as many other tower heatsinks in its category. However, it is less than 75mm (3") wide including the fan. This gives the owner great clearance and can make in-case installation simple and less painful than other coolers. The top side of the base exhibits the same feature as each of the other Deepcool heatsinks I have tested, and that is, for lack of a better description, a smaller heatsink stuck onto it. Deepcool takes advantage of this unused surface area, and adds even more surface area with these fins. As we can understand from a heat transfer perspective, any amount of fins should be better than no fins at all. The large mass of six heatpipes are sandwiched inside the base and they look to make good contact. They snake out from the base and then align themselves next to each other, to where the fins are stacked pressed onto them. Taking a look at the sides of the Ice Matrix 600 will clearly show that the real estate on the base for heatpipes is maxed out. This looks like another area where Deepcool takes advantage of whatever leftover space they have, and make use of it.
The top fin in the Ice Matrix 600 has the Deepcool logo stamped into it, finishing off the heatsink's identity. The six heatpipes extend through the top fin by only a quarter of an inch, with not enough room left for even one more fin. The base of the Ice Matrix 600 has a protective film over it, warning the user to remove it before installing the heatsink. This film is to protect the base of the Ice Matrix 600, as it needs to remain free from any defects. Any defect in the base, from scratches to dents, can trap heat and can decrease the overall heat transfer rate. As a side note, this is why some manufacturers will polish their bases to a near mirror finish - which can actually improve performance by a couple of degrees. Deepcool's Website states that the base is mirror polished, and I'll check that out soon.
As I said earlier, the heatpipes are very well sandwiched between the two pieces of the base. Good, solid contact here is also extremely important. Just like when the processor doesn't make good contact with the bottom of base, if the heatpipes don't make good contact inside of the base, the heatsink will perform poorly. Another concept of "good contact" applies to the fins as well. The fins are pressed into the heatpipes, stretching their openings and creating pressure at this interface. High pressure and large surface area helps the heat move quickly between the heatpipes and the fins, and ultimately removed by the air moving through it. A close up of the fins on top of the base can be found below.
A similar trait to the Ice Matrix 400 that this heatsink has is the split down the middle of the fins. As far as I can observe, this split won't help airflow through the fins, nor will it help with cooling capabilities. Unfortunately, as I expected, the base on the Ice Matrix 600 is just like the base on the Ice Matrix 400. Deepcool's Website says that it is polished to a mirror finish, but by my definition, it certainly isn't. The machining marks are evident and it is not very reflective at all. For the Ice Matrix 400, as a lower cost heatsink, I didn't really expect to see a high quality finish - but I was disappointed to see that Deepcool says that it is supposed to have a mirror finish. For the Ice Matrix 600, being a little more pricey, I expected there to be a little more to the "upgrade" than a couple of extra heatpipes. That being said, I'm probably going to take points off from Deepcool. The base is far from mirror polished.
The supplied fan on the Ice Matrix 600 is a 140mm black and blue rubber coated fan that pulls 12v at about 0.13A. It moves up to 72CFM at 1200RPM and about 28dBA. The rubberized coating helps dampen any vibrations that could propagate through the heatsink and into the case, resisting any excess noise that could be distracting or a nuisance. It is fastened to the heatsink with two metal clips, which are held in a slot on the side of the heatsink and clips into the fan itself. This is probably the easiest way to clip fans to heatsinks, and I hope more manufacturers continue this method. Deepcool does supply an extra set of clips that can be used to fasten a second fan on the heatsink if one wishes to use a push/pull fan configuration.
Installation of the Ice Matrix 600 is just like that of the Ice Matrix 400 and the Gamer Storm. There are appropriate back plates for Intel 775 and 1156, as well as AMD AM3/AM2+ and AM2. There is not, however, a specific back-plate for 1366 applications. For a socket 1366 processor, you take the four stick-on plastic nuts and apply them on the rear of the motherboard instead of placing a back-plate there. I mentioned on the earlier Deepcool reviews that this is a little bit of a drawback because the stickiness of the plastic nuts wear out, are difficult to remove, and leave residue on the back of the motherboard. Anyway, once the appropriate back-plate is in place, four standoffs are are screwed in through the motherboard. Then, the mounting clamps are attached to the base of the heatsink, which is then tightened down into the stand-offs. Of course, thermal paste is applied before mounting the heatsink.
The Deepcool Ice Matrix 600 is just like its little sister, in the fact that it is very unobtrusive in the case and it is very unlikely that there would be any clearance issues or make access to other parts of the computer difficult when compared to other tower coolers. The Ice Matrix 600 has a nice and attractive stance inside the case, giving an observer a clean view of the entire motherboard. For users who want to maximize viewing angles, this doesn't seem like a bad way to go. Now that the heatsink is installed and ready to go, it's time to fire up the test rig and see what it can handle and how it handles it! The next page contains a compilation of manufacturer specifications and features, as found from the Deepcool Website.