Dr Thermal Sandwich (TI-A8641L) Heatsink Review

Admin - 2007-02-17 16:31:46 in CPU Cooling
Category: CPU Cooling
Reviewed by: Admin   
Reviewed on: January 26, 2004
Thermal Integration
Thermal Integration
Today we'll be looking at a new cooler from Thermal integration or T.I.T.I for short. This new cooler, the TI-A8641L, is appropriately dubbed the sandwich cooler for its unique design, more on that later. This is my second cooler to use from T.I.T.I my first was the TI-V77L which I really liked. During that point and time the high rpm delta screamers were the rage and the TI-V77L offered a 70mm fan very similar cfm at a much lower noise level. Now my taste has changed a lot in 2 years and I am very much on the silent pc bandwagon. Lets see what this newer cooler from T.I.T.I has to offer.

Heat Sink Material: Copper and Aluminum
Cooler Dimension: 80 x 72 x 60mm
Weight: 470g
Fan Dimension: 70 x 70 x 15mm
Bearing System: Ball Bearing System
Rated Voltage: DC12V
Speed (RPM): 3800
Noise Level (dBA): 36.5
Air Delivery (CFM): 34.39
In-Depth Look

The Ti-A8641L came in a nice retail package, with directions for installation on the side of the box. Inside the box were just the basics heat sink, thermal grease, and an interesting spec sheet with thermal impedance, wattage of various amd cpu’s ranging from the 1700+ to the 3200+.

The spec sheet was very interesting and I hope more heat sink companies start to include this.

The fan included with this cooler is your standard black 70x70x15mm fan with a 3pin connector. It is labeled by t.i.t.i with the Dr Thermal logo in the center. The fan spins at 3800 rpm with the noise rating being 35dba, and puts out 34.39 cfm. This fan looks very similar to my old Dr Thermal Ti-V77L cooler.

The base came with a protective plastic layer that was very hard to take a picture. This has to be one of the most unique looking bases I have ever seen on a heat sink. In one of the emails I received from T.I.T.I they called this the sandwich cooler and now I see why they call it that. You can clearly see in the pictures that aluminum and copper are sandwiched together to create the base of the heat sink, with the part of the base that touches the core looks to be solid but upon closer inspection it is sandwiched pieces of copper, and is held together with screws. The base had a very good finish and felt very smooth. I’ve seen this process used before on the Zalman line of coolers but T.I.T.I uses larger sizes of copper and aluminum.

The cooler uses a micro fin design with a total of 39 fins. Two of the fins were noticeably bigger than the others on the solid section of the heat sink.

The clip used with the TI-A8641L uses all 6 cleats to secure itself to the socket, and has a nice thumb lever to engage the clip to the socket.


Well this cooler is very easy to install but it did require me to use a flat head screwdriver to attach the bottom clip to the cleats of the socket. After the bottom of the clip snapped into place on the socket, the top thumb lever made it effortless to attach to the top of the socket. I recall my old Dr Thermal cooler was very easy to install too but used a different type of mechanism. Testing
Testing Method
Temperatures for the testing were taken via a CompU Nurse thermal probe located next to the CPU die. Artic Silver 5 (thermal compound) was applied to the cpu and each heat sink according to the directions located on Arctic Silver's web site. The compound was given 72 hours of use before the testing was done on any of the heat sinks. To achieve the "idle temperature" reading, the computer was allowed to set idle for 15 minutes then the reading was taken. To achieve the "load temperature" Prime95 was run for 15 minutes and then the reading was taken. The overclocked temps were taken in the same manner only the fsb was changed to 200 and the Cpu voltage to 1.725 volts.

Testing Setup
  • AMD Athlon XP 2500+ 11x166 / overclocked to 3200+ 11x200
  • ABIT NF7-S rev 2.0 (nforce2 ultra chipset)
  • 1x512 Hyperx pc3500 cas2 2-2-11
  • Artic Silver 5 thermal compound
  • Running windows XP pro service pack 1

    Testing Results

    Fan RPM Noise
    Dr Thermal 3800 35 dBa
    Aero 7+ 3500 37.5 dBa

    The Aero 7+ and the TI-A8641L are very close in fan speed with the TI-A8641L being 300 rpm faster. I could not find specs on the stock AMD cooler . The noise level of Aero 7+ is 2.5 dba louder than the TI-A8641L, but the TI-A8641L fan gave off a whirring sound low in pitch. I had the same problem with my last T.I.T.I cooler.

    We can see here that the TI-A8641L was trailing aero7+ with a difference 2.3c idle and 2.6c load. While the TI-A8641L showed, improvement over the stock Amd cooler’s temps under load with the idle temps about the same as the Dr thermal’s .

    Again, we see the aero7+ leading the pack with the TI-A8641L trailing behind it by 1.3c idle and 4.2c load. While the Amd stock cooler again has a similar idle temp, but the TI-A8641L leading it by a difference of 3.6c load.

  • Conclusion
    I have mixed feelings about this cooler, and a lot has to do with the pitch of the fan it is very pitchy in sound and is a little annoying. It showed some decent temps, only trailing the aero7+ by a few degrees. While the stock Amd cooler shocked me with its showings, I feel if I had the older none copper core version of the stock cooler that comes with the tbred cores, the TI-A8641L would have really pounded it. I really wished I had a quieter 70mm fan to test on the TI-A8641L. The installation was very simple I liked that, but that is about the only thing I liked. I think if T.I.T.I would implement a quieter fan possibly, an 80mm fan to control the noise my opinion would be very different.