Swiftech MCX462 heatsink review

Admin - 2007-02-18 15:13:45 in CPU Cooling
Category: CPU Cooling
Reviewed by: Admin   
Reviewed on: January 28, 2003
Swiftech
CoolBreez
Price: $68
Introduction

I have been wanting to test out a Swiftech MC462 heatsink for some time now.. but they have since came out with the new model, MCX 462. I have never used a Swiftech heatsink before, but I really like the appearance of this one. Swiftech has been known for producing high quality heatsinks that out perform any other. They have some of the biggest heatsink on the market, and some of the biggest prices as well. The size of the MCX 462 will make you mouth drop open, and the weight of it make it feel like your holding a brick. We all know it's very impressive, but does it cool?



Specifications

Heat sink

  • CNC machined, C110 copper base, 3"W x 3"L x .375"H, flatness better than 0.001", micro surface finish 8 or better.
  • 371 Pins made of High Thermal Conductivity aluminum alloy (6063)
  • Overall dimensions with fan 3"x3"x3.2", without fan 3"x3"x1.56"
  • Weight: 26 oz (730g) with fan, 20 oz (560g) without fan.

    Mounting

  • Motherboard fittings: 6-32 Female to Male 1/4" aluminum round standoffs with nylon washers and nylons nuts
  • 4 compression springs providing exact specified pressure per chip manufacturers.
  • For Intel Pentium 4 processors, 2 brackets bolt atop the block to match Intel's mounting specifications.

    Fan Specs

    Voltage 12
    Rated Current .58
    Size 80mm
    Thick 38mm
    Airflow CFM 68.5
    Speed RPM 4900
    Sensor rpm
    Noise dbA 48.5
    Pressure 0.59



    What's in the box?




  • I was kind of discouraged by the box that the heatsink came in. It was a very plain white box with the name on it and a picture of the heatsink in black. No colors or anything on the box. Why? I'm not really sure.. Maybe Swiftech heatsinks are sold only online, and don't require a pretty retail box. That would be my guess. However, once I opened the box up, I found that it was packaged very well. The heatsink and fan was surrounded by styrofoam.





  • I found the following in the box:

  • (2) Bags of screws and mounting hardware
  • A nice two page Installation guide
  • The heatsink and the big fan

    In-depth look




  • Here it is, the big MCX462 heatsink. If you have seen the ThermalTake Volcano 7 heatsink then you could compare the size of this heatsink with it. They have a 4 pin molex connector on the fan. I think this is a good idea, because if they used the smaller 3 pin motherboard connector people would more than likely plug it right into the motherboard. You don't ever want to plug a high powered fan in to your motherboard, as it could fry your fan or your motherboard. Swiftech has prevented this problem and just installed a 4 pin molex connector, to insure you don't plug it into your motherboard. There is also another wire coming from the fan, this one is a 3 pin motherboard connector, which only has one wire going to the 3 pin connector. This one, you should plug in to your motherboard. This allows you to monitor the RPM of the fan from within your bios, or within windows.

    Check out the bottom of this heatsink; the surface is super flat! The Swiftech web site states: "flatness better than 0.001". Now that, is flat! The surface contains zero imperfections!




    Kind of different looking than other heatsink that you have seen, huh? This is the Swiftech trademark on their heatsinks. There are a total of 371 pins in all, the size of .093" The older MC462 heatsink only had 261 pins but they where bigger in size, .125" to be exact. The new heatsink is suppose to transfer heat better than the older one did.



    The fan of the MCX462 heatsink, is very large. It is a Delta 80mm fan, that has a rated speed of 4900rpm. You can't have a delta fan without the noise though! The noise level of this Delta fan is 48.5dbA. Loud? Yes, some people would consider it loud. However, I had a ThermoEngine V6 heatsink, with a 7000rpm Delta fan, and that thing had a high pitch sound to it when it ran. This Delta fan does not have that same sound. I find this Delta fan quiet compared to my old one :) Installation

    This heatsink requires more work to install it than other heatsinks, but it is easy to install, it just takes time. The most time consuming part of installing this heatsink is, that you have to completly remove your motherboard from your case and then reinstall your motherboard back in your case.

    I will let you in on a way to install this heatsink without having to remove your motherboard. Your case must have a removable motherboard tray to do this.
    Slide your motherboard tray out a little way, and look at the back of the motherboard. Can you see the four holes in your motherboard around your CPU? If so, you are in luck! You could have your MCX462 heatsink installed in a few mins.. but if you don't see the holes, you will have to do it the long way, as I did.

    First thing I did was slide my motherboard tray out. (Some cases have this, some don't) Here is a picture of my bare cpu after I removed my ThermoEngine V6 heatsink. I need to clean up all that dust! It can make your cpu run hotter. Once you get your motherboard out, place it on a table. Remember, try and not touch any parts on the motherboard, touch only the outside edges of the board. Looking at your CPU you will notice four holes around your socket. This is the holes we will be using to hold the MCX462 heatsink in place.




    The standoff's we are about to install, is the reason why we had to remove the motherboard from our case. Depending on the size of the four holes, you can choose which washer you need to use. (You can find complete details in the installation guide) I used a nylon washer on my motherboard. As you can see in the picure you put the washer on first, then the standoff screw goes in it, and on through the hole in the motherboard.



    On the back side of the motherboard you use a nylon hex nut to hold the standoff securely in place. Make sure you tighten this up, along with your other three very well.



    Next, we whip out the heatsink, making sure we take the fan off first. Coat your CPU's core with some Arctic Alumina thermal compound before you install your new heatsink. Remember only put a paper thin coat on. Once you have done that, place the great big 'ol heatsink on your cpu, aligning the holes up with your motherboard. Next, find the four long screws, four springs, and eight washers. Make them up like the picture:



    Simply, put them in all four holes. When you tighted them, push down slightly on the middle of the heatsink, and tighten the screws in a crisscross pattern until you feel that they reached the bottom of the standoff. They will begin to get harder to turn once it does reach the bottom of the standoff.



    Now, that you have the heatsink securely fastened, we can install the 80mm delta fan. Just place it on top of the heatsink and align the screws with the holes. Then screw the screws into the heatsink.



    All done! Now, install your motherboard back into your case. Turn your computer on and boot in to your bios. Look at the cpu temp. and make sure it doesn't get over 55°c. If it does, turn your computer off and check your installation. Make sure you tightened the heatsink enough, and that you applied thermal compound.


    Performance

    Test Rig:
  • KG7-RAID
  • 1.4Ghz
  • Kingston 512MB DDR PC-2100
  • SB Live X-Gamer 5.1
  • Geforce 3 TI 500
  • 10/100 NIC
  • TDK 24x10x40 CDRW
  • Windows XP Pro

    To get the idle temp, I loaded windows and allowed the system to idle for 15mins. To get the full load temps, I loaded Seti@home and ran it for 30mins. Room temp was 70°f.


  • Idle temp :) I Love it!


    Super good load temp!

    Conclusion

    This heatsink has blown me away! I will be putting my ThermoEngine V6 heatsink in the drawer for now :) I am very happy in the performace of this heatsink. However, the installation did take a lot longer than any other heatsink that I have installed in the past, but I think it was worth the time! This great heatsink doesn't come without a price, at $68 it is considered a very expensive heatsink. Like, I always say, "You get what you pay for". If you pay for a high quality Swiftech heatsink, that's what you expect, and that's what you'll get. I would like to thank CoolBreez for sending us this heatsink and allowing us to review it! Surf on over to their site at: CoolBreez.com.