CPU Cooler


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Thermalright's SLK heatsinks are probably the most widely acclaimed around. The biggest is the SLK900, but that's too big for some motherboards and will definitely not fit the Asus A7N8X without some 'convincing' - never a good thing. So it'the smaller and beautifully put together SLK800 that is included in the 'Ultimate All-Rounder' spec.

It's still exceptionally expensive and not widely available in the UK. I only know of one supplier and it costs almost £45. Add delivery and the cost of a fan (not supplied) and the total cost for your main cooler gets closer to £55. Compare this to many other high performance coolers at around £20-£25 and accept the fact that you may only improve cooling by a few degrees C, and you might start to question your sanity. However, this feeling quickly diminishes once the gorgeous thing is fitted and you realise that a few degrees C means being in the late 30's and not the early 40's...even at full load on a hot day8). This opens up so much more room for overclocking, of course.

Unlike many heatsinks, it has three sprockets on each of its two mounting clips, and these fit easily onto the the nodes of your mobo's 'Socket A'. The base of the heatsink is quite narrow and will actually sit between the four rubber pads on the CPU that are there to protect it. Thermalright kindly provide you with four additional pads and there are small marks on the heatsink to indicate where they should be placed. Once fitted (and that's very easy) it sits very snug to the CPU core. Using some good thermal compound (e.g. Arctic Silver 3) the tight seal helps to ensure maximum heat transference from the core to the solid copper of the heatsink.

A good 80mm fan, blowing down onto the CPU should give you very low temps without a great deal of noise.
 

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