Thermal Transtech International Corp. NPH K8-1 Socket 939 heatsink looks deceptively simple at first glance;
but at the heart of this socket 754/939/940 Athlon64 heatsink is a huge
copper cylinder. The large copper column supporting its many copper fins is not technically
a heatpipe as we know it, it's what TTIC call a "heat column." This column, 25mm in diameter and made from a hollow copper cylinder
which is vacuum sealed, has a chemical coating on the inside that works to the
same effect as a wick in a traditional heatpipe... at least as far as we can
glean from TTICs patent on the technology.
The heat column transfers heat from the processor core
and moves it vertically up to approximately 30 copper fins measuring roughly
60x75mm in size. The 25mm diameter copper column passes up through the center of
each of the 0.2mm thick copper fins, conducting heat to each fin in the process.
A single 70mm fan blows air through the copper fins, although another fan can
also be added if desired.
nPowerTek's NPH K8-1 heatsink weighs in at 623 grams,
making a pretty heavy candidate for processor cooling. Our initial thoughts are
that the 80mm fan may prove too small for an open framed heatsink such as this.
On the other hand, small fans help promote quiet cooling... so perhaps it's best
to wait for the results of the thermal tests before passing
NPH K8-1 Heatsink|
Transtech Int'l Corp. / nPowerTek|
|Model No.: TTIC NPH K8-1|
| Materials: copper fins, copper heat column|
|Fan Mfg: Everflow R128018DM|
|Fan Spec: 3500PM, 12V, 0.25A|
|Fan Dim: 15x80x80mm|
|Heatsink & Fan Dim: 100x81x103mm |
|Weight: 623 grams|
|Includes: PCB support plate, mounting screws, thermal compound|
Compatible with Sockets: 478, 754/939/940 (not AM2 compatible)
|Est. Pricing: $25USD
The flimsy fan support frame arrived bent right out of
the box, so a little metal muscle may be in order first. The fan support
connects to the extruded aluminum base, and simply rests on the top of the
heatsink by the cap. The base is designed to accommodate both socket 478 and
socket 754/939/940 screw posts. Obviously, this means the nPowerTek NPH K8-1
heatsink is completely unusable with socket AM2 processors.
You Know Heatpipes, What About Heat
According to this documentation by QuTech , the heat column used here is essentially an
empty cylinder of copper which has been internally coated with a thin
"superconducting heat transfer medium." The copper cylinder is sealed off at
both ends, and inside is under a vacuum of approximately 1 Torr.
Patent no. 6,132,823 explains
QuTech's very interesting and potentially revolutionary process to the topic of
heatpipes, entitled Superconducting
Heat Transfer Medium.
Here is a short excerpt from the patent which explains the technology in plain
english... but feel free to skip ahead to the actual heatsink review.
"Inorganic Medium Thermal Conductive Device. This
heat conducting device greatly improved the heat conductive abilities of
materials over their conventional state. Experimentation has shown this device
capable of transferring heat along a sealed metal shell having a partial
vacuum therein at a rate of 5,000 meters per second.
On the internal wall of the shell is a coating
applied in three steps having a total optimum thickness of 0.012 to 0.013
millimeters. Of the total weight of the coating, strontium comprises 1.25%,
beryllium comprises 1.38%, and sodium comprises 1.95%....
fact that a conventional heat pipe shares a similar outside shape to a thermal
superconductive heat pipe used to raise some misunderstandings. Therefore, it
is necessary to give a brief description on the differences and similarities
of the two.
A convectional heat pipe makes use of the technique
of liquids vaporizing upon absorbing great amounts of heat and vapors cooling
upon emitting heat so as to bring the heat from the pipe's hot end to its cold
end. The axial heat conducting velocity of the heat pipe depends on the value
of the liquid's vaporization potent heat and the circulation speed between two
forms of liquid and vapor. The axial heat conducting velocity of the heat pipe
also is restrained by the type and quantity of the carrier material and the
temperatures and pressures at which the heat pipe operates (it can not be too
The present superconductive heat transfer device is
made of a thermal superconductive medium whose axial heat conduction is
accomplished by the thermal superconductive mediums' molecules high speed
movement upon being heated and activated. The present superconductive heat
transfer device's heat conducting velocity is much higher than that of any
metal bars or any convectional heat pipes of similar size, while its internal
pressure is much lower than that of any convectional heat pipe of the same
Heat Column technology has surfaced on a
few heatsinks we've tested already, and it seems to be gaining a foothold
in the industry. However, since most people would be hard pressed to explain what a
heatpipe is, or does, the "superconducting" heatpipe, or heat column is
probably going to continue to generate a lot of confusion for years to
FrostyTech's new Test Methodology is outlined in detail
here if you care to know what equipment is
used, and the parameters under which the tests are conducted. Now let's move
forward and take a closer look at the nPowerTek NPH K8-1 heatsink, its acoustic
characteristics, and of course it performance in the thermal tests!