Coolage's Frozen Orb Z924 HDC heatsink makes use of the trendy "heatpipe direct contact" technique, except this time we're looking at a modified thermal design Coolage originally manufactured with a copper base plate. That heatsink was the Freezer Orb F0-Z924AL. Can a heatsink be retooled into an effective exposed heatpipe base CPU cooler if it wasn't originally designed as such? That's just one of the questions Frostytech will seek to answer in this review.
The Frozen Orb Z924 HDC heatsink stands 72mm tall, with the "heatsink" portion measuring 42mm of that. The aluminum fins are peirced by four 6mm diameter copper heat pipes, and crimped over an interesting convex-shaped aluminum base plate. The copper heatpipes are swagged into the aluminum base block and exposed to the processor on the opposite side. This allows heat to be directly conducted to the aluminum fins via standard metal-to-metal contacts and by the heatpipes to the upper portion of the aluminum fins. In other words the Frozen Orb is a heatpipe-assisted design, not a heatpipe dependent cooler.
The difference between the Frozen Orb Z924 HDC and Freezer Orb designs is thus the absence of a copper base block which removes a layer of potential thermal joint resistance from the equation, at the sacrifice of lateral conduction.
Coolage's Frozen Orb Z924 HDC heatsink is compatible with socket 775 Intel Core 2 Duo and AMD socket 939/AM2 processors. It retails for an estimated $32CDN ($32USD). As of this writing, no socket 1366 Core i7 clips are supplied. The 300grams Frozen Orb Z924 HDC is supplied with a 95mm fan that spins at speeds of 1000-2500RPM. As it stands just 72mm tall, the Frozen Orb could be useful for slim-line PC chassis where tower heatsinks cannot be used.
The 95mm PWM is held off center on posts spaced 80mm apart with little plastic clips that grip the fan frame. The fins are stamped with small recesses to help create a small plenum below the fan for air distribution into the 1mm spaced aluminum fins.
The four 6mm diameter heatpipes are swagged into an aluminum base block which also holds the aluminum fins in position. As you can see by the specific absence of sanding marks, the flat surface of the copper heatpipes is slightly elevated above the aluminum. In the original heatsink, these heatpipes were covered by a copper heatspreader.
The Coolage Frozen Orb Z924 HDC ships with one rear motherboard LGA775 support plate. Since the heatsink uses spring tensioned screws, the supplied plate must be installed prior to the heatsink itself. Translated - you will need to remove the motherboard from the computer case first... which can be a complicated process.
The only upside to this kind of mounting hardware is that the heatsink is held on very securely, making the Frozen Orb Z924 HDC potentially ideal for PCs which are transported to and fro constantly. The AMD K8 clips use the standard AMD heatsink retention frame, which installation a much easier prospect.
Base Finish and Flatness
Flipping a heatsink over to inspect the business end is often a simple indicator of overall cooler quality. More practically speaking, a heatsink is in many ways only as effective as the contact it makes with the processor - the flatter and smoother the better. Base finish is one of the criteria that Frostytech measure in the course of evaluating heatsinks, and it involves two distinct aspects. Surface Finish is the first; this is calculated with the aid of Surface Roughness Comparator that has a cross section of common machine surface finishes and their numerical surface roughness equivalents in microinches. The second is Surface Flatness. This is tested with an engineers straight edge or proven flat surface, in two axis.
The Coolage Frozen Orb Z924 HDC heatsink has a surface roughness of approximately 16 microinches, which is considered very good. The base itself has a smooth sanded finish and is generally flat in the direction of the heatpipes, and very slightly concave in the opposite. The copper heatpipes are not flush with the aluminum block into which they are sunk, but very slightly elevated above.
FrostyTech's Test Methodologies are 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 this heatsink, its acoustic characteristics, and of course its performance in the thermal tests!
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