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 engineer's straight edge or proven flat surface, in two axes.
The circular copper base plate of Arctic's Liquid Freezer 120 waterblock has a turned surface finish with a surface roughness of approximately ~16 microinches. The copper base plate is very slightly convex in both axes. Arctic describe the base as having a " concentric CNC surface treatment guarantees a smooth and even surface." This would imply the convex surface profile is an intentional design element.
Our synthetic thermal test platforms use a flat synthetic CPU die interface for a couple obvious reasons, but most crucially because the curvature of processor heatspreaders is not standardized.
Next, acoustic measurements and then AMD and Intel synthetic thermal test result charts.
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