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FC-PGA Coppermine Problems

Product: 3M electrical tape
Street Price: A dollar or two
Date Reviewed: May 24, 2000



No doubt if you own a FC-PGA coppermine, you have noticed how small of a contact area you have to mount a heat sink on. This has inevitably led engineers to re-think heat sink designs in order to allow the heat sink to mount flush on the core. Several designs have recently come to light, some work excellent, some not so well.

Let me go over a few designs and how well they work, then I will give you my solution to the whole problem...

First let's go with Alpha since they are very popular. Alpha makes a couple different models to accommodate the FC-PGA's. The first is the FC-PAL35 which is their original 6035 model with the copper inlay, but they milled it a bit more and have a raised area around the center to make contact with the core, and plastic "feet" around the edges to stabilize the heat sink. The second model is the PEP66 which has the same mounting surface, but was designed to mount of Slotket's.

Here is an example of both models:




Okay, now that you have seen what they look like, let me tell you a little story. The quality of the Alpha's is first rate, however, sometimes people report that the plastic feet are too long and the heat sink doesn't make contact with the core, or it mounts kinda crooked. First off, I am not the only person to have this problem. A simple solution is to sand down the plastic feet a little in a similar manner that you would "lap" a CPU. This worked for me and my PEP66, at least it was a lot better than it was before I sanded the feet some. But even afterwards I had to put a good amount of thermal grease on to be sure that full contact was made. So one day I sanded it some more and accidentally sanded too much, and with the Alpha's clip not being the strongest, it would easily wobble when it was mounted. However, I was able to come up with a fix...


Second is Global Win's approach. They redesigned the clip to put the pivot point on top of the core, thus mounting firmly and flush. An example is the FKP32, which is also an excellent heat sink.


The FKP32 mounted flush on one of my slotket's, but not on one of the others for some reason. You could just tell that the center point was off. This kind of made me grumble and moan and groan... However, I was able to come up with a fix...


The third and more unique approach is the Thermaltake "Golden Orb" approach. Which literally screw's on and is held down quite firmly to the core. I would show you the bottom of my Orb, but it kind of had a bad accident this past weekend and got butchered from frustration. However, the Orb's unique mounting method is very firm and solid and defiantly mounts flush to the core. The only problem some people have had is that they actually broke off the plastic clips on the side of the ZIF socket, however I think this was only the early models as now they only let you screw in so far and they reinforced the clips on the side so they won't break anything.

Golden Orb

Needless to say, nothing needs to be done with the Orb to make it mount better.

Okay, so now you are asking yourself, where does the electrical tape come into play? Well go to the next page to find out.....


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