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Dynatron DC1206BM-R 1U Heatsink

Date Reviewed: January 28, 2001
Reviewed By:
Jason Rabel
Companies: Dynatron


Is Bigger Always Better?:

For the average overclocker, bigger is usually better. We like big heatsinks, big hard drives, big fans, big sound, big cases, big monitors, just about everything related to the computer seems better if it is bigger. But not everything we like is necessarily bigger. Processors, while have been increasing in speed, have been shrinking in physical size. The constant shrinking of PC components over the years has led to high end workstations and servers that used to take up an entire room shrink down to something the size of a pizza box.

In the typical server environment, most hardware is put into racks for easier management and to maximize available space. A typical 19" rack cabinet can hold 42U worth of equipment. The 19" refers to the width to mount equipment and a "U" is actually 1.75" for height. Companies that make rack equipment specify the height in "U" with the smallest being a 1U chassis and typically go up to 4U for most single pieces of equipment. I have seen some servers & equipment that were 8U or greater in height, but those are the really hefty stuff like an eight-way Xeon server combined with a RAID array or some older equipment like a quad P-Pro system. If you want to visual sizes, a typical mid-tower case turned on its side would be a little higher than 4U and probably about 18" wide.

To maximize the available space in a rack cabinet, many companies are purchasing or upgrading to 1U servers. The size may be smaller than what most of us typically associate with a powerful system (because of our bigger is better mentality), however looks can be deceiving. Various "2-in-1 servers" are trickling out into the market place, where they squeeze two single or dual processor (AMD or Intel) systems into a single 1U rack chassis giving a total of up to 4 processors in only 1.75" of rack space! Now that is some processing power!

Given the confined space in a 1U chassis, space is definitely at a premium. Also with all the components being is such close proximity of each other a lot of heat is going to be generated necessitating good cooling and solid components throughout the case.


Small Size, Big Cooling:

In steps Dynatron with their DC1206BM-R copper cooler designed for 1U systems. The heatsink comes shrink-wrapped, along with the base being covered with an oily agent to prevent it from oxidizing. The fan is an 11-bladed Top Motor low profile 60mm x 10mm rated at a good 24.4CFM @ 5300RPM and supports RPM monitoring. A blister pack of thermal compound is also included.

Before installation, the base of the heatsink should be cleaned off (I use isopropyl alcohol) to clean off the oil residue. The heatsink base also looks to have been plated, or maybe powder coated, to give a very shiny and protective layer from oxidation. You can see from the picture below how well it reflects the wood grain from the table & the fan wires. The base has also been machined very flat before the coating went on. Two thumbs up for paying such close attention to details and putting in the extra steps to make a better product.

As if the base wasn't impressive enough, the heatsink features sixty fins based on Dynatron's high-density Microfin technology for some impressive cooling surface area. Unlike other companies where the fins and the base are two separate pieces which have been soldered together, the Dynatron heatsink is made from one solid piece of copper. The Microfin technology is actually pretty interesting and you can read more about it here. All this copper amounts to 220 grams (or roughly 1/2 a pound) of some serious cooling action.

To get a good idea of how small this cooler actually is, the entire heatsink (with fan) is only 24mm tall! It is almost the same dimensions as typical 60x25mm fans that are on most heatsinks!


Testing & Temperatures:

The heat sink was tested on an ABIT KT7A-RAID w/Athlon 1.4GHz at default voltage. The board was placed on an open workbench to keep the ambient temperature controlled and constant. The system would sit at the windows desktop to idle, then Prime95's torture test was used to put the CPU under load.

In the chart of the temperatures below, you may wonder what it means when it says "top" and "bottom", so here is a quick explanation:



An external temp probe is touching the side of the CPU core for a direct reading.


The built in motherboard probe takes a less direct reading from the bottom side of the CPU.

Ambient Temperature:
74.1F 23.4C



Idle Top
Idle Bot.
Load Top
Load Bot.
Dynatron DC1206BM-R 80.4F / 26.9C 78F / 25.6C 124.5F / 51.4C 125F / 51.7C 24.4CFM



Running at about 125F is a pretty respectable temperature for any good heatsink for a 1.4GHz Athlon, for a 1U heatsink this is just awesome. It may be small but it certainly packs quite a bit of punch thanks to its all copper design and Microfin technology. Dynatron also has 1U active heatsinks for the P4 and 1U passive solutions (for both AMD & Intel) as well. For questions about the DC1206BM-R or other 1U Dynatron heatsinks you can contact Dynatron directly with your inquiries.

This being our first 1U heatsink review, it is not really fair to compare it to the massive regular heatsinks used on desktop systems. However as more 1U heatsinks come in we can get a better idea of overall performance and comparison, though I think it is going to be tough to beat this Dynatron cooler.


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