Dynatron DC1206BM-R 1U Heatsink
Date Reviewed: January 28, 2001
Reviewed By: Jason Rabel
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
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
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
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:
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.
||80.4F / 26.9C
||78F / 25.6C
||124.5F / 51.4C
||125F / 51.7C
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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