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Copper Heat Sink Comparison

Companies: GlobalWinUSA, Thermaltake, OCZ, Thermosonic
Date Reviewed:
May 3, 2001
Reviewed By:

Show Us Your Copper!:

With CPU's putting out more and more heat, heat sink manufacturers are starting to experiment with copper in their products. This review will cover three of the newer copper heat sinks out on the market today, which are the GlobalWin CAK38, Thermaltake Mini Copper Orb, and OCZ Gladiator. For comparison against regular heat sinks, I used the Thermosonic Thermoengine, and GlobalWin WBK38.

Copper is a great material for conducting heat, which means it can pull the heat off of your CPU faster than aluminum, however aluminum is a better material for dissipating heat. Alpha has been applying this methodology for quite some time with their heat sinks having a thick copper base, but the rest of the heat sink is aluminum. One down side to copper is that it weighs more, a lot more. Another disadvantage is that these copper heat sinks generally cost more than their aluminum counterparts.

Quick note, some of the pictures look like the surfaces are curved, that's just the close-up lens causing that, they are actually flat.


GlobalWin CAK38:

When the CAK38 arrived from GlobalWinUSA, the first thing I noticed was how heavy it was, definitely the heaviest out of the bunch. The design is very simplistic, just one big piece of copper with lots of fins. However one neat feature is that the fan is raised up off the heat sink about 1/4". My guess is that it is partially to help reduce the noise level some, but also to eliminate the dead air spot that is in the middle of the fan (the area underneath the motor). Also the heat sink came with some thermal compound pre-applied to the base.

(click on image for close-up) 


Thermaltake Mini Copper Orb:

Thermaltake has taken the hybrid approach to their newest orb. Basically the base is all copper all the way through to where the fan mounts on. However the side fins are still aluminum. If you look down inside, you can see that there are little fins coming out of the copper base, no doubt to help dissipate heat even more. For it's size the mini copper orb is pretty heavy, letting you know that there is a good amount of copper built into the base. The fan mounted inside the orb is rated for 23.1CFM (quite a difference from the 38CFM Deltas!) and it is rated for a mere 29dBa. I praise the orb for being so silent, especially when comparing it to the Delta fan which sounds like a hairdryer! A big thanks to Heatsink Factory for sending me this Orb so quick! The Orb came with a TIM pre-applied, but I would suggest removing it and using thermal compound instead.

(click on image for close-up) 


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