After a long while, Alpha heatsinks are finally becoming available to the majority of avid overclockers in the UK. While most UK overclockers have read about these cooling giants, they have had great difficulty getting hold of an Alpha heatsink. While Alpha heatsinks cost quite a bit, since they are targeted towards a market where the computer buyer doesn't care too much about the cost of his/her desired toy, they have been able to excel and expand their line of high-end heatsinks..
So far we have failed to mention another large company that makes heatsinks targeted at the power user (as well as the overclocker). Globalwin heatsinks and fans are much easier to get hold of in the UK, and this has been the first and for some the second (but forced) choice of heatsink manufacturer. There is no doubt that Globalwin make good, sturdy heatsinks which perform to a high level, however we have become bored with their products, so we thought we'd splash out 50 quid on 2 Alpha PAL6035 heatsinks and strap them to Celeron 400s and a BP6 (sounds fun doesn't it?). We also thought we'd compare the PAL6035's performance to the other Socket 370 heatsink we have looked at, Globalwin's FDP32. However the FDP32's design meant that two couldn't be fitted onto the BP6, so we had to move that to a single Celeron 400 system. We have results from the Alpha being strapped onto a single Celeron system and our dual one. We didn't expect to see huge differences in temperature between single and dual Celeron systems.
Heatsinks are usually just heatsinks, but no. This is an Alpha, and for your 25 pounds you get quite a few neat tricks (in heatsink terms).
The PAL6035 has a copper plate on it's base. This plate is very thin, but serves an important purpose. Copper, as far as my physics tells me is a good conductor of heat and electricity. The job of the copper plate is to transfer as evenly as possible the heat that is conducted. This then eliminates hot spots and uses the whole of the heatsink more efficiently.
Another very important feature of the heatsink is the number of fins. The greater number of fins there are, the better heat dissipation there is. This is because it provides a greater surface area. The PAL6035 has many more fins than Globalwin's FDP32. The FDP32 has larger fins, and less fins. If we had a month spare we could count all the fins on the Alpha.
The PAL6035 we bought was fitted with a Sunon fan which provided ample air flow, moving 26 CFM. The fans were set to blow cooler air onto the heatsink. In our past experience, blowing in cooler air works better, so we used that.
The white spacer between the heatsink and fan meant that there was a gap between the heatsink and the fan. This is totally different from the Globalwin solutions we have been seeing for the past few years. With Globalwin solutions the fan is directly screwed onto the heatsink, and therefore had a very small or no gap between the heatsink and fan. In the case of the FDP32, there is no gap between the fan and the heatsink. This meant air had to circulate amongst the fins, and therefore since there is much less space for it to move less gets circulated.
Before installing the Alpha, we made sure the surface of the Celeron was clean (no huge chunks of dust or dirt), removed any old/remaining thermal grease, and applied a thin layer of thermal grease. One point we have to make is that you have to be careful not to put too much thermal grease on. Although there is no set limit and it is a bit 'here and there', but it is best to have a thin, even layer (obviously you can't measure the layer on the CPU).
Once you are satisfied with the amount of thermal grease on your heatsink then you can place the heatsink/fan on top of the processor. The clip used to secure the heatsink onto the socket has to be placed between the fins of the heatsink, which isn't very hard. If you find the retainers on the clip don't align with the clips on the socket then you can just take it out and move it. The clip is quite tough to bend down and requires quite a bit of elbow grease. Once it's in place, it is very firmly in place, and there is good contact between the CPU and the heatsink. (If the heatsink doesn't touch the heat source then the conduction of heat through the heatsink will be much lower, since the air gap in between is a poor conductor of heat). However we preferred Globalwin's clip system, since it managed to cut my finger (grr), also it was easier to release when we wanted to take off the heatsink.
On the BP6 the two PAL6035 fits very nicely. However as we stated above we couldn't make the FDP32 fit on the BP6 so we tested it on the old BM6. We did our usual temperature takings after 1 hour, 2 hours, 6 hours, 12 hours and 24 hours, and the results were quite impressive, so we move onto that.