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Can an old heatsink be salvaged with a bigger fan?

Last response: in Components
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July 14, 2010 4:35:58 PM

I have an old solid copper Athlon XP heatsink from a defunct MoBo that I wonder might be salvageable.

The stock fan was small (60x60x10), and I would certainly replace it with something bigger if I tried to use it today, but could I?

Q: Would a heatsink rated for an Athlon XP 3200 be inadequate by today's standards no matter what fan I put on it? Or do I sell it for scrap? I would think that, being solid copper, it would do a better job than the stock sink on a newer cpu. How does one go about testing/rating a heatsink without risking my cpu?

A reasonably close photo (with stats) of my HSF can be seen here (not an exact match, but close enough):
http://www.neoseeker.com/Hardware/Products/globalcakii6...

Any ideas? Thx.

(better photo here.)

Best solution

July 15, 2010 12:29:42 AM

You could try it. Clean the CPU and the heatsink (CPU-contact area) with a coffee filter using a little rubbing alcohol until they are shiny with no gunk. Properly apply a good thermal interface material (e.g. Arctic Silver 5). Mount the heatsink firmly against the CPU. Attach the fan and connect the fan power lead to the motherboard. Enter the BIOS @POST to set your thermal alarm or shut-down temperature. Save and exit. Boot into your OS, and monitor the CPU temps with Core_Temp99 (It loads to the tray where you can see the CPU core temps).
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July 15, 2010 1:13:04 AM

The heatsink designed for socket A, would not even physically fit on a modern CPU socket.
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July 15, 2010 1:44:22 AM

enzo matrix said:
The heatsink designed for socket A, would not even physically fit on a modern CPU socket.

The face of the heatsink is smooth/flat, so unless the die is bigger than 60x60, I'm pretty sure it would fit. :) 
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July 15, 2010 1:48:35 AM

treefrog07 said:
You could try it. Clean the CPU and the heatsink (CPU-contact area) with a coffee filter using a little rubbing alcohol until they are shiny with no gunk. Properly apply a good thermal interface material (e.g. Arctic Silver 5). Mount the heatsink firmly against the CPU. Attach the fan and connect the fan power lead to the motherboard. Enter the BIOS @POST to set your thermal alarm or shut-down temperature. Save and exit. Boot into your OS, and monitor the CPU temps with Core_Temp99 (It loads to the tray where you can see the CPU core temps).

I guess the only way to know for sure is to try. I haven't seen another solid copper HSF to compare it to, even to know how big a fan I'd need, and right now, I'm not willing to gamble with my X4, but maybe in the future.

Thx.
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July 15, 2010 2:07:54 AM

Mugsy said:
The face of the heatsink is smooth/flat, so unless the die is bigger than 60x60, I'm pretty sure it would fit. :) 

But the clip would not.
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July 15, 2010 2:18:22 AM

If you are curious, the only way to find out is to try it. You may have to invent or modify the mounting hardware to hold the heatsink to the CPU/motherboard, but you might be able to find an aftermarket bracket/mounting solution. Just depends on how much time and creativity you wish to invest. Shoot, if your ancient heatsink is solid copper, you might be able to find some old or unused finned heatsinks with heatpipes and figure a way to add them to your copper block - just don't ever cut the heatpipes.
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July 15, 2010 2:25:09 AM

The XP was an 80w part I beleive so certainly any new cpu with a simular rating would be fine.

With a bigger fan I wouldn't hesitate to try it on a 95w processor.
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July 15, 2010 1:10:35 PM

treefrog07 said:
You may have to invent or modify the mounting hardware to hold the heatsink to the CPU/motherboard, but you might be able to find an aftermarket bracket/mounting solution.

I've always heard all-copper heatsinks were superior to copper/aluminum hybrid heatsinks. Is this correct? It isn't worth pursuing if it doesn't result in superior performance. Any idea?
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July 15, 2010 1:18:33 PM

Copper is a better heat conductor than aluminum or copper/aluminum alloy, so, yes, copper will out-perorm the others of the same design and size.
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July 25, 2010 12:46:47 AM

Best answer selected by Mugsy.
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