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PC COOLING

Swiftech MC-462 Review
By: Jim Miller
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    2003-10-09

    Table of Contents:
  • Swiftech MC-462 Review
  • Conclusion page 2

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    Swiftech MC-462 Review


    (Page 1 of 2 )

    Here at OCA we had the opportunity to look at the MC370-0A and to say the very least, we were more than impressed with it's performance, but not so pleased with it's price. Today we are looking at the MC370's big brother the MC-462 by Swiftech. When I say big brother, you'll quickly learn that I am NOT exaggerating! There's no denying that the MC-462-A is on mammoth, bad ass looking cooler, but the question remains.. Is it worth THAT much money?

    Swiftech MC-462 Review

     

    Manufacturer: Swiftech
    Availability: Now
    Price: USD$79.75 (
    Sidewinder Computers)
    Reviewed by: Jim (Justifier) Miller
    Review Date: 8/13/01

     

    Here at OCA we had the opportunity to look at the MC370-0A and to say the very least, we were more than impressed with it's performance, but not so pleased with it's price. Today we are looking at the MC370's big brother the MC-462 by Swiftech. When I say big brother, you'll quickly learn that I am NOT exaggerating! There's no denying that the MC-462-A is on mammoth, bad ass looking cooler, but the question remains.. Is it worth THAT much money?

    Before I get into the meat of the review there is one thing I want to touch on. We are reviewing the MC-462-A here, anyone who is worth his salt is well aware that a lot of engineering, testing, and redesigning goes into making a high performance heat sink, this is not a simple, lets slap some sinks on a copper slug and call it finished. If you're an overclocker, and you probably are, cooling your CPU is more than likely one of, if not the, most important aspect of your system. That said, rather than muddy the waters by slapping 14 coolers together and calling it a round up, we are going to let you know all the ins and outs of this cooler. We use the same system and recreate the same environments for all of our cooler reviews so you can compare them on your own if you wish. What we didn't want to do was show you 14 coolers, all within 8 degrees of each other, and pretend that's all that matters. There are so many more features that go into selecting a heat sink. The mounting, the cost, the performance, the noise, all of witch are important, and depending on your priorities its up to you to decide which is the most important.

    With that out of the way, lets get on with the review...

     

    THE UNIT:

     

     

    Just looking at this beast you can tell it's not your typical hunk of copper with a 60mm Delta 6800RPM fan on it. For starters its not a 60mm fan, but an 80mm fan. No shroud required to make this 80mm fan fit either, the base of the 462 is a solid 80mm x 80mm. It's not easy to tell from my horrible photography skills, but the bottom of this cooler is like glass. Swiftech really put some time into machining this thing to allow maximum contact to the CPU.

    You'll also notice there are two wires coming off the fan. This is probably one of the smarter things I've seen in a fan. Knowing damn well there's no way you can power this beast of a fan with the motherboard fan header, they made the power a 4 pin molex. BUT.. Knowing that we overclockers LOVE to monitor our fan speed, they included the standard the pin motherboard connector with a single wire, you guessed it, the fan monitoring wire. So now you can power the fan with your power supply, and STILL monitor the RPM of the fan. VERY big props out to Swiftech for incorperating that into the MC-462 as a standard feature.

    The all around quality of this cooler is excellent. This is by far the heaviest heat sink/fan combo I've ever come in contact with, but what do ya expect when it's 80mm square? I'm here to tell you, when I picked up the mobo with this thing on it I was afraid I was gonna break the motherboard! I'm not too sure if heavy should be pro or a con, but heavy it damn sure is!

    Don't believe me when I say this joker is BIG? Check it out next to the quite sizeable GlobalWin CAK38..


     

    THE FAN:

    The fan that comes stock on the 462 is a Sanyo Denki 80x80x32mm, 12v DC, 53 CFM, 4600 RPM, 45 dB, monster. Incase you're wondering you did read right, 53CFM! What would you expect from a fan this big?

    Now I'm not going to tell you this fan is quiet, I'm not even going to tell you it's not loud... But I WILL tell you it's bearable, to me anyway. Bare in mind that the definition of bearable is coming from a guy that's been running on of those 60mm Delta vacuum cleaner fans on his heat sink for the last 3 months! It is not as loud as the Delta, coming in at 1.5dB quieter, but it also is a different sound. Where the Delta 60mm fan is a very high pitched whine, the Sanyo Denki fan that comes with the 462 is more of a low frequency hum. This thing won't shut you're wife up from complaining about the noise completely, but it will certainly help!

     

    THE MOUNTING SYSTEM:

    If you recall we were more than impressed with the mounting system on the MC-370 with its spring controlled tension clips. Well, Swiftech has topped even that with the MC-462. It's a little hard to explain exactly how its mounted, so I'll show ya some pics to give ya a visual aid, and try my hand at explaining it...

    On most (NOT ALL! So make sure your motherboard as em), mobo's there are 4 holes around the socket that the 462 uses to mount.


    The 462 comes with some aluminum studs that you will need to mount in these holes using the plastic washers and nuts. Here's a some pics with the studs in place:



    Once you have the studs in place you set the heat sink, without the fan on it, on top of the studs and line it up with the holes. With it in place, to put the included springs on the included bolts and turn em down not much more than hand tight..


    Admittedly it's a little bit of a pain in the ass to mount the first time, but Swiftech does include very complete instructions to take the guess work out. The springs are rated in line with AMD's pressure recommendation so you know its a good mate between CPU and sink.

    The biggest drawback to this mounting system is that you have to pull your motherboard completely out to put the mounting nuts on the back of it. And once its in place if you didn't get it mounted tightly, when you loosen the bolts the nuts will come loose as well and you'll be pulling the motherboard out again! Swiftech recommends a drop of glue to hold them in place, but that's up to you.

    Drawbacks stated, I must say, this is my favorite mounting system to date. As heavy as this, and other popular coolers of today, to put all that weight on the socket tits is just asking for trouble. With this system the weight is evenly distributed four ways on the motherboard itself. Not to mention the fact that those plastic tits on the socket are subject to break, all but rendering that motherboard useless. With the 462-A system that is no longer an issue. I would have to say this is the ultimate solution even for a LANer, simply because there is absolutely no way for this cooler to come off or get loose during transportation. Once you put it on, it will not be coming off or going anywhere until you remove the four screws.

    Once you have the sink mounted, it's a simple matter of attaching the fan and plugging it in.

     

    Alright, now that we've seen the cooler and know about it's workmanship and mounting, let's get onto the performance of this beast....

     

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