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Best CPU Cooler Performance: Intel Heatsinks Q3-2010
November 21 2010

Motherboard sockets come and go, but processors can always be depended on to create heat. For a short while longer, Intel's LGA1366 socket on the X58-Express remains the platform of choice for hardware enthusiasts and performance overclockers. Heatsink manufacturers haven't made much noise recently, holding back CPU cooler announcements until after Intel's Sandy Bridge LGA1155 socket is launched. In this article, Benchmark Reviews tests a few newcomer heatsinks against a collection of solid past performers in this Best CPU Cooler Performance: Intel Heatsinks Q3-2010 article.

With so many dual, quad, and hexa-core processors sold on the open market, it seems unnecessary to overclock for the sake of productivity anymore. Overclocking has transformed itself from a tool to help people work faster, into a hobby for hardware enthusiasts. There's a level of overclocking for every enthusiasts, from simple speed bumps to the record-breaking liquid nitrogen extreme projects. Overclocking is addictive, and before you know it the OC bug has you looking at hardware that might cost as much as a low-end computer system.

Computer hardware is an ever-evolving industry, and since Moore's law only applies to an exponentially growing transistor count then there should probably be another law for cooling products. In the very recent past there have been two major trends which have accelerated the performance potential of CPU cooler. That first development was the use of heat-pipes to directly contact with the CPU surface; which resulted in the Heat-pipe Direct Touch technology. The second development is by no mean a new concept, just new to our industry in specific. For many years now heatsinks have been full of right angles, but very recently companies have begun to recognize the need to disrupt smooth airflow and reduce the laminar skin effect which allows air to travel just above the solid surface. Some manufacturers have used at least one of these new concepts in their product design, and only a few are beginning to incorporate both. Benchmark Reviews will see how much this affects the overall performance as we test a large segment of enthusiast cooling products.