We have noticed a trend in the after market heatsink cooling scene in regards to prices, they are rising along with their performance. Back in the day, the most expensive cooler was about $35 and it did an incredible job (Alphas). Lately, newer copper coolers with ridiculously fast fans are going for about $50 a pop! So we went around and wanted to find a good budget cooler for the rest of the guys. The ones who don't overclock like mad, who don't need the ear splitting noise from their fan to drive them crazy at night. We went and found a a budget heatsink that everyone can use and benefit from.
One of our other budget reviews, the OCZ Glacier 2, came with some mixed feelings. It did cool nicely, but did not take our AMD chip to its always solid 1003 overclock from 800mhz. Add to the fact that the fan was about as noisy as a food processor. So we called upon Bart from 1 Cool PC (previously known as 3dFX Cool). He also carried a slew of these 'high' performance coolers, but there was one item which ran along the lines of being budget, the aluminum Socket AHO Cooler.
Measuring at 60 X 60mm at its base, and at 40mm high, this is not a large heatsink! Equipped with this unit is an ultra quiet 21CFM 60X15mm fan! Finally, a heatsink that was created primarily for the AMD Socket A that is not ear splitting loud. It also fits on other socket boards as well.
The clip on the unit is AMD approved to provide enough pressure to secure the unit on top of the slug of any of the TB/Duron chips. With that wide bar across the top of the clip, this has to be one of the easiest units that we installed. Absolutely no need for a screwdriver this time, the unit popped right on.
The bottom of the heatsink comes equipped with some thermal material. We didn't even bother trying that out, removed it and prepped it with some Arctic Silver. Be careful removing that pad, it is VERY strong and was a real pain to get off.