This is the third Thermalright heatsink I have reviewed and I have one more sitting here waiting for judgement. The Thermalright SLK-800 which I reviewed not too long ago was the best heatsink that I have ever used. Not only did it have a lot of great features but it performed really well. I am excited to see if this heatsink will do as good if not better. This heatsink is made of all copper and uses a similar design to hold the fan on as the SLK-800. This heatsink has the ability to hold a 60-80mm fan and comes with a 70mm Y.S. Tech TMD fan (I did not recieve one). This SK-7 is cheaper than the SLK-800 so this will be better if your trying to save some money.
The Thermalright SK-7 comes in the same style of box that all of the Thermalright heatsinks have come in, a plain brown box. This box doesn’t have much to offer as far as eye candy but that doesn’t mean what is inside has to be the same. I opened up the box to see that the heatsink was wrapped in a plastic bag with the accessories in another plastic bag on the sides. I am really impressed with the quality of the packaging of this heatsink.
Looking at the top of the heatsink you can see the fins which are all soldered to the heatplate on the bottom of the heatsink. The Thermalright SK-7 is made totally out of copper and uses thin fins which is very popular with heatsink manufacturers these days. The base of the heatsink is protected with a peice of plastic which will keep it safe from being scratched, this is good because any scratches in the base of your heatsink will make the contact between it and the core of your CPU.
From the side of the SK-7 you can see that it is pretty tall and the finish on the copper is really nice. the clip that the SK-7 is the same kind as the AX-7 and SLK-800. The reason I like this clip is because it uses all 6 tabs on the socket which makes it really secure and makes it so that a lot of pressure is being applied equally over the core. The reason that I do not like this clip is because the little notch for the screwdriver is really bad. It is really small and there is almost no room to get a good hold on it making it so that the screwdriver will slip off really easy, especially during removal of the heatsink. I was hoping that Thermalright would modify the clip so that it would have a better slot for the screwdriver, unfortunately they did not.
The bottom corners of the SK-7 have a hole which are used for the clips to hold the fan onto the heatsink. I dont like these as much as the SLK-800 because gravity makes them fall out and isntallation of a fan is a little more tricky. I was glad to see that the clips were able to accomidate a huge screaming 80mm fans like the Delta and Vantec Tornado. We will be using 2 different size fans during testing, a quiet normal sized 80mm fan and a huge Delta, which is very loud. The SK-7 comes with the 4 clips for 70mm fans and 4 clips for 80mm fans, the reason that you get 4 of each is incase you break or lose one which is always good. You also get regular thermal compound, thermal pad, and a strip which can be basically used as a shim.
I peeled off the plastic from the heatplate of the heatsink, the finish on it is really good and will not require any lapping. There are also four dots on the bottom of the heatsink which are basically to make sure you have your heatsink seated well right on the sweet spot. Now lets get this thing on and see what it can do.