Thermalright in the past has made a lot of high quality, awesome performing heatsinks that have usually blown away its competition, or at least equaled them. Today I am reviewing the newest Thermalright heatsink, the SLK-800. The SLK-800 is basically the SLK-600 with the ability to hold an 80mm fan while the SLK-600 could only hold a 60mm one. The SLK-800 is not limited to only holding an 80mm fan it can also handle a 70mm and 60mm which is really cool because it makes this heatsink very flexible. With so many companies in the war to produce the biggest and best heatsink it is hard to find a heatsink that really does perform the best, lets see how this heatsink fares shall we?
The Thermalright SLK-800 comes in the same style of box that most Thermalright products 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 top of them. The clips for the heatsink were just to the right of the heatsink, I am really impressed with the quality of the packaging of this heatsink. As you can see what’s on the inside is really what matters.
Looking at the top of the heatsink you can see the 34 fins which are all soldered to the heatplate on the bottom of the heatsink. The Thermalright SLK-800 is made totally out of copper and uses thin fins which is very popular with heatsink manufacturers these days. The base of the heatsink has a thin heatplate which is considerably smaller than most traditional heatsinks which usually encompass the entire area of the socket.
This design is supposed to help with cooling because the air from the fan should be able to flow more freely through the fins instead of hitting the bottom and having to go back up or out the sides. I also think that this is a good idea because now air can blow directly over the heatplate which should help as well. 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 SLK-800 you can see that it is pretty tall and the finish on the copper is really nice. the clip that the SLK-800 is the same kind as the Thermalright AX-7 I liked and dislike the clip on this heatsink, I know because it is exactly the same as the one on the AX-7. The reason I like it a lot 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 front of the SLK-800 has 3 sets of holes which are at different heights, the reason for this is that it can accommodate different size fans. The lowest set of holes are used when you are using a 70mm fan, the middle set of holes can be used for a 70mm and 80mm fan and the holes at the very top are used for those huge screaming 80mm fans like the Delta and Vantec Tornado. We will be using 2 different size fans during testing. The SLK-800 comes with the 2 clips, a thermal pad, 2 strips which are used as shims basically, and thermal compound.
The clip mechanism for this heatsink is really cool and really easy to use. Depending on the side of fan that you want to use you will have to adjust it accordingly. The first fan I will be strapping on here is a regular 80mm fan which has a height of 25mm, to use this height fan you will need to use the middle set of holes. The clips for the fan are really flexible and easy to install, all you need to do is open them up and slide them in. As you can see the clips move up and down so that you can just pull them over the top of the fan. I placed the fan on the top of the heatsink and pulled the clips over the fan to secure it in place, these clips work really great, I am very impressed.
I peeled off the plastic from the heatplate of the heatsink, to find that the finish on it is really pretty good. There are minor swirl marks on the base of the heatsink but nothing that should affect performance. Now lets move on and see what kind of performance we can get with this heatsink.