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This review is from: Thermalright SI-97 CPU Cooling Heatsink
Other Thoughts: Awesome heatsink! A bit on the expensive side, considering you have to buy a separate fan, but well worth it. After scouring the web for information, many sites all agree that for Socket A systems, the SI-97 is the best you can get.
Mine is paired with a 92mm Nexus fan @ 7V, and my temps are amazing. On a Athlon XP-M 2500+ at stock speeds and an ambient temp of 21°C, the highest I've ever seen my load temperature has been 40°C!
It is a large heatsink, so make sure you have enough room to fit it...not only clearance with your case and power supply, but also with components surrounding the socket on your motherboard. It works on a DFI LANParty NFII Ultra B, but the heatpipes make slight contact with the plastic parallel port housing.
This review is from: DFI LANPARTY NFII ULTRAB 462(A) NVIDIA nForce2 Ultra 400 ATX AMD Motherboard
Other Thoughts: Bought this board for its speed and stability for use on a home server. I love the dual LAN feature (one of which is gigabit), which means I can also easily use it as a router as well.
Being able to save up to 4 different BIOS profiles is a great feature that I wish more boards had...
DFI also makes it extremely easy to tweak settings, and establish stable overclocks/undervolts by including a power and reset switch right on the motherboard. You can also recover from a mishap without having to move the CMOS jumper by holding down the <font>I</font>nsert key during bootup, which will load fail-safe defaults.
The only complaint about this board is the clearance/positioning of the socket itself. You have to make sure that your heatsink will fit. I got extremely lucky with my Thermalright SI-97. The heatsink's heatpipes actually make contact with the plastic parallel port housing, but never get hot enough to do any damage.
Although it may seem a bit expensive, it's not really considering the generous amount of extras that ship with it. As far as Socket A is concerned, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better option.
Other Thoughts: This is an amazing chip. I bought it for its low power-draw characteristics and its unlocked multiplier, based not only on the reviews here, but at SilentPCReview as well. I built an undervolted server with this chip on a DFI LANParty NFII Ultra B mobo with a Thermalright SI-97 heatsink, and had absolutely no problems.
Most people talk about overclocking, which this chip does extremely well, but it also is a very good contender for undervolting...the point of which is to have a lower power-draw, which means less cost to run and less heat, which means easier to cool, which means easier to make a quiet computer.
The max wattage is already low at stock settings (45W), but my favorite setup is 7 x 200 = 1400 MHz @ 1.175V, which means a 50% reduction in max wattage! After some benchmarking, it's realistically only about a 20% performance loss for that <font>d</font>rop in power, and my load temperatures are 38°C with ambient temps at 21°C. I can't say enough good things about this CPU.