Articles: Cooling

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Design and Functionality

Let’s first take a closer look at the heatsink first. The most notable visual difference from the original Archon is that there are eight instead of six heat pipes which are still 6 mm in diameter. The Archon SB-E prototype had six 7mm pipes, so Thermalright has preferred to implement more pipes rather than increase their diameter. The rest of changes are not so easy to spot. It is still a tower-design cooler with dimensions of 175x155x53 mm.



The weight is lower compared to the original Archon: 760 instead of 806 grams. It is because the heatsink has become less dense, consisting of 44 instead of 50 aluminum fins.


And since each fin is still 0.5 mm thick, it means that they are now placed with larger spacing: 2.3 mm as compared to the Archon’s 2.0 mm. And since the number of fins is reduced, the overall surface area of the heatsink is about 8000 instead of 9000 sq. cm. That doesn’t look like an improvement to us.

As for the placement of the pipes in the heatsink body, they do not go in two straight rows as in the Archon but form two rectangles out of unevenly spaced dots.


Thermalright engineers do not seem to have pursued any goal by placing the pipes in this manner, so it must be due to the number of the pipes and the shape they must have as they go out of the base, curve and get into the heatsink. Just take a look at this tangle:


No wonder that the bottom heatsink fins have no contact with five out of the eight heat pipes and hold on to three pipes only. This can’t but have a negative effect on the overall performance of the Archon SB-E.

The details of the heatsink are all soldered to each other. The base is polished like a mirror:

However, our sample of the Archon SB-E turned out to have a curved base:


The left part of the base is lower along the longitudinal axis and there’s a bulge along the entire transverse axis. It is no wonder that the thermal grease imprints are not uniform irrespective of the orientation of the cooler on the CPU:



It is easy to see where the pressure was high or low, although the CPU heat-spreader contacted with the cooler's base with its entire surface without any gaps.

We tested the large Thermalright TY-150 fan the Archon SB-E is equipped with in our recent review and were quite pleased with its performance.


According to its specs, the TY-150 is PWM-regulated in a speed range of 500 to 1100 RPM at 19 to 23 dBA of noise, producing an air flow of 38 to 84 CFM. The fan consumes about 2.4 watts of power.

The service life of the Enhanced Hyper-Flow bearing is not indicated in the fan specs. The fan is fastened on the heatsink with two wire brackets using the inner openings in the fan’s frame.

The included silicone pads can be glued to the fan to absorb vibrations. Here’s how the Thermalright Archon SB-E looks with its fan installed:



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