Swiftech MCX462-U CPU Cooler

Since its introduction the Swiftech MC462 has had the enviable reputation of being one of the very best CPU heatsinks money can buy. It's huge solid copper base and multitude of aluminium heat dispersing pins coupled with a powerful 80 mm fan gives it a cooling potential comparable to some water-cooled systems. Although expensive in HSF terms, it costs a lot less than the cheapest water-cooling kit and as such has become a firm favourite with hard core overclockers whose budget does not extend to aqueous heat dispersal rigs.

Of course, the Swiftech MC462 is not without it's weaknesses. Only certain fans could be used due to the length of mounting bolts required and the massive copper base, (although within the AMD size guidelines), on certain motherboards, would foul on the capacitors around the CPU and hence precluding it's use.

Swiftech, in their quest to produce the perfect heatsink, have redesigned the MC462.

Introducing the MCX462-U™...


•CNC machined, C110 copper base, 3"W x 3"L x .375"H, flatness better than 0.001", micro surface finish 8 or better.
•371 Helicoid Pins made of High Thermal Conductivity Aluminium Alloy, press fitted in the base.
•Overall heatsink dimensions 3"x3"x1.56"
•Weight: 20 oz (560g)

Features :
•Hybrid copper base, thin aluminium pin heatsink: the 3/8" thick copper base provides mass for superior energy absorption. The thin aluminium pins promote increased turbulence for more efficient heat dissipation compared to traditional fin extrusions.
•Patented Helicoid pin design: pins are individually machined in an helicoid shape, to increase their surface area, and further enhance heat dissipation efficiency.
•80mm fan mounting brackets: allows users to install any 80mm fan, for dramatically improved performance to noise ratio compared to any 60mm fans. Fan attaches to mounting brackets riveted to the heatsink base.
•Wide range of CPU and motherboard compatibility combined into one thermal solution: The MCX462-U™ heatsink ships with all the necessary hardware for installation with the processors listed below. (Actually I found this to not be the case. The review sample came with only AMD hardware.)
•Exceptional quality and attention to details: the heatsink base is lapped, and polished to near-mirror finish to promote optimum thermal conductivity.

Motherboard and CPU compatibility
•The MCX462-U™ retention mechanism requires the presence of four mounting holes surrounding the processor socket, and is compatible with the following processors:
•AMD® Duron® and Athlon®, compatible with single and dual socket A (socket 462) motherboards. The MCX462™ is fully compatible with all socket A motherboards compliant with AMD® no component zone specifications, in single or dual CPU configuration. The heatsink geometry is such that it fits entirely inside of AMD® component height restriction zones. This allows clearance for capacitors located in areas close to the socket which are non height restricted by the CPU maker.
•Intel® Pentium® 4, compatible with socket 423 and socket 478 motherboards
Intel Xeon® processors, in single socket 603 configuration motherboard
•The MCX462-U™ uses extension brackets for installation with Intel\® processor

Retention mechanism
•Motherboard fittings: 6-32 Female to Male 1/4" aluminium round stand-offs with nylon washers and nylons nuts
•4 compression springs providing exact specified pressure per chip manufacturers specification.
•For Intel® Pentium® 4 processors: 2 extension brackets bolt to heatsink and provide compatibility with Pentium® 4 (socket 423 and socket 603) and Xeon® (socket 603) hole patterns.
•The retention mechanism is designed to prevent damage to the processor during installation or removal of the heatsink, or during shipping of a completely assembled computers. Each retention assembly (4 assemblies total) is composed of an aluminium stand-off, secured to the motherboard by a nylon nut, a #6-32 Philips screw, a spring, and nylon spacer(s). Installation of the stand-offs requires removal of Intel®'s heatsink supporting base, and necessitates removal of the motherboard from the computer case.
•Crash tests were conducted by repeatedly (3 times) dropping a case equipped with an MC462 heatsink from the roof of a second story building. The heatsink remained securely attached to the processor, and the processor didn't suffer any damage.

Wow, did you read all that? In a nutshell, The MCX462 has a solid copper base with 371 aluminium pins and can be used with all current AMD and Intel processors . For mounting, it bolts to the motherboard using the four holes around the CPU as per AMD/Intel specification, and uses additional mounting brackets when used with Intel processors.

The review model is the MCX462B. This is the AMD version and the "B" means "bare". I.E. Supplied without fan.

Let's compare the new to the old...

This top view shows the new heatsink to have more, thinner cooling pins. The new version also sports four corner brackets for fan mounting.