The MCX6400-V from Swiftech is sure to keep your Athlon64 cool at all times, no matter what you throw at it. With its massive copper base and hundreds of aluminum pins, the MCX6400-V is a definite winner.
With the temperatures of modern day processors at an all time high, third party heatsink manufacturers are always looking for and finding new ways to suck that heat off of the CPU. Swiftech is one of those manufacturers that has always been at the head of the pack. With their new MCX6400-V heatsink for Athlon64 processors, Swiftech is sure to keep their lead on the competition. In this review, we will take a look at the interesting features of the MCX6400-V and show you what sort of temperatures you can expect to see from your Athlon64.
Thanks to CrazyPC for making this review possible.
Features and Specs
- CNC machined, C110 copper base, flatness better than 0.0003″, micro surface finish 8 or better.
- 405 Helicoid Pins made of High Thermal Conductivity Aluminum Alloy, press fitted in the base.
- Weight: 26.4 oz (750 g)
Check out more detailed features and specs on CrazyPC’s site.
- Mounting Hardware
- Thermal Paste (Arctic Silver ArcticAlumina)
- Instruction Manual
The MCX6400-V sports a massive 0.5″ thick copper base. The base itself is three inches square, with a slightly raised center plateau that makes contact with the Athlon64’s heat spreader. Although it is not mirror-like, the copper base has a nice finish to it that ensures great contact between it and the CPU.
After removing the MCX6400-V from its nicely packaged box, I was stunned by the number of aluminum pins Swiftech was able to fit on a single three inch square of copper. 405 Aluminum pins are press fitted into the copper base to help whisk heat away from the CPU. Each pin has been “grooved” to produce the most surface area possible for maximum cooling. Towards the outside of the heatsink, the pins tend to angle outwards away from the center. Though this may look like a problem with motherboard capacitors, it was not a problem after all. More on that later.
Since the MCX6400-V weighs a solid 750 grams (26.4 ounces), 300 grams more than the AMD specification, Swiftech created its own unique mounting system. By using the stock motherboard back plate supplied with most Athlon64 motherboards, Swiftech was able to use the screw holes to attach the MCX6400-V to the motherboard. A combination of spacers, springs, washers and screws all work together to ensure that the MCX6400-V isn’t going anywhere. Since most Athlon64 motherboard manufacturers include the back plate with their motherboards, Swiftech does not include a back plate but does offer one for those who have motherboards without supplied back plates. Swiftech chose not to include a back plate to keep the cost down for the consumer. Brownie points for Swiftech!
The MCX6400-V comes equipped to accept a standard 80mm fan. The mounting hardware for the fan is a pressure fit snap rivet that seems to work very well. Brackets for a 92mm fan are also available but at an additional fee. According to Swiftech, an 80mm fan actually performs better than a 92mm and is also quieter on the MCX6400-V.
- Biostar K8VHA Pro
- AMD Athlon64 3200+ (2.2Ghz 512k Newcastle)
- Corsair 512MB XMS PC3200 (2×256)
- Maxtor 120GB 7200rpm 8MB cache
- Lite-On 4xDVD+-RW
- BFG Tech GeForce FX 5950U 56.72 drivers
- Hercules Gamesurround MUSE Pocket
- Windows XP SP1
- AOpen A600 Aluminum case
After applying a nice layer of the supplied ArcticAlumina to the 3200’s heat spreader, placing the nylon spacer over the threaded back plate is the next step. The third step is placing the MCX6400-V on the CPU. Make sure to have the heatsink aligned properly with the mounting holes before sticking it to the processor. This will keep you from having to re-apply the thermal paste because of an improper alignment.
The outer pins on the MCX6400-V come very close to touching some of the capacitors on my Biostar motherboard. Take caution when placing the heatsink on the CPU so that you do not accidentally snap off a capacitor. Swiftech does state that the MCX6300-V was compatible with all Athlon64 and Opteron motherboards at the time of its release (you can always check Swiftech’s site to verify this). The heatsink does fit inside AMD’s “no component zone,” so installation should be painless unless the motherboard manufacturer does not comply with this “no zone.”
Finally, the springs and tension limiters secure the MCX6400-V to the back plate with the provided screws. You will want to take turns tightening each side of the heatsink to ensure a proper fit.
The fan I used to cool the MCX6400-V is an AeroCool 8025 aluminum housing fan spinning at 2750 RPM according to Winbond’s Hardware Doctor. Although this fan uses a slightly different mounting technique, the supplied snap rivets worked just fine when it came time to mount the fan to the heatsink.
Once the heatsink and fan combination was mounted and working properly, the next step was benchmarking. All temperatures were gathered using the on-die thermal diode of the Athlon64 and were read by Hardware Doctor. Idle temperature was determined one hour after booting up and logging into Windows. This temperature was measured every minute for 10 minutes and then averaged out by dividing the total readings by ten. Load temperature was taken after running Folding@Home for one hour and then taking the average temperature for the next ten minutes, while still under load, the same way the idle temperature was taken. Room temperature was kept at an average of 23.3C/74F.
With no noticeable flaws and great performance, the Swiftech MCX6400-V is a great cooling solution for the Athlon64. Whether you are just needing a heatsink to keep the processor cool at stock speeds or if you are going to overclock the brains out of your 64, the MCX6400-V is a great value at right around $48 from CrazyPC.com.
After doing such a great job of keeping the Athlon64 cool, the Swiftech MCX6400-V recieves 9 out of 10 and the Bjorn3D Seal of Approval.