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It has been awhile since we've done a heatsink review here at Ninjalane. That's not to say there aren't some really great heatsinks out there and we happen to have one such monster right here called the Alpha PAL8150. Alpha coolers have been known for quite some time as the premier overclocking heatsink, the basic design hasn't changed much over the years, just gotten bigger.
The heatsink featured in this review has been sitting around the Ninjalane Labs for quite some time; it was purchased to help launch our Athlon64 review interests using the Chaintech ZNF3-150 motherboard. However there was one problem, the heatsink was too big and wouldn't fit on the board, we were crushed. As a result the PAL8150 was set aside until the proper hardware was available. Needless to say the wait was a long one and it wasn't until our review of the Soltek SL-K890Pro-939 did we discover a new home for the Alpha.
As you can see the Alpha PAL8150 is a pin style heatsink with each pin having 6 flat sides, these aid in heat transfer but do more to simply disrupt the air traveling thru the heatsink. All Alpha heatsinks feature a solid copper core and aluminum outer shell. The two metals work quite well together and help to lighten the heatsink and increase thermal dynamics.
Unlike traditional heatsinks the mighty Alpha needs to be assembled after installation. Key parts include the mounting hardware and fan shroud. Something to keep in mind; Alpha heatsinsks are designed to pull air thru the heatsink so that the coolest air is entering near the heatsource. To ensure that this works properly a fan shroud is placed between the fan and heatsink with the fan exhausting away from the heatsink.
The PAL8150 supports two fan types, the standard 25mm wide "case fan" is the fan of choice but for those looking for a low profile option a shorter set of screws is included for the 15mm variant. Fans are typically not included.
To help convey the size of the PAL8150 we have pictured a completely assembled heatsink next to your standard 12oz Pepsi can (my drink of choice), it is indeed a monster cooler.
One item that is not included with the Alpha PAL8150 is the required backing plate. The instruction manual says to use the OEM backing plate that comes with the retail Athlon64. However if you buy a white box processor the plate is not included. There are plenty of alternatives. The one pictured here came with our Cooljag heatsink and worked perfectly.
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