Swiftech MCX370-0A Heatsink

Sep 7th, 2001 | By

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Swiftech MCX370-0A Heatsink

: 09/7/01 – 05:26:55 PM


: Cooling

Page 1 : Index

Manufacturer: Swiftech
Price: $49.95


Swiftech is a company that produces very high quality hardware. Of course, the price of their products is also on the high side, but hey, if you want top quality high performance products, you got to pay the price. That’s what it all comes down to. Now I know some of you will say these Swiftech cooling products are just too expensive for the average user/overclocker, let’s think about the MC462 (reviewed here) … Well, let me tell these peeps that the Swiftech heatsinks are 100% worth their $$$! Everyone who has a Swiftech HSF on top of their CPU will agree with me on this one. And after reading this review of Swiftech’s new MCX370-0A heatsink, I believe EVERYONE will agree with me. I hope so ;) Let me tell you that I have always been a true Swiftech heatsink lover :p

The MCX370-0A heatsink from Swiftech isn’t all that different from the original MC370-0A. Only a few clicks further, you’ll see that the only BIG difference between the older MC370 and the new MCX370 is the shape of the round pins on the heatsink. We will have a closer look at these pins later on in this review.

Testing Method

Here’s how we test all heatsinks @ O … We tested each heatsink for about an hour with RC5 and Prime95 running together with other common used software like email, ICQ and stuff. RC5 and Prime95 is used to max out the CPU power and to let the CPU generate as much heat as possible. After an hour, we measured the temperature with that nifty little program called Motherboard Monitor. The next step is to turn of all the programs that were running during the stress test and see how the temperature evolves after about half an hour. That’s when we measure the idle temps. I’d like to note that the HQ45 case of our testbed was closed and no additional case cooling was turned on. By the way … this is how we always test the HSF’s around here!

First, let’s have look at the specifications of the heatsink and fan of this MCX370-0A.

Page 2 : Specifications


The Heatsink

  • base: 2.5′ x 2.5′ x .5′ high conductivity aluminum (209 W/m-K)
  • flatness: better than .001′
  • micro surface finish: 8 or better
  • 188 Helicoid pins, made of high conductivity aluminum (218 W/m-K)
  • Total surface area for heat dissipation: 231 in2
  • overall dimensions: 2.5×2.5×1.63′ (without fan)
  • weight: 8 oz (229 g)

The Fan

  • Papst NHH612
  • Dimension: 60x60x25mm
  • Max. Airflow: 33 CFM
  • Rotation speed: 6850 RPM
  • Noise level: 43 DB – No tachometer.
  • 12 volt DC, 250mA, 3.0 Watts – 4 Pin Molex connector to the power supply (not to the motherboard)
  • Mounting: 4 x 6-32 x 2.5′ long screws and rubber spacers

Heat Sink/Fan Assembly

Overall dimensions with fan: 2.5′ x 2.5′ x 2.90′ (or 71mm x 63mm x 63mm)
Weight: 12 oz (340 g)

The Specs Explained

First of all, I got to tell you that the bottom of this heatsink is just as smooth as Jennifer Lopez’s ass! Nope, I’m not kidding here. Just as on all other Swiftech products we have in our testlab, the bottom of this MCX370 is polished to perfection. I mean, you can’t see the difference between the bottom of this heatsink and a real mirror. This perfect ass sure proves that I was right when I said that Swiftech only produces high quality products. Now, let’s discuss the heatsink some more …

The MCX370 heatsink measures 63mm x 63mm x 40mm, just like the previous model (the MC370). The bottom plate of the heatsink is about 10mm thick and is completely made out of aluminum. There is not one bit of copper on this MCX370. On top of the base plate, we can see about 190 round pins of about 3mm in diameter and 30mm long. We also have these pins on the MC370, but on this new model, Swiftech have chosen to make some very small groves in the pins. This ribbed design should increase the surface area by a 2:1 ratio compared to previous versions. Increasing the surface area is always a good thing because it improves heat dissipation and will result in better cooling performance. Later in this review, we will check out if the the ribbed design really increases performance. Sorry if I already made you curious :)

Let’s discuss the fan now, shall we. Because a high performance heatsink is worthless without a high performance fan, Swiftech decided to use a Papst NHH612 fan on this MCX370. This 60mm x 60mm x 25mm fan is capable of delivering about 33CFM of airflow @ 6850RPM. That’s really nice. Too bad, it’s a screaming loud fan (43dBa) without a RPM monitoring capability :( The fan has to be powered by a molex 4-pin connector and that’s the reason why we lose the RPM monitoring. Although I know the fan is a bit loud, the noise level is still quite a bit lower than the noise a Delta 7k RPM fan produces.

When we look at the way the fan is mounted onto the heatsink, we notice a small second difference between the MCX370 and the previous version. Instead of mounting the fan immediately on top of the heatsink, Swiftech have put it on 4 rubber feet of about 5mm. The results is a 5mm gap between the top of the pins on the heatsink and the fan.

So far the specs of the MCX370-0A, let’s continue to the next page where I will explain the correct way to install and remove this cooler …

Page 3 : Installating & Removing

Installing & Removing

The installation process of a heatsink is different on every cooler on the market. You’ll have to search a long time to find 2 completely different coolers with the same retention clip. And as you probably still know from our May 2001 cooler shootout (when we reviewed the MC370-0A), the retention mechanisms of the Swiftech coolers are one of a kind. Although it hasn’t changed one bit compared to the previous models, I will tell you how it goes one more time.

On two sides of the heatsink you’ll see one retention clip. This clip consists of a screw and a spring that’s pushing up against the screw. Now, when you release the screw, the spring pushes the clip up and attaches the heatsink onto the CPU socket. By using this innovative clip mechanisme, you will never have to worry about that transistors getting in your way on for example the Abit KT7A-RAID motherboard (our testbed). The only ‘bad’ thing is that you need a screwdriver to attach this heatsink on the CPU socket, but I mean, who cares?? As long as it’s easy to do and the heatsink is mounted solid and perfectly flat onto the CPU.

Removing the MCX370 is just as easy as installing it. You just have to do the same steps over again backwards. Well, not really the exact same steps, but you’ll see what I mean. Instead of releasing the screws to attach the heatsink, we now have to screw them down to release the clips from the CPU socket. After you’ve done this on both sides of the heatsink, it will come off and it’s cleared. That’s how easy it is.

Now, let’s continue with the interesting part of a review … the testresults!

Page 4 : The Tests


Test System :

- AOpen HQ45 case
AMD Athlon 1.3GHz @ 1.3GHz (1.75v) – 71W

- A non-conductive shim was used to protect the CPU (Supplied by CPUfx)
- Swiftech MC370-0A cooler
- Swiftech MCX370-0A cooler
- Vantec CCK-6035D cooler
- OCZ Gladiator cooler
- Abit KT7A-RAID Mainboard
- 256MB OCZ Performance Max SDRAM
- Hercules 3D Prophet 4500 Kyro II videocard
- IBM 20GB UDMA100 7200rpm hard drive
- Western Digital 45GB UDMA100 7200rpm hard drive
- Windows XP build 2600 + VIA 4in1 4.33 BETA

Surprised? Well, I sure wasn’t! As I expected before I ran the tests, the MCX370-0A doesn’t perform any (or only a tad) better than the previous model, the MC370-0A. Not even with a Delta fan on top. But hey, let’s cheer up a little, guys! Altough it doesn’t outperform the MC370 by several degrees, the MCX370-0A is still one of the best high performance coolers in the world. And don’t forget that this cooler does NOT have a copper base or any copper at all. No copper and still able to compete with all copper coolers like the OCZ Gladiator or the Vantec CCK-6035! Quite amazing if you ask me!

Page 5 : Conclusion

Summary & Conclusion


- Outstanding cooling performance
- Hardcore overclocking approved
- High quality
- Excellent retention clip
- Nice looks


- No copper
- Fan noise (43dBa)
- No fan RPM monitoring
- High price

Concluding a heatink review is always very easy. It always comes down to just one thing : Either the HSF rocks or it sucks! And what about the Swiftech MCX370-0A?? Well, it rocks! Definately! Not only does this all-aluminum HSF perform on par with some of the best (copper) coolers available today, but the MCX370-0A is also a worthy replacement to the previous model (the MC370-0A) and it still has that superb mounting mechanism and smooth looks! If you want the best aluminum cooling solution for your (overclocked) SocketA or Socket370 CPU and you can dig up the necessary $$$ ($49.95 to be exact), then the Swiftech MCX-370-0A is what you were waiting for!

For $49.95, you can purchase one of these MCX370′s over @ the CoolerGuys!!

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