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Important Info for the SI97A and the Sistah's mobos

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Greetings all, you probably have read my post asking about the ThermalRight SI97A. I have a few things to report with about this and the Ultra Infinity, also would apply to its twin sistah, the LP B.


Ok, first off, this is my first experience with ThermalRight, Panaflo and AS Ceramique. All I can say is wow, totally blown away with the build and packaging quality of the HS. The panaflo fan too must be the most non cheap feeling fan I have ever laid hands or eyes on. Pics off the web didnt do this stuff justice until in hand and in operation. For 54 dollars, Im very happy with the purchase. Let me get into the details. Sadly my DigiCam is on the fritz or I would have pics, Ill try and get ahold of a DigiCam soon to provide a few stills of this biatch :)


Well, to begin with, in this board when installing theres no clearance between the 4 heat pipes and the printer/coaxial/serial IO port. It actually pushed it out just a tad, nothing too major for now, but I have this out in the open, once installed in the case and with the I/O shield in place who knows if this will be a problem, Ill try and reinstall later in my Super Lanboy and report back if this will be an issue. This also means my 120 rear case fan might get in the way too, again Ill report when I know something.


Over to the other side, the benefit of the NB HS and the mosfets near the socket are getting vital airflow now, this is where I think Ill benefit as well by making this swap. Not only having the HS over the NB one, it puts its right over the edge of the 20 pin connection on the board. Now those with typical 20 pin connectors off thier PSU might not have an issue, I do since Im using Ultras Xconnect. If your using one as well and have this board and HS, you will be also in the same boat. I found its best to have this cable removed first, install the sink carefully being mindful of the back IO first, get the sink in place and and then worry about the included clip. Also this came with a copper shim, I so advise not forgetting this as the clip is very strong, I had to really push with the screwdriver on this one. The provided groove is cut in such a way that getting the clip holes over the socket lugs and having it line up in the groove and also not rubbing against the IO port was very tricky, its doable but tricky. Once its in place it is not going any where. ;) When using the ultra PSU connection, you have to go in at an angle, very carefully get it as close to 90 degrees as you can and push it in. its about what Id say 88 degrees to the board, its in but just barely. This pushes on the outermost fin of the HS but doesnt seem to affect it at all. This is whole clearance thing is what I wanted to make people aware of if your using an Xconnect. Because my case is extremely small, Im also concerned the top of the sink and the PSU might be right against each other, again Ill have to report back to that once I have something to report.


Ok, so with that out of the way, lets get to the temps. All I can say is wow. 30 to 32c for the past hour with my AC cycling on and off set at 78F. So the ambient is around 78 to 80 Id say. The thermaltake would at best do 38c with the AC set to the same and that was with the Fan at full speed, and remember I had lapped that biatch to 2000 grit and used AS5. This SI97A has a Panaflow HB1 on top, I chose it over the slower LB1 as I wanted some OC headroom if I could obtain it. I also ordered some AS ceramique as I have never tried it and so Im getting these 30/32c temps with that. I am impressed. Not only is it not with the Silver, but its quieter too. I would run the Volcano fan at half speed during the night when it was a bit cooler and even this thing at its full speed is a bit less noisy than that Volcano at half speed. Very nice. Im glad I chose the HB1 instead. Im gonna probably spread some Silver on there later on to see what if any it might do for me. BTW the base of the HS wasnt too bad, a few machine marks, maybe Ill even consider lapping this puppy as well, but right now its looking like it might not be worth the effort.


Well, given the tight clearances I would have to say anyone with the sistahs considering one of these might want to just keep a few of these things in mind. If your case is a smaller mid tower that puts the PSU pretty low and close to the top of the board, its gonna be an even tighter fit. Im afraid the 120 fan, even a 92 and or a 80 rear case exhaust mounted internally might also interfere with the heatpipes that rub right up against the back IO ports. You might have to mount externally as I may also have to do, again Ill update as I discover these things. Holding the 120 above the area in question doesnt look promising :( Other than that, FWIW its giving me an 8 to 10 degree drop in temps right now. This could prove useful towards overclocking efforts. I like to keep it well under 50 and now I can give it another shot at more than 1.7 for that 2.5 or maybe even more hopefully.


So that means one of 2 things for me, better RAM and a different PSU with a more traditional 20 pin connector. Or an A64 board and start a whole new set of possible clearance conflicts since this will also mate up with an A64 board.


That brings me to that little detail. I know alot of you were interested in how this mates up to the A64, well without an A64 board to play with Ill just describe best I can what was included. They send a retention clip much simliar to the Stock one or so from what I have seen of pics of the stock HSF off the web. Its got the 3 hole clip much like the Socket A, but it has a swinging lock ARM like the stock type clip. On this HSF base, unlike the orginal SI97 theres a hole drilled on the top for matching up the A64 clip. This clip has a bar across between the 2 socket lug clips and has a plastic bar that drops down in the middle from the bar into this drilled hole. Now right away I was hoping for a 4 hole mounting shim and 4 screws and washers meaning the possibility of a naked non IHS a64 down the road possibly. The only other consideration for a naked A64 I had was that since this rod is plastic and just snaps in, one could get ahold of a similar plastic rod of a longer length and or maybe a wood dowel would do the trick, or maybe a few dimes or pennies, anything to create the additional length of the deleted IHS and just screw it in from the top. Now I would suggest a dowel or a longer plastic piece of the same diameter so that it drops into the drilled hole. If you use Dimes or pennies it would work, but the sink could slip some or come off completely maybe and that might not be good, the rod or dowell hole insures it cant slip off, I guess you would just have to look at it and see what I am talking about. So there you have it, I hope that clears up anyones questions on the A64 mounting. Very much like the stock retention from what I can tell.


All I can say again is wow, I have never ever in my life seen my CPU temp less than my system temp :) I wish I knew where that temp is taken, I was hoping the NB with the additional air its getting would drop that temp but its holding at 35c, no difference there, it seems to be embedded in the SB, Ill maybe get that Expoy stuff later on and see if it can do better than that thermal tape on the SB. But for now its good enough for me.


Thanks for reading this long and unprofessional review. I just felt that the tight clearances were definately worth mentioning to sistahs owners. One thought that has crossed my mind is maybe a 20 to 24 pin adapter could work here, as it would be more flexible than the big ol Ultra connector, and the 4 pins on the 24 pin side would just be unplugged, theoretically it could work. I might try and obtain one just to see what if any it does and Ill report back if it can relieve the pressure on the IO port and the outer fin any.


So in conclusion, for my 54 dollars, Im very impressed. Quieter. Cooler. Looks damn good too :) oh, did I mentiong it mates up with the A64 too, very cool for the dude hanging onto Socket A looking towards the future. In the words of a certain Sith Lord


"Impressive, Most Impressive" ;)


Any comments or additional questions greatly appreciated and Ill try and get a DigiCam over here to add pictures to my above statements for reference.


Cheers all. Time to utilize the temp headroom and see about Ocing this thing. I forsee a long night.



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