Zero-Infinity Free-Flow+ Review
Published: 11th June 2012 | Source: Zero Infinity | Price: £59.99 |
Up Close: The cooler
The Free Flow+ is of the twin tower type, with each of the stacks having 47 Nickel coated Aluminium fins. The cross sectional area of each of the fins is 140x40mm.
Each of the 5x8mm heat pipes passes vertically through both stacks. The heat pipes are arranged in a straight line closer to the centre of the fin stacks than the outer edges. The fin stacks are predominantly open at the sides apart from a small vertical closed off smooth section.
Each of the fins has 4 small and 1 large "scoop" cut into it. Each of these scoops faces out from the centre of the cooler. I can understand these acting to duct air when the air is traveling into the ducts, but i'm not entirely convinced they're serving much of a purpose when they're facing away from the direction of airflow.
Closer examination of the fins reveals that each of them is surfaced with 1000s of very small raised dimples. These are presumably to aid thermal transfer between the fins and the air passing over them. The torture test will show us if this is an approach that pays dividends.
Turning our attention now to the heat pipes we can see that they too are finished in a deep Nickel coating. Quality of finish here is good, if not superior, with a few imperfections seen in the nickel finish.
We now look to the base of the cooler. In the attempt to extract maximum heat exchange from the Free Flow+ Zero Infinity have actually attached what looks very much like an old school heat sink to the upper most surface of the contact plate. Whist this might look a little odd in the photographs, it won't be seen when the cooler is fitted, and can only serve to increase performance.
Looking at the business end of the heatsink, namely the contact plate we can see that Zero Infinity have gone with a direct contact approach, with the flattened heatpipes being placed in direct contact with the heat spreader of your chosen chip. On removal of the protective film it was noticed that the copper was discoloured in several places leaving a mottled effect. The surface however was perfectly flat and the mottled effect could not be felt with the surface of a finger.