For the first post in this series, see The Great CPU Caper, Part I here.
Like every good geek, I did some research before buying my E8400.
What I found wasn’t pretty – apparently, Intel changed the reference design of the stock heatsink/fan that came with every CPU that they sold.
The pictures speak for themselves, so I’ll let them do the talking:
The HSF on the left is from my E8400. Note how it does not have a copper core or base, and how it is half the height difference of the HSF on the right, which I presume is from a previous-generation of Intel CPUs, such as the E6600 or similar.
This is bad for two reasons – copper is a far better conductor of heat than aluminium is. The second reason is that by halving the heatsink module, they’ve essentially halved the surface area that will contribute to the dissipation of heat produced by the HSF.