The AMD-only AK-873 is small enough to fit comfortably in your palm, but its large copper base plate (zinc-coated to ward off corrosion) makes it surprisingly heavy. Two plump 8mm heat pipes carry the heat from the base plate to the upper area of the aluminum heatsink.
From there an open-frame 8cm fan blows downward, moving heat away from the fins, and cooling the voltage regulator modules (VRMs) and MOSFETs around the CPU socket. This model also includes a fan-speed adjustment knob that you mount in a PCI slot.
At low speeds, the cooler runs very quiet, but at high speeds it’s intolerably loud. Akasa says it pumps out 38dbA at full speed, moving 40CFM of air. Even when we enabled our motherboard’s fan throttle to quiet it at idle, the fan still made a ruckus. Cooling performance was near the top of the charts at the fan’s fastest setting, but it’s simply too loud and high-pitched for us to recommend. Installation was easy, however, with no motherboard removal required.