plastic retention frame used with the Athlon64 is made of glass-filled Lexan,
and in addition to providing a very firm place for the socket 754 heatsink to
grip onto, keeps obstructions out of the way. AMD has built the Athlon64
retention frame into its specs, and there is no getting around that for
that the reference Socket 754 heatsink applies upwards of 75lbs force on the
Athlon64 processor (to keep the heatsink in place despite bumps and vibrations
as much as for thermal benefit), there is one more piece of the equation which
is new to the AMD arena.
back of the motherboard you will find a metal plate about the size of a deck of
cards. It is called the "backplate sub-assembly" and it is placed directly
behind the socket 754
on the other side of the motherboard. The plate prevents the large large forces
applied by the heatsink from warping the PCB.
this all boil down to if you have a nice AthlonXP heatsink collection already?
Well to be blunt, you're out of luck. The Socket A heatsinks are of absolutely
no use on an Athlon64 3200+. The new heatspreader which covers the fragile silicon of
the processor measures 37mm x 37mm in diameter (larger even then the P4), and
the socket 754 retention frame is incompatible with the older spring clips.
There is one exception at the moment, and that comes from Zalman in the form of
the CNPS700A-Cu which is compatible with socket A, socket m478, and socket
don't already have a heatsink like the one by Zalman which has been designed to
work on the new socket 754 platform, never fear. An entire armada of inexpensive
and performance-oriented Athlon64 heatsinks are already popping up in