Unlike push-pins method used for attaching heatsink to Southbridge,
the RD600 chipset is cooled with a heatsink attached on by hooks.
The grey thermal compound used on the RD600 Northbridge is different
from the Southbridge, it is much softer.
The heatsink on the Northbridge is rather beefy, but the design of a plate
over the center makes air difficult to pass through from above over the center
The RD600 Northbridge, ATi on it, not AMD:
This chipset is far from cool-running… you will see in the
later part of this review why I feel that a passively-cooled Northbridge is
The flip side of the motherboard:
You see a large amount of SMD decoupling capacitors behind the
Northbridge and the Southbridge.
This motherboard, as well as upcoming LAN Party motherboards, is based on 6-phase
Digital power management for the processor. This saves quite a bit of space
around the CPU socket doing away with bulky capacitors, being replaced by surface-mount
The 8 pin EPS power connector is located right behind the heatsink
on the PWM.
The CPU socket is packed full of SMD decoupling capacitors:
The 6 tiny MOSFETs for 6-phase power management, lie below the heatsink. I
am told that these parts are picked with very high temperature threshold, and
they run well all the way up to 125 degrees celsius. Each is capable of delivering
up to 30AMPs for a total of 180AMPs of current. Specs-wise of course.
The heatsink over these FETs run very hot, while in operation, especially
when one is water-cooling the CPU or has a weak fan on the CPU, which ends up
with very little air-flow over the heatsink. Even though the parts are rated
for very high temperatures, but it is good for one to have some decent airflow
over this area.