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Little Falls Custom Heat Sink

By ·Categories: Technology·Published On: August 7th, 2008·3.4 min read·

Little Falls Replacement Heat SinkFinally, after pairing with one of our Mini-ITX partners, we now have a real replacement for the mammoth heat sink that graces the Little Falls and Little Valley mainboards. This low-profile heat sink was manufactured solely for the Intel Little Valley and Little Falls mainboards. It shaves off 15 mm from the height of the Intel stock heat sink without compromising heat dissipation. You can find this heat sink here.

In the image below, the blue line shows the height of the new heat sink. The red line shows the height of the Intel stock heat sink. The new heat sink even sits lower than the memory stick.

Little Falls Mainboard Comparison

In case you want the long-winded introduction to this new product, please, continue reading.

When Intel first released the D201GLY, dubbed “Little Valley,” we thought it was pretty neat that Intel was making a move toward Mini-ITX. Even though the board was not quite there yet (it was uATX form factor), it seemed like it wouldn’t be long until we saw more from Intel. And, we did of course—the D945GCLF, dubbed “Little Falls.” The popularity of these boards were and are astonishing, despite some of Intel’s questionable design decisions, mainly in the CPU cooler category.

The heat sink that is on the Little Valley series mainboards and on the Little Falls mainboard is the tallest point on the board. It towers over all the other components on the board making case compatibility next to impossible. To make matters worse, on Intel’s Little Falls mainboard, the heat sink/fan combo sits on the chipset, which causes it to butt against the hard drive tray in many of our enclosures.

At Logic Supply, we initially offered the Little Valley mainboards as is, with them being compatible in a very small handful of cases—2. Then, after seeing so much customer demand for systems built around the Little Valley, we had to make some adjustments and come up with an alternative. We started removing the heat sink and replacing it with the VIA heat sink that comes standard on its mainboards. This heat sink is low-profile and offers substantial cooling. However, the heat sink fins had to be bent slightly to fit the clip through to secure the cooler to the board. It wasn’t pretty, but it worked.

The successor to the D201GLY, the D201GLY2, was a fanless version with an even taller heat sink. We didn’t even bother making any fanless Little Valley systems. We removed the heat sink, and placed the VIA one on without having a moment’s hesitation. Next in line, the D201GLY2A, returned with the same heat sink/fan combo as the first Little Valley, but offered 2 SATA connectors. We followed the same procedure.

Knowing the track record of the Intel Little Valley boards and how they seem to be replaced with a newer version as quick as they are released (we just sold out of our last D201GLY2A mainboard today, and aren’t getting any more back in), we didn’t plan on investing much more time or effort into making these boards compatible with our full line of cases. Plus, a hack job on a VIA heat sink is not ideal.

But, when news and images of Intel’s Little Falls mainboard started cropping up with the same heat sink/fan combo as before, but this time on the chipset, we decided to accommodate the many customers who wouldn’t want anything else. Also, it was apparent that this heat sink just might not ever go away.

Thus, we now have the LF-Heatsink (LF for Little Falls, clever huh?). This heat sink doesn’t come with a fan, but can easily have the fan from the Intel stock CPU cooler slide into place. The clip and screws can also be swapped. This solution makes for a much prettier configuration, and opens up more possibilities for case compatibility.


About the Author: Kristina Bond

Kristina Bond was the Marketing Director for Logic Supply from 2007 to 2012. She graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia with an M.F.A. in photography and a B.F.A in photography and communication from Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, WV. While technology and Logic Supply remain close to her heart, she moved on from the company in June 2012 to do marketing for the restaurant industry. To get in touch with Kristina, please contact kristina@kristinadrobny.com.
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