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Testbed and Methods

I built the following computer system in the Zalman TNN500AF system case:

  • Intel Pentium 4 3200MHz CPU (Prescott core);
  • ASUS P4P800 mainboard (i865PE chipset);
  • 2x512MB TwinMOS PC3200 DDR SDRAM, CL2.5;
  • PowerColor RADEON X800 Pro graphics card;
  • IBM DTLA 307015 15GB and Quantum Fireball AS 30GB hard disk drives;
  • Windows XP Pro SP2, DirectX 9.0c and ATI Catalyst 4.10.

This testing session is going to be quite cruel as we’ve got a very hot processor (at the limit of Zalman’s recommendations) and a powerful graphics card. I used the latest version of the Mainboard Monitor to read the temperatures of the processor (“CPU”) and the mainboard (“MB”) and RivaTuner to read the temperatures of the graphics processor (“VGA-GPU”) and the graphics card’s PCB (“VGA-Ambient”). The temperature of the IBM DTLA 307015 drive (unlike the Quantum, it has a thermode) was read with the DTemp utility (“HDD”). The temperature of the graphics memory chips (“VGA-Memory”) was measured with the help of one of the sensors of a Fluke54-II thermometer.

Another sensor of the Fluke54-II was measuring the temperature of air in the case (“Case Air”).

One more sensor of the Fluke54-II was employed to measure the temperature of one of the power transistors in the CPU voltage regulator (“Power MOSFET”).

The last sensor of the Fluke54-II kept track of the room temperature.

I didn’t install additional fans into the case; the case and the door on the face panel were closed. Each test step lasted for 40-60 minutes, and after that the temperatures were read. The system was then shut down for an hour to cool all the components down before the next test step.

 
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