Technical Specifications and Recommended Pricing
Testbed and Methods
All tests of the new Antec cooling system and its competitors were performed inside a closed system case with the following configuration:
- Mainboard: Gigabyte GA-X58-UD9 (Intel X58 Express, LGA 1366, BIOS F5 from 3/11/2011);
- Processor: Intel Core i7-980X Extreme Edition, 3.33 GHz, 1.225 V, 6 x 256 KB L2, 12 MB L3 (Gulftown, B1);
- Thermal interface: Gelid GX-Extreme;
- Graphics card: ATI Radeon HD 5770 1 GB GDDR5 128 bit, 850/4800 MHz;
- Memory: DDR3 3 x 2 GB OCZ Platinum Low-Voltage Triple Channel (Spec: 1600MHz / 7-7-7-24 / 1.65 V);
- System drive: RAID-0 of 2 x Kingston V-series SNV425S2128GB SSD (SATA-II, 128 GB, MLC, Toshiba TC58NCF618G3T controller);
- Drive for programs and games: Western Digital VelociRaptor (300GB, SATA-II, 10000 RPM, 16MB cache, NCQ) inside Scythe Quiet Drive 3.5” HDD silencer and cooler;
- Backup drive: Samsung Ecogreen F4 HD204UI (SATA-II, 2 TB, 5400 RPM, 32 MB, NCQ);
- System case: Antec Twelve Hundred (front panel: three Noiseblocker NB-Multiframe S-Series MF12-S2 fans at 900 RPM; back panel: two Noiseblocker NB-BlackSilent PRO PL-1 fans at 900 RPM; top panel: standard 200 mm fan at 400 RPM);
- Control and monitoring panel: Zalman ZM-MFC2;
- Power supply: Xigmatek “No Rules Power” NRP-HC1501 1500 W (with a default 140 mm fan).
We managed to overclock our six-core processor with the default (non-lapped) heat-spreader surface using 25x multiplier and enabled “Load-Line Calibration” (Level 2) to 4.32 GHz. The nominal processor Vcore was increased to 1.4 V in the mainboard BIOS:
We disabled Turbo Boost and Hyper-Threading technologies during our tests to ensure that the CPU gets warmed up better. The memory voltage was at 1.64 V and its frequency was 1.4 GHz (7-7-7-16_1T timings). All other parameters available in the mainboard BIOS and connected with CPU or memory overclocking remained unchanged.
All tests were performed under Windows 7 Ultimate x64 operating system. We used the following software during our test session:
- CPU Stress Test (CST) version 0.18b – to load the processor (matrix # 15, 10-12 minutes);
- Real Temp GT 3.59 Beta – to monitor the processor cores temperature;
- CPU-Tweaker 1.5 – to visually monitor temperatures and frequencies of the Intel CPU using graphics.
So, the complete screenshot during the test session looks as follows:
The CPU was loaded with two consecutive CST test runs with the settings as indicated above. The stabilization period for the CPU temperature between the two test cycles was about 8-10 minutes. We took the maximum temperature of the hottest CPU core for the results charts. Moreover, we will also provide a table with the temperature readings for all cores including their average values. The ambient temperature was checked next to the system case with an electronic thermometer with 0.1 °C precision that allows hourly monitoring of the temperature changes over the past 6 hours. The room temperature during our test session varied between 24.2-24.7 °C.
We are going to compare the performance of our compact Antec KÜHLER H2O 620 system against that of Thermalright Archon in its standard configuration with one Thermalright TY-140 fan working in two speed modes: at quiet 800 RPM and at maximum 1300 RPM. Archon costs only $10 more than Antec KÜHLER H2O 620, which is not a determinative difference at the price point of $70-$80.