Articles: Cooling

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Acoustic Tests

The next diagram shows how much noise these coolers produce:

The Scythe Samurai ZZ turns to have the quietest fan among the tested coolers. However, its fan quickly becomes noisier at 1200 RPM and higher speeds and falls behind the Cooler Master Hyper TX3 in this respect. The latter is the loudest cooler at max speed. The Nexus LXM-8200 is a disappointment in this test. The picture on its box is far from true because the cooler’s 100mm fan is only quiet at speeds below 1000 RPM and comfortable at 1240 RPM. On the other hand, if you compare the coolers by the maximum noise they can produce, the Nexus will indeed be the winner. The 120mm fan of the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus is the noisiest overall.

Cooling Efficiency Tests

As you must have noticed, there are two dotted lines in the noise diagram that mark a very low and a comfortable level of noise. This helps us understand at what speeds the tested coolers produce the same amount of noise. Now we will test their performance at the same speeds as well as at the maximum speed of their fans. Let’s take a look at the results:

The Scythe Samurai ZZ is the least effective cooler irrespective of the noise level. This might have been expected as top-flow coolers find it hard to compete with tower models in ATX cases that don’t have side-panel fans. The Nexus is surprisingly in the lead at 1000 RPM. We can also note that the best of the cheap coolers is 4°C inferior to the mainstream Hyper 212 Plus.

The standings are roughly the same at the comfortable level of noise. The Nexus LXM-8200 looks best of all when working with its default fan. The two 8mm heat pipes and the copper fins in the middle of the heatsink react eagerly to the extra 250 RPM of the fan speed as compared to the minimum noise level. The Samurai ZZ is on the losing side again whereas the Hyper 212 Plus is 4°C better than the best of the low-end coolers.

At the maximum speed of the fans the difference between the inexpensive and the mainstream cooler is even smaller if we take the noisiest Cooler Master Hyper TX3 for comparison. Being the quietest model at full speed, the Nexus LXM-8200 takes second place among the low-end models. The Samurai ZZ is the worst cooler again, being 3°C worse than the Nexus.

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