Cooling Efficiency Tests
The results of our cooling efficiency tests are summed up in the diagram and table below:
The difference in cooling efficiency between a tower-cooler and two new top-coolers is simply shameful. Even at minimal 800 RPM rotation speed, True Spirit is 1°C more efficient than the best top-cooler of the two tested at the maximum fan speed. I don’t even want to mention the best results of the Thermalright cooler, when its advantage increases to impressive 13°C. The only thing we can do at this point is compare the efficiency of Cooler Master GeminII S524 against that of Deep Cool Fiend Shark. And here the Cooler Master product wins, though mostly due to a faster fan than due to some unique design advantages. I would also like to add that it makes sense to use a 140 mm fan only at 1000-1200 RPM, because after that the results even out for the most part.
Heavier and larger Fiend Shark cooler didn’t prove up to our expectations, but once we removed the case side panel, it really started to shine:
Deep Cool Fiend Shark (1490 RPM)
Closed system case
Case side panel removed
As we see, this simple modification lowers the maximum CPU temperature by as much as 8°C. Moreover, with the removed case side panel we managed to overclock our test CPU under Fiend Shark cooler even more:
However, if we look at the results of the two today’s newcomers compared with the products we have tested over the past few months, the new top-coolers will make a very modest appearance:
Well, they are actually in the very end of the ranks.
We measured the acoustic performance of our today’s testing participants in the entire rotation speed range of their fans. The results are summed up on the following graph:
Looks like the unimpressive efficiency is now paired with a far not the lowest level of noise. For example, Fiend Shark can be considered acoustically comfortable only up to 950 RPM, and GeminII S524 – up to 1050 RPM. As you have just seen, both coolers do not do that well at these fan speeds.
Unfortunately, we didn’t see a miracle again. The cooling efficiency of top-coolers remains at the same level, i.e. significantly lower than the efficiency of the tower-models. In fact, of Cooler Master GeminII S524 and Deep Cool Fiend Shark didn’t bring anything new to the table and just joined the army of processor coolers available in the market today. Both of them are universal, have very reliable retentions, are compatible with memory DIMMs featuring tall heat-spreaders, should provide efficient cooling to the components around the processor socket, and Fiend Shark also looks great on top of all of the above. To be fair I have to say that the latter is pretty expensive and is not justified by its efficiency. So, if your system case side panel doesn’t have a large fan or at least a meshed window, then you should better consider tower-coolers.