Articles: Cooling

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The specifications of the new cooler from Cooler Master and of the recommended fans are listed in the following table.

Testbed and Methods

Not long ago we published a comparative review of super-coolers in which four well-known highly effective coolers were tested together with new products from Scythe and Enzotech (for details see our article called Scythe Andy Samurai Master and Enzotech Ultra-X Coolers vs. Overclocked CPUs). Considering that the testbed configuration hasn’t changed much since then, I won’t test many models but will limit myself to the best cooler of that earlier review, Enzotech Ultra-X. The results of the earlier test being available to you, you can easily compare the coolers from that test with the currently tested ones.

The coolers are tested on an open testbed as well as in a system case with the following configuration:

  • Mainboards:
    • DFI LanParty UT NF590 SLI-M2R/G (nForce 590 SLI, Socket AM2, BIOS 29/08/2006);
    • ASUS P5B Deluxe/WiFi-AP (Intel P965 chipset, LGA775, BIOS 1004)
  • Processors:
    • AMD Athlon X2 3800+ (2000 MHz, 1.30V, 2x512KB L2 cache, Cool & Quiet disabled, Windsor, BH-F2)
    • Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 (2133MHz, 1.325V, 266x4MHz FSB, 2x1024KB L2 cache, SL9S9 Malay, Conroe B2)
  • Graphics card: Sysconn GeForce 7600 GT 256MB (running at 670/1584 with a -90MHz delta) plus a Zalman VF900-Cu LED at 1700rpm
  • Thermal interface: Arctic Silver 5
  • Memory: 2 x 1024MB Corsair CM2X1024-6400C4 PC6400 DDR2 SDRAM (SPD: 800MHz, 4-4-4-12)
  • Disk subsystem: Hitachi HDT725032VLA360 (SATA-II, 320GB storage capacity, 7200rpm, 16MB cache, NCQ)
  • System case: ASUS ASCOT 6AR2-B Black&Silver with three system fans from Cooler Master (120mm, 1200rpm, 21dBA)
  • Power supply: MGE Magnum 500 (500W) + 80mm GlacialTech SilentBlade fan (~1700rpm, 19dBA)

All tests are performed in Windows XP Professional Edition Service Pack 2. SpeedFan 4.32 is used to monitor the temperature of the CPUs, reading it from the CPU sensor. The AMD CPU is heated by S&M version 1.9.0b for 15 minutes at 100% FPU load. The Intel CPU is heated up by means of Intel Thermal Analysis Tool for 18 minutes (according to the method described in our article called Originality or Efficiency? Cooler Master Mars, Eclipse and Hyper TX Cooling Solutions Reviewed).

The mainboards’ automatic fan speed management is disabled for the time of the tests. The thermal throttling of the Intel Core 2 Duo processor is controlled with RightMark CPU Clock Utility version 2.2 (our processor begins to skip clock cycles on reaching a temperature of 81.5°C).

I perform at least two cycles of tests in each mode (TAT and S&M) and wait for 25-30 minutes for the temperature to stabilize during each test cycle. The maximum temperature in the two test cycles is considered as the final result (if the difference is not bigger than 1°C – otherwise the test is performed once again). Despite the stabilization period, the result of the second cycle is usually 0.5-1°C higher.

The ambient temperature was monitored by means of an electric thermometer and remained at 25.5°C during the tests.

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