Articles: Cooling

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Cooling Efficiency and Acoustic Performance

Cooling Efficiency Tests

We started checking out the cooling efficiency of Cooler Master Hyper Z600 solution with the tests in passive mode. A quad-core Intel Core 2 Quad QX9650 processor overclocked to 3700MHz at 1.45V Vcore (~1.43V according to the monitoring data) remained stable cooled with a passive Hyper Z600 in an open testbed. The hottest CPU core in this case didn’t exceed 90ºC. Unfortunately, we couldn’t overclock with a passive cooler any further even in an open testbed, not to mention the closed system case. However, I shouldn’t be complaining because the obtained result is exactly 50MHz better than what we achieved with a copper (!) 1-kg Scythe Ninja and 50MHz lower than what we got from a gigantic Scythe Orochi.

Moreover, Cooler Master Hyper Z600 managed to keep without going into throttling a hot processor like Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600. And not just keep it running, but ensure its stable operation after overclocking from the nominal 2400MHz to 3420MHz at 1.4325V (~1.41V according to monitoring data). The hottest processor core warmed up to 94ºC:

Click to enlarge

Well, I believe the performance of passive Cooler Master Hyper Z600 is more than great. Now let’s check out its cooling efficiency in active mode, namely, with a fan and then with two fans working at different speeds.

So, when we equipped Hyper Z600 with one quiet fan, we managed to overclock our quad-core processor to 3.89GHz with the Vcore increased to 1.5757V in the mainboard BIOS. The monitoring utilities reported the voltage a little bit lower than set in the mainboard BIOS, i.e. around 1.54~1.56V. The results obtained with a new cooler and its competitor are given on the diagram below:

First of all I would like to point out that Cooler Master Hyper Z600 boasts excellent potential. By adding a second quiet fan (~900RPM) we could drop the processor temperature by another 4-5ºC under peak workload. With only one high-speed fan rotating at ~2000RPM the improvement over a single 900RPM fan is 8ºC. And two powerful fans installed for air intake/exhaust help Hyper Z600 cool the CPU by 10-11ºC better than a single 900RPM fan. As a result, the newcomer catches up with the competing super-cooler in an open testbed. Hyper Z600 loses more to ZEROtherm cooler inside the system case because of its extremely large size.

And now let’s see how installing one/two fans with different rotation speeds onto Hyper Z600 will affect CPU overclocking results:

The results here are also quite logical. I would like to say that we overclocked our quad-core processor almost to its absolute maximum with Cooler Master Hyper Z600. As far as I remember, our test QX9650 could work stably at 4070MHz and 1.6V Vcore only with Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme cooler, however, this is too little of a difference to base your cooler buying decision on.

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