Articles: Cooling

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Technical Specifications and Recommended Pricing

Testbed and Methods

All tests of CoolIT ECO A.L.C. and its competitors were performed inside a closed system case with the following configuration:

  • Mainboard: ASUS P6T Deluxe (Intel X58 Express), LGA 1366, BIOS 2101;
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-920, 2.67 GHz, 1.25V, 4 x 256 KB L2, 8MB L3 (Bloomfield, C0);
  • Thermal interface: Arctic Cooling MX-2;
  • Graphics card: ATI Radeon HD 5830 1 GB GDDR5 256 bit (920/4800 MHz);
  • Memory: DDR3 PC3-12800 3 x 2 GB OCZ Platinum Low-Voltage Triple Channel (Spec: 1600MHz / 7-7-7-24 / 1.65 V);
  • Sound card: Auzen X-Fi Home Theater HD;
  • System drive: OCZ Agility EX SSD (SATA-II, 60 GB, SLC, Indillinx, firmware v1.31);
  • HDD for games and programs: Western Digital VelociRaptor (SATA-II, 300 GB storage capacity, 10,000 RPM, 16 MB cache, NCQ) inside Scythe Quiet Drive 3.5” silencer and cooler chassis;
  • Backup HDD: Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EADS (SATA-II, 1000 GB, 5400 RPM, 32 MB, NCQ);
  • System case: Antec Twelve Hundred (front panel: three Noiseblocker NB-Multiframe S-Series MF12-S1 fans at 900 RPM; back panel: two Scythe SlipStream 120 fans at 900 RPM; top panel: standard 200 mm fan at 400 RPM);
  • Control and monitoring panel: Zalman ZM-MFC2;
  • Power supply: Enhance ENP-6685G 850 W (with a default 140 mm fan).

Processor overclocking was limited by the least efficient cooling system of our today’s testing participants in its quiet mode. As a result, we managed to overclock our quad-core processor with the polished off heat-spreader surface using 21x multiplier and enabled “Load-Line Calibration” to 3.84 GHz. The nominal processor Vcore was increased to 1.3125 V in the mainboard BIOS:

Besides, we manually set the following voltages in the mainboard BIOS:

  • CPU PLL Voltage – 1.8 V;
  • QPI/DRAM Core Voltage – 1.3625 V;
  • IOH Voltage – 1.1 V;
  • IOH PCIE Voltage – 1.5 V;
  • ICH Voltage – 1.1 V;
  • ICH PCIE Voltage – 1.5 V.

The memory voltage was at 1.64 V and its frequency was around 1.47 GHz (7-7-7-14_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 RTM x64 operating system. We used the following software during our test session:

  • Linpack 64-bit with LinX shell version 0.6.4 – to create maximum CPU load (5 Linpack runs in each cycle with 4096 MB RAM capacity involved);
  • CPU-Z 1.54 – to monitor processor core voltage and frequency;
  • Real Temp 3.58 – to monitor the processor core temperature;
  • Everest 5.30.2128 Beta – to monitor default fans rotation speeds.

So, the complete screenshot during the test session looks as follows:

The CPU was loaded with two consecutive Linpack 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 monitoring the temperature changes over the past 6 hours. The room temperature during our test session varied between 25.9-26.1 °C.

For the sake of comparison we also included the results of Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus tested with one and two Blade Master 120 fans:

The cooler with the recommended retail price of only $29 was tested in three different fan modes: in quiet mode at 1050 RPM, in PWM mode when the rotation speed ranged from 770 to 1960 RPM, and at maximum fan rotation speed of 1960 RPM. Besides, when we performed the maximum overclocking test we also considered the results for Noctua NH-D14 super-cooler with two 140 mm Noctua NF-P14 fans.

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