Testbed and Methods
The tests were performed in a closed system case. Our testbed was configured as follows:
- Mainboard: Intel Siler DX79SI (Intel X79 Express, LGA 2011, BIOS 0494 from 04/24/2012);
- CPU: Intel Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition, 3.3 GHz, 1.2 V, 6 x 256 KB L2, 15 MB L3 (Sandy Bridge-E, C1, 1.2 V, 6x256 KB L2, 15 MB L3);
- CPU cooler: Phanteks PH-TC14PE (2 135 mm, 900 RPM);
- Thermal interface: ARCTIC MX-4 (for all coolers);
- System memory: DDR3 4 x 4GB Mushkin Redline (Spec: 2133 MHz / 9-11-10-28 / 1.65 V);
- Graphics card: MSI R7970 Lightning 3 GB/384 bit GDDR5, 1140/7160 MHz;
- System drive: Crucial m4 256 GB SSD (SATA-III,CT256M4SSD2, BIOS v0009);
- Drive for programs and games: Western Digital VelociRaptor (300GB, SATA-II, 10000 RPM, 16MB cache, NCQ) inside Scythe Quiet Drive 3.5” HDD silencer and cooler;
- Backup drive: Samsung Ecogreen F4 HD204UI (SATA-II, 2 TB, 5400 RPM, 32 MB, NCQ);
- System case: Antec Twelve Hundred (front panel: three Noiseblocker NB-Multiframe S-Series MF12-S2 fans at 1020 RPM; back panel: two Noiseblocker NB-BlackSilent PRO PL-1 fans at 1020 RPM; top panel: standard 200 mm fan at 400 RPM);
- Control and monitoring panel: Zalman ZM-MFC3;
- Power supply: Xigmatek “No Rules Power” NRP-HC1501 1500 W (with a default 140 mm fan);
- Monitor: Samsung S27A850D, 27”.
MS graphics card was overclocked to 1140/7160 MHz frequencies:
The testing programs were installed under Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1. We used DirectX End-User Runtimes libraries (from November 2010), as well as AMD Catalyst graphics card drivers version 12.4. We warmed up the card with five runs of Aliens vs. Predator game in 2560x1440 resolution and with maximum image quality settings, 16x anisotropic filtering and 4x antialiasing:
With the settings we used this test loads even a powerful graphics accelerator very heavily, but can’t damage it, which could be the case with FurMark (that is why we decided not to use this benchmark fully in our test session).
The tests were run at least twice. The temperature stabilization period between the two test cycles was about 10-12 minutes. 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. During our test session room temperature stayed around 25.0°C.
We used the same exact configuration and testing methodology as in our Arctic Accelero Xtreme 7970 review, so that we could compare the efficiency of the Deepcool Dracula against that of the best Radeon HD 7970 cooler out there. Besides, we also included the results obtained with MSI’s proprietary Twin Frozr IV cooler. We tested Deepcool Dracula with two 92 mm Deepcool UF92 fans in 1000-18000 RPM rotation speed range, and with two Deepcool UF120 fans in the 800-1500 RPM rotation speed range. The rotation speed of all fans was adjusted using our special controller by changing the voltage settings.