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Teschnical Specifications and Recommended Pricing

Testbed and Methodology

The tests were performed in a closed system case. Our testbed was configured as follows:

  • Mainboard: Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD9 (Intel X58 Express, LGA 1366, BIOS F5q beta from 05/04/2011);
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-980X Extreme Edition, 3.33 GHz, 1.225 V, 6 x 256 KB L2, 12 MB L3 (Gulftown, B1);
  • Thermal interface: Arctic Silver Ceramique;
  • Memory: DDR3 3 x 2 GB OCZ Platinum Low-Voltage Triple Channel (Spec: 1600MHz / 7-7-7-24 / 1.65 V);
  • Graphics cards:
    • EVGA GeForce GTX 560 1 GB Superclocked 256 bit, 930/1860/4104 MHz;
    • VTX3D Radeon HD 6970 2 GB X-Edition 256 bit, 940/5700 MHz;
  • System drive: RAID 0 made of 2 Kingston V-series SNV425S2128GB SSDs (SATA-II, 300 GB, MLC, Toshiba TC58NCF618G3T);
  • HDD for games and programs: Western Digital VelociRaptor WD3000HLFS (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: Samsung EcoGreen F4 HD204UI (SATA-II, 2000 GB, 5400 RPM, 32 MB, NCQ);
  • System case: Antec Twelve Hundred (front panel: three Noiseblocker NB-Multiframe S-Series MF12-S2 fans at 10800 RPM; back panel: two Noiseblocker NB-BlackSilent PRO PL-1 fans at 1080 RPM; top panel: standard 200 mm fan at 400 RPM);
  • Control and monitoring panel: Zalman ZM-MFC2;
  • Power supply: Xigmatek “No Rules Power” NRP-HC1501 1500 W (with a default 140 mm fan).

The testing programs were installed under Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1. We used DirectX End-User Runtimes libraries (from November 2010), Nvidia GeForce/ION 275.50 beta and AMD Catalyst 11.7 beta graphics card drivers. We used two 12-minute runs of FurMark version 1.9.1 in stability test mode with “Burn-in” option enabled and resolution set to 1920x1080 resolution. We enabled anisotropic filtering 16x in the driver control panel in order to increase the GPU operational load:

We also measured the graphics card temperatures in game mode using five runs of Aliens vs. Predator game in 1920x1080 resolution with maximum graphics quality settings but without antialiasing:

By testing the graphics cards in this mode we should be able to see their temperatures under typical gaming load.

We used MSI Afterburner utility version 2.2.0 Beta 5 to monitor graphics card temperatures and frequencies and GPU-Z version 0.5.4 utility:

The tests were run at least twice for each type of load. 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 27.3-27.6°C.

We are going to compare the cooling efficiency of the new Deepcool V6000 cooler against that of the reference cooler on AMD Radeon HD 6970, the default coolers of our EVGA and VTX3D graphics cards, as well as against a pretty efficient Arctic Cooling Accelero XTREME 5870 (installed onto an AMD Radeon HD 6970): 

We tested Deepcool V6000 at maximum 1800 RPM fan speed as well as at quiet 1050 RPM, which were set using our in-house controller.

The noise level of each cooler was measured between 1:00 and 3:00 AM in a closed room about 20 m2 big using CENTER-321 electronic noise meter. The noise level for each cooler was tested outside the system case when the only noise sources in the lab were the cooler and its fan. The noise meter was installed on a tripod and was always at a 150 mm distance from the cooler fan rotor. The tested cooling systems were placed at the edge of the desk on a sheet of polyurethane foam. The lowest noise reading our noise meter device can register is 29.8 dBA and the subjectively comfortable noise level in these testing conditions was around 36 dBA (do not mix it up with low noise level).

 
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