Articles: Cooling

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Technical Specifications and Price

Technical specifications of the new cooler and its recommended retail price are summed up in the table below:

Testbed and Methods

The Gigabyte G-Power II Pro cooler and it competitors were tested on an open testbed as well as in a closed system case with the following configuration:

  • Mainboard: ASUSTek P5K Deluxe/WiFi-AP (Intel P35), LGA 775, BIOS 0705
  • Processors:
    • Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 2667MHz, 1.35V, L2 4096KB, FSB: 333MHz x 4, (Conroe, G0)
    • Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2400MHz, 1.2875V, L2 2 x 4096KB, FSB: 266MHz x 4, (Kentsfield, B3)
  • Thermal interface: Arctic Silver 5
  • Graphics card: Sysconn GeForce 7900 GS GDDR3 (256MB, 256-bit, 575/1710MHz)
  • Graphics card cooler: Arctic Cooling Accelero S1 in passive mode
  • Memory: 2 x 1024MB DDR2 CSXO-XAC-1200-2GB-KIT DIABLO (1200MHz / 5-5-5-16 / 2.4V)
  • Disk subsystem: Samsung HD501LJ HDD (SATA-II, 500GB storage capacity, 7200rpm, 16MB cache, NCQ)
  • Optical drive: Samsung SH-S183L RAM & DVD±R/RW & CD±RW burner (SATA-II)
  • System case: ASUS ASCOT 6AR2-B Black&Silver (ATX) with 120mm ~960rpm Scythe Minebea fans for air intake and exhaust, and a 120mm ~940rpm GlacialTech SilentBlade GT12025-BDLA1 fan on a side panel
  • Power supply: Enermax Galaxy EGA1000EWL 1000W (a 135mm 850rpm fan for intake and a 80mm 1650rpm fan for exhaust)

All tests were performed in Windows XP Professional Edition Service Pack 2. SpeedFan 4.34 Beta 37 was used to monitor the temperature of the CPU, reading it from the CPU core sensor. Its readings matched those from the Core Temp 0.94 utility. The mainboard’s automatic fan speed management system was disabled for the time of the tests in the mainboard BIOS. The CPU thermal throttling was controlled with RightMark CPU Clock Utility version 2.30. The CPU was heated up with OverClock Checking Tool version 1.1.1b in a 24-minute test with maximum CPU utilization, during which the system remained idle in the first and last 4 minutes.

I performed at least two cycles of tests and waited for approximately 20 minutes for the temperature inside the system case to stabilize during each test cycle. The stabilization period in an open testbed with the mainboard in horizontal and coolers in a vertical position took about half the time. The maximum temperature of the hottest CPU core out of the two/four in the two test cycles was taken as the final result (if the difference was no bigger than 1°C – otherwise the test was performed at least once again). Despite the stabilization period, the result of the second cycle was usually 0.5-1°C higher.

The noise level of each cooler was measured according to our traditional method described in the previous articles with the help of an electronic noise meter – CENTER-321. The subjectively comfortable level of 36dBA is marked with a dotted line in the diagram; the ambient noise from the system case, without the CPU cooler, didn’t exceed 33.4dBA when measured at 1m distance.

The ambient temperature was checked with an electronic thermometer that allows monitoring the temperature changes over the past 6 hours. During our test session room temperatures stabilized at around 24.5~25°C. It is used as a staring point on the diagrams. Note that the fan rotation speeds as shown in the diagrams are the average readings reported by SpeedFan, and not the official claimed fan specifications.

We are going to compare the performance of our Gigabyte G-Power II Pro cooler against that of only one but highly efficient cooler Thermalright SI-128 with Scythe Ultra Kaze 120mm fan 120x120x38mm in size (DFS123812L-1000). According to our monitoring software, the fan rotation speed equaled 1080RPM with the airflow of ~45CFM and very low level of generated noise of only 19.8dBA, according to the official specs. The reason we chose Thermalright cooler as Gigabyte’s today’s main competitor is very simple: Thermalright SI-128 together with the above mentioned fan costs just a little less than our today’s main hero - Gigabyte G-Power II Pro. Besides, it also uses 8mm heatpipes.

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