Articles: Cooling

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Today we will not include the description of our testbed and testing methodology, because it is practically identical to what was described in detail in our recent article called Seven Coolers on Six-Core AMD and Intel Processors. The only exception is a little higher overclocking of our Intel Core i7-980X processor that managed to reach 4.39 GHz with 1.425 V core voltage set in the mainboard BIOS:

Of course, we retested all of the competitors on the Intel platforms. As you probably remember from our previous review, they were Thermaright Silver Arrow serving as a performance ideal and Deep Cool Ice Blade Pro with the same type of heatsink design as GlacialTech Alaska but selling at a $6 lower price.

Cooling Efficiency on AMD Platform

The results of our tests performed on AMD platform are given in a brief form, because we mostly focused on a hotter Intel platform in the next chapter of our review.

As we can see, there is nothing impressive going on here. Deep Cool Ice Blade Pro with slightly lower price and also lower noise (as we will see below) cools six-core AMD CPU 2°C better. Let’s see how things turn out on the Intel platform…

Cooling Efficiency on Intel Platform

The diagram below shows the results of our testing participants obtained with their default fans as well as with Thermalright TR-FDB fans:

First of all I have to note that GlacialTech Alaska with an alternative fan is just as efficient as with its default fan. The difference doesn’t exceed 1°C in all test modes. The second thing worth pointing out is the fact that Alaska heatsink is highly dependent on the number of cooling fans and their rotation speed. For example, when we increase the rotation speed of the cooler default fan from the minimal 810 RPM to the maximum speed of 1590 RPM, the maximum processor temperature drops from 93°C to 79°C, which is a 14-dgree difference! And the biggest reduction occurs in the interval between 810 and 1400 RPM. By adding a second fan for air exhaust we can lower the peak processor temperature by another 6°C at 810 RPM, by 5°C at 1200 RPM and only by 1°C at 1600 RPM. So, we can conclude that the potential of the “breathing” GlacialTech Alaska heatsink cam be fully revealed with two cooling fans at up to 1200 RPM rotation speed.

As for the comparison against Deep Cool Ice Blade Pro cooler with comparable price, both testing participants are almost equally effective with their default fans. However, as soon as we equip them with two Thermalright TR-FDB fans instead, Ice Blade Pro cooler outperforms Alaska by 4°C in quiet mode at 810 RPM, and by 2°C in medium speed mode at 1200 RPM. The coolers again perform almost the same at 1600 and 1970 RPM speeds. Speaking of the lag behind the performance reference, Thermalright Silver Arrow, the super-cooler with its default fan is 6°C more effective than Alaska with two TR-FDB fans at 810 RPM, and 10°C more effective at 1280 RPM.

Now all we have to do is to check how well we can overclock our processor using GlacialTech Alaska cooler with two alternative cooling fans in two different speed modes:

GlacialTech Alaska
(2 x 1100 RPM)

GlacialTech Alaska
(2 x 1980 RPM)

As we see, the new GlacialTech cooler can cope with a six-core CPU overclocked to 4.46 GHz with 1.46875 V Vcore setting and workload created by heavy-duty Linpack algorithm. The peak CPU temperature reached 88°C at average fan rotation speed, and didn’t exceed 81°C at maximum fan speed. This is a pretty good result, but it is not good enough for GlacialTech Alaska to become one of the performance leaders. Here I would like to remind you that Akasa Venom cooler we have recently reviewed let the CPU temperature reach 86°C in the same testing conditions, while ThermoLab Baram2010 didn’t let the CPU heat up past 84°C.

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