Let’s see how the coolers actually do their primary job: cooling of our Intel Pentium 4 560 (3.60GHz) CPU. What we should keep in mind is that Intel’s Prescott processors have individual parameters and start to engage thermal throttling at about 70 degrees Celsius (158 degrees Fahrenheit). This means that every cooler should be able to keep the CPU temperature below or inline with that level at any time.
It is obvious that Zalman CNPS7700-Cu is the most efficient cooler among tested: nearly 1 kilogram of copper and a huge fan definitely do their job. However, it is efficient only when the fan is spinning at full speed, which is pretty noisy. When we set the fan at its minimum, we notice that performance of the CNPS7700-Cu is pretty low; it is still enough to cool-down our Intel Pentium 4 560 processor: the chip did not reduce the speed, but in some cases this may not be enough for you. Probably with FanMate 2 you’ll be able to efficiently find noise/performance ratio based on your demands, but the “peak” situations look just like we’ve just described.
The same can be said about the CNPS7000-Cu: it easily cools down our processor when working at maximum speed, but the temperature of the CPU when it operates at minimum speed is very high, even in open system.
Still, we would like to point out that the advantage CNPS7700-Cu has over predecessor is significant, hence, if you use the CNPS7000-series, plan to upgrade to a more powerful microprocessor, but want to have a Zalman cooler – the CNPS7700-Cu is definitely your choice.
At the same time, CoolerMaster Hyper 48 KHC-L91 did nearly the best possible job without making much noise, which is an admirable result. Looks like heat-pipes are no longer a kind of a luxury for coolers, but a compulsory technology for today’s heatsinks, provided that a 3000rpm or higher speed is not planned to be used.
Gigabyte 3D Rocket PCU22-SE also did a good job in almost all the cases and in both of its modes. The engineering efforts of Gigabyte’s developers deserve a praise: the film on top of the cooler definitely makes it definitely a lot more efficient. Furthermore, this cooler, that performance inline with rather expensive products from CoolerMaster and Zalman, does not cost a lot. Still, keep in mind, this cooler is a pretty noisy one.