Articles: Cooling
 

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Technical Specifications and Recommended Pricing

Testbed and Methods

We are going to test the cooling efficiency of the new Nexus VCT-9000 cooler and its today’s competitor in the following testbed:

  • Mainboard: ASUS P6T Deluxe (Intel X58 Express, LGA 1366, BIOS 2101);
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-920, 2.67 GHz, 1.25 V, 4 x 256 KB L2, 8MB L3 (Bloomfield, C0);
  • Thermal interface: Arctic Cooling MX-2;
  • Graphics card: ATI Radeon HD 5850 1 GB GDDR5, 725/4000 MHz;
  • Memory: DDR3 3 x 2 GB OCZ Platinum Low-Voltage Triple Channel (Spec: 1600MHz / 7-7-7-24 / 1.65 V);
  • Sound card: Auzen X-Fi HomeTheater HD;
  • System drive: OCZ Agility EX SSD (SATA-II, 60 GB, SLC, Indillinx, firmware v1.31);
  • HDD for games and programs: Western Digital VelociRaptor (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: Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EADS (SATA-II, 1000 GB, 5400 RPM, 32 MB, NCQ);
  • System case: Antec Twelve Hundred (front panel: three Noiseblocker NB-Multiframe S-Series MF12-S1 fans at 900 RPM; back panel: two Scythe SlipStream 120 fans at 900 RPM; top panel: standard 200 mm fan at 400 RPM);
  • Control and monitoring panel: Zalman ZM-MFC2;
  • Power supply: Zalman ZM1000-HP 1000 W (with a default 140 mm fan).

Processor overclocking was limited by the least efficient cooler of our today’s testing participants in its quiet mode. As a result, we managed to overclock our quad-core processor (with polished heat-spreader) with the multiplier set at 21x and “Load-Line Calibration” enabled to 3.84 GHz. The nominal processor Vcore was increased to 1.3125 V in the mainboard BIOS:

Besides, we manually set the following voltages in the mainboard BIOS:

  • CPU PLL Voltage – 1.8 V;
  • QPI/DRAM Core Voltage – 1.3625 V;
  • IOH Voltage – 1.1 V;
  • IOH PCIE Voltage – 1.5 V;
  • ICH Voltage – 1.1 V;
  • ICH PCIE Voltage – 1.5 V.

The memory voltage was at 1.64 V and its frequency was around 1.45 GHz (7-7-7-14_1T timings). All other parameters available in the mainboard BIOS and connected with CPU or memory overclocking remained unchanged.

All tests were performed under Windows 7 Ultimate x64 operating system. We used the following software during our test session:

  • Linpack 64-bit with LinX shell version 0.6.4 – to create maximum CPU load (5 Linpack runs in each cycle with 4096 MB RAM capacity involved);
  • CPU-Z 1.54 – to monitor processor core voltage and frequency;
  • Real Temp 3.58 – to monitor the processor core temperature;
  • Everest 5.30.2128 Beta – to monitor default fans rotation speeds.

So, the complete screenshot during the test session looks as follows:

The CPU was loaded with two consecutive Linpack test runs with the settings as indicated above. The stabilization period for the CPU temperature between the two test cycles was about 8-10 minutes. We took the maximum temperature of the hottest CPU core for the results charts. Moreover, we will also provide a table with the temperature readings for all cores including their average values. 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. The room temperature during our test session varied between 25.9-26.1 °C.

For the sake of comparison we also added the results for Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus with its default Blade Master 120 fan.

The cooler with MSRP of only $29 was tested in two fan modes: in quiet mode at 1050 RPM and in PWM mode with the rotation speed interval of 770-1960 RPM.

 
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