Articles: Cooling

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Cooling Efficiency

During this test session we managed to overclock our 45nm quad-core processor with the multiplier set at 21 and “Load-Line Calibration” enabled to 3.84 GHz (+43.8%) using the weakest cooling system of the today’s testing participants. The nominal processor Vcore was increased to 1.2875V in the mainboard BIOS (+7.3%). The memory voltage was at 1.64V and its frequency was around 1500MHz (7-7-7-14_1T timings). All other parameters available in the mainboard BIOS and connected with CPU or memory overclocking remained unchanged (set to Auto).

The results of our cooling efficiency tests are sorted according to generated noise (moderate noise/maximum rotation speed) and in order of increasing cooling efficiency (lowering of the peak CPU temperature). Let’s take a look:

The leader in the first group – tests performed in the operational modes with moderate noise – XIGMATEK Nepartak is a convincing leader among mainstream cooling solutions, we have already concluded in one of our previous articles that this cooler offers great performance for the given price range. Scythe REEVEN and GELID Silent Spirit are just a little bit behind the leader, and Scythe Katana 3 is another 2°C back. The least efficient here appears Cooler Master Hyper N520. However, it is important to understand that it is not working in its nominal operational mode: its fans have been forced to slow down. The difference between the best and the least effective cooler in this test is 8°C. The super-cooler is 10°C+ ahead of all the testing participants.

The second group represents the results obtained at maximum rotation speeds of the coolers fans and the situation here is very different. First, Cooler Master Hyper N520 that used to be behind everyone is now the second best, following closely behind XIGMATEK Nepartak. And the outsider spot has now been taken by Scythe Katana 3. Second, GELID Silent Spirit turned out 1°C more efficient than Scythe REEVEN: even though their fans work at the same speeds, the former is undoubtedly more technologically advanced. In this mode the performance difference between the best and the least efficient cooler reduces to 6°C that is why availability and price should not be the only factors determining your choice. It is also extremely important to consider acoustic performance, which we are going to do next.

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