Articles: Cooling

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Cooling Efficiency vs. Thermalright SI-128 SE and IFX-14

Now that they released the new BIOS version for the board, we can lock the processor clock frequency multiplier at 21. As a result, we could achieve higher CPU speeds at lower voltage settings than we did before. During the Linpack test we managed to overclock our 45 nm quad-core processor to 3.9 GHz (+46.2%). The nominal processor Vcore was increased to ~1.33125 V in the mainboard BIOS (+10.9%):

During CPU overclocking we activated in the mainboard BIOS the “Load-Line Calibration” function that lowers the voltage drop on the part of the voltage regulator circuitry before the CPU. The system memory voltage was locked at 1.55V and its frequency was at 1481MHz (8-8-8-18 timings). All other parameters available in the mainboard BIOS and connected with CPU or memory overclocking remained unchanged (set to Auto).

Let’s see what results we got here (the side panel of the system case has been removed for the time of tests):

Well, frankly speaking, Scythe Kabuto is no conjuror, but it performs just as well as one of the best top-coolers – Thermalright SI-128 SE. the latter gets a little bit ahead at high fan rotation speed because of higher heatsink plate density that benefit from higher air pressure. Here I would also like to stress how good the fan choice is for Scythe Kabuto cooler: installing a more powerful SilenX iXtrema Pro instead of the default Slip Stream doesn’t improve the cooling efficiency that much at all. As for the reference cooler, Thermalright IFX-14, it easily leaves its competitors behind in all test modes. However, we have expected something like that. It will win even more inside a completely closed system case.

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