Testbed and Methods
We tested the new cooling system from Scythe and its competitor inside a closed system case. We didn’t perform any tests in an open testbed and will not do that anymore from now on, because we are using a new system case now – Antec Twelve Hundred. At low fan rotation speed we detected no difference whatsoever with the results obtained in an open testbed, and at high fan rotation speed the results in an open testbed were only 1-2°C lower. So, it doesn’t really make sense to take the testbed apart on a regular basis for the sake of this insignificant difference.
Our testbed was identical for all coolers throughout the test session and featured the following configuration:
- Mainboard: DFI LANPARTY DK X48-T2RS (Intel X48), LGA 775, BIOS 10/03/2008;
- Processor: Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650 (3.0GHz, 1.25V, 2x6MB L2 cache, 4x333MHz FSB, Yorkfield, C0);
- Thermal interface: Arctic Silver 5;
- Graphics card: ZOTAC GeForce GTX 260 AMP2! Edition 896MB, 650/1400/2100MHz (1030RPM);
- 1 x 1024MB Corsair Dominator TWIN2X2048-9136C5D (Spec: 1142MHz / 5-5-5-18 / 2.1V);
- 2 x 1024MB CSX DIABLO CSXO-XAC-1200-2GB-KIT (Spec: 1200MHz / 5-5-5-16 / 2.4V);
- Disk subsystem: Western Digital VelociRaptor (SATA-II, 300GB storage capacity, 10,000RPM, 16MB cache, NCQ);
- HDD silencer and cooler: Scythe Quiet Drive 3.5”;
- Optical drive: Samsung SH-S183L;
- System case: Antec Twelve Hundred (default 120mm fans replaced with Scythe Slip Stream 120 fans at 800RPM; 120-mm Scythe Gentle Typhoon at 800RPM installed on the front of the case; standard 200-mm fan at 400RPM at the top of the case);
- Control and monitoring panel: Zalman ZM-MFC2;
- Power supply: Zalman ZM1000-HP 1000W (with a default 140 mm fan).
All tests were performed under Windows Vista Ultimate Edition x86 SP1. We used the following software during our test session:
- Real Temp 3.0 – to monitor the processor core temperature;
- RightMark CPU Clock Utility 2.35.0 – to control processor thermal throttling;
- Linpack 32-bit with LinX shell version 0.5.7 – to create maximum CPU load (two test cycles, 20 Linpack runs in each cycle with 1600 MB RAM capacity involved);
- RivaTuner 2.23 – to visually control temperature changes (with RTCore plugin).
So, the complete screenshot during the test session looks as follows:
The stabilization period for the CPU temperature between the two test cycles was 10 minutes. We took the maximum temperature of the hottest processor core of the four for the results charts.
The ambient temperature was checked next to the system case or open testbed with an electronic thermometer with 0.1°C precision that allows monitoring the temperature changes over the past 6 hours. During our test session room temperature stayed at 23.5-24°C.
Now let me say a few words about the today’s main competitor for Scythe Mugen 2. IT is going to be ThermoLab BARAM:
We tested this super-cooler with one and two Scythe Slip Stream 120 fans at speeds between 510 and 1860 RPM. Scythe Mugen 2 was tested with the same exact fans at the same rotation speeds, besides the tests with a default PWM-controlled fan.