Articles: Cooling

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Cooling Efficiency and Acoustic Performance

Intel Core 2 Duo Platform

Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 CPU with G0 core stepping overclocked to 3.76GHz inside a closed system case with the weakest cooler of the three participating today, which is actually very close to its frequency maximum obtained with air cooling only. We had to increase its Vcore in the mainboard BIOS from the nominal 1.35V to 1.625V:

According to CPU-Z, Everest and SpeedFan, the voltage varied around 1.6V, and dropped to ~1.58V under high workload during our tests. Moreover, two processor tests from the OCCT suite launched one after another were passed successfully both times without any indication of attempted thermal throttling:

Let’s check out the temperature readings for the dual-core processor on the following diagram:

Well, the results are pretty interesting. First, Scythe Ninja Copper is 3-4ºC more efficient than its aluminum brother, which is not bad already. Second, the new Scythe fan proved to be great fit for the new cooler, because a more powerful Noctua fan has minimal effect on the cooling efficiency. It is not only the copper plates, but also greater distance between them that matter more in this case (although the gaps between the heatsink plates of OCZ Vindicator cooler are about the same). Third, Scythe Ninja Copper can even compete with Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme, although only in case they both have Scythe Slip Stream 120 fan. As soon as Ultra-120 eXtreme receives a more powerful Noctua fan, or two of those, it wins an indisputable victory, as we have expected.

Of course, we couldn’t help checking out the performance of the new Scythe Ninja Copper in passive mode, i.e. without a fan. The test was performed in an open testbed only, because there are other case fans inside a system case, which could make our experiment not 100% fair. As a result, dual-core processor with a passive cooler on it worked stably at 3598MHz frequency with the Vcore increased to 1.45V. The peak temperature reached 91ºC, all plates including the top one were very hot to the touch (I couldn’t stand more than a second), but the CPU didn’t go into thermal throttling and kept running at its maximum speed. Further frequency or voltage increase caused Scythe Ninja Copper to fail. However, the achieved result is already impressive enough, I assume. Especially since OCZ Vindicator as well as Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme also tested today couldn’t repeat the success of Scythe Ninja Copper in fanless mode.

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