Articles: Cooling

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Technical Specifications and Recommended Pricing

Testbed and Methods

The tests were performed in a closed system case. Our testbed was configured as follows:

  • Mainboard: Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD9 (Intel X58 Express, LGA 1366, BIOS F5i);
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-980X Extreme Edition, 3.33 GHz, 1.225 V, 6 x 256 KB L2, 12 MB L3 (Gulftown, B1);
  • CPU cooler: Thermalright Archon (1x140 mm Thermalright TY-140 fan at 800 RPM);
  • Thermal interface: Gelid GX-Extreme;
  • Memory: DDR3 3 x 2 GB OCZ Platinum Low-Voltage Triple Channel (Spec: 1600MHz / 7-7-7-24 / 1.65 V);
  • Graphics cards:
  • System drive: RAID 0 made of 2 Kingston V-series SNV425S2128GB SSDs (SATA-II, 300 GB, MLC, Toshiba TC58NCF618G3T);
  • HDD for games and programs: Western Digital VelociRaptor WD3000HLFS (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: Samsung EcoGreen F4 HD204UI (SATA-II, 2000 GB, 5400 RPM, 32 MB, NCQ);
  • System case: Antec Twelve Hundred (front panel: three Noiseblocker NB-Multiframe S-Series MF12-S2 fans at 900 RPM; back panel: two Noiseblocker NB-BlackSilent PRO PL-1 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).

Both graphics cards used in this test session were originally equipped with reference cooling systems:



AMD Radeon HD 6970 worked at nominal frequencies throughout the entire test session, while Inno3D GeForce GTX 570 was pre-overclocked substantially above the nominal. It would be even better for our today’s cooler test.

The testing programs were installed under Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64. We used DirectX End-User Runtimes libraries (from November 2010) and Catalyst 11.1a and Nvidia GeForce/ION 266.58 WHQL graphics card drivers. We used two 12-minute runs of FurMark version 1.8.2 launched using a renamed EXE-file in stability test mode with “Xtreme Burning Mode” option enabled and in 2560x1600 resolution. WE enabled anisotropic filtering 16x in the driver control panels in order to increase the GPU operational load:

We also tested the graphics cards in game mode using five runs of Aliens vs. Predator game in 2560x1600 resolution with maximum graphics quality settings but without antialiasing:

By testing the graphics cards in this mode we should be able to reveal their temperatures under typical gaming load.

We used MSI Afterburner utility version 2.1.0 Beta 7 to monitor graphics card temperatures and frequencies and GPU-Z version 0.5.1 utility:

The tests were run at least twice for each type of load. The temperature stabilization period between the two test cycles was about 10-12 minutes. 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. During our test session room temperature stayed around 23.8-24.5°C.

We are going to compare the cooling efficiency of Scythe Setsugen 2 cooler against that of the reference coolers on AMD Radeon HD 6970 and Nvidia GeForce GTX 570 as well as against a pretty efficient Arctic Cooling Accelero XTREME 5870 and Thermalright Shaman coolers: 

We tested Scythe Setsugen 2 not only with its default Slip Stream 120 Slim fan, but also with a regular 120x120x25 mm fan – Noiseblocker NB-BlackSilent XLP, which you may have already noticed on the photos above.

Moreover, we also performed a quick blitz-test of the new Scythe Setsugen 2 cooler on a reference AMD Radeon HD 6870 graphics card and compared it against the reference cooler and Arctic Cooling Accelero Twin Turbo Pro, which competed very successfully against the first Setsugen cooler about a year ago. Here I would like to add that we replaced the default thermal interface on all graphics cards with Gelid GC-Extreme and used VRM heatsinks from Thermalright Shaman kit in all cases.

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