Articles: Cooling

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Cooling Efficiency Tests

First we checked out our Heligon HE02 in fanless mode without overclocking our CPU. It turned out that the giant cooler from SilverStone could easily cope with our Intel Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition at 3.33 GHz and 1.2 volts. After half an hour of running at peak load, the CPU was no hotter than 68°C. So then we tried to overclock the CPU and found out that the fanless cooler could keep it stable at 4 GHz and 1.265 volts. The peak CPU temperature was 87°C.

That’s an excellent result. Even considering the 600RPM system fans, the performance of the large Heligon HE02 in passive mode should not be underestimated.

Under the same conditions the Thermalright TRUE Spirit 140 with its single default TY-140 fan working at 600 RPM cools the 4GHz CPU better by 14°C at peak load:

However, if the TRUE Spirit 140 is stripped of its fan, the temperature rises up to alarming levels 2-3 minutes into the test, triggering the CPU’s throttling mode.

Unfortunately, the SilverStone Heligon HE02 couldn’t cope with our CPU at higher clock rates and voltages.

Well, we might have been too optimistic trying to overclock the CPU to 4.25 GHz at 1.36 volts with a passive, even though large, heatsink.

Now we set our system fans back at 1000 RPM, equip the Heligon HE02 with one TY-140 fan and then with two Corsair AF120 fans and run our tests again under conditions which are closer to real-life scenarios.


The Thermalright TRUE Spirit 140 will be used for the sake of comparison again. Here are the results:

It’s clear that the SilverStone Heligon HE02 isn’t optimized for active cooling. Equipped with the same TY-140 fan, it is inferior to the TRUE Spirit 140 by 8°C at peak load at 1280 RPM and by 10°C at 800 RPM. It is only with two Corsair AF120 fans that the Heligon HE02 gets closer to (but not ahead of) the Thermalright TRUE Spirit 140. Take note that increasing the speed of the two Corsair fans by 200 RPM leads to a linear increase in performance in the range of 800 to 1200 RPM, but switching from 1200 to 1530 RPM doesn’t produce a considerable reduction in CPU temperature.

There are no noise measurements in this review because the cooler is silent itself. Its noise will depend on what fans you are going to use it with.

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