Articles: Cooling
 

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Technical Specifications and Recommended Pricing

Testbed and Methods

We ran all tests inside a system case with a removed side panel. Here is our testbed configuration:

  • Mainboard: ASUS P6T Deluxe (Intel X58 Express, LGA 1366, BIOS 2101);
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-980X Extreme Edition, 3.33 GHz, 1.225 V, 6 x 256 KB L2, 12 MB L3 (Gulftown, B1);
  • Thermal interface: Arctic Cooling MX-2;
  • Graphics card: ATI Radeon HD 5770 1 GB GDDR5 128 bit, 850/4800 MHz;
  • Memory: DDR3 3 x 2 GB OCZ Platinum Low-Voltage Triple Channel (Spec: 1600MHz / 7-7-7-24 / 1.65 V);
  • Sound card: Auzen X-Fi HomeTheater HD;
  • System drive: OCZ Agility EX SSD (SATA-II, 60 GB, SLC, Indillinx, firmware v1.31);
  • HDD for games and programs: Western Digital VelociRaptor (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: Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EADS (SATA-II, 1000 GB, 5400 RPM, 32 MB, NCQ);
  • System case: Antec Twelve Hundred (front panel: three Noiseblocker NB-Multiframe S-Series MF12-S1 fans at 960 RPM; back panel: two Thermalright X-Silent 120 fans at 960 RPM; top panel: standard 200 mm fan at 400 RPM; side panel removed);
  • Control and monitoring panel: Zalman ZM-MFC2;
  • Power supply: Zalman ZM1000-HP 1000 W (with a default 140 mm fan).

When we tested the coolers with fans installed, we overclocked our six-core processor (with its default protuberant heat-spreader) with the multiplier set at 24x and “Load-Line Calibration” enabled to 4.27 GHz. The nominal processor Vcore was increased to 1.38125 V in the mainboard BIOS:

Turbo Boost and Hyper-Threading technologies were disabled during our test session. The memory voltage was at 1.64 V and its frequency was 1.71 GHz (8-8-8-16_1T timings). All other parameters available in the mainboard BIOS and related to CPU or memory overclocking remained unchanged.

All tests were performed under Windows 7 Ultimate x64 operating system. We used the following software during our test session:

  • Linpack 64-bit with LinX shell version 0.6.4 – to create maximum CPU load (5 Linpack runs in each cycle with 4096 MB RAM capacity involved);
  • CPU-Z 1.55 x64 – to monitor processor core voltage and frequency;
  • Real Temp GT 3.59 Beta – to monitor the processor core temperature;
  • CPU-Tweaker 1.5 – to visually monitor temperatures and frequencies using graphics.

So, the complete screenshot during the test session looks as follows:

The CPU was loaded with two consecutive Linpack test runs with the settings as indicated above. The stabilization period for the CPU temperature between the two test cycles was about 8-10 minutes. We took the maximum temperature of the hottest CPU core for the results charts. Moreover, we will also provide a table with the temperature readings for all cores including their average values. 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. The room temperature during our test session varied between the annoying 27.6-28.0 °C.

We are going to compare Thermalright HR-02 against Noctua NH-D14 super-cooler:

 

Both coolers were tested in passive (fanless) mode as well as with one and two Thermalright TY-140 fans at 600, 800, 1000 and 1200 (±3%) RPM. We decided not go for Noctua’s default fans for a reason that will be explained in our next article.

 
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