Articles: Cooling

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Technical Specifications and Recommended Pricing

Testbed and Methods

Since we couldn’t close the system case with Thermalright Shaman cooler inside, all tests were performed in an open system case. Our testbed was configured as follows:

  • 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);
  • CPU cooler: Thermalright Silver Arrow (1x140 mm Thermalright TY-140 fan at 700-1280 RPM PWM);
  • Thermal interface: Arctic Cooling MX-2;
  • Graphics card: ATI Radeon HD 5830 1 GB GDDR5 256 bit, 920/4800 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 Home Theater HD;
  • 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: 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 840 RPM; back panel: two Thermalright X-Silent 120 fans at 840 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).

As you already know, we overclocked our graphics card to 920/4800 MHz:

The testing programs were installed under Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64. We used DirectX End-User Runtimes libraries (from June 2010) and Catalyst 10.10 graphics card drivers. We used a 20-minute run 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 used MSI Afterburner utility version 2.1.0 Beta 1 to monitor graphics card temperatures and frequencies and GPU-Z version 0.4.7 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°C.

The noise level of each cooler was measured after 1:00 AM in a closed room about 20 m2 big using CENTER-321 electronic noise meter. The noise level for each cooler was tested outside the system case when the only noise sources in the lab were the cooler and its fan(s). The noise meter was installed on a tripod and was always at a 150 mm distance from the cooler fan rotor. The mainboard with the graphics card equipped with the tested cooler was placed at the edge of the desk on a sheet of polyurethane foam. The lowest noise reading our noise meter device can register is 29.8 dBA and the subjectively comfortable noise level in these testing conditions was around 36 dBA (do not confuse with low noise level). The fan(s) rotation speed was adjusted in the entire supported range using the new controller revision by changing the voltage with 0.5 V increment.

We are going to compare the cooling efficiency of Thermalright Shaman cooler against that of the reference cooler on Radeon HD 5830 and HD 5870 as well as against a pretty efficient Arctic Cooling Accelero XTREME 5870 cooler:


Thermalright Shaman was tested not only with its default Thermalright TY-140 fan, but also with a slim Scythe Slip Stream 120 mm Slim fan (SY1212SL12H model) fastened on top of the heatsink with two rubber bands:

Since this fan is 16.5 mm thinner than Thermalright TY-140 and sits 2 mm deeper inside the Thermalright Shaman heatsink, we were able to free one PCI slot of the four blocked ones. However, we are going to find out very soon how many degrees of cooling efficiency it is going to cost us. I would also like to add that Scythe Slip Stream 120 mm Slim was tested at subjectively comfortable speed of 1290 RPM and at maximum rotation speed.

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