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Cooling Efficiency and Acoustic Performance

Cooling Efficiency Tests

Using the “weakest” cooling system with the fan in quiet mode we managed to overclock our quad-core processor to 3900MHz without losing stability or getting into the throttling mode. The processor Vcore was increased to 1.5625V in the mainboard BIOS (1.53~1.54V according to the monitoring utility).

Since there are too many results for our coolers in different configurations, we split the diagrams into two: for the open testbed and closed system case.

At first let’s talk about the results obtained inside the system case:

Although the results obtained inside a closed system case are pretty relative, they are still very interesting. First of all, I have to say a few words about Thermalright SU-128 SE. this pretty lightweight and compact cooler with only one fan turned out more efficient than such monsters as Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme with two fans and ZEROtherm Nirvana NV120 Premium ay maximum fan rotation speed of 2780RPM! Remarkable results, but unfortunately only with a 120-mm fan on the side of the system case. As for the comparison between the SE and the regular SI-128 cooler, the former is about 4-5ºC more efficient, where 2ºC are delivered by the new retention (we checked it by using the retention from SE on the non-SE version). The remaining 2-3ºC seem to result from perforated heatsink plates and heatpipes soldered to the base.

As for Thermalright Ultra-120 A and Ultra-120 eXtreme, the extreme model is the winner here, although it is only 1-3ºC better. With two quiet fans rotating at ~860RPM these coolers prove equally efficient.

Now let’s check out the results in an open testbed:

As you can see, tower coolers regain their leadership, although SI-128 SE works as efficiently as Ultra-120 eXtreme in the corresponding acoustic modes. The latter is again just a tiny bit better than its younger brother – Ultra-120 A.

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