Articles: Cooling

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Cooling Efficiency Tests

First of all we have to say a few words about the effect of the new retention mechanism on the cooling efficiency. Unfortunately, the most interesting design innovation of the new Thermalright Venomous X produced the least interesting results. Namely, tightening the knob that increases the pressure by 75% doesn’t have any influence on the cooler performance. Moreover, the peak CPU temperature doesn’t drop with any of the two tested coolers: Thermalright Venomous X as well as Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme, which we also tested with the new retention kit. It is hard to explain why both coolers proved so indifferent to the new enhanced retention mechanism. Maybe the bump in the center of the cooler base ruins the engineers’ efforts, and maybe the increased pressure is simply the wrong approach to improving the cooling of LGA1366 processors with the largest contact spot between the cooler base and the CPU die. Hopefully, you will have better luck. As for us, we would like to move on to the actual efficiency tests.

Before we compare Thermalright Venomous X against its competitors, let’s check out the dependence of its cooling efficiency on the number of cooling fans and their rotation speeds:

Obviously, the cooling efficiency of Venomous X increases most significantly in the 600-1000 RPM fan rotation speed range, where peak CPU temperature lowers on average by 10°C with one fan and by 7°C with two fans installed for air intake/exhaust. You can win a few more degrees by speeding up the fan(s) to 1200 RPM, while further increase in fan rotation speed doesn’t lower the CPU temperature that much anymore. For example, in the 1200-2000 RPM range the peak CPU temperature will only get 2°C lower. This way we can conclude that Thermalright Venomous X heatsink doesn’t really need high-speed fans. At the same time, those users who appreciate quite system operation and consider an 800 RPM fan to be as loud as they are willing to go, could use Venomous X with two fans.

Finally, here is the diagram comparing the results of our today’s hero, Thermalright Venomous X, against three best coolers from the previous test session:

Only in one test mode out of six Venomous X yielded 1°C to Ultra-120 eXtreme, while in all other modes it outperformed its predecessor having caught up with Cogage Arrow and Noctua NH-D14. We may have expected a little more from Venomous X, but it didn’t go through. Despite this fact, the new cooler is still one of the best CPU air coolers.

In conclusion let’s check how far we could overclock our test processor using Venomous X with two cooling fans in two speed modes: at 800 RPM and at 1600 RPM. For the same of comparison I will also provide the results obtained with Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme rev.C: 

Venomous X

Ultra-120 eXtreme rev.C

4.01 GHz at 1.36875 V

4.03 GHz at 1.375 V

4.05 GHz at 1.375 V

4.03 GHz at 1.375 V

In quiet mode Ultra-120 eXtreme rev.C turned out a little better, while at 1600 RPM Venomous X takes revenge leaving its predecessor a little behind. I have to say that the results demonstrated by both coolers are very close, so we can’t declare any of them an ultimate winner at this point.

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