Thermal and Acoustic Performance
Here is the temperature of the overclocked quad-core CPU with each cooler:
As you can see, there is a negligible difference between the coolers when tested within a system case. We already know the capabilities of the Enzotech Ultra-X and Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme, and now we can see that both new coolers with 8mm pipes look excellent against them. The Thermalright SI-128 and Xigmatek HDT-S1283 easily cool the CPU, which is hot by itself and works at an increased voltage, even in the quiet mode. The first three coolers are also similar on the open testbed. The Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme is just a little better then than the others.
To get a fuller picture of performance of the coolers I also found the maximum CPU frequency achievable with each of them. To reduce the effect of the system case on the results I performed this test on the open testbed only. Here are the numbers:
The CPU voltage differed between the coolers in this test:
- Thermalright SI-128: 1130rpm – 1.6500V, 1960rpm – 1.6625V
- Enzotech Ultra-X: 1140rpm – 1.6625V, 2530rpm – 1.6750V
- XIGMATEK HDT-S1283: 1330rpm – 1.6500V, 2120rpm – 1.6750V
- Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme: 1130rpm – 1.6750V, 1960rpm – 1.6875V
Although the coolers do not differ much in terms of the maximum CPU frequency achievable with them, we’ve got an obvious leader. It is the Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme that kept the CPU functioning at an unprecedented 3636MHz. The new mainboard, increased CPU voltage and efficient fan also contributed to that result. I had only managed to overclock the Core 2 Quad Q6600 to 3357MHz with the Ultra-120 eXtreme before.
The next diagram shows the amount of noise produced by each cooler:
The Ultra-120 eXtreme is quieter than the SI-128 despite the use of the same fan. This must be due to the position of the fan inside the system case. The difference is small, though. The 120mm fan of the Xigmatek HDT-S1283 is quieter at 1330rpm than the Scythe Minebea at 1130rpm. Its soft hanger on rubber pins and 7 blades produce less noise than the aggressive 9-blade Minebea. The Xigmatek is louder at the maximum speed, however. The Enzotech Ultra-X is the loudest cooler in this review.