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Cooling Efficiency and Acoustic Performance

During Linpack tests inside a closed system case using the “weakest” cooling system of the today’s testing participants  we managed to overclock our 45 nm quad-core processor to 3.7 GHz (+23.3%). The nominal processor Vcore was increased to ~1.4875 V in the mainboard BIOS (+29.3%).

During the tests in Far Cry 2 game the CPU remained stable up to 4.0 GHz (+33.3%) at 1.525V (+32.6%) Vcore.

The detailed results for both coolers are given in the table below (click to enlarge) and on the diagram. The results are grouped according to the testbed type (case or open testbed) and according to the noise level:


Click to enlarge

I don’t think that any of our regular readers actually believed that Thermaltake V14Pro could succeed against one of the best super coolers. The newcomer lost about 7-9°C to Thermalright SI-128 SE under peak load in Linpack 32-bit. In Far Cry 2 the temperature difference between the two coolers is smaller, and so is the temperature of the hottest CPU core.

At the same time, if we compare Thermaltake V14Pro against its predecessor, Thermaltake V1, we will see a significant improvement in cooling efficiency and increase in processor overclocking potential. Just remember our recent review of Thermaltake V1 AX, where the latter could cope with an overclocked processor in Linpack 32-bit only at 3.5GHz frequency and 1.375V Vcore. Thermaltake V14Pro helps retain CPU stability at 3.7GHz frequency and 1.4875V Vcore.

Here I would also like to draw your attention to the fact that the processor temperature dropped down a little when the fan rotation speed on Thermalright SI-128 SE cooler tripled. As we found out during an additional test session, the temperature of the processor topped with this cooler reduces is the fan rotation speed increases at up to ~2,000 RPM. Further fan rotation speed increase doesn’t have any positive effect. At least, this is true for the current processor overclocking and the particular fan type we used. This powerful fan may have even greater advantage at higher CPU frequency and Vcore settings.

The next thing to discuss is the diagram with the acoustic measurements for our today’s testing participants:

It doesn’t make sense to compare the acoustics of these two coolers at maximum rotation speeds of their fans, because it is quite logical that the fan of SI-128 SE working at almost twice the speed of Thermaltake will be louder. However, when we looked at the results obtained at minimal fan rotation speeds, Thermaltake V14Pro again yielded to the competitor, although its fan working at ~920 RPM generated subjectively comfortable noise. We noticed no crackling of the rotor or parasitic vibrations.

Conclusion

I believe Thermaltake V14Pro cooler shouldn’t be estimated only from the efficiency standpoint. First of all, this cooling solution is intended to impress and amaze, now even more than its predecessors did. And we have to admit that it really does great here, because dual copper fan highlighted with blue LEDs will undoubtedly be the most beautiful part of your system. Although you will have to have a clear side panel or window or use no case at all in order to enjoy this beauty on a daily basis.

The cooler is truly beautiful, but we also shouldn’t forget about its improved cooling efficiency: far not every cooler out there can get a quad-core CPU overclocked to 3.7GHz running in Linpack for 30 minutes. However, overclockers may still be able to find something more efficient and quieter and definitely way cheaper than $83 they ask for Thermaltake V14Pro…

 
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