Testbed and Methods
We assembled a top-end modern PC to check up the efficiency of the coolers:
- Intel i955X mainboard
- Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 2.8GHz CPU (on Smithfield core)
- 2x512MB Kingston KHX5400D2/512 DDR2 SDRAM
- ATI RADEON X850 XT Platinum Edition 256MB graphics card
- Western Digital WD1600JB hard disk drive
- NEC ND-3540A (Black) DVD-recorder
- Zippy HP2-6460P power supply
- Thermaltake Armor VA8000BWS system case
The system case from Thermaltake features a highly efficient and quiet system of ventilation. We performed our tests in two modes: Idle and Burn (two copies of the CPU Burn utility running). The CPU temperature was read with Motherboard Monitor 18.104.22.168. The room temperature was 21°C and remained constant throughout our tests. We used the same thermal paste for all the coolers (not the paste included with them).
The level of noise was evaluated subjectively, with the other fans of the computer halted, and is specially described for each of the participating devices. We don’t publish accurate measurements of noise since practice suggests that numbers alone do not allow to compare two different coolers correctly.
But enough of theory, let’s get closer to the coolers: