Articles: Cooling
 

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Testbed and Methods

Today’s roundup participants were tested only in a closed system case with the following configuration:

  • Mainboard: ASUS P5K Deluxe/WiFi-AP (Intel P35 chipset, LGA775, BIOS 0705)
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 (2667MHz, 1.35V, 4x333MHz FSB, 2x4096KB L2 cache, Conroe G0)
  • CPU cooler: Thermalright SI-128 with a 120x38mm Scythe fan at ~1040RPM
  • Thermal interface: Arctic Silver 5
  • Graphics cards
    • MSI Radeon HD 3870 GDDR4 512MB / 256bit, @851/2412MHz;
    • LeadTek GeForce 8800 GTS GDDR3 512MB / 256bit, @756/2052MHz.
  • Memory:
    • 2 x 1024MB DDR2 Corsair Dominator TWIN2X2048-9136C5D (1142MHz / 5-5-5-18 / 2.1V);
    • 2 x 1024MB DDR2 CSXO-XAC-1200-2GB-KIT DIABLO (1200MHz / 5-5-5-16 / 2.4V).
  • Memory cooler: CoolIt RAMFan (70x15mm, ~1800RPM)
  • Disk subsystem: Samsung HD501LJ (SATA-II, 500GB storage capacity, 7200rpm, 16MB cache, NCQ)
  • Optical drive: Samsung SH-S183L SATA-II DVD RAM & DVD±R/RW & CD±RW
  • System case: System case: ASUS ASCOT 6AR2-B Black&Silver (ATX) with 120mm ~900RPM Scythe Minebea fans for air intake and exhaust, and a 120mm ~940RPM GlacialTech SilentBlade GT12025-BDLA1 fan on a side panel
  • Control and monitoring panel: Zalman ZM-MFC2
  • Power supply: Enermax Galaxy EGA1000EWL 1000W (a 135mm ~850RPM fan for intake)
  • Monitor: LCD 24" Acer AL2416WBsd (1920 x 1200, DVI, 60Hz)

To give you an idea of the overall heat dissipation of the system case, I have to add that our dual-core processor was overclocked from its nominal frequency of 2667MHz to 3800MHz. We increased its Vcore to1.625V. The DDR2 system memory worked at 1140MHz and 2.15V voltage.

The testing programs were installed under Windows XP Professional Edition SP2. We used DirectX 9.0c (dated December 2007) libraries, Catalyst 8.1 and ForceWare 169.32 drivers.

The graphics cards were loaded up by running 3DMark06’s Firefly Forest test ten times in 1920x1200 with 16x anisotropic filtering and 4x FSAA activated. We overclocked the graphics cards and then monitored their temperatures using RivaTuner 2.0.6 utility. We performed at least two test cycles for each cooler and waited for 10-15 minutes for the temperature to stabilize between each test cycle. The ambient temperature remained at ~25°C during the tests and is used as a starting point on our results charts.

The noise level of each cooler was measured according to our traditional method using CENTER-321 electronic noise meter. The subjectively comfortable level of ~34.5dBA is marked with a blue dotted line in the diagrams; the ambient noise from the system case including a processor cooler didn’t exceed ~33.2dBA from a 1m distance.

 
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