Cooling Efficiency and Acoustic Performance
I decided to start our today’s performance analysis in a little bit different way by offering you the results of our acoustic measurements first. The cooling efficiency results will follow. First let’s discuss the noise levels measured for all coolers tested:
The coolers on this chart have been grouped according to the level of generated noise: within the subjectively comfortable level of up to 34.5dBA and beyond that. The quietest ones turned out Zalman VF1000 LED at 1700RPM, AeroCool Double Power at the minimal fan rotation speed and Arctic Cooling Accelero S1 with Turbo Module. You can barely hear the noise from the reference coolers on Radeon HD 2900 XT in 2D mode and Radeon HD 3870 at 45% of its fan rotation speed. However, you can clearly hear the fans on Cooler Master CoolViva Pro SE despite the fact that they are only 0.1dBA louder than the reference fan of Radeon HD 3870.
As for the relatively noisy group, the quietest here is the reference cooler on GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB, with the average fan rotation speed set manually at 910RPM. Its rotation speed drops to 450-500RPM in 2D mode and the graphics card becomes practically noiseless. And then the noise level is ascending up until the howling of the Radeon HD 3870 cooler at maximum ~4590RPM.
For your convenience we kept the same participants order on the cooling efficiency diagrams in the next sections.