Articles: Cooling

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Cooling Efficiency Tests

The results of our performance tests of the coolers in their default configurations can be viewed in a table and in the next diagram:

The Xigmatek Prime is a poor match to the Thermalright trio, having the worst results in our tests. Unfortunately, its direct-contact technology doesn’t ensure efficient heat transfer and the original Xigmatek fan cannot save the day for that cooler. The difference between the Xigmatek Prime and, for example, the Thermalright TRUE Spirit 140 amounts to 8°C at peak load both at the minimum and maximum speed of their fans. That’s too much for the Xigmatek to be considered a worthy opponent to the Thermalright.

The three products from Thermalright have quite a fight amongst themselves. The affordable TRUE Spirit 140 is surprisingly a mere 1-3°C behind the Archon which is twice as expensive. The difference in performance is negligible considering the twofold difference in price.

The presale Archon SB-E is inferior to both the original Archon and the TRUE Spirit 140. We tried to rotate it on the CPU socket by 90 and 180 degrees, replace its flimsy original back-plate with the stronger one from the TRUE Spirit 140, and install a large TY-150 fan instead of the ordinary TY-140, but none of these measures could make the Archon SB-E more effective. So, we can’t but conclude that the 7mm heat pipes do not improve performance. Perhaps they have a negative effect even.

Now we want to show you a table and a diagram with the test results of the coolers with two Scythe Slip Stream 140 fans installed on each of them:

The Xigmatek Prime performs better with the two fans from Scythe, yet still cannot catch up with the Thermalright TRUE Spirit 140. At the same speed of the Slip Stream 140 fans, the Thermalright is 4 to 7°C better at peak CPU load. Moreover, it is almost as good as the original Archon! Thermalright should be praised for developing such an efficient model, but the Archon SB-E has no advantages over its cousin and gets none of our praise.

You can compare these coolers with those we tested previously in the following table and diagram. Each cooler was tested in its default configuration in the quiet mode and at the maximum speed of the fan(s) with the CPU overclocked to 4.375 MHz at a voltage of 1.385 volts.

* - The peak temperature of the hottest CPU core is posted on the diagram taking
into account the difference from the current ambient temperature and is reduced to 25°C.

The Xigmatek Prime ranked last in quiet mode. At the maximum fan speed it is in between the Thermalright HR-02 Macho and the TRUE Spirit 140, but inferior to both in terms of noise. The new Archon SB-E is in the middle of the table whereas the TRUE Spirit 140 is at the top of it, right behind the Phanteks PH-TC14PE with two fans at 800 RPM.

The Xigmatek Prime couldn’t make our CPU stable at a higher frequency and voltage, but this might be expected considering its mediocre performance. We were more surprised to find that the Thermalright TRUE Spirit 140 couldn’t help overclock our CPU above 4375 MHz at a voltage of 1.385 volts. The new Archon SB-E coped with the CPU at 4500 MHz and 1.405 volts, the peak temperature of the hottest CPU core reaching 82°C. We can remind you that the original Archon in its default configuration with one TY-140 fan could make our CPU stable at 4500 MHz and 1.405 volts, keeping its temperature below 81°C.

Here are the table and diagram with the maximum overclocking results:

The Xigmatek Prime is the worst cooler here.  The Thermalright TRUE Spirit 140 is the best among the three coolers that can overclock the six-core CPU to 4375 MHz at 1.385 volts. The presale Archon SB-E is in the middle group that overclock the CPU to 4500 MHz at 1.405-1.410 volts, being slightly ahead of the Thermalright HR-02 Macho in terms of the peak CPU temperature but inferior to it in noise level. The original Archon looks better so far.

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