Articles: Cooling

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Testbed and Methods

Our open testbed was configured as follows:

  • ASUS P5WD2 Premium (i955X), rev. 1.02, BIOS 0422 mainboard;
  • Intel Pentium 4 521 (2.8GHz, Prescott E0) CPU;
  • NVIDIA GeForce 6800GT (16p/6v, 350/1000 MHz) graphics card;
  • Corsair TWIN2X1024A-4300C3 RAM;
  • Western Digital Raptor WD740GD HDD;
  • Zalman thermal paste;
  • SilverStone Zeus ST65ZF (650W) PSU;
  • WinXP SP2 OS.

First of all I would like to draw your attention to the Intel Pentium 4 521 processor that can work at 4.2GHz core clock rate if we increase the Vcore to 1.425V. Without changing the Vcore it runs at 4.06GHz. During our first test session with this processor, the weather was really hot and the Zalman CNPS7700Cu cooler we used failed to ensure proper cooling efficiency: the temperature rose to 75.5oC, throttling started and the CPU frequency dropped. At that time we had to use Gigabyte 3D Galaxy liquid cooling system to complete our CPU tests (read more about it in our article called "Out of This World" Liquid-Cooling System: Gigabyte 3D Galaxy Review).

Well, today, the weather is much cooler. Does it mean we might be luckier?

Yes, this time Zalman CNPS7700Cu cooler managed to get through the S&M 1.7.2 program cycle successfully. In the Normal mode under 100% workload it let the CPU temperature rise only to 69.5oC. Unfortunately, the cooler still failed to ensure proper Prescott based CPU temperature once we raised its core frequency to 4.2GHz.

Now we are installing the Zalman CNPS9500 LED onto our ASUS P5WD2 Premium mainboard.


As you see, everything is very simple and accurate.


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