Articles: Cooling

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Thermal Performance

We will compare the thermal efficiency of our Zalman Reserator 1 Plus system with the results obtained in case of standard graphics card cooling and a Zalman CNPS7000B-Cu cooler working at its maximum speed. The tests were run in two work modes.

In Idle mode I was reading a novel from an on-line library in Internet Explorer for two hours. After two hours I took the temperatures of the processor (CPU), mainboard (MB), graphics processor (GPU) and graphics card (VIDEO). To make these measurements I used ASUS PC Probe and Riva Tuner utilities.

In UT2004 mode we were running Unreal Tournament 2004 Deathmatch DM-Deck 17 level with two players, eight bots, maximum graphics quality settings in the heaviest mode possible: 1600x1200 with 8x FSAA and 16x AF.

These test sessions were so long, not because I like to read or to play Unreal Tournament so much on a powerful system like that :) The thing is that the system takes so much water and is so huge that it needs at least an hour of non-stop operation for the water temperature to stop growing and remain stable at a certain level.

All results are summed up in a single diagram below. The results obtained with an air-cooling system are marked as “AIR”, and the results of Zalman Reserator 1 Plus system standing behind the system case in UT2004 mode are marked as “Reserator 1 Plus + FAN”:

The system CPU and GPU temperatures are lower than with air cooling in all test modes.

Despite its smaller size, the CPU water unit proved more efficient than the celebrity air-cooler from Zalman and copes easily with the Intel Prescott processor overclocked to 4GHz.

The GPU water unit didn’t impress us with any outstanding efficiency. The GPU was only 2o C cooler than in case of a standard cooling solution. So, I have to admit that this water unit will not suit for extreme overclocking of hot graphics cards.

“Free” air-cooling of the Reserator unit by the system case fans resulted in 8o C overall reduction of the water temperature.

So, let’s draw some conclusions now.

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