Intel P4 Aircooling - Heatsink Roundup Q1 2005

Cooling/CPU Cooling by jmke @ 2005-03-01

In part two of our roundup we compare 11 different P4 heatsinks made by Thermalright, Spire, Primecooler, Zalman, Evercool, Vantec and Titan. Using different fans at low and high speed we try to find the best bang for the buck, best performer and most silent HSF combo out there.

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Introduction & Test Setup


Welcome to the long overdue Part 2 of my P4 HSF roundup, this will be a to the point review, each heatsink will be evaluated on easiness of use and installation, compatibility with different platforms and of course its performance will be thoroughly tested.

My previous roundup from Q4/2004 can be found here.

This review is split into 2 parts; the first part describes each heatsink in detail with pictures, good/bad points and performance with different fans and settings. In the second part I’ve combined all results in 2 graphs sorted by cooling performance and noise/performance ratio.

I’m including some of the heatsinks from the previous roundup as I’ve moved the test setup to a more enclosed location, which leads to different results as less “fresh” air is provided to the heatsink, so higher temperatures can be seen.

Madshrimps (c)
Test Setup

Madshrimps (c)
P4 Heatsink Collection

Older “reference” heatsinks:
  • Thermalright SP-94
  • Thermalright XP-90
  • Thermalright XP-120
  • Zalman CNPS7000B-CU

    New ones tested:
  • Thermalright SB-2
  • Zalman CNPS7700-Cu
  • Titan Siberia
  • Evercool NW11F-CL825
  • Spire CF450B0 CoolGate
  • Vantec CopperX CCK-7025
  • PrimeCooler HyperCool III+
  • PrimeCooler HyperCool 4+

    So let’s get on with the show

    Test setup

    My trusty P4 2.4 "C" was dusted off (again) and ready for hours of torture testing:

    Madshrimps (c)

    JMke's Test Setup
    CPU Intel P4 2.4 "C" @ 3 Ghz - 1.60v vcore
    Mainboard Asus P4C800
    Memory 1 * 256Mb PC3700 OCZ
  • ATI R9000 Passive Cooling
  • Sharkoon SilentStorm 480W PSU

  • all results were taken with room temperature at ~25°C, but temp fluctuations, different mounting and user error can account up to 1-2°C of inaccuracy in the obtained results. Please keep this in mind when looking at the results. Each heatsink was tested repeatedly; if I got questionable results I restarted the test.
  • Setup was installed in a case less environment, the location is different from the last time however, making a direct comparison with the results obtained in PART 1 of the P4 roundup impossible, that's why I've re-included some of the previously tested heatsinks
  • Noise level of each fan was recorded with SmartSensor SL4001A, the sensor was placed ~70cm away from the HSF. The lowest dBA reading in the test room was 35.8 dBA.

  • System was stressed by running two instances of K7 CPU Burn for 30min (after Thermal Compound’s burn-in); this application pushes the temperature higher then any other application or game I’ve yet encountered. Speedfan was used to log maximum obtained temperatures.
  • A stock Intel aluminum P4 default heatsink was included for reference, it features a medium loud 70mm.
  • Arctic Silver kindly send us their “Lumière” thermal testing compound which has the same colour as Ceramique, but only a break in time of 30min!
  • Arctic Silver’s ArctiClean was used to clean off thermal paste of the CPU and heatsink between tests

    Fans used

    Most of these heatsink support 80mm fans and some support both 80 and 92mm, one or two were able to fit a massive 120mm fan. Here are the official specs of each fan; the rated noise-level was measured by the manufacturer at an undefined distance.

  • Delta 80mm AFB0812SH: 4000RPM / 40dBA
  • Delta 92mm NFB0912L: 1400RPM / 18.5dBA
  • Panaflo 92mm FBA09A12H: 2850RPM / 35dBA
  • Papst 120mm 4412 F/2GLL: 1250RPM / 18dBA

    With all the details explained it is time to meet our first new contestant ->
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