Welcome to our fall roundup of the latest CPU cooling solutions, it has been a while since our last group test back in June
. We haven’t been idle since then though, collecting samples here and there to offer you a more complete overview of the CPU heatsinks available on the market today.
We have received 13 new offerings from some well known companies as well as products from new startups; with most enthusiasts now working on Intel Core 2 systems we decided to focus on S775 compatible units, some are multi-platform, but not all. Furthermore we included three different Intel reference heatsinks which are provided with different Intel CPUs.
So let’s get this show on the road:
These are the heatsinks we tested back in June and we’ll include for comparison today:Coolermaster Eclipse
Coolermaster Hyper TX
Scythe ANDY Samurai Master
Scythe Kama Cross
Scythe Katana 2
Thermalright Ultra-120 A
Titan Amanda TEC
Tuniq Tower 120
Our newcomers today are:
Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro
Coolermaster Vortex 752
Coolermaster Hyper 212
Ultra ChillTec Thermo Electric CPU Cooler
and three Intel stock heatsinks:
Intel Reference Alu (included with older Pentium 4 S775 and Intel E2xxx)
Intel Reference Alu/Cu (included with Core 2 Duo models)
Intel Reference Alu/Cu Big (included with Core 2 Quad models)
S775 Test Setup and Methodology
We build a S775 system with parts from Alternate.de, the CPU is one hot running Pentium 4 524, 3.06Ghz. It is mounted on a Swiss-army knife equivalent of motherboards: an Asrock 775Dual-VSTA.
The mounting system on S775 is quite straight forward and well thought out, 4 holes around the socket serve as mounting points for the push pins on the standard Intel cooler. Installation is a snap, and removal is very easy too.
With the stock cooling and at stock voltage the 3Ghz P4 was running stable at 3.68Ghz, quite a nice improvement from default speeds.
A Watt Meter recorded peak power consumption under heavy CPU load at 138W, which is less than our previous Athlon 64 setup which consumed up to 165W. The Asrock bios lacks CPU voltage manipulation, so at default voltage is seems this Prescott setup is more power friendly then the over-volted AMD system.
We’re using a compact Antec Sonata II mid tower case, swapped out the PSU for a passive model from FSP rated at 400W, the outside of the PSU case never went past 40°C during our stress tests,
in-take temperature was measured at 22°C for all tests, but temp fluctuations, different mounting and user error can account up to 1-3°C of inaccuracy in the obtained results. Please keep this in mind when looking at the results. Each heatsink was tested repeatedly; if we got questionable results the test was restarted.
example: dBA meter is placed right at the edge of the case - with side panel removed
Noise level of each HSF combo was recorded with SmartSensor SL4001A, the sensor was placed ~5cm away from the side of the case with panel removed. The lowest dBA reading in the test room was 37.8dBAwith system running without HSF fan.
System was stressed by running K7 CPU Burn for 30min (after Thermal Compound's burn-in); this application pushes the temperature higher than any other application or game we've yet encountered. Speedfan was used to log maximum obtained temperatures.
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 for comparison
To eliminate as much variables in the tests we test each heatsink with a "reference" fan if it can be mounted.
GlobalWin NCB 120x120x25mm fan with 41.7CFM rating.
Delta NFB0912L 92mmx92mmx25mm fan with 42CFM rating.
Let's take a look at the Intel reference coolers ->