CPU Cooler Roundup - 23 Heatsinks for Intel/AMD Reviewed

Cooling/CPU Cooling by jmke @ 2009-05-03

After 200 Hours of testing we are proud to present you with the first CPU Cooler Roundup of 2009, featuring a 23 different products compared to the best out there; make use of our dynamic chart generator to compare up to 72 Intel/AMD heatsinks.

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Introduction & Test Setup


It’s been a while since our last big heatsink roundup, back in November 2007 we added 13 heatsinks to our performance/noise comparison database.

Between then and now we did do a couple of stand alone product reviews, 12 of them be exact; but now it’s time for a major update.

Today we’ll be testing 23 new heatsinks and comparing them to the 49 already tested in the past.

The new additions are from known names as well as new comers in the industry, we have compact and light weight heatsink, but also dual 120mm TEC powered cooling blocks. Here’s an overview of the products tested:

Madshrimps (c)

  • 2PCOM PS1264U
  • Arctic Cooling Freezer Xtreme
  • Asus Axe Square
  • Asus Lion Square
  • Asus Royal Knight
  • Asus Triton 79
  • Asus Triton 88
  • Coolermaster Hyper N520
  • Coolermaster V10
  • Coolermaster V8
  • CoolJag Falcon 92-AL
  • CoolJag Falcon 92-CU
  • GlacialTech Igloo 5750
  • GlacialTech UFO V51
  • OCZ Gladiator Max
  • Prolimatech Megahalems
  • Scythe Mugen 2
  • Scythe Ninja 2
  • Scythe Orochi
  • SilenX IXC-120HA2 iXtrema
  • Thermolab BARAM
  • Titan TTC-NK35TZ
  • Xigmatek Thor's Hammer

    22 of the coolers are visible in the group photo, the Prolimatech Megahalems arrived too late for the group shot unfortunately.

    We’re using our overclocked Pentium D 3.6Ghz 90nm Prescott system for this review, so we can compare the results to those in our database.

    Intel S775 (2006~2009) - Antec Sonata 2

    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.

    Madshrimps (c)Madshrimps (c)Madshrimps (c)Madshrimps (c)Madshrimps (c)

    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.

    Madshrimps (c)

    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,

    Intel S775 Setup
    CPU Pentium 4 524 @ 3628Mhz - 1.36v vcore
    Mainboard Asrock 775Dual-VSTA
    Memory 1 * 512Mb Mushkin PC3200 LVLII V2
  • Antec Sonata II with AcoustiFan DustPROOF 120mm @ 5v in the rear as outtake (mounted with soft-mounts)
  • ATI R9000 Passive Cooling
  • FSP ZEN 400W Passive Cooled PSU
  • Seagate 7200.8 200Gb HDD in Scythe Quiet Drive

  • 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.

    Madshrimps (c)
    noise measurement: dBA meter is placed right at the edge of the case - with side panel removed

  • RPM of the fans was measured with a Velleman DTO6234N Tachometer
  • Noise level of each HSF combo was recorded with a Velleman DVM1326 Sound Level Meter, the sensor was placed ~5cm away from the side of the case with panel removed. The lowest dBA reading in the test room was 36dBA (dead quiet) with 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

    Delta FFB1212VHE 120x38mm Very High Speed provided by Sidewinder Computers
    Madshrimps (c)
    151CFM – 3200RPM – 12V fan

    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 92x92x25mm fan with 42CFM rating.
  • Delta FFB1212VHE 120x120x38mm with 151CFM rating.

    Four Intel stock heatsinks were also included in the tests:

  • 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)
  • Intel Reference Extreme (included with Core 2 Quad Extreme Models)

    With the test setup information out the way it’s time to meet our first contestant, as is custom here at Madshrimps we try to provide you with as much information possible without you having to click through 70+ pages; we’ll dedicate 1 page to each cooler which will make this article long enough; are you ready? ->
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