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S1366 Core i7 CPU Cooler Roundup
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Old 18th March 2009, 15:43   #1
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Icon17 S1366 Core i7 CPU Cooler Roundup

Prolimatech Megahalems 22.85C over ambient Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme 25.1C over ambient Xigmatek Thor's Hammer S126384 25.15C over ambient Titan FINRIR TTC-NK85TZ 25.45C over ambient Xigmatek all-copper S1284 Prototype 25.9C over ambient Cooler Master Hyper Z600 26.03C over ambient Xigmatek Dark Knight S1283V 26.35C over ambient Xigmatek HDT-S1284 26.48C over ambient OCZ Gladiator Max 26.95C over ambient Thermolab BARAM 27.03C over ambient CoolIt Domino ALC (high fan setting) 27.13C over ambient OCZ Vendetta 2 OCZTVEND2 28.25C over ambient Spire TherMax II SP679S1-PCI 28.5C over ambient Noctua NH-U12P 29.0C over ambient Cooler Master V8 29.25C over ambient Intel LGA1366 Stock Cooling Solution 53.07C over ambient
It becomes evident that there's a point of diminishing returns for every CPU cooler, and when over-cooled the results collide closely together. Although the 2.66GHz Intel Core i7-920 processor does a decent job of separating the crowd, there's still only about 7C between the fifteen coolers we tested. Tt's a good bet that any one of these well-designed products will cool an overclocked system extremely well, but these days only the very best will do. Much like the Thermal Interface Material testing we have done for our upcoming follow-up article, high-performance products are all beginning to perform at nearly the same levels. Eventually, I expect to see the same technology used in all cooling products with the difference being the application. This is where experience comes in handy, and we've shared some of this with you in our Best Thermal Paste Application Methods article. Remember, less is more when it comes to thermal paste, and soon CPU coolers may offer the same paradigm.

So far, the Prolimatech Megahalems has dominated both the stock and high-output fan tests, which certainly doesn't make two products tied for second-place very happy. The Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme and Xigmatek Thor's Hammer S126384 are neck and neck with each other, but still a few degrees behind the Megahalems cooler. Titan's FINRIR also makes it into the top of the list again, with the all-copper prototype of the HDT-S1284 coming in right behind it. Some coolers didn't move in relation to the previous tests, and keep the same order in the lineup. id=62
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