Heatpipe CPU cooler roundup review -
8 - The Test
Testing the coolers
Time to test these puppies.
As stated in the introduction, each of these coolers work absolutely charming with any processor (quad-core included) at default operating speeds. Therefore we decided to test it on a system with higher specs.
Methodology -- We use an nForce 780i Ultra SLI mainboard, equip it with a Core 2 Duo Q6600 processor which we overclock towards 3600 MHz (2400 MHz = default). Now we'll test each cooler in four stages:
- Actively cooled - yet CPU has nothing to do (IDLE)
- Actively cooled - four processors cores 100% stressed (LOAD)
- Passively cooled (no fan activated) - yet CPU has nothing to do (IDLE)
- Passively cooled (no fan activated) - four processors cores 100% stressed (LOAD)
Let's have a look at the results. We'll do this chronologically, therefore first up, the coolers actively cooled.
So in dark blue we see the coolers nicely purring along with the fan activated at 100%. A lower temperature is obviously better. Now as you can observe, the Tuniq cooler beats all .. it's one of the cheapest coolers money can buy. Unfortunately it also the one that makes the most noise. you can forfeit on the fan RPM with the included fan controller though.
For me personally Noctua actually wins this session, though it's the most expensive kit you can not hear that fan yet comes in at second place due to it's really good cooling, closely followed by the Silentator.
Last both the Vendetta 2 and CM Hyper Z600. Mind you that all results are pretty frickin' awesome .. remember we overclocked the processor to 3600 MHz, that is 1200 MHz above reference specification !
All coolers stay within a 11% margin from each other.
Now I have these weird ideas sometimes and I was just really interested to see if we could maintain a stable overclock at the overclocked speed with no fans activated at all.
Do we dare ? Of course we do. Unfortunately the test proved that none of the coolers can keep up with 3600 MHz with a missing ventilator. It makes sense .. the entire idea of heatpipe based cooling is to get rid of heat through the pipes to these aluminum fins. With no airflow .. that heat isn't going anywhere.
Though 77 Degrees C is just downright too much for the Quad Core processor the Coolermaster Hyper Z600 was the best. It's cooling performance is compared to the rest average, but thanks to it's large size and weight .. it can absorb heat much better under hefty load. It's just not enough though, if however you have a reasonable amount of airflow in your system .. it could likely be sufficient. I'm not recommending it though.
BTW -- 80 degrees C was our PC shut down temperature, at that temp the BIOS fail-safe kicked in and disabled the PC, we didn't want to fry our processor.
Let's have a 'look' at volume levels.
You have just seen the cooling performance, obviously we 'look' at noise levels as well. One of the best performing products is the Tuniq Core freezer .. cheap, yet the fan makes a heap of noise when 100% activated. You do receive a fan-controller with this product, yet you'll lose cooling performance. So that's a bit of a trade-off there.
The Intel stock cooler will just get crazy once the temps rise. The rest of the products where barely hearable. Very nice. For the CM Z600 we used a 120mm Hiper fan, these fans offer good performance for not a lot of money. Why the heck CM is not delivering a fan with it's product .. beats me.
The second time I declare a winner, and its the Noctua, though the difference is marginal. The Noctua seems to offer exceptionally good cooling versus near silent operation. Their product is just really good. Coolink was doing good as well, though you can slightly hear that fan.
Second place went to OCZ's Vendetta 2. I honestly think that's an awesome product. Really nice performance, silent operation. And the best has yet to come. But I'll share that in the conclusion on the next page.
GeForce 9600 GT passive review -- Noise always has been an issue with graphics cards. The past few years however manufacturers has put more emphasis on cooling solutions that though are high performance, are silent. Every now and then however there are some companies out there releasing a product completely passively cooled. Today therefore we test the first in a two-fold of passively cooled GeForce 9600 GT products. This one comes from the lads at Galaxy, and is completely heatpipe based.
Heatpipe CPU cooler roundup review
Today we review five heatpipe based coolers from Noctua, CoolerMaster Z600, Tuniq, OCZ Vendetta 2, Coolink. Over the past month or six several new heatpipe based coolers where introduced onto the market. And I already can disclose this .. not one single cooler was doing a below average result. So for this test I decided to go a little more extreme. We'll crank up the usual system requirements a notch by using a fairly high-end PC as we take a Core 2 Duo Q6600 Quad Core processor and then overclock it to 3600 MHz to see how well these coolers still do.
Noctua NH-U9 and NH-U12 heatpipe coolers
A new trend that started over the past two years is heatpipe based cooling. Several advantages directly come to mind as the principle is quite simple. You move heat towards another spot other than the source. That way you can get rid of that heat not directly away from that source, yet effectively can cool it down optimally on location B. This means less resources and effort is needed at the original point of heat. The less resources I'm talking about is a direct active form of heat dissipation e.g. loud fans. More cooling these days equals more noise, and don't we all hate it ?