Time to test. All the coolers will work absolutely great with any processor from low to high-end (Core i3/Core i5/Core i7 quad-core and even six-core included up-to 130W) at default operating frequencies, of course there's room left for overclocking as well.
We have built a new test system policy for cooling benchmarks.
Core i7 3770K Baseline IDLE Temperatures
Let's have a look at the results for the system in its default non-overclocked state. Below, the IDLE temperatures, thus your processor is doing barely anything to nothing. Just sitting and waiting in your system.
Now, as stated this is a heatpipe cooler shootout article, but recently we tested the Corsair H60 and H100i so we threw those into the results as well in order to give you an idea of how the coolers perform against All-In-One Liquid Cooling Setup kits.
None of the coolers obviously have any issue whatsoever in IDLE with the Core i7 3770K not overclocked. But you can already see a pattern though.
Core i7 3770K Baseline LOAD Temperatures
Now let's have a look at the processor's LOAD temperatures (in the non-overclocked state). We measure in a 21 Degrees C ambient room temperature. Ambient temperatures do effect the cooling performance, albeit a little bit.
Guru3D's rule of thumb on CPU load vs cooling temps:
Anything at roughly 50 Degrees C or lower we consider enthusiast class cooling
Anything in-between 51 to 60 Degrees C we consider performance cooling
Anything in-between 61 to 70 Degrees C we consider mainstream cooling
Anything above 71 Degrees C we consider average cooling
All coolers perform well within the baseline. The highest measured temperatures come from the two most silent products, the low-profile HTPC coolers. The Gelid Tranquillo is fine if you don't overclock.
Now this is fun. Let's directly deal with sound levels shall we?
CPU cooler group test review with 3770K In this review we test over a dozen CPU coolers, mainly heatpipe based. We'll test them on a Core i7 3770K. In this group test we'll use Scythe, Noctua, Coolink, Deepcool, Alpenfohn, Gelid and Cooler Master coolers.
Gelid GX-7 CPU cooler review Gelid is a company that made a nice impression a year or two ago introducing themselves by releasing their first aftermarket CPU cooler, the 'Silent Spirit' cooler. After Gelid released that Silent Spirit and then Tranqillo CPU coolers it was time for a new model. Progress is made and anno Q4 2011 it's time to release their third consumer grade CPU cooler. Their latest creation comes in the form of a tower cooler called GX-7 -- aimed at gamers apparently.
Noctua NH-C14 CPU cooler review In the long line of Noctua CPU coolers they introduced another CPU cooler, tagged with the name NH-C14, the heatpipes bent in a C shape and armed with not one, but two Noctua NF-P14 FLX 140mm fans this product is bound to keep any CPU released to date nicely cooled and chilled.
Thermalright HR-02 CPU cooler review We test and review the Thermalright HR-02 CPU cooler. Thermalright actually introduces this product as a passive CPU Cooler. The HR-02 is the second revision of the legacy Thermalright HR-01 cooler. We'll test it passively cooled yet we'll also pair it with Thermalright's TY-140 fan, a 1300 RPM fan that is silent, yet high performing. As stated, the results stunned me, this is really really good stuff.