For testing, I used my regular testing setup, which includes the following:
Antec SX-1030 Case w/ 170-CFM Airflow
Abit KT7A-RAID Motherboard
AMD Thunderbird 1000 (AVIA)
256MB Crucial PC133 SDRAM
Prolink XX-Player GeForce3 clocked at 230/500
I applied Arctic Silver to the stock heatsink so that the competition would be on equal footing. For temperatures, I used a thermal probe that was secured right next to the GPU on the video card. It remained in place during the cooler swap, so temperatures will be consistent to both coolers tested.
Ambient temperature was measured with the probe and the result was an even 22C. For testing, I ran Quake III Arena through a normal demo using the VIA Arena Demo. It is very graphically intense, and will do a very fine job of boosting up the temperatures of the GPU itself. I ran the demo all the way through and then took a photo of the probe reading as the demo was ending.
So without further ado, here is what happened…
Results with stock cooler:
Results with Crystal Orb
WOW! I figured that there would be a few degrees difference in temperatures, but not this much. Over 9 degrees difference by doing nothing more than using a different cooler. Results like this are what make a product stand out from the crowd.