Since most of the heatsinks coming out are designed for higher spec systems, I have forgone the 1000MHz and 1100MHz tests. This will allow us to concentrate on whether or not the sink can perform up to today's standard levels. After all, with the budget systems coming in at 1.2GHz and higher, it's time to set the mark just a bit higher in our heatsink comparisons.
That said, here is the test system that we will be working with:
Antec SX1030 Tower Case w/ 170-CFM Airflow
AMD Thunderbird 1000 @ 1333 (AVIA)
256MB Crucial PC133 SDRAM
IBM GXP60 40GB Hard Drive
Prolink XX-Player GeForce3
Arctic Silver II
The core voltage of the processor is set to 1.8v, and memory is set to the standard 3.3v. Ambient air temperature was sitting at 21C and didn't fluctuate during testing. Processor speed was firmly at 1333MHz, which puts out about 73.6 watts of heat.
Testing will consist of measuring the temperatures at idle, after a Quake III Arena Deathmatch, and after a continuous looping of 3dMark2001. These are the main types of stresses that today's systems face, so we'll concentrate on them.
So...we have a large heatsink, a huge chunk of copper, and an 80mm fan to work with. Lets see how well the newest Volcano was able to handle the stresses of an overclocked system. I'll be adding the results of the Alpha PAL8045 since it also carries a large footprint and heavy mass like the Volcano.
The results were pretty warm in comparison to other heatsinks out there, but after checking everything out, I determined that it was due to my large amount of case airflow. Even when under stress, I could not get the internal temperatures in the case to get warm enough to activate the thermistor attached to the fan. This resulted in the fan always being at its lowest level of output, even when the processor was working its tail off.
But since I wanted to see if the heatsink itself was capable of handling the workload I was throwing at it, I went ahead and removed the stock fan and attached the same 80mm 68-CFM fan that I used to test out the Alpha unit. Here's what happened when I used a high-speed fan:
This is more in line of what I had expected. While the Volcano7 is about 1C off the temperatures of the Alpha unit, it is also 10mm smaller and has a bit less mass. What this tells us is that the Volcano design is a very solid one, but it might be beneficial to consider the amount of case airflow before using the standard fan that comes with it. I had never considered 170-CFM of case airflow to be a bad thing, but there you go.